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What is Pay Per Click?

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an online form of advertising. The Pay Per Click model is fairly simple and it allows an advertiser to place a small advert alongside the search results in a search engine. The advert is shown when user’s type in keywords that you have selected to trigger your advert. It is an extremely effective means of driving targeted visitors to your website. Advertisers do not pay to have their advert shown in the results pages but only pay when a user clicks on your advert; as the name suggests.

The amount of your cost per click differs greatly from keyword to keyword. Some keywords can cost as little as 5p per click and some keywords cost tens of pounds per click.

PPC benefits include:

  • Pay Per Click is unobtrusive
  • People use search engines with a specific purpose in mind; to search for something. You are placing an advert in front of people who are interested in your product, unlike TV advertising, where it is shown obtrusively in an advertising slot in a section of a program you are watching.
  • Tight & flexible budget control
  • The PPC budget can be managed precisely to the pound on a daily or monthly period, allowing complete control. As the campaign gathers pace the budget can be increased quickly or decreased when necessary, due to seasonal trends for example.

Target visitors with the flexibility to change

Visitors to your website are targeted by choosing specific keywords relevant to your services or products. These keywords can target visitors locally, regionally, nationally or globally. You can also determine the stage in the buying process to target such as the purchasing stage. You also have the flexibility to change these keywords and re-target multiple times a day without any restraints.

Immediate response & results

In essence you can have an advert running in a matter of hours and see results to your result in the same time frame. Pay Per Click is a very fast means of delivering quality traffic to a website.


The Pay Per Click platforms provide interfaces which, along with website analytic software and careful visitor analysis, provides the necessary tools to measure success. This ability helps provide the quality information that allows possibilities for testing and adapting the campaign for constant improvement.

Pay Per Click platforms

There are numerous platforms and they can be separated into 1st Tier platforms such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Then there are 2nd tier platforms such as Mirago and Miva. Due to market share and user search volumes the Google Adwords platform is the most popular; however, other platforms can offer good returns on investments so could be considered within online marketing strategies.

The Pay Per Click results

A lot of advertisers misunderstand the differences between ‘Pay Per Click’ and ‘organic search engine rankings’. Without getting too complicated the organic results are the results which would normally show on the left hand side of the page. The Pay Per Click results are generally down the right hand side of the page, but can also appear at the the top of the ‘organic results’ pages. The PPC adverts are clearly labelled ‘Sponsored Links’ in Google, ‘Sponsored Results’ in Yahoo, and ‘Sponsored Sites’ in Bing.

The example above shows a search query for the term ‘fishing Scotland’. The search engine has provided all the natural results of web pages it has found within its database and displayed them in descending order of importance according to Google’s calculations.

On the right, in blue, is the Pay Per Click advertisements. There are 10 advertisers to a page in Google, and to achieve a high page ranking you need to be able to bid high enough for the keyword. First page estimated bidding costs per click are provided by the Google keyword tool, so it’s not a matter of closing your eyes and wishing for the best.

Quality score

PPC platforms, specifically Google Adwords, employ a clever system called the Quality score. Each keyword is given a score of 1-10, where 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. In a nutshell the more relevant your keyword is to the users request, the higher the quality score you achieve. Essentially you could be paying for a click cheaper than the advertiser below you in the search engines. This makes sure the search engines stay functional and that advertisers who advertise relevant services and products are rewarded.

Pay Per Click
for your business

Pay Per Click can be a very lucrative form of marketing; however it’s not just a matter of picking a few keywords and hoping for the best. Irrespective of whether a budget is £250 per month or £25,000 per month, the same principles apply: effectiveness and profitability.

Every business that uses the internet successfully for advertising has ‘tested the water’ and, through carefully managed campaigns, has been able to succeed.

Ok Sounds Good,
so What Now.

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