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Are you asking "How does PPC work?" In it's simplest terms, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising does just what it says. You pay for every click to your website.  And if your landing page is optimised for sales, you can earn revenue, which is hopefully more than your ad spend. In fact, for every $1 spent on Google, businesses earn $2 on average in revenue, per Google. That is the beauty of PPC. By earning more than you spend in advertising, you can scale your business to new heights.   Sounds simple right? In truth, PPC is more complex than this. Running a profitable PPC campaign requires knowledge of ad budgets, copywriting, landing pages, keywords and much more. The first step is to familiarise yourself with the basics of how PPC works. Read on to discover everything you need to know about PPC advertising now.   What is PPC? Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model that allows businesses to place ads on advertising platforms that charge a fee every time the ad is clicked. The main goal for every PPC advertiser is to entice anyone viewing the ad to click through to their landing page. At that point, the viewer can perform a valuable action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for an email newsletter. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the most popular PPC platforms at the moment. They offer marketers the chance to reach an enormous audience with highly targeted advertising. Most PPC networks sell advertising on a cost-per-click basis (CPC). Each click has a specific cost. This cost varies according to numerous factors such as ad reach and popularity of the ad topic. You may run across cost-per-mile (CPM) ads which are also known as cost-per-1,000 impression ads. These ads require you to pay per 1,000 impressions. For example, if your ad appears 10,000 times at a cost of £5 per CPM, you would pay £50. Being adept at managing pay-per-click campaigns is an essential skill for  digital marketing jobs .   Why Use Pay Per Click? PPC is beneficial for just about any business. It's one of the few opportunities to reach your ideal customer at any stage of the buying process. Here are some benefits to consider: 1. Pay Only When Someone Clicks With cost-per-impression (CPM) advertising, you pay for exposure. Can you imagine running a campaign on a popular site like TMZ but getting very few clicks and even fewer sales? You could run up a big bill with nothing to show for it. But with PPC advertising, you only pay for performance. In other words, if no one clicks on your ad, you owe nothing. Spend your time focusing on your ad copy and optimising your landing page to improve your traffic and conversion rates until you find success. 2. PPC Offers More Control Than Traditional Advertising Unlike traditional advertising, PPC advertising allows you to take full control of your campaigns. For example, you are not tied into any hard requirements on your budget. If you want to test a campaign on £5 a day, go for it. 3. PPC Provides Transparent Insight into a Campaign's Performance You also have real-time access to performance analytics, including your current ad spend and your click-through-rate (CTR). That means you can make changes to your ads even if they are live. You can tweak your campaigns on the fly to optimise your return-on-investment (ROI) and achieve your goals. 4. PPC is Faster than SEO If you have a new website and you're relying on organic search traffic, you will probably be waiting for a long time to see results. But with PPC, you can launch your brand and get your name out there immediately. You want market share as soon as possible and PPC advertising gives you the chance to reach your target audience right away. 5. Don't Worry About Algorithm Changes Optimising your website for search engines is a daunting task. Google's algorithm takes over 200 ranking factors into account. They regularly release major algorithm changes. Not to mention all the smaller daily updates that you have to keep up with. Not so with pay-per-click. Although PPC is also influenced by algorithm changes, the updates are less frequent and not nearly as disruptive as search algorithm updates. If your PPC advertising platform changes an algorithm, you won't have to do anything and your ads will still run continuously with no issues. 6. Boost Traffic and Sales Many companies launch PPC campaigns to improve their brand awareness. But you can also target your ideal customer who is in the buying process.  With their credit card still in hand, you can reach them and lead them to a sales landing page. Talk about an effective way to boost sales and your bottom line. 7. Retarget Lost Customers When you look at your site's analytics, are you getting a lot of repeat traffic? If not, that means most of your visitors are lost for good. And they won't be coming back to consume your content or make a purchase. But PPC gives you the opportunity to use retargeting ads to reclaim your lost customers. You can strategically post ads on websites visited by this sector of your audience. Create engaging ads with a special offer or bonus as encouragement to give your site a second chance.   What Are the Best PPC Types? As you likely have gathered, PPC comes in a variety of flavours. Here's a look at the most common types of PPC advertising. 1. Search Advertising When most people talk about PPC advertising, they are usually talking about search advertising. Specifically, they are referring to Google Ads, which is one of the original and most common PPC methods. You've seen Google Ads. They are the sponsored ads above the organic search listings and the small paid ads in the right column. The marketers behind each ad entered targeted keywords for their campaign, and the ad is shown when you run a search query for the same keyword phrase.  