Q. What is PPC?
A. PPC, as you may have guessed from the title, stands for Pay-Per-Click. Pay-Per-Click is essentially an online marketing model. Generally speaking, it involves you, the advertiser, paying on a ‘per-click’ basis for ads that direct traffic to your website.
If you have ever Google’d/Bing’d anything, ever, (which I can only assume you all have, as you are on the internet reading this post now) then you will have unknowingly encountered PPC advertising. You know those first few listings which have ‘Ad’ next to them at the top of a page when you search something? They are the ads for companies that are using PPC advertising; more specifically, Google AdWords, if you used Google for your search.
I won’t go into too much detail on AdWords in this first PPC post. We will save that for the hundreds more to come…
Types of PPC
For now, as the world of Pay-Per-Click advertising could all be very new to you, we will start by having a brief look at the main types. We will be referring to Google throughout most of these explanations because after all, they are the big dogs in the search industry.
This is by far the most common type of PPC marketing. To keep it nice and simple, you bid on ‘Keywords‘ that are relevant to what your business is advertising. Then, when someone performs a search that matches a keyword you have bid on, your ad will be considered by Google. If successful, your ad will appear at the top of the page above the organic listings (non-paid results).
Someone clicks on your ad, you pay a small fee. Simples.
With Display Ads, you can still bid on keywords to determine who sees your ads, but more often than not you would use either demographic or ‘interest-based’ targeting. And rather than appearing on search engines, your banner, image or text ads would appear on Google partner websites.
That’s right, you don’t just get PPC marketing on search engines, you get it on social media platforms too. With Social Pay-Per-Click advertising, you specify your target audience predominantly through demographics and common interests. Once you set up your targeting and start your campaign, your ads would appear on relevant user’s timelines/news feeds.
Retargeting advertising, or ‘Remarketing’ if you are Google, isn’t about bringing new traffic through to your website. This is all about targeting those users that have already been on your site. You can set up Retargeting campaigns to display ads on either Search, Display and/or Social networks.
This one is a strange one for ‘Pay-Per-Click’ advertising, in that you would rarely pay per click with this online marketing model. Instead, it is more common to pay per conversion. Affiliate marketing involves other people promoting your business for you essentially. The easiest way to explain this model is in the form of an example…
Let’s say, for example, you have a happy customer. He’s called Barry. He has said to you that he would be more than happy to recommend your business at any given opportunity. Well, it just so happens that Barry has a website of his own. So, you tell Barry, “Hey, Barry, if you fancied it, you could be affiliated with us. All you need to do is pop one of our ads on your website. Then every time a user clicks on that ad, comes through to our site and makes a purchase (converts) you will be paid a commission for that customer. How does that sound?” Barry – “Where do I sign?!”
So there you have it. A basic introduction to PPC. Now, if anyone asked you “What is PPC? Do you know anything about that stuff?” You can answer them like a pro!