Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a method of bringing visitors to your website by using an advertisement that you only pay for when someone clicks through to visit your site. Made popular by Google.com’s AdWords system which allows advertisers to place context sensitive advertisements on the search results of the Google search engine and on other websites that choose to display Google AdWords content in return for income. Another example is the Yahoo! owned Overture (Yahoo Search Marketing) that also offer sponsored search results on a PPC basis. These two services are the largest PPC systems available however many individual sites also offer similar sponsorship opportunities.
One of the main appeals of PPC is the level of targeting available to advertisers. By placing advertisements that only appear when specific search terms are used or on websites that have a specific type of readership, advertisers can market to a reasonably well matched audience to their business and bring through quality traffic – visitors that are more likely to be interested in what they offer. Add to this the benefit of only paying for clicks and detailed real-time statistics on advertisement performance, and you have an unparalleled advertising medium.
PPC has consequently become a very popular option to market for both purely online enterprises and traditional bricks-and-mortar (real world) operations wishing to benefit from a better advertising solution. This has resulted in a decline in the use of older established advertising media such as television and print (magazines/newspapers) that don’t offer the highly trackable and targetable benefits of PPC.
PPC evolved as a better option to CPM (cost per thousand impressions) advertising that was the original metric used to sell advertising on websites. CPM charges advertisers for displaying their advert regardless of whether it is clicked or not. While beneficial for branding purposes the often low click-through rates suffered by CPM campaigns in the early days (often due to poor targeting and visitors mentally “screening out” banners) made the enhancements provided by PPC a much more effective option in most cases. With Google commanding the lion share of the search industry the AdWords system quickly became the most popular method to advertise online and now represents 95% of the income earned by the search giant.
AdWords For Content
From the user point of view PPC advertising is not easy to comes to grips with initially but will reward those marketers that spend the time learning to use the system and optimize their campaigns. Google’s system has been widely touted as ingenious, offering highly customisable campaigns manipulated via a reasonably simple interface. Results can be attained within hours of placing an advertisement and offer businesses of any size an affordable and effective means to promote online.
If you are interested in PPC advertising start by familiarising yourself with the Google AdWords step-by-step guide.
Make sure you don’t spend any money until you know what you are doing. Get some education, try Perry Marshall’s free AdWords e-course.