What is PPC?

Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, is often used by businesses to advertise on search engines. Advertisers can create an account to display ads on search results pages for keyphrases they wish to bid on. They can set up their accounts so that they only pay when a user actually clicks on an advertisement that links to the advertiser’s website or landing page. The cost of a click varies greatly, from 5 cents to over $100. Advertisers will only pay the publisher up to a maximum PPC rate that is controlled through the campaign management portal. This allows businesses to advertise their company no matter what their budget. Many search engines and portals offer this kind of paid search advertising but the most popular are Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.


How can Businesses use it to gain immediate exposure to targeted traffic?

Advertising always helps promote the business. PPC expands your connections because it can reach all over the web. Using the right keyword for the ads can gain immediate exposure to your business and get your site to the top of the search results page. Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the largest network operators that provide PPC. Advertisers place bids on the keywords they think are most often searched by the target audience. Once the potential visitor types in the keywords or phrase in the search engine, the advertiser’s ad may be displayed. PPC, done correctly, can lead to an increase in traffic, can better qualify the traffic the site gets, and can lead to higher conversion rates. PPC done wrong can be a huge waste of money, which is why many businesses have a professional manage their campaigns.


How can PPC support SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

PPC helps get more traffic from search engines but it can also enhance search engine optimization. The presence of PPC ads sponsored search can boost click through to natural search results because of the confidence searchers gain when they see the site listed twice on one page. In fact, research shows that there is a 60% likelihood that a site will be clicked on when they site appears both in the natural and paid search areas of the search results page.

PPC also produces fantastic reports that show which keyphrases give the most band for the buck. With PPC campaign you can find what keyword converts before engaging so much time with SEO campaign. SEOs can then use that information to determine which keyphrases to optimize a page for. This will save money in the long run as a well optimized site can drive in plenty of highly qualified free traffic.

Case Study. We have been running a PPC campaign for www.FibrexGroup.com and its e-commerce sister site, www.BuyRecycledProducts.com for several months now. Through PPC, we determined early on that “recycling containers” was by far their hottest and most lucrative keyphrase. We then SEO’d both sites for “recycling containers” and several other similar variations. Over time, www.FibrexGroup.com rose to the first 3-5 positions on Google for “recycling containers” and the nacent www.BuyRecycledProducts.com went from nothing to #15 in just 2 months. With so much natural traffic going to these sites, we were able to stop bidding on “recycling containers” with no economic impact to the business, saving it $550 per month.

The key to a successful PPC campaign lies in proper analysis, study, and adjustment decisions. Effective PPC advertising needs a tightly-controlled theme of keywords/ keyphrases, well written ads, and links to goal-centric landing pages with clear calls to action that target your keywords directly. With proper PPC management, you will save a lot of money in the long run.



Darren Kincaid, a WSI SEO Expert, provides top quality but affordable website design, search engine optimization (SEO), internet marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), web hosting, and business management solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses in Virginia, the United States, and around the world.

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