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What is PPC? Pay-Per-Click Explained

Pay-per-click (or PPC) marketing is a complex digital marketing channel. With the help of this tool digital marketers can monitor and grow their traffic and conversion metrics. But the main questions on the agenda are «Do you really need it?» and «How to use it?» In this article, we will go into detail about PPC marketing and try to answer these questions. Ready? Let’s get started!

What Is PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing?

As we said before, PPC marketing is a digital marketing channel. But, as the title suggests, marketers only pay when their advertisement is clicked by an online user, not for an ad placement or its impression. Usually, we see this type of marketing on Google or Bing. Advertisers can place their product or service in the form of an ad that targets a certain keyword or behavior. Let’s take a look at the example below:

What Do PPC Ads Look Like?

As shown in the example, there are several types of PPC marketing ads.

Text Ads

Text ads are displayed in the format of text. The structure and length limits of a text ad usually depend on the PPC platform an advertiser is working on. This type of advertisement is usually triggered when users search for results pages on Google, using a keyword held within a PPC campaign. We’ll explain later how to select and apply keywords.

Display Ads

Display ads are usually displayed in the format of an image or motion graphic. As in the case of text ads, size and content requirements depend on a PPC platform. Display ads are available and are shown on websites across the internet. Usually, they are placed on websites where the advertiser’s target audience visits.

Shopping Ads

And last but not least – Shopping ads. This type of ad usually consists of an image of the product, its price, and characteristics such as size, color, shape, weight, etc. Usually, it is displayed after a user enters a query into a shopping engine or search engine.

What are the Major PPC Platforms?

We figured out the difference between ad types. Now it’s time to dive into PPC platforms. Here are three main platforms you should know about.

Google Ads

Google Ads

Google Ads is the main PPC advertising platform. Google allows pay-per-click ads on its Search Network and searches partner sites along with video and image ads on its Display Network. Advertising on YouTube is available through the Google Ads platform.

Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising (or Bing Ads) is Microsoft’s PPC advertising platform. The platform offers pay-per-click advertising on its Search Network (Bing.com) and searches partner sites (Yahoo.com) along with native advertising on Microsoft-owned web properties (MSN).

Amazon Advertising

Amazon Advertising

Did you know that over 46% of product-focused searches begin on Amazon? That is why, without a doubt, Amazon Advertising is the primary PPC platform for e-commerce retailers. Thanks to Amazon, advertisers can create display- and shopping-focused campaigns to promote their products.

Should my Business Try PPC Marketing?

Ok, let’s imagine you have your own website. Should you use PPC advertising as a marketing channel? There is no definite answer.

Firstly, before starting your PPC marketing campaign, you should consider your budget, advertising goals, competition, and risk tolerance. Ask yourself these questions:

PPC advertising is most effective when you can match dollars spent to a conversion like a transaction or lead form completion. If you have a clear conversion goal, it will help you a lot.

PPC is great for nimble advertising. But when you stop spending, PPC stops producing. Yet, there’s a way to balance this with earned media – try adding search engine optimization.

Remember: You won’t get a return on your investment at this very moment. And keep in mind that the amount of money can range from $50 to $50,000. Check out these points and take them into account before you dive in.

Check out these points and take them into account before you dive in.

What are the Potential Benefits of PPC Marketing?

There are four of them:

Speed.

Since pay-per-click marketing is one of the fastest digital marketing strategies, you can quickly draw a significant amount of traffic to your website.

Agility.

Performance data is available almost immediately. Therefore, you can correct mistakes and make adjustments to improve your campaign.

Precision.

There’s no difficulty in creating a highly targeted audience to show ads. Especially on Search and Shopping Networks.

Measurement.

You can always monitor the ROI of your ads.

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