What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?

Pay-per-click marketing, or PPC, is one of the most common forms of advertising that companies use to get their business in the eyes of potential customers. The simple definition of PPC is when a company pays for each time a user clicks on one of their adverts. For example, a company might pay Google each time their advertisement is clicked on. However, advertisements are seen in many places beyond a search engine, and therefore so are PPC ads. So let’s dive in!

Types of PPC Marketing

Paid Search Marketing

PPC is most commonly found in search engines like Google or Bingthey are those initial results you see after searching, and they always have “Ad” on the left-hand side, as you can see here.

Paid Search Marketing is heavily reliant on keywords as well. Many people believe that the ads you see at the beginning of your Google search are paying top dollar to have that top spot, although that’s not the case. Those advertisements are subject to something called the Ad Auction, a fully automated process used by Google and other search engines that filters through search results to find the most relevant and valid answers for the consumer. This is where keywords come in; companies can “bid” on terms that, when searched, will display their advertisement. 

Social Media Advertising

PPC advertisements are also commonly seen on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and now even TikTok, and you’ve probably seen (and been sucked into) many of them. Pay-per-click ads on social media are very effective because it doesn’t require the customer to search to see your ad.

Affiliate Marketing

Pay-per-click is also seen commonly in the Affiliate Marketing space. Affiliate marketing uses a cost-per-action model, where compensation is closely related to actions completed. Many brands use PPC marketing for their affiliates as well; allowing them to make money off of clicks to their personal page or profile.

Display Marketing

Last but not least, you’re likely to find PPC adverts in display marketing. These ads are those banners, images, or text boxes within a website that are typically based on your previous searches; you know, the ones that make you feel like you’re being watched. Display advertising goes hand-in-hand with PPC, since it’s so tempting, and easy, to click on an ad that pertains directly to your interests and hobbies. Now that we know of all the ways to utilise PPC advertising for your next marketing campaign, let’s see about the advantages and disadvantages of PPC marketing.

Pros of PPC Advertising

PPC is Cost-Effective

PPC advertisements, when well-executed, are a great use of your company’s budget because you’re only charged when a customer makes it to your websiteotherwise, your ads are there creating awareness for your brand. You also have complete control over your budget; you can choose how much you want to spend.

PPC Gives Easy-to-Understand and Measurable Results

PPC allows you to track the metrics and effectiveness of your advertisements in real-time, and because of its simplicity (once it’s set up), your results are easy to comprehend. You can determine your exact return on investment (ROI), and it’s easy to tell what is and what isn’t working with your ad, unlike with SEO, where you can’t necessarily track exact visitors to your site from a specific ad.

Traffic from PPC Comes Almost Immediately

Pay-per-click advertising is great if you’re looking for quick results, especially if you’re focusing on paid search ads. If using a network like Google AdWords, you’re able to set up your ad in three easy steps: 

  1. Create an account
  2. Create your ads and “bid” on keywords, as mentioned earlier
  3. Connect your ad to a specific landing page for best performance. After that, sit back, relax, and watch the traffic (and sales!) come in.

PPC Gives You Access to Big Data

As we know, big tech companies like Google and Facebook hold a lot of our data. With PPC, you’ll have access to that data, which means you can use it to target your ads to a more specific niche. Google has data that provides information on search trends and user behaviour, for example.

Cons of PPC Advertising

PPC Can Be Risky: Clicks Don’t Always Lead to Sales

This is one of the main problems with PPC advertising. The goal is to get the customer to your website and make a purchase, but if the customer is simply clicking on your ad and then leaving your site, you could be losing money. This is why it’s important to stay on top of tracking your ads and make any necessary improvements.

Maintaining PPC ads is Time-Consuming

Although the initial setup might be simple, maintaining and making improvements to your PPC ads can be extremely time-consuming. To optimise your results, you need to focus your time on changing and enhancing your ads to ensure your money isn’t being wasted. Between changing your keywords, writing new copy, designing new ads, trying out different platforms and making changes to your landing page, your PPC campaign will take up a great deal of your time if you want it to be effective.

PPC is Complex and Requires Skill

Sometimes marketers underestimate the skill it takes to run and maintain a pay-per-click campaign. There’s so much involved in a PPC campaign, like knowing how to manage a budget and use Google Analytics and AdWords, writing good copy and having general marketing knowledge. In fact, an entire industry has evolved around paid search campaigns. You can take courses, get certifications, even attend national conferences. If that doesn’t show how much there is to learn… 

How to Optimise your PPC Campaigns

There’s a lot to know and learn about smashing your PPC campaign. That’s why many companies are turning to marketing and PPC agencies to run it for them, then taking away many of the risk factors that come with it. Chapter, for example, offers everything you need for your paid campaign from initial planning and strategy through to activation. We also ensure that you understand the process with regular reviews, testing and optimisation, enabling you to deliver successful campaigns on time and on budget. Learn more about our process, and get in touch with us (obligation-free!) to get started on your next PPC campaign.

If you’re looking to learn more about digital marketing, google analytics, website metrics or social media marketing, check out more of our blogs written by our amazing team!