What is ‘PPC’ (Pay Per Click) in Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a versatile term used to describe several different strategies being used today. This includes pay per click advertising or PPC. You’ve come across many PPC ads in your Internet travels, even if you aren’t aware of it.

That banner down the side of your favorite website advertising a new gadget, that’s a PPC message. So are the sponsored ‘Ad’ results at the top of many Google search pages, or in your favorite social media feeds?

Digital Marketing PPC
Digital Marketing PPC

Since PPC has this “paid” aspect to it, many digital marketers wonder if it is necessary. Some don’t want to detract from a budding customer experience by releasing ads that they feel are spammy or disruptive.

This article will explore PPC’s role in the digital marketing world and how virtually any business can use it to effectively improve their growth and Internet exposure.

What Is PPC?

PPC stands for pay per click advertising, which is the standard Internet advertising model used today. It describes how advertising channels are paid for publishing ad content from different companies.

They are paid by each click.

As an advertiser, this means that PPC only costs you when someone clicks your ad and goes to your website. In a way, you’re paying for website traffic.

Why Is PPC So Popular?

PPC is popular because website traffic is such an important resource in the Digital Age. More website traffic means more people visiting your pages, learning about your company and its solutions and, hopefully, buying those products or services.

Digital website viewers are just as valuable as the people browsing inside physical stores, if not more valuable. When the experience, products, and content are all there, they’ll be more than willing to convert.

Better Than Organic Traffic

Some digital marketers may already be getting website traffic through SEO, social media and other “organic” means. “Why should I pay for the traffic I already have?”

The answer is that ad traffic is better.

When someone clicks an ad result, they often want to convert. They want to get right to the point and that’s what ads promise. These are people in the final stages of the funnel that are ready for action.

Your organic traffic, on the other hand, may not be near as qualified.

Not to mention, paid search ads often appear above the top organic results. That’s right; all that hard work you exerted in raising your site to the #1 spot on the SERPs can be circumvented with a PPC ad.

Get Results Faster

Not only do PPC ads present an alternative method to appearing at the top of search results pages, but they do so in a much quicker amount of time.

Any digital marketer experienced in SEO strategies knows that it can take months to finally start trending towards that top result. It can take weeks just to see any progress at all.

When we think about how incredibly fast trends happen on the Internet, this is just too slow. We want to be able to capitalize on trending topics and changes in search behaviors as they are happening, not months after.

The moment your first PPC ad goes live, you can start seeing results. You can’t beat this level of speed with many other digital marketing strategies.

How Does The PPC Auction Work? What Does It Cost?

With all of these benefits starting to sound good, you’re probably wondering there has to be a catch somewhere. What exactly does PPC cost? What’s the price of a click?

The PPC model typically works by holding an auction. The winners of the auction get their ads placed. The winners are often determined by their bid amount, as well as the quality and relevance of their ads.

How much you bid is entirely up to you. Again, you only actually pay this amount if someone clicks your ad!

Essentially, your bid is how much you’re willing to spend on a click for a given keyword term. Some keywords have a higher value than others. Thus, they attract more attention and higher bids.

The good news is that you can’t overspend with PPC. Each platform allows you to set a daily budget. When your budget runs out, the platform simply stops running your ads until the next day, or whenever you’re ready to advertise again.

Thus, PPC has very controllable costs, as well as easy to measure ROI.

Understanding the Quality Score

Google Ads doesn’t just hand out ad placements to the highest bidder. They want to preserve the best possible experience for their search users. This means rewarding ads that provide the most value, relevance, and quality.

Google assigns a “Quality Score” to each ad, which helps the PPC platform determine which ads are the best for their users. This also ensures that PPC content isn’t spammy or distracting.

Quality Score is determined by factors like:

  • How relevant the content of the ad is to the search query
  • The quality of the landing page (the page that the ad links to)
  • How relevant the landing page is to the ad and search term
  • The past performance of the user’s ads

This means that you can secure top ad placements with even meager bids, which can help keep costs low.

But, you have to be willing to commit the time towards creating and testing both your ad copy and landing pages. Expert PPC users work tirelessly to improve these components and raise their quality score.

You need both pieces to work together to entice clicks and transform those clicks into conversions. If either part of the experience is off, it will hurt your ability to convert, and Google may penalize your ads with a low-quality score.

Conclusions

PPC is a digital marketing strategy with a lot to offer. If your business is at all stimulated by a website and online sales, then PPC is an excellent option to attract more digital shoppers to your online store or business. It works faster than SEO, produces more qualified leads and doesn’t break the bank in the process.