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What is PPC?

Pay Per Click (PPC)

What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?

PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is as simple as the name suggests – every time a user clicks on one of your online adverts, you will pay a fee.

PPC user with mouseYou can get numerous different types of PPC advertisements; however, you will most likely come across a paid search advertisement. These are the ‘sponsored’ or ‘ad’ search results you see on a webpage when you use a search engine such as Google. Usually, these paid results will be associated with a commercial product, that is, when people are searching for something that they want to buy.

The kind of search terms that will trigger PPC adverts are:

  • “Black boots size 8”
  • “Valentine’s day flowers”
  • “Cat sitter in London”

If the searcher chooses to click on to your website from these adverts, your business will be charged for this click – regardless of whether the user then goes on to buy your product or service.

How Do You Get a PPC advert?

Gaining a sponsored PPC advert on a search engine isn’t the case of the highest bidder winning, which would be unfair. Instead, any advert will be subject to something called an Ad Auction. This is an automated process where your chosen advert will be screened to determine how valid and relevant your advert is.

Which Adverts are Relevant?

Ad Auctions are where business owners bid on the terms that they would like their PPC adverts to show on. Known as keywords, these terms are what a user might put into Google that you’d like your business to show up on. For instance, if you were a pet sitter based in London, you might like to bid on terms such as “cat sitter Whitechapel” or “dog walker Wimbledon”, however, it would not be relevant to bid for the term “dog sitting Glasgow” as you would not be able to provide this service.

Why is keyword search so important?

Owners can be find keyword research off-putting due to the time it takes. Yet, this research is imperative to a successful PPC campaign and you should update this keyword list regularly. In fact, every keyword list should tick the following boxes:

  • PPC wordsRelevant – There is absolutely no gain in paying for clicks that will not be relevant to your product. Someone looking for gluten-free bread is hardly going to buy your shower curtains, no matter how pretty they are. This is just a waste of money. Instead, you want relevant keywords that are both high in click rate, but also provide a low cost per click. For instance, if you pay £5 per click and these lead to the sale of a product that is £50, that is a low cost to you.
  • Exhaustive – Keywords shouldn’t just be relevant, you also want an exhaustive list of the terms associated with your product or service, including long-tail keywords. These keywords are long and specific, which won’t be as common as other keywords. However, these tend to be less competitive so are cheaper and, if someone does search this term, you’ll have yourself a bargain PPC.
  • Expansive – It’s no good to conduct a keyword search at the start of your campaign and then forget them. Instead, you should alter and expand the list of keywords you use. This is especially important when adding new products or services.

PPC marketing can be lucrative to a business, however, you must constantly review and update your campaigns. Especially if certain keywords are costing you a lot of money with little sales.


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