This is the fastest and most simple way to get your business in front of your target audience.  Bing Ads and Microsoft Advertising are two other popular search platforms that can help you cast a bigger net and reach potential customers far and wide. 2. Social Advertising As its name suggests, social advertising publishes sponsored ads on popular social media channels. Facebook is the king of social advertising and their analytics are the best in the business. Facebook's targeting options allow you to drill down and reach customers based on their income, education level, interests, spending habits and more. There are literally hundreds of social sites where you can launch social PPC campaigns. Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest are the most popular platforms after Facebook. Familiarise yourself with the purpose of each social channel and create ads specifically designed for each outlet. 3. Display Advertising Display ads are self-explanatory. You've seen these banner ads in a variety of forms since you were surfing the net on the Netscape browser. You can run graphic ads on any PPC platform (in addition to text, and video ads).   How Does PPC Work? Although differences exist between each ad platform, the process will usually consist of these basic elements. 1. Campaigns An ad campaign is simply your first ad set in which you will pay an advertising platform to deliver ads. You will pay on a CPM or CPC basis. 2. Ad Groups Ads groups are a set of ads which make up your campaign. For example, if your ad campaign was to sell dog supplies, you might have on ad group advertising training tools and another one promoting dog toys. 3. Keywords Most ad groups are associated with specific keywords. That way the ad network knows when to run your advertising. In the above example, "dog training tools" might be the keyword for one ad group. And "best dog toys" could be the keyword phrase for your other ad group. 4. Ad Copy The ad text arguably has more impact than any other component of your campaign. For that reason, it's wise to invest in professional copywriting to achieve the highest ROI. 5. Landing Page People are going to click on your ad and land on your website. That page is your landing page. Again, hire a reputable copywriter so you can close more deals and boost your bottom line.   How Much Does PPC Advertising Cost? The answer to this one is tough because a lot of variables must be considered. You could pay 89 cents per click (i.e. a simple red sticker) or you could pay over $100 per click (i.e. pharmaceuticals and weight-loss industries). Your price can fluctuate due to the keywords you use. Your ad budget factors in as well. The popularity of the ad network also comes into play. Ads on popular sites such as Google are going to cost more than ads on Bing, for example. Don't worry, most ad platforms allow you to see your costs and set your budget before you agree to pay for your campaigns. You can research the cost and reach of potential keyword phrase using their research tools. For instance, Google Keyword Planner allows you to punch in keyword phrases to see the expected reach and costs for a particular keyword phrase. Here's one more expense to remember. Whether you outsource or use in-house talent, you will need to pay a professional to manage your ad campaigns and your landing pages. Sales conversions are hanging in the balance and you want a pro to optimise your campaigns for maximum profit.   How Long Does it Take To See Results? The short answer: Almost immediately. The long answer: It usually takes a campaign manager a couple of weeks to open your PPC accounts and create your campaigns. Producing sales funnels and landing pages could add to the time frame. But once you publish your ads, they will go usually go live within an hour or less.  How quickly you see results depends on your ad spend and the size of your campaign audience.  Typically you will want at least 50 to 100 clicks before you start to make decisions about optimising your ads. You need a larger sample size before you can accurately make any determinations from your ad metrics and performance.   The Bottom Line Hopefully, you can now answer the question, "How does PPC work?"  As you can imagine, most business owners do not rely on PPC advertising alone. They may use a mix of PPC, organic search results, engaging social media accounts, YouTube videos, and more. But PPC is probably the most popular way to market your company and get sales. You can get started immediately and begin seeing results in a relatively short period of time. This is much faster than most other strategies which require a longer time frame before you see results. Ready to start a career in digital marketing and PPC? Sign up for our automatic job alerts whenever a new job is posted now.
