PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, an advertising channel where the advertiser doesn’t pay to place the ad or based on how many people see the ad (number of impressions). Instead, the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad.
What do PPC ads look like?
PPC ads usually appear on the results pages of search engines. The simplest version is just text: a link to the advertiser’s domain name, a header, and a snippet of info containing some keywords to tell the user the link is relevant to them. PPC ads can incorporate images – called display ads – or shopping results, that include the product name, price, any key information, and a link to the product.
The exact specs for these, for example, how much text is shown or the dimensions of images or motion graphics, are different from ad platform to ad platform. Google’s requirements may be slightly different to Microsoft or Amazon’s, but in general most PPC ads look similar.
Is PPC right for me?
Like any marketing channel, PPC has its pros and cons. Any business with a website can use PPC marketing but that doesn’t mean they should. If your business doesn’t have a website yet, it’s quick and easy to buy a domain name off a service like names.co.uk.
PPC marketing is fast and accurate: an advertiser can set up an ad in minutes, and drive hundreds or thousands or customers to your website. It has powerful tools to pick the right audience and precisely target your advertising. Because it’s online, it also provides real-time feedback on how well the campaign is working and your ROI (return on investment) so it gives you the flexibility to course-correct if an ad is under performing.
On the other hand, PPC is very technical. If you don’t know the platform well, you can easily make mistakes in placement or targeting. Not only do mistakes cost money, PPC is relatively expensive to start with because it works on an auction model: you buy the opportunity to have your ad shown instead of a competitor. It’s not common, but effective ads in some categories can cost over £100 per click.
PPC can be risky, but it’s a powerful tool that can make a huge difference to a business. It may not be for everyone, but it’s always worth exploring further.