How Pay Per Click Works
Most large search engines offer a paid advertising service, also known as pay per click advertising. A large portion of their income comes from this advertising, and the search engines are constantly working on improving their PPC advertising. The advertisers, in return, get their ads displayed to highly targeted users who are looking for a particular keyword or phrase. This allows the website to appear on search results where it normally wouldn’t appear due to the competition or lack of content.
This means your website will be exposed to a high number of searches, which means targeted traffic. You will be at the top of search results, providing you with a lion’s share of the visitors. As the name suggests, you pay only for the number of visitors your website gets through your PPC ads, i.e., how many people click on your ad when it appears in the search results. This method is highly effective and more preferable than, for example, the pay-per-impression method where advertisers are charged every time the ad gets displayed on their site, regardless of whether the user clicks on the link or not. By using PPC, you pay only for each visitor the PPC service provider sends to your website, effectively providing you with a highly targeted lead that you can turn into a sale.
(However, brand-oriented strategies are advised to use pay per thousand impressions to increase awareness and brand visibility. This is the most effective method in reaching millions of people in a very short time.)
The pay per click world has two distinct categories. The very first and most important is the “Search PPC”. These types of ads are shown at the top and right-hand side of search engine results pages, such as Google. Results are calculated in a far more complicated manner which includes auction-based pricing versus traditional ranking. The top search spots are not easy to score with high bids alone.
The second category is “Content PPC”, which shows up on web pages that are part of Google Display Network. Generally, there is a small tag under the ads which states “Ads by Google” to distinguish them. There are several techniques to use this type of advertising strategy. For example, you could buy space on pages relevant to your keywords to get your ads closer to the targeted audience. Once you specify your keywords in your account and opt in to use this technique, the search engine tries to match the content of the webpages to your keyword. Content PPC can cost less, but at the price: since visitors are not actively searching, they may be less likely to click through.
Google AdWords also offers the possibility of a targeting technique called topic targeting. Search engines categorize web pages according to certain topics, such as sports or finance Once you choose a category to advertise to, the search engine automatically starts showing your ad text to web pages that fall under the category you have chosen.
Benefits of Using PPC Advertising
- You control when the advert shows and can specify the time of day and day of the week it is displayed. Such precision is unavailable in most other forms of advertising.
- You control the budget and can increase it and decrease it at any time as suits your business model.
- Unlike booking say a newspaper ad where you pay a single fee although your ad may only be read by 30% of the readership, you only pay for what you use with the pay-per-click advertising model, helping to keep costs down.
- You can change the advert text as often as you like. No more rushing to meet deadlines or being stuck with an outdated print or TV ad.
- You can add, remove or pause any keyword at any time to reflect changing stock availability and seasonal demand.
- Any changes you make can be tracked and assessed from the minute they are made.
- PPC offers immediate results – You can open an account and set up camp on page one of the search engines in less than 30 minutes.
- Paid search allows quick and easy testing of most of the crucial SEM elements; keywords, advert text, landing page, marketing message, search position, time of display, etc.
- You can target users geographically and split campaigns and advert text according to region. This allows you to better target potential clients, highlight their geographical proximity to physical stores, and segment marketing messages according to regional consumer trends and preferences.
- You can target users demographically.
- Conversions are easily tracked from individual campaign statistics and free tools provided by the search engines offering PPC programs.
- It’s easy to create short term, maximum impact campaigns to meet seasonal demand.
- You can buy your way to the top of the search engines and continue to sit atop the search results for as long as your budget allows.
- You can easily change the position of your advert on the page if the budget is running low.
- You set the destination URL per ad, allowing you to determine the point of entry for each visitor to your web site.
- If your web site is mainly Flash or image-based, you won’t have the same headaches you’ll encounter when optimizing for organic search.
- You can quickly establish a presence on hundreds of other relevant web sites by checking the content network option on Google.
- PPC gives you much greater reach than an SEO campaign due to the unlimited number of keywords, phrase types, and placements available.
- It offers great market research potential. All PPC campaigns automatically generate a mountain load of data relating to user searches, most appropriate keywords, most successful advert text, best performing landing page, etc. This knowledge can then be transferred to other online campaigns e.g. SEO.
- Research shows even the most successful SEO campaigns benefit from the double whammy of a paid search presence. PPC and SEO listings combined reinforce brand identity and quickly establish dominance in the market.
- PPC is not just about text-based adverts. Modern pay per click encompasses image and video advertising.
- You can create a mobile campaign within a normal PPC account to target the millions of users searching the web on their mobile phones.
- With new affiliate programs and additions to the Google AdWords ad placement reach, a PPC campaign means you can quickly position your brand on high traffic sites such as YouTube without having to invest in specialist content.
- You don’t need to make any changes to your site or invest in an ongoing development service to profit from PPC advertising.
- You’re not subject to Google’s changing algorithms so there’s no risk of your site visibility taking an unexpected dive.
- PPC is great for new sites that are trying to get traffic but can’t wait months for an SEO campaign to kick in or afford costly offline advertising.
- It’s easier to get sign off for a PPC campaign than a more dynamic form of SEO in some companies as it bears a striking resemblance to more traditional ad formats.
- A paid search placement offers much closer control over titles and descriptions than organic optimization, allowing you to match the ad text and the ultimate landing page exactly to the search query used by the user.
- Many users don’t distinguish between PPC as advertising and organic placements as search engine rewarded.
- Most of the major search engines offer some form of PPC advertising so you can shop around for the package that best suits you. Each search engine will differ in price per keyword, traffic flows, and user demographics so it’s easy to cover all bases.
- You can use negative matches to exclude your advert from specific searches.
- It’s a great brand-building tool.
- Small businesses can compete with larger rivals using PPC advertising by being clever about keyword selection, ad position, and advert text.
- PPC campaigns are much easier to handle in-house than search engine optimization strategies.
- PPC is more transparent than SEO with learning centers, seminars, and qualifications readily available from all of the major search engines. It’s in their best interests to help advertisers make the most of their campaigns so changes to requirements are freely publicized.