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Online advertising is a very popular way for businesses to reach a large audience.

The online advertising market is huge, and people look at billions of ads every day. Online advertising has several advantages over other types of marketing: 1) Tight control of costs – you set how much you want to spend per day, and per click on your ads; 2) Measurable return on investment (ROI) – you can link your ads and your website analytics together and find out when people are buying your products and services. 3) Highly targeted – Ads are targeted to people based on their interests and what they are searching for.

How online advertising works

Almost all online advertising uses one of two models:

  • Pay per click (PPC) advertising – You only pay when people see and interact with your ad, normally by clicking on it.
  • Impressions advertising – You pay whenever people see your ad (a view of an ad is called an impression).

For most businesses, PPC advertising is the easiest and most cost-effective way into online marketing. It has three main approaches, search, display, and remarketing. Broadly, these approaches are known as campaigns and are used to group your online advertising efforts into common themes.

PPC search advertising

Search campaigns focus on what people type into search engines when they’re looking for something. They work as follows:

  • You create an online search advertising campaign.
  • In your campaign, you create certain keywords and ads related to your business.
  • You bid to have your ad appear when a user searches for those keywords.
  • A user sees your ad and clicks on it.
  • The user visits your website.
  • You pay the amount that you have bid, hence pay per click.

PPC display advertising

Display campaigns show your ads on websites related to your business or niche. They work as follows:

  • You create an online display advertising campaign.
  • You create keywords for the types of websites you want your ads to appear on.
  • You bid to have your ad appear on relevant websites.
  • A user visits the related website, sees your ad and clicks on it.
  • The user visits your website.
  • You pay the amount that you have bid.

PPC remarketing advertising

Remarketing campaigns show your ads to users who have already seen or interacted with them. They work as follows:

  • A user views or interacts with an ad they have seen while searching or on another website.
  • The user is tracked when they go to other websites showing ads.
  • Your ad is shown to the visitor again, even on an unrelated website.
  • A user clicks on your ad, visits your website, and you pay the amount bid.

PPC advertising is dominated by one major network, Google AdWords. Microsoft also provides PPC services through their Bing search engine.

Setting up a PPC campaign

It’s easy to setup a PPC campaign with Google or Microsoft, although optimizing them does take time. You can start PPC advertising as follows:

  • Create an account – Signup with Google AdWords or Bing Ads.
  • Create a campaign – Set up an advertising campaign for your business.
  • Create ad groups – These are themed groups to help you focus your advertising.
  • Add keywords to each ad group – These are words related to your business, products, or services.
  • Write ads for each ad group – These are the ads your potential customers will see.
  • Set a daily amount and amount per click – This is how much you want to spend each day, and on each click.
  • Fund your account – You will need to pay upfront and deposit funds.
  • Start your advertising campaign – Your ads will start to show to potential customers.
  • Optimize your campaign – Use measurements and analytics to enhance and improve your campaigns.

Hiring an online Marketing Firm

Using PPC effectively does take some skill and experience. If you don’t have the time to learn yourself, you might consider hiring a marketing firm like Port City. They will be able to help you set up every aspect of your advertising, and can review and improve your campaigns over time.

Online advertising is a highly effective way to reach thousands of customers. Used well, it can give you a good ROI, increase the visibility of your business, and lead to more sales.