Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a new advertising method that uses the Web’s search engines as well as advertising networks to market a business or product. Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising was first developed by Google and since then has been used by dozens of other companies.
The primary advantage of pay-per-click advertising is that it is cost-effective. In most cases, a company only needs to pay for an ad if and when someone clicks on it – not every time somebody searches for the targeted keyword. Thus, PPC can result in a company’s advertising costs being dramatically reduced.
Another advantage of PPC advertising is that it is highly targeted. Unlike traditional advertising methods, PPC results are based on keyword and audience data. Thus, PPC ads are not distracting to the viewer, as is the case with ads placed outside the normal range of the keywords and content.
Pay-per-click ad spots are usually displayed above the fold, meaning that they are visible to people browsing the Web but not so visible that they are actually “clicking” them to read more information about a product or service.
PPC advertising allows a company to target its advertising in the exact areas where it is most likely to produce the results PPC advertising. Since each PPC campaign is run independently, a company can focus on one aspect of the overall marketing strategy (such as creating a PPC campaign for customer service, or a PPC campaign for sales support).
As long as the company develops and implements a strong PPC campaign, it can easily tailor it to specific geographic regions and demographic groups. Thus, a PPC campaign can be adjusted to focus on a specific part of the target audience and geographic distribution rather than attempting to reach people outside of the target audience and geographic location.
The strength of PPC advertising lies in the ability to track the success of each PPC ad as it appears. Google and other search engine result sites use a sophisticated version of pay-per-click advertising, known as bid management, to ensure that the ads displayed in their results are those which are most relevant to the search query and are most likely to interest the target audience. In addition, the relevancy of the ads is also optimized by the advertiser through careful consideration of the keyword and content bidding system.
When a PPC ad displays on a search engine results page, the advertiser has the ability to track how many times each of the three components (a headline, a keyword phrase, or a carefully crafted title ad tag) is displayed. This allows advertisers to determine which parts of their ads are generating the most traffic and which parts of their ads may be losing money. Since PPC advertising campaigns are generally run for a specified length of time (in some cases as short as 24 hours), advertisers can effectively and efficiently evaluate their advertising strategies.
An important feature of PPC advertising is that the advertiser only pays when someone actually clicks on an advertisement. Because the ads appear only during the period that the search engine advertising is running, it is more economical for the advertiser to buy advertising only when people are actively searching for the product or service being advertised.
The cost of PPC ads is generally much lower than that of traditional search engine advertising since there is no need for a large amount of targeted advertising and since pay per click costs the advertiser only once. This allows PPC to leverage the massive strength of search engine results, particularly in highly competitive niches. In contrast, a traditional PPC campaign requires the purchase of advertising at a much higher cost per click and can be implemented only with the largest budgets.
Unlike traditional search engine advertising platforms, PPC advertising allows advertisers to target specific audiences with pinpoint accuracy. A major advantage of PPC over SEO is that keywords are only used as part of the bid arrangement in PPC ads, making sure to reach only those audiences who are highly likely to be interested in the advertised product or service. PPC is also more suited to highly competitive niches since keywords can be easily integrated into URL addresses and anchor texts so that they can be conveniently tracked by advertisers.