The Internet has become one of the most useful tools that business owners can take advantage of. In fact, if you're an entrepreneur without an Internet presence, chances are that you're falling behind your competition . While having a company website and corresponding business profiles on social media is crucial, it won't mean anything if you can't get anyone to see them. That's where SEO comes into play. But, not everyone fully understands SEO (and may even find themselves asking 'what does SEO stand for'). There's no shame in this, however. We're here to learn. Let's take a look at everything you need to know about SEO, including how it works and how it can help grow your business.   Let's Kick Things Off: What Does SEO Stand For? The term SEO is an abbreviation in the digital marketing industry that stands for  search engine optimisation. Its definition is fairly straightforward. SEO simply refers to various tactics that can be used to give a web page the highest possible chance of showing up toward the top of search results. For example, let's say you own a law firm in Utah and want more people in your area to find you on Google. You would employ SEO strategies to help you get higher and higher on search results when people in your region search for legal services. It should be noted that the purpose of SEO is to get  organic traffic to your website. This means that people are finding your site on their own and not through ads. Sound simple enough? It's not too difficult to understand. How it works, however, is a different story...   So... How  Does it Work? On the surface, this is like asking how a car engine works. The answer isn't that simple, as there is a large handful of factors at play that determines how effective (or ineffective) SEO will be. But, before we dive into those, let's quickly brush up on how SEO works as a whole.   Ranking Is Algorithm-Based Search engines want to provide users with relevant, high-quality results for their query. So, there are numerous systems in place that automatically determine what a quality site is, whether or not it's relevant, and where it should be placed on the search results. Attributes of a high-quality website that search engines scan for include: Useability and navigability Quality backlinks Optimisation for mobile platforms Original, comprehensive content When we say "search engines" here, it's safe to say that we mean the most prolific search engine in use today: Google. Since Google's ranking system could be manipulated and abused if the algorithm were fully understood, the search engine giant never makes all of the info about its algorithm public. And, like other digital marketing trends , it's always changing. But, researchers have been able to reverse engineer a significant amount of data that influence how Google ranks sites on its search results page. This is great news, as it allows you to forego any experimentation yourself. As previously mentioned, there are numerous key factors that you need to focus on if you want to make sure your content has the potential to be seen by your audience. Read on to learn more about the major attributes to keep an eye on.   Content Is King The statement Bill Gates made in 1996 still holds true today. Content is indeed king when it comes to digital marketing. And, Google feels the same way. By now, we've established that search engines are looking to deliver users a quality experience. But, Google is also looking for  quality content and not just quality websites with high useability. So, you'll need to offer your audience something of value (literally, in the eyes of Google) in order to achieve the ranking that you desire. This means things like: Original, relevant posts on your company site's blog E-books, case studies, and how-to guides Engaging content on social media In short, if your content is accessible to your audience (how-to's are great for this)  and if it's original and well-written, Google will give your content a green light and push you further up the rankings. But, in order for people to find your content, you'll need to focus on your...   Keywords  Google doesn't just choose great websites and send them to users. Everything Google displays is in response to a search query. So, you'll need to figure out what your audience is searching for in order to help them find you. By using a tool such as Google's own Keyword Planner , you'll be able to have a solid foundation for your research.  One of the most important analytics to watch for is the keyword ranking . In general, higher ranked keywords will be out of reach for most small businesses. For example, let's look at the keyword " Drake ". Given that Drake's music is on every music streaming platform, YouTube, and dozens of other official sites, it's very unlikely that a company blog post in the music industry will succeed in ranking for this keyword. This is where you can get creative, however. If you instead focus on "make music like Drake" instead and write a blog post that details the elements that are consistently present in his songs, you'll be far more likely to find yourself high up on the search results.   Mobile Optimisation According to this study , the year 2025 will see approximately 72% of Internet users browsing on smartphones as opposed to desktop or laptop computers. Google is aware of this, too. Of course, this means that optimising your site for mobile is more crucial than ever. The two factors to look out here for are your site's page speed and formatting when viewing on a mobile device. If your site is slow to load, nobody is going to wait around to see what you have t offer. Similarly, if your mobile site gives people a headache when trying to view it, they're going to leave and most likely not come back. This, unfortunately, tells Google that your content isn't up to standard. Although these users would have been browsing on mobile devices, it's still the same Internet. So, Google will treat this activity no differently than if it had occurred on a desktop computer.   Factors You Can Control: On-Page SEO When it comes to SEO, there is plenty that you can do on your own to give your content an extra boost. This is known as on-page SEO since it refers to elements on your site that you have control over. Let's take a deeper look. Image Titles and Tags In general, you'll want to use your chosen keyword in as many unique places as you can. The title of images is no different. When naming and uploading your images, incorporate your keyword into the title. If you're in doubt, you can simply name the file itself your chosen keyword and you'll be set. So, a picture of a boat for a guide on deep sea fishing could be named "best rods for deepsea fishing.jpeg" and you've got an easy way to boost your SEO.  