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Digital Marketing

What is PPC Advertising? A Beginner’s Guide for Daycares

Digital marketing tactics are some of the more effective ways to spread the word about your child care center. One such tactic is PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising.

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click advertising is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of paying when potential clients see your ad, you only pay when your ad is clicked on. The majority of PPC ads are purchased through Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords), although Bing and Yahoo also offer some PPC ad options for daycares.

There are multiple places these types of ads appear: Search Ads, Display Ads, user retargeting and Shopping Ads. Each time a new parent who fits your target market visits a web page where your ad could appear, your ads enter a real-time auction against other companies with similar target markets to determine which ads the parent sees.

Search, Display and retargeting ads can all be effective elements within a child care center’s comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Because daycares sell services rather than physical products, Shopping Ads aren’t a relevant PPC tactic.

Google Search

Search Ads, also known as search engine marketing, are the results that display at the top of the search engine results page when you search on Google or another search engine. These pay per click ads are shown to potential daycare clients based on the words they used to search, their location (your town, neighborhood, or a specific radius around your center) and device.

Search ads can be scheduled to only show when there are staff members available to answer the phone, such as 7 am to 7 pm. Instead of turning ads off completely during your off hours, consider scheduling ads that point parents towards a contact form rather than a phone number in the evening and early morning.

Most importantly for small businesses like child care centers, Google allows you to set a budget. Each click on your ad will be subtracted from your budget. When that budget is reached, your ads will stop showing. You can manually set the amount you’re willing to pay for each click (your “bid”) or use one of Google’s settings to automatically adjust your bid depending on real-time factors.

Display Advertising

Display Ads are the images you see advertising products, services and brands on news websites, blogs and other websites looking to make money by “renting” space on their web pages. You’ll still plan your Display Ads through Google, and when your ad is clicked on, Google collects payment from you. Google then pays a portion of that charge to the website your ad was displayed on.

Like Search Ads, Display Ads offer targeting options that make it easier to show your ads to people who are likely to act on them. Based on topics selected from a list, keywords you provide, audiences, demographics (age, parental status, etc.) and interests you select, your display ads are shown to the people most likely to be parents interested in child care in your area.

You can manually choose websites where you want your ad to show, as well as websites you don’t want your ad to show on. To increase your ads’ reach, let Google select websites to display your search ads as well.

User Retargeting

There will be a large percentage of website visitors who reach your contact form, tour sign up or program pages without taking any further action. You can entice these users back to your website with PPC ads, both Search and Display. This digital marketing tactic is called remarketing.

Just like Search and Display Ads, you’ll pay per click. When you use remarketing, it’s common practice to increase the cost you’re willing to pay to acquire a click or a conversion because these repeat site visitors are more likely to contact you, sign up for center emails or schedule a tour.