What is PPC Advertising?

example of google adwordsPay Per Click advertising, also known as PPC advertising, is a form of web marketing that lists paid advertisements next to organic search results. Organic search results are the main list of results listed on each page. Just to the right of the organic results, you’ll notice advertisements that closely resemble the search results, with titles and descriptions related to the keywords in the search.

Google calls these paid advertisements AdWords, and they account for a large portion of Google’s revenues. AdWords and other search engine ads can be charged through different methods, including Pay Per Click. Website owners hoping to expand their online visibility often wonder if PPC campaigns are worth the price, since the vast majority of users click on the organic results and ignore everything else on the page. Studies have shown that 60-70% of clicks are on the organic results, depending on factors such as the prominence of ads, relevance of secondary content, etc.

Search engine results aren’t the only common place to find PPC ads. Social networks, including Facebook, use PPC ad campaigns. On Facebook, PPC ads can be customized to appear for keywords derived from the demographic data in each user profile. For example, if you want your ads to appear for males in a certain city, within a certain age , with a an interests in sports, you can set your campaign to target every Facebook user whose profile meets the criteria.

Advertisers can analyze advertising insights that highlight the most successful keywords within a certain demographic, and refine their campaign parameters, accordingly. The practice of optimization for the paid search results is called SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. Search engine marketing follows some of the same core principles of search engine optimization. Both require advanced methods of targeting specific searches in arenas such as local search, product search, image search, and others. While all of these practices are a valuable part of any online marketing campaign, they aren’t as effective as pure SEO efforts and PPC ads aren’t a fraction as reliable as “organic” results.

In your list of marketing priorities, PPC should be considered as a supplemental means of raising your site’s traffic, and PPC should never be considered a replacement for organic search engine optimization. PPC ads are just one of several methods for driving traffic to your site, but you can achieve similar results without the cost of PPC, through social media networking and social media optimization. Create a YouTube channel, Facebook Page, Twitter account and other profiles with links pointing back to your site. These are all great channels for building your branding and expanding your online presence.

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