A Relevant Title For Your Content As with image titles, the actual title for your content is something to consider. But, it's even more important since it can determine whether or not your audience will click on your content from Google's search engine results page. Keep your title short and sweet. Providing too much information in this section can be off-putting to both Google's algorithm and your readers. Use Subheaders Google loves content that's scannable. It shows that it provides a smooth, navigable experience for readers. And, what better way to break up walls of text than with subheaders?  H1, H2, and H3 subheaders help divide your content into consumable chunks. You can also use your keyword in these, too. A Detailed Meta Description Ever seen the small block of text underneath a link in the search results? That's the meta description. Since it's essentially a synopsis of your content, you should tailor it for your audience so that they'll have a general idea of what's behind the link before they click on it. Once again, this is another location to put your keyword. Make use of Internal Links Linking to other pages on your site will help Google's algorithm know that you have a quality website and not just a page or two's worth of blog posts. It also helps Google understand what you have to offer your customers. So, internal links to product pages and services are always a good decision.   Factors You Can't  Control: Off-Page SEO This section is a bit more abstract than on-page SEO. While you are in full control of everything that appears on your website, there are other factors that influence your SEO performance that lie just out of reach. But, that doesn't mean that you can't work to improve them. Read on to learn more about the elements of off-page SEO. Social Engagement Sometimes, you'll post something on your company's social media  pages and it'll just  flop. There are days where even stellar content goes relatively unnoticed. This is never a good thing since Google's algorithm favours content that people interact with.  As a rule of thumb, content with thousands of likes and shares is going to be heavily favoured by Google over similar content that has far less engagement. While you can't control the number of organic likes and shares you get on your posts, you do have control over the quality and frequency of your content. So, if you consistently post quality content, you're bound to get engagement from your audience. In turn, this will help your SEO and make your brand more visible to consumers on Google's search results. Backlinks This is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of off-page SEO to influence. When a site with high domain authority (DA) links to your content, Google is more prone to seeing your content as relevant, trustworthy, and high-quality. You can think of this concept as a sort of "celebrity endorsement" of your content. Imagine seeing a random marketing blog post link to a marketing firm's website. Now, imagine seeing that same link on a featured article on Forbes. Google views this scenario in the same way that people do. Audience Trust This is an intangible attribute that can be difficult to manipulate. But, it's something that is very important to Google. If you have a website that looks suspicious, spammy, or provides misleading titles/links, people won't stay on your pages for very long. This will drastically increase your site's bounce rate , which is an index of visitors who leave a site after visiting only one page. When Google sees a site with a high bounce rate, it assumes that the content is either irrelevant or malicious. Consequently, the rankings for that site then suffer. So, having engaging content that your audience will spend time reading or engaging with is imperative in keeping your ranking high. Higher ranking, of course, results in more sales.   Final Thoughts SEO is a difficult beast to tame. But, it's necessary to learn the ins and outs if you want to succeed online. Fortunately, with the above information about 'what does SEO stand for' in mind, you'll be well on your way to making the most of your online presence. Want to learn more about digital marketing and what you can do with it? Check out the rest of our blog !
Are you looking for a job, or will you be in the near future? If you desire a job involving  media creation and management , you must have a digital portfolio. Prospective employers will expect it. They likely will ask for it in the early stages of the application process. This article will look at how to create a social media portfolio  -- in other words, a digital media portfolio that targets  social media roles specifically.   Planning your Social Media Portfolio If you’ve reached the point of pursuing a career in one of the media or tech industries, it’s likely you have started work on your portfolio already, maybe without realising it. You probably have created various images, designs, and written content over the years, and we’d bet at least some of it is pretty good. So here are some stages we see as key to the planning process:   About You Provide your name and contact information. Also, include your CV  in a format that can be downloaded.   