Pay per click (PPC), which is also referred to as cost per click (CPC), is an online advertising model used to attract consumers to websites. PPC involves advertisers paying the publisher, who is the host or owner of a site, every time an ad is clicked. Simply put, PPC is the amount paid or spent to get an ad clicked. Understanding pay per click advertising can be an involved process. This article will present an overview of PPC advertising to help readers understand the basics. At the end of the article, there is a video that will help bring further elucidation to readers about this topic.
With search engines, advertisers often bid on keywords and/or phrases relevant to their desired demographics or target audience. Meanwhile, content sites usually charge a fixed pay per click fee rather than using a bidding system. PPC uses advertisements, which are also known as banner ads, that are shown on the search engine or web search results with related content that have agreed to showcase ads.
Pay per click implements the so-called affiliate model, which exhibits purchase opportunities wherever consumers may be exploring online. With pay per click, financial incentives (e.g. a percentage of revenue) are offered to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant and when the consumer clicks on the link, they are directed to the advertised merchant site. It is based on a pay-for-performance model, which means if an affiliate does not generate sales, there is no cost to the merchant. Other forms of this concept include revenue sharing and banner exchange programs.
Websites that employ pay per click ads will showcase a purchase opportunity when a keyword search is related to or matches a term from an advertiser’s keyword list, or when a content site showcases related content. These advertisements are referred to as sponsored ads or links. Postings of this nature will commonly appear adjacent to, above, or beneath organic results on search engine result pages. However, on a content site, these postings may appear anywhere a web developer desires. It is important to note that the PPC advertising model is vulnerable to abuse via click fraud, despite the fact that Google and other web browsers have implemented automated systems to safeguard against abusive practices and/or corrupt web developers.
The most popular paid search platform used by search marketers, in relation to pay per click advertising and search engine marketing (SEM), is Google AdWords, followed by Bing Ads, and Yahoo Search Ads occupies the third position. These search platforms are known as first tier PPC platforms. Moreover, there are several second tier PPC platforms, as well as pay per click advertising options, on the major social media networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and InstaGram to name a few. Furthermore, these options also provide users with the most recent news about SEM and helpful tips to get started with PPC ad placement, in addition to covering general paid search trends.
It should be noted that conducting pay per click marketing through Google AdWords is particularly rewarding because it is the most popular search engine. Due to this fact, Google attracts massive amounts of traffic, and therefore, it delivers the most impressions and clicks to ads placed on it. How many clicks the ads receive depend on which keywords and match types are selected. There are several factors that determine how successful a pay per click advertising campaign might be, however, there are three main criteria to focus on in order to optimize the PPC results. These criteria include 1) keyword relevance (creating relevant PPC keyword lists and tight keyword groups), 2) landing page quality (crafting optimized landing pages with relevant content and customized to specific search inquiries), and 3) quality score (Google’s rating of the quality as well as relevance of keywords, PPC campaigns, and landing pages). As a result, advertisers who have higher quality scores receive more ad clicks at lower costs.
While understanding pay per click advertising can be an involved process, it is not difficult to grasp once the basics are known. Pay per click is an online advertising model used to attract consumers to websites and it is based on the amount paid or spent to get an ad clicked. This article presented an overview of pay per click advertising to help readers understand the basics involved. Hopefully, readers will have a better understanding of the intricacies and rewards associated with PPC advertising after absorbing this piece. More in-depth information and a well-structured tutorial about understanding pay per click advertising is available in the video presented below.
Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
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