Pay Per Click, or “PPