Pay Per Click; A General Guide For Newcomers To Online Advertising

Online business is increasingly about maximising the traffic to your website to induce more trade and hence profit. This can be done in a number of ways, some more cost effective than others. Most experts agree that there are two major methods that will bring more traffic to a website, these are organic search engine optimisation and pay per click advertising. For the purposes of this article, the latter, pay per click advertising will be studied in order to give the reader a better understanding of the process and how it can bring increased business to a company.


Pay per click, or PPC is extremely popular at the moment, many users may not realise it but every time we log onto and use a search engine we are exposed to PPC. All the major search engines offer some form of pay per click advertising. Typically PPC results are presented at the very top of the search results or are placed at the right hand side of the page. PPC advertising does not however purely occur in search engine results, many high traffic web pages have adverts placed upon them that can be considered PPC.


The rise of search engines however has been entwined with the prevalence of pay per click advertising; perhaps even its existence could be called into question without the widespread use of search engines. Whenever a user types something into a search engine, normally referred to as a search query, results are presented with PPC adverts at the top and on the right. Google, arguably the most popular search engine in the world, utilises two forms of PPC advertising, these are Adwords and Adsense. There are however fundamental differences between these two methods.


Adwords is predominantly concerned with placing adverts on the results pages of Google. The advertiser must pay a certain amount for each click that is made. The cost of the clicks however varies greatly depending upon the popularity of the search term. For instance, a PPC advert for a term such as life insurance is likely to cost considerably more per click than a term that is far more specific, for instance pink fluffy pillows.


Adsense differs in that instead of adverts being placed upon search engine results, they are placed upon other web pages. Adsense is most typically used by website owners who are trying to recoup some of the costs of their own pay per click adverts. Fundamentally it works like this; by signing up to Adsense a website operator agrees to let external websites place paid links on their pages. It acts as an extension of Adwords as money is still paid to Google; it is just that the website operator is able to take a percentage of every click through of paid links on their site.


These adverts will only be returned when relevant searches are made, hence it is important to select the keywords carefully. The majority of the time it is only the most relevant PPC adverts that are returned with search queries, although paying more also boosts adverts up the list. This is why it is important to only select search terms that are relevant to the products or services being sold, for instance there is little point in paying for an advert for the term ‘golf clubs’ if your business sells football merchandise. Relevancy is key to achieving success in this field.


It is hoped that this article has given an insight into the world of pay per click advertising. It can be extremely rewarding if performed effectively, although if mistakes are made when creating the ads it can turn out to be extremely expensive and wasteful. This is why utilising professional services is advisable for an effective marketing campaign.

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