What Do I Need to Know About ‘PPC’?

When it comes to advertising online, a marketer needs to know about all of the options which are available. This is not just in terms of format and location, but also the various payment models. One of the most popular options available is known as ‘Pay-Per-Click’ or ‘PPC’. This refers to when a marketer pays a fee every time an online ad is clicked by a customer.

PPC is often used as an alternative for ‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO)’. On search engines like Google, certain ‘keywords’ will be extremely popular, with hundreds, thousands or even millions of users searching them monthly. Only the most popular, authoritative and user-friendly websites will appear in the top search results for these keywords, and trying to make your website do so organically can take a great deal of time, effort and investment.

PPC placements, on the other hand, can simply be bought. These results will appear at the top of searches with ‘commercial intent’ (that is, searches made with the intention of purchasing a product or service). On Google, these results are marked with an ‘Ad’ sign. This can be an excellent way to appear in results for popular keywords.

With PPC, the idea is that getting customers to your website will be lucrative enough to justify the costs. If a website was selling a service worth thousands of dollars, paying around $5 per click would be a great deal. As such, even if a website is ranking highly as a result of PPC, the webmaster should still optimize it in order to encourage visitors to spend money.

With the huge amount of competition for online advertising, it is important to put the right amount of thought into a PPC campaign. Part of this will involve identifying the relevant ‘keywords’ via SEO research, as well as optimizing your PPC landing pages. If you can do all of this, you may even find that you do not need to pay as much for clicks, as search engines will see the quality and relevance of your website and charge less as a result.

The downside to PPC advertising is that more and more search engine users are learning the difference between paid and organic rankings. In other words, when they see an Ad result, they will know that the website owner had to pay for it to be there, and that the site itself may not be as valuable as competitors which are ranking organically.

When marketers consider PPC, the first example they will think of will usually be Google Ads. With Google being the world’s most popular search engine, its pool of users/ potential customers is vast, even for more niche products and services.

With Google Ads, users will bid on keywords. Google will then choose from a pool of advertisers based on the relevance of their websites and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their bids.

Each advertiser’s ‘Ad Rank’ will also be important. This is reached by multiplying an advertiser’s ‘Quality Score’ (which includes the quality of an advertiser’s landing page, as well as its relevance and click-through rate) with its ‘CPC Bid’ (i.e. the highest amount that an advertiser is happy to spend on ranking). Naturally, having a higher budget for PPC will help you to rank better, though it will also be important for you to focus on the quality of your website and advertisements if you want to do well.

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