The introduction of the internet changed a lot of things, and one of those things is the ability to promote a business. Search advertising means that brands can appear right in the search results for any number of terms – and there are a multitude of ways to make money with PPC ads.
Advertising has long been considered an expense rather than a source of revenue for businesses. Brands will often factor in huge chunks of their revenue to spend on advertising. In fact, the average company spends around 20% of their revenue on marketing. With the biggest chunk going on PPC ads.
However, PPC ads are one of the best ways to make money. Consider the fact that the average company makes back $2 for every $1 spent on digital advertising – a decent return.
So we’ll take a look at how to make money with pay-per-click ads in two different ways.
What is PPC advertising?
Pay per click refers to any ad placement, within the search results or as a display campaign (banner ad) that charges you for each click you receive. However it can also refer to the CPM or cost per impression model too, although this is more correctly referred to as search engine marketing (CPM).
Pay per click advertising is considered the most cost-effective form of advertising because the advertiser only pays for the number of people who click on their ad(s).
In simpler terms, it’s a way of buying visits to your website rather than gaining visitors organically, which might take a relatively long time.
PPC is the main monetisation channel for the ad giants of Google and Microsoft, and, to a degree, Facebook. For banner or display ads, the website publisher also gets paid based on how many people click on the ad.
Getting started with PPC ads
As you get started, you need to understand the difference between Google Ads and Google Adsense.
You can generate revenue from PPC advertising in two ways: by putting ads on your content or by running paid ad campaigns for your affiliate networks on Google. People that wish to run ad campaigns use Google Adwords, whereas content creators who want to display paid ads on their pages use Google Adsense.
What are the best PPC sites, you might ask? Well, there’s a plethora of them available online, and you just need to try them out to determine which one best suits your needs.
The biggest audience by far is on Google, and their Adsense platform is hugely popular with publishers. Bing Ads offers an alternative for search marketers, and there a huge selection of native, display and publishing based ad networks.
Making money with PPC ad campaigns
The main way of making money with pay per click ads is to drive traffic to your business. Whatever your service or product, you identify what the audience is searching for and deliver your business as a solution.
This can also work for affiliate marketers, for example if you run a website that uses Amazon affiliates or other affiliate networks to monetise your content.
The ads can lead visitors to your content, and by turn to the affiliate programs. You’ll need to check the terms of your affiliate contract before paying for PPC ads on some keywords though, as there are some restrictions from businesses.
To ensure your ad campaign is successful, you have to tweak your ads to suit the target audience. This entails using a catchy and clickable format, but not one that is clickbait or interferes with the web users experience.
Use Google Keyword Planner or other keyword research tools to identify the most popular search terms or phrases that are also relatively cheaper. Keywords determine the type of visitors you attract to your website, and the right keywords mean you attract people who are most likely to click on the ads.
You also need to understand that different keywords have varying ad charges. Low-cost per click keywords may save you money, but they also generate fewer clicks. High demand and more expensive keywords may attract more customers thereby making you more profits due to higher sales volumes. You need to do a lot of evaluation to strike the balance that fits your budget and your expectations.
As you’ll see, Google search results come in a variety of shapes and sizes (including the use of extensions) – so make sure to swot up on how to run a successful PPC ad.
Making money as a website publisher
Making money by monetising websites is one of the most common ways of generating income online using PPC. This is when a website hosts advertisements, usually in the form of banner ads, and earns a small fee for each click or impression on these ads.
In general, these sites that host ads will be blogs, online magazines, directories and other content based publishers. Business services and ecommerce stores don’t tend to host display ads on their site as it doesn’t look too professional.
However they may feature affiliate links for partners or other services related to their industry.
Although Google Adsense is the biggest of the search platforms, it’s not the only option. Microsoft Advertising is just one alternative, or look at platforms like Ezoic or Bidvertiser.
Google Adsense provides a detailed breakdown of your analytics, including the number of people who clicked on the adverts on your page. Google then pays you a percentage of the advertising fee for these clicks or impressions.
To be eligible for this, you first need to sign up for a Google Adsense account. This is how you link your websites and run ads on your content.
Getting your site accepted for Adsense is straightforward, but not always easy. Google does use some strict criteria before allowing new publishers to run ads. You’ll need to:
- Have a well-organized and tidy website that adheres to advertising requirements.
- Provide quality content. Google doesn’t accept publisher sites that run adult, gambling related or hate speech content, so make sure your site complies with this – there are specialist ad platforms that can handle these ads though…
After getting the Adsense account, you can go ahead and insert Google’s code. This will strategically display adverts on your website so that they don’t obscure your content while still being accessible to visitors.
This is an example of Business Insider, one of the world’s most visited websites, and how their display ad content looks on their site.
Like Business Insider, to generate good money from advertising, you should concentrate more on creating strong content for your website and attracting more people. This means you should correctly identify with your niche and generate more compelling and engaging content.
If you’re doing everything correctly, you’ll see an increase in the click-through rate on your blog or website. This implies that more people who come across your material click on it out of curiosity or interest. Because more individuals are clicking on the PPC advertising, this success equates to more income.
Manage other people’s PPC ads
Another way to make money with PPC ads is to help other people to promote their brands on Google or Facebook. Offering PPC services is an increasingly popular career path, and one which is in high demand.
As a marketing and sales role, it is very hands on and requires you to understand different factors such as how to manage different pay per click ad platforms, create campaigns and even manage social networks ad platforms (e.g. Facebook and Instagram).
Of course, being a PPC professional is not a straightforward task, and you’ll need to study and get some certifications before people hand over their ad budget to you. But if you want to help other people succeed, and even run multiple clients, setting up as a PPC management agency is one of the most effective ways to make money with PPC.
Many business owners outsource their PPC ad management to freelancers and agencies. The reason is, it’s hard work and it’s time consuming.
You’ll need an eye for detail, a way with words and some technical savvy too. So, this is definitely not an option for everyone.
Take a look at some of our content about becoming a PPC specialist to get you up and running!
Challenges facing Pay Per Click advertising
The world of pay per click has taken a knock to its reputation in recent years. From the legal challenges with regards to handling of data or tracking online, to the seemingly unstoppable rise of click fraud.
However, PPC ads remain one of the best ways to channel relevant and paying traffic to your website. So, despite the challenges, it’s still one of the best ways to advertise.
With the tracking issues, advertisers are learning to rely on less granular targeting, and receiving less analytical data in their quest to target the right audience. This is a general challenge across the world of digital advertising, especially on Facebook Ads and increasingly Google Ads too.
Another major headache is fake traffic, also referred to as invalid traffic or click fraud.
Click fraud is the issue of bots or competitors clicking on your ads with an aim of making you incur losses. Due to the high cost of some search keywords, this type of fraud can squander your advertising budget or, worse, put you out of business due to the exorbitant expenses.
Blocking bad clicks on your PPC ads is increasingly necessary to increase conversions and keep your ad costs down. The more bad clicks, the higher your cost per acquisition, the bigger the impact on your Quality Score and the more chances that your daily ad budget will be squandered before the day is done.
If you’re running a pay per click campaign such as Google Ads, or helping someone else make money from PPC ads (yes, even if you’re a marketing agency or freelancer) run an audit on the traffic with ClickCease.
You’ll be able to view the volume of fake clicks from bots, VPNs and other non-genuine traffic. You’ll also be able to view the keywords most affected by click fraud, and block fake traffic in real time.
Sign up for a FREE 7 day trial with ClickCease to run your traffic audit.