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PPC 101: The Basics of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Posted by: Stacy on Monday, 29 October 2012

20 years ago, pay-per-click (or PPC) advertising was unheard of — simply because it didn’t exist! Now it is hard to imagine running a business without the use of this advertising model, since so much campaigning is done on the web. In fact, the majority of businesses are web-based these days, which means business owners must rely on online marketing techniques in order to generate clientele.

What is PPC Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising is an internet advertising model aimed at generating traffic to websites. Advertisers pay the website owners whenever their ad is clicked. Advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market; the highest bidder within a search engine will have their ad come up as a top result as long as they continue to pay.

Benefits of PPC Advertising


PPC is a speedy online marketing technique. Ads are launched quickly and can automatically start generating traffic to your website. PPC is a much more rapid advertising technique than the use of SEO (search engine optimization), in which search engine spiders are used to perform deep crawls of your website in search of keyword phrases.


PPC allows your online marketing campaign to reach out to a larger, wider-spread audience. This is especially true for the use of highly competitive search phrases, where it would be virtually impossible to fall in the top 10 organic search results.


PPC allows your results to be extensively tracked. This enables you to measure your campaign ROI against other marketing strategies. Plus, this data is reported to you quickly, and most importantly, accurately.


PPC helps you discover which search phrases are actually relevant matches for your site. PPC campaigns are low-risk ways to determine if it’d be worthwhile to launch a full site optimization campaign.

The only relative drawback with using pay-per-click marketing techniques is cost and longevity. Some keywords are more competitive than others, and can be rather costly. While SEO will potentially generate free traffic to your site for years, PPC only generates traffic as long as you continue to pay for it.

How to Have a Successful Campaign

Keyword Strategy Having a well-defined keyword strategy involves careful keyword analysis. This means you’ll need to decide which keywords you will be optimizing for in order to determine which keywords you will be bidding for.

Launch One Platform First Even though you’ll want to get your ads maximum exposure, it’s best to start out using only one provider. Keep in mind that there is some administrative overhead to factor in with each system. Not all ads will automatically be accepted — in fact, it’s common to have up to 25% of your ads rejected by some providers. Rejected ads will require revision.

TEST! Spend the first month of your new ad campaign monitoring progress. This will give you more than enough time to take note of which keywords are working and which ones are not. You’ll also determine which creative/landing pages arrangements are netting the best conversion rates. The first month of your ad campaign is the best time to test whether any debatable keywords are worth your effort.

Extend Your Campaign Use the data from the first month of your ad campaign and extend your campaign to other providers.