What is PPC?

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing is an online advertising campaign where advertisers pay when one of their ads is clicked on by a consumer. This form of marketing can be cost effective as the advertiser does not have to pay until a consumer clicks on the link. The intent is that the consumer will then convert, and the resulting purchase will more than cover the cost of the advertising, though that isn’t always the case. PPC Marketing, though commonly associated with search engines, can take many different forms.

Below are some of the more commonly found forms of PPC:

  • Social Media: This form of PPC is largely about generating awareness around a brand or product. Unlike other forms of PPC, social media PPC is targeted to the consumer, not triggered by a consumer’s action (i.e. conducing a search). Social media PPC is most effective when used in conjunction with a larger advertising campaign.
  • Display Advertising: Typically found as a banner or image found on other websites, this form of PPC is also targeted towards a consumer group. Display advertising, like social media, typically has a lower click through rate, but is effective in building brand awareness.
  • Retargeting PPC: Retargeting takes place when consumers are shown products that correspond to cookies on their computer. For instance, someone who has searched for cookie recipes may see advertisements for baking sheets.
  • Search Engines: PPC is most effective for the advertiser when used in conjunction with a search engine. When used with a search engine the advertiser is able to place their ads directly in front of someone that is searching for their product. This leads to a higher conversion rate for the advertiser, which means a better ROI, as well as more satisfied customers. Google Ads (formally Google AdWords) is the most well-known search engine PPC.

PPC marketing, has its advantages and disadvantages, like all forms of advertising. With PPC marketing advertisers enjoy greater control over their advertising fees, measurable effectiveness, customizable campaigns, ads targeted towards a specific audience, and being able to see a visible effect on their business almost immediately. However, PPC does take time to learn, campaigns have to be managed in order to run effectively, and a click doesn’t necessarily mean anything for the advertiser. The user still needs to be converted once they land on the site.

What is Google Ads?

Having a basic understanding of Google Ads is important for PPC advertisers. For an advertiser, Google Ads works like an auction. Advertisers bid on keywords. Then, when a search is conducted for that keyword, Google selects the winning bids. However, the winning bid isn’t selected based on their amount they are willing to pay for the space. Google is dedicated to ensuring that those advertisements are quality ads that fit their customers needs. Therefore, in order to maintain those quality advertisements, Google selects the ads based on their ad rank. Ad rank looks at the relevance, click-through rate, landing page quality, ad text, and previous Ads account performance, and multiplies it by their CPC bid, the amount they are willing to pay for the ad. An advertiser’s ad rank affects not only whether or not they are selected for the ad space, but also their ad positioning.

PPC marketing is an effective form of marketing that can help build business. It immediately gets an advertiser’s business in front of the people who need and want the information. The ability to pay for the ability to show up at the top of the search rank allows for companies to compete with other large organizations that they were previously unable to compete with. Furthermore, it’s a form of marketing that only charges advertisers for ads that have a measurable impact vs. marketing efforts like billboards that don’t have any data available.


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