What is pay per click advertising?

Pay per click advertising is exactly as labeled. It allows businesses to advertise and only pay for each click they generate, not for impressions. In this article on what is pay per click advertising, we explore what PPC is and why it’s important for B2B organizations.

Key takeaways: What is pay per click advertising?

  1. In pay per click, advertising businesses don’t pay for impressions, only for clicks.
  2. Ads can be shown in search results, on third-party websites and also in social media.
  3. SEO and search engine advertising are two different types of search engine marketing. Search engine advertising follows a pay per click (PPC) model.
  4. PPC advertising is ideal for marketers with an ad budget but little time. Results can be realized immediately but at a cost.

What is pay per click advertising?

Search engine marketing is the tactics that increase your visibility in the search engine results. There are organic tactics, where search engine optimization improves the chances that your site will rank naturally and paid advertising. Paid search engine advertising follows a PPC or Pay Per Click model where advertisers only pay per click on their ads.

Perform a search on Google and more often than not you will see an area referred to as “sponsored links” or ads. The “sponsored links” are pay per click (PPC) ads created and managed by Google’s PPC platform called Adwords.  An advertiser can show ads for specific queries but only pays when a searcher clicks.

There are two forms of PPC ad placement on AdWords:

  • Search results – Ads are shown based on a search query.
  • Contextual display ads – Ads are shown on websites based on website/page content, the previous activity of the visitor or advertiser preference.
    Search ads are more targeted but contextual ads are much cheaper. If you are looking for volume at a lower cost, then consider contextual ads. Through Adwords, you can monitor what sites your ads are shown on.

Does pay per click advertising work?

A survey of 2000 marketers showed that 48% use pay per click marketing. Not only are an increasing number of marketers using it but the amount they are spending is also increasing. Global spending on PPC increased by 15% year on year. Consecutive surveys show that PPC adoption is increasing.

How does pay per click compare to search engine optimization?

Pay per click is a form of paid advertising, this means you need to keep paying to drive traffic, the more you attract the more you pay. With search engine optimization you are investing to increase traffic from organic search; you are investing to improve your site, not paying per visitor. Arguably this means PPC is more short-term, often suited to campaigns, whilst search engine optimization is a more long-term strategy. From within the search results, 85% of clicks go to organic results, research also suggests that people trust organic results more than paid ads.

Despite SEO generating better results in terms of click-through rates, PPC gives marketers ultimate control. Marketers can control when an ad is shown, what that ad contains, where the visitor will go on and how much is paid per click. As a result, the return on investment for PPC can be much more accurately measured. Measuring SEO return on investment has been a significant challenge.

Should I do SEO or PPC?

Search engine optimization and pay per click marketing are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to target multiple phrases in both organic and paid search if successful this will increase the visibility of your messages in the search engine results.

Do you have the budget but no time? Choose a per click advertising
Pay per click marketing can generate results quickly. At a high-level, advertisers running PPC ads need to pick their keywords, create ads and select landing pages.

Do you have plenty of time but no budget? Choose search engine optimization
Search engine optimization takes time. Time to create great content and time to build the authority of that content. You are at the mercy of search engines.

A popular approach is to start with pay per click marketing where target phrases can be tested. The phrases that generate the most value can then become candidates for greater search engine optimization focus.

What is remarketing?

PPC allows you to market to prospects at exactly the time they are looking for a solution. Where visitors to your website or landing pages don’t convert, you could consider remarketing. This is where a cookie is placed on the visitor’s machine so you can show ads containing enticing and relevant offers, based on a visitor already signaling interest. Remarketing is a tool available on the AdWords platform.

Setting up a pay per click advertising campaign

When setting up a PPC campaign on Google AdWords or any other platform there are plenty of things you need to consider.

  1. Pay per click marketing is a form of paid search engine marketing. This means that PPC marketing requires a budget. In AdWords, a daily budget cap will need to be set.
  2. What are the phrases you want to target? A collection of related phrases is called and an ad group. An ad group can have one or more ad. Google will show the ads that generate more clicks.
  3. One advantage of AdWords is that advertisers can control exactly where traffic is sent to from each ad. Take advantage of this and send traffic to relevant pages.
  4. Testing is the key to PPC success. Test different ads, keywords, and landing pages. Once a PPC account is up and running the results of testing can be captured quickly.
  5. When creating ads and selecting keywords remember to segment by your target audiences. Keep personas in mind when writing your ads.
  6. Ads have a limited character length. Make the most of every character and spend time crafting ads.
  7. With PPC you are paying for traffic, in fact, you are paying for every click. It’s important to have a measurable call to action. This will help you prove the return on investment when it’s time to review success.

Pay per click advertising for B2B organizations

Pay per click marketing can be a powerful tool for B2B organizations. It can help capture fresh leads quickly, you can control keyword targetting displaying ads only for relevant search queries, and you can send that traffic through to targeted landing pages.

When developing PPC campaigns for B2B organizations leverage what you know about your audience and remember that you are unlikely to get an immediate sale. Your task is to get PPC traffic into the sales funnel where you can nurture the prospect through the buyer journey. When prospects are in your nurture cycle keep to the topics that interested your visitor in the first place. Don’t change the conversation to what you think they should be interested in. You should have specific email sequences for PPC traffic and even sequences based on PPC ad groups.

What is pay per click advertising?

Pay per click marketing is a powerful marketing tool. With PPC you can advertise to B2B buyers exactly when they’re looking for the product or solution you offer. You can display ads to a targeted audience and you don’t even need to pay to display those ads. A well-written PPC ad can attract the right audience and detract the wrong audience from clicking. When your target audience clicks, you can control exactly where they go and what they see. PPC allows you to market to prospects at exactly the time they are looking for a solution.