What is Pay Per Click and How Does it Work?

March 19, 2019

As you’re probably very much aware, the foundation of any good digital marketing strategy lies in a company’s ability to rank highly on search engines, particularly Google. For some, this can be achieved by garnering a high search engine optimisation (SEO) score through a variety of complex and technologically savvy techniques. For those who are not SEO experts, however, site traffic can be increased through a pay per click (PPC) campaign using a programme such as Google Ads or Bing Ads.

So what exactly is Pay Per Click?

PPC marketing is essentially a form of advertising in which companies establish a budget for their adverts on a given platform - Google or LinkedIn, for example - and then normally pay only for the clicks through to their website (however you can also pay for just impressions – quantity of people that just see your ad). For the purposes of this situation we’ll just focus on the paying per click element of online advertising. PPC can play a very important role in a business’ online marketing strategy and can be particularly useful for time-sensitive campaigns or to establish the brand in a new region.

Of course, PPC is only one strategy amongst numerous digital marketing techniques and should be approached in the context of a wider plan of action. SEO, video marketing, content marketing, and social media are all vital elements for any decent long-term digital plan.

How does Pay per click advertising work?

PPC advertising covers a wide range of platforms. It can generally be split into two categories: Paid search (Google Ads and Bing Ads etc…) and paid social media. Lets look specifically at Google Ads as an example of paid search marketing and LinkedIn Ads for paid social.

Google Ads

Setting up a campaign with Google Ads means you can pay Google a chosen sum, which is depleted every time someone clicks on your ad (paid at the current cost-per-click rate). Once the whole budget has gone, Google will stop running the ad until you have topped up the fund. There are a number of different types of Google Ad including Local Search Ads, Search Ads, Display Ads, and Remarketing. Search Ads are displayed above and below the Google search results, Local Search Ads appear when a person searches for services in a certain location, Display Ads are developed to display across millions of websites and apps, and Remarketing Ads are shown to people that have visited your website or app in the past to keep your brand in their minds eye.

Social Media Ads

Paid social media ads are a great way of reaching specific audiences. Facebook is the biggest player in this space, although LinkedIn Ads may be particularly useful for certain B2B organisations. Indeed, the programme allows you to specify your audience by segmenting users by company, skills, job title, demographic, and much more. These PPC ads are placed somewhere in the user’s social media homepage, or in their inbox.

And there you have it, a little taster of what PPC is, how it works and some of the options available to start advertising your business online. PPC is a great tool for driving traffic to your website that are specifically look for your products and services.

About Stacey Pledge

I'm a PPC Specialist helping clients across the UK, Europe and the US get the best from their pay per click campaigns and reaching their business goals.
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