PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically.

Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword that’s related to their business.

How does PPC work?

With PPC, every time an ad is clicked, sending a visitor to the specified website, the owner of that website has to pay the search engine a small fee. When PPC is working correctly, the fee is inconsequential because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it.

A lot goes into building a successful PPC campaign. From researching and selecting the right keywords to organising those keywords into structured campaigns and ad groups, to setting up PPC landing pages that are optimised for conversions.

Search engines reward advertisers who create relevant, targeted pay-per-click campaigns by charging them less for ad clicks. If your ads and landing pages are useful and satisfying to users, Google charges you less per click, leading to higher profits for your business.

Market research and PPC

Keyword research for PPC can often be time-consuming, but it is also incredibly important so don’t be put off. Your entire PPC campaign is built around keywords, and the most successful AdWords advertisers continuously grow and refine their PPC keyword list.

If you only do keyword research once, you’re probably missing out on hundreds of thousands of valuable, long-tail, low-cost and highly relevant keywords that could be driving traffic to your site.

An effective PPC keyword list should be:

  • Relevant– you don’t want to be paying for web traffic that has nothing to do with your business. You want to find targeted keywords that will lead to a higher PPC click-through rate, effective cost per click, and increased profits. That means the keywords you bid on should be closely related to the products or services you sell.
  • Exhaustive– your keyword research should include the most popular and frequently searched terms in your field along with the long-tail of search. Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common, but they account for the majority of search-driven traffic. In addition, they are less competitive, so less expensive.
  • Expansive– PPC is iterative. You want to constantly refine and expand your campaigns, and create an environment in which your keyword list is constantly growing and adapting.