Online Marketing Frequently Asked Questions: What Is Pay per Click Advertising?

Pay per click advertising, commonly known as PPC, is an effective way to market your business online.

PPC is just like it sounds; you create an online ad and you pay when people click on that ad. Those clicks lead to your website, or wherever you have targeted for them to land, like a conversion-focused landing page.

PPC ads are available in different formats and locations throughout the web, from text-based ads in search engines to display ads on certain websites (e.g. banner ads).

Advantages of PPC

PPC advertising is widely used by small and mid-sized businesses because it:

  • Drives inbound leads and website traffic
  • Allows you to get your business in front of searchers before you are ranking well in search results
  • Provides detailed, measurable data on results
  • Allows you to set your own budget, giving you cost control
  • Is flexible, allowing you to refine campaigns as you go
  • Provides useful information on consumer behaviour (e.g. what specific keyword led to a click on your ad?)
  • Allows you to define your geographic area, whether it is global or hyper-local
  • Is relatively straightforward to implement and maintain

adwords-logoPPC Ads with Google

Google’s PPC ads , called “AdWords”,  are the most popular form of pay per click. Google offers two main types of PPC ads: Search Network ads and Display Network ads.

Search Network Ads

Display Network Ads

  • Appear on websites that show AdWords ads
  • Allow you to target specific websites, topics, audience demographics, etc.
  • Use image, video, or rich media

Google AdWords also offers ad options such as pay per thousand impressions (for building brand awareness) or pay per acquisition (based on specific conversion targets).

The Bottom Line

PPC ads, whether through Google, or other service providers like Bing/Yahoo, are a great tool for building brand awareness and generating leads – even if your website isn’t appearing in search results!

The key is take great care to do it properly – if not, you will be throwing money into a black hole. But when well-executed, a strategic PPC campaign can drive a significant return on investment.

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