PPC stands for Pay Per Click and was created to provide business websites the opportunity to be advertised towards the top of a search engine results page instantly.
Unlike SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) you pay every time your website is clicked on by someone on the internet, through advertisements. PPC is buying more exposure to potential customers online, and puts your website to the top of the results page, rather than using SEO to organically have your website work towards the top over time.
However, PPC can be a costly business so it pays to know what you're doing or to employ a PPC marketing expert to set up and manage a campaign for you. But before you decide whether that's necessary, let us explain more about PPC and how it works.
Let’s say a business called Sophie’s Bakery creates a website online, they want their bakery to show up when people type in ‘Sophie’s Bakery’ or ‘Bakeries near me’. By using pay-per-click, they could bid on those keywords so every time someone typed those search engine queries, Sophie’s Bakery website will always be near the top of the related search results. Search Engine Optimisation advertising is the most popular use of PPC, and allows advertisers of websites to bid on keywords that will help them show up on online searches.
The most popular advertising system in the world is Google AdWords and allows businesses to create ads on Google’s search engine. An individual fee for a Google AdWords position can be a very low amount that results in a large profit if the visitor to the website makes a purchase. For example, if a keyword costs £3 then you pay £3 every time a visitor clicks on your website, regardless of whether they make a purchase or how long they stay on your site. An advantage of AdWords compared to other marketing options, is that you can set your personal business budget and control what your business spends its money on. Total control of your marketing expenditure means you won't have any surprise bills or sneaky charges.
Many online businesses use PPC, as it is a resourceful approach to taking advantage of the options available to reach a larger demographic. Only 4% of Google searchers continue to look through results after the top five, this means that 96% of searchers only stay on the first page of results. Websites that are not high on organic results or advertisements will not experience high traffic or purchases on their website. Could you afford to lose out on 96% of customers? The greatest benefit for most businesses is that you can accurately measure your Return on Investment (ROI). Accurate results of whether you are making a profit or loss, is vital to a marketing campaign and it shows which keywords are working and how to improve.
The ultimate question: Do I need PPC? A business does not need pay-per-click but it is a fantastic start to using Adwords and keywords to benefit your website exposure. If you start by using PPC, you can eventually gain the knowledge of what is popular and the type of customers using your website. This is critical information that if used correctly will create high traffic to your website, along with purchases if you have an ecommerce site. The knowledge you gain from PPC can be used to make your website higher in organic searches, as people may already recognise your brand after a PPC campaign and so be encouraged to click on the organic link of your business website.