This is a guest blog post by Milda Prušinskaitė, PPC expert at Tesonet.
“She’s working in a big company, something with computers”, that’s what my mom says when somebody asks her what I do. My own answer is even more simplistic – PPC.
What is PPC?
Sounds almost like PAPERCLIP, though in fact, it’s Pay-Per-Click. In a nutshell, PPC is a form of advertising where you launch ads on different search engines and pay for gaining website visitors and buyers. This means spending a lot of money on people who might or might not purchase your products. PPC expert’s work is pretty straightforward: making the ads compelling and showing them when someone is looking to buy the items you’re advertising. The main platform for that is Google Ads, with search ads being the core of it. There are also dozens of different smaller networks to advertise – with their own unique specifications and features – some have search, display, video, and other ads available, others only allow one type. In this blog post, we’ll look into the work of PPC experts and crafting successful ad campaigns.
Crafting a PPC campaign
Showing the ads in the right place at the right time definitely takes some skill. You must always assess your target audience’s reaction to your ads and their behavior on the website after clicking it. There are two main platforms for you to evaluate and correctly set your ads:
1. Google Ads allows you to write or upload ads, set budgets, advertising locations, add some extensions to make them more eye-catching, etc.The main thing here is to attract future clients to your website and not to overspend (remember, we pay for each click). The obvious metrics to check are cost per click and click-through rate (which actually shows how compelling the ad is).
For a deeper evaluation of your ad performance, you can look into factors like the impression share, which shows how many times ads were shown vs. how many times they might and should have been shown. Analyzing these numbers is extremely important for your campaign’s success: in every campaign, you must look for reasons why your data is the way it is, and come up with viable solutions to make them even better.
2. Google Analytics is another crucial platform for evaluating your campaign performance. This tool allows looking at what happens AFTER a user clicks on the ad: how many pages they visit, how long they stay, how many times they visit before making a purchase, and what keeps them from converting into a client. Here you crunch your final numbers: how much you earned on a specific campaign and the actual ROI. Again, if you see problems (and there are ALWAYS some problems), you need to dig in and find solutions. It’s a never-ending process.
At times the work of a PPC expert is crystal clear: you see the problem, you solve it and “bam”, you’ve got results. Other times, you’re not so fortunate and have to go through tons of reports and data to find the answers you’re looking for.
That might sound discouraging, yet there’s immense satisfaction in finally finding a solution after all that work – it makes one feel like Sherlock Holmes at times, where every campaign is a separate case.
Are robots taking over?
The truth is that Google Ads is a relatively old platform and at times may seem like an unmanageable monster growing and evolving on its own, but it’s your duty to catch up. As the system becomes more and more automated, it allows us to actually ask for results (e.g. approximate cost per purchase that we want to pay, desired ROAs, etc.). Before that, PPC managers had to optimize ads manually. Now, we have no choice but to leave the optimization process for AI. All you need to do is to put some keywords in, write the text, and allow the system to learn and provide the results.
Does that mean that the robots are taking over? No! This isn’t the apocalypse scenario and PPC experts aren’t doomed for extinction. Though the algorithms are continuously improving, PPC campaigns still need human brains to make them properly work. These “robots” aren’t replacing us – instead, we prepare the whole ground for the AI to work and they give us a helping hand to succeed.
Is it really that easy?
If it were so, everyone would work with PPC. Yet, sometimes, just like every person, we want to scream at our screens when the job gets a bit too much. At times we get to see the imperfections that are programmed into the system algorithms that cost us loads of time or sets us back in our goals. For example, you can upload a new ad and notice it’s disapproved. Then you check every line and see a notification saying that one word doesn’t comply with the policy. However, after double-checking you see that that specific word isn’t in your campaign at all. You appeal and get your ad approved. These are the shortcomings of our current systems.
Looking at the bright side, there are plenty of jokes flying around after frustrating incidents like this. And we have tons of inside humor when it comes to the policies or abbreviations, so it’s not all scary or bad.
Overall, PPC management is actually fun and the instant gratification that you get after seeing how the adjustments increase your results is extremely satisfying. Sure, there are hard, frustrating days since you’re spending someone else’s money and have to be extra careful. However, it keeps the heart pumping and the excitement going – after all, PPC is like taking care of a live organism, you always have to make sure that it’s in decent shape and healthy.
So this is the “something we do with computers”.