pay per click marketing

What Is Pay Per Click Marketing?

Sheila Ouelette - Writer & Web Marketer

Written by: Sheila Ouellette

Category: Advertising


Is your company one of the 65% of small to midsize businesses that invests in pay per click (PPC) advertising? Strategic advertising using pay per click methods can have many benefits including encouraging traffic to your website, increasing conversions, generating sales and leads, and building overall brand awareness. That’s just the start of what a well-planned PPC strategy can do for your company. 

No industry loves its acronyms and cryptic jargon quite like the digital marketing industry. We understand that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the terminology especially when it comes to online marketing. If you are new to the game of learning how to advertise on Google or the other search engines, don’t get overwhelmed, this blog is for you. Let’s go through the basics of PPC and how it can help your business even if you’re late to the online marketing forum.

What does Pay Per Click Mean?

In the digital marketing world pay per click, or PPC, is an advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee, averaging about $1.50 per click but sometimes up to as high as $25 a click)  each time an ad is clicked upon by a user. You know the ads we’re talking about. Let’s say you happen to Google professional photographers. When you enter that into your search, advertisements will pop up as top options. If you click on that ad, that company will be charged for your click. But who knows, maybe you will become a customer and make that cost all worth it! 

Search engine advertising is by far the most common form of PPC as it allows for an ad to show up when someone searches for a keyword, phrase, or question on Google, Bing, or Yahoo that is related to your specific service or product. 

The concept is fairly simple and can assist many businesses, both small and large, to accomplish many marketing goals such as: 

  • driving traffic to their site, 
  • increasing conversions, 
  • growing their brand’s presence online, and 
  • reaching new customers all while allowing a company to have complete control over their marketing budget. 

65% of companies use PPCHow Does Pay Per Click Work? 

Regardless of the platform you plan to use, (Google or Bing being the most popular,) all pay per click programs work mostly the same. 

Marketing professionals start by signing up for an account with the platform. From there some research should be done regarding keywords and what the target audience will be for your ads. We love SEMrush as our keyword research tool

Once the background research is done, an ad can be created and a cost set for the maximum your company is willing to pay for a click. Then the ad goes to auction where it competes for keywords against other advertisers. Those competitors are battling over keywords and the order in which ads will be shown. Ranking top on the list can mean clicks and potentially new customers! 

Finally, each time an ad is clicked the advertiser pays a small fee to the search engine. Typically the fee is between $1-$3 (but can go up to $25) depending upon the ad. This is actually fairly nominal since a $3 ad could land your business a customer who spends hundreds of dollars. In the long run, an ad that is clicked on could translate into a customer who comes back again after they are satisfied with their purchase. Loyal customers make that $3 click well worth the investment. 

better conversion rates for PPC

Types of PPC Ads 

There are several types of PPC ad types that your company can use to reach more leads and grow your business. Let’s focus on the most common and successful ones first. 

Search Ads 

Search ads, sometimes referred to as text ads, not only the most common, but also the most recognizable by users. You’ll find this type of PPC ad typically at the top of your Google search. These ads are tagged with the word “Ad” to identify them to the user as a paid search. 

What makes these ads different from other PPC is that they are text only and are found at the very top of your search, making them tempting to click on for a quick answer to your query. 

To create an effective search ad, we suggest doing your research to find the best keywords for your products or services that will show up when a user is looking for an answer to a specific query. You may even want to consider long-tail keywords that could drive more interested leads to your business. For example, instead of just solar energy systems, you may want to target search queries along the lines of solar energy systems in Salem, Ma. 

search ads

Google Display Ads 

Appearing on Google’s partner sites, Display ads go beyond just text ads by adding images and a call to action encouraging people interested in the ad to click and find out more. 

Setting up a Display ad is similar to other paid ads in that you must bid on how much you will pay when someone clicks. However, with this type of ad, you must select the industry-related sites for your ads to appear as well as gain approval for the content of your ad. 

This type of advertisement is very effective at targeting audiences by age, gender, location, what they previously viewed, and, of course, keywords. 

Google Ads

Programmatic Display Ads 

Programmatic display advertising is the fastest-growing segment of digital marketing. According to Insider Intelligence, “By the end of 2021, 88% of digital display marketing in the US is projected to be done via programmatic advertising.”

What makes programmatic displays different from other display forms of advertising is that these ads are not bought in the traditional manner of negotiating prices. Instead this form of PPC uses automated platforms for buying real-time targeted or Real Time Bidding (RTB) ads.

Programmatic displays are especially exciting for marketers due to their ability to target specific demographics such as an age bracket, salary, interests, job role, and areas of  internet browsing interest.

Social Media Ads 

Given the prevalence of Americans to use (and overuse) social media, this type of advertising ranks among the top of PPC ads. 

Using PPC advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest could land your ads in front of millions of people in the targeted demographic and niche group you are searching for. It is so important to choose the social media platform that your targeted audience uses the most.

Not only can this type of ad get you a higher click through rate to your website but it puts your business front and center to viewers, thus boosting your brand awareness. 

Remarketing Ads

Remarketing or retargeting ads are geared toward re-engaging an audience member that may have visited your site or clicked through your products but never converted. 

We have all seen this type of advertisement in full swing around the holidays. Consumers often browse online to decide on gifts for family and friends. Many times remarketing ads show up on that user’s screen as a reminder of the product. That reminder can translate into buying! 

The Benefits of PPC 

Pay per click ads are just one of the many tools marketing agencies use to drive traffic to a site, generate leads, build brand awareness, and convert those leads into loyal customers. Beyond that there are some serious benefits to choosing this method to accomplish those goals. 

  • Even if you are late to the PPC game, you will start receiving clicks very quickly. 
  • PPC can be tracked and measured to see how financially worthwhile it is. Tracking conversions, cost per click, and overall ROI of your campaign. 
  • PPC puts the advertiser in control of the budget at every step of the process. 
  • Targeting the audience you desire is simple and straightforward regardless of the type of PPC ads you choose. 
  • There is a wealth of marketing data to be gained including: impressions, clicks, and conversion data. 

Is PPC Worth the Investment? 

If you’re wondering if PPC is worth the time and investment for your business or client, the short answer is absolutely yes! 

Here are a few statistics that might just get you hooked on PPC as a strategic, yet cost effective method to grow your customer base. 

  • PPC has a Return on Investment (ROI) of 200%. For every $1 spent, an advertiser typically gets a return of $2. (Source: Small Biz Genius)  
  • Traffic brought through PPC advertising yields 50% more conversions than organic advertising.(Source: Small Biz Genius
  • 74% of brands say PPC is a huge driver for their business. (Source: State of PPC) 
  • 49% of people said they click on text ads; 31% on shopping ads; and 16% on video ads. (Search Engine Land)
  • One-third of people (33%) click on a paid search ad because it directly answers their search query. (Search Engine Land)


Contact Us

What can Sperling Interactive help you with?