Gathering Materials Start looking for social media content (or other relevant content), such as: Social media work you did as a volunteer or for an internship Social media work you did for pay Any other digital content you feel proud of and would demonstrate what you could do with social media Testimonials For each image, be sure to indicate what the assignment was, when it was done (i.e., year and, if appropriate, stage of your education or career), and for whom it was done. Creativecircle.com advocates getting at least some of your portfolio content from screen captures. This shows material you’ve created--in the environment it was created for. Also, gather any quotations (testimonials) about your work. For example, praise posted on LinkedIn by admirers, or something a teacher or an industry professional you know wrote about you and your work. If you can't come up with anything, ask some professionals you know to write things about your work. After collecting your materials, you'll need to make some decisions. As TheMuse.com says, "even though you’ve got a lot more real estate on an online portfolio than you do on your CV, you should be equally selective about what you include." Pick out your best items — those that show skill and creativity you are proud of, and that others have complimented you about. Also, think of what your ideal employer might want you to create if you’re hired, and find (or create) some examples of it. If your existing social media posts don't look all that professional, write more. Find out if there's a business or charity that would allow you to write some for them. Take a look at HubSpot's "The Anatomy of a Successful Facebook Post " for advice on how to write for businesses or other organisations.   The Audience(s) for Your Portfolio The portfolio you create should target the career path you want to follow. It would be good to do some research on the department(s) you're applying to, as well as the background of the hiring manager(s). This will give you some ideas about how to organise the portfolio and categorise its contents. Depending on the size of the organisation, the department could be very specialised and might appreciate a narrowly focused portfolio. In most cases, though, your position will involve multiple roles, and report to someone who oversees employees in different departments. An example is the social media manager at a non-profit whose responsibilities might extend into other areas of the organisation. And the hiring manager might be in a different area altogether and know little to nothing about social media. How about a range from Facebook posts or Tweets to blog articles to web copy? Put simply, as Meredith Lepore of Skillcrush writes, "the purpose of an online portfolio  is to give ... a sense of who you are, what you can do and whether you are the person they should hire." You might be wondering, "what if my work is good, but lacks visual appeal. How can I possibly create a portfolio "? The Muse has this answer: "Working in a role where your product isn’t visual—like sales, product management, and the like —  shouldn’t keep you  from having a portfolio to show off your stuff. You just have to think a little more creatively".   Formatting, Organising and Polishing the Portfolio How you put your portfolio together will make a huge difference in your success. This is not the place for anything but polished, professional presentation.   Where and How to Begin If, for any reason, you need help developing a creative, attention-getting portfolio--one that "pops"--we recommend seeking some expert assistance. There are numerous site-building services available--including Squarespace, Wix, GoDaddy, and others--that can help you build the portfolio from start to finish and, in some cases, even host it. These services can be pricey, though, so do some research before choosing one. If you are new to the job market, hopefully, you won't overspend on this portfolio. There are dozens of sites offering  free templates . There also are Free portfolio hosting sites . WordPress has a sophisticated range of costs for its various services; however, it does offer a level with free hosting, as well as some free templates.   Legalities Don't wind up on the wrong side of the law just by trying to get a job! Remember,  anything you create is subject to copyright--and if you created something (image, social media post, etc.), there's a pretty good chance someone else owns the copyright to that material. This also is the case with anything, such as illustrations, commissioned work, etc., that you have created for or sold to someone else. Unless you are absolutely certain that the work is yours and yours alone, seek permission!   Thoroughness Before going live with your site, be sure to check (and try to have someone else check) for: Typos Misspellings Word choice Awkward phrasing Overall tone Broken links Design flaws Anything else that makes your site less than perfect And be sure to seek some feedback on the overall look of your portfolio as well.   Setting Your Path Forward What characterises the best social media portfolios? We believe the very best portfolios are those that bring their creators to life -- right on the computer screen. They capture professional personality and just the right amount  of individual personality. These are the portfolios that leave no doubt in anyone's mind as to the competency, creativity, and hire-ability  of the people behind the work represented in them. You also want these people to think you'd be great to work with. So go ahead and get started with the portfolio. Remember, you're telling the story of your own professional journey. Make the person reading it want to be part of the next chapter!   Next up:  What is Social Media Marketing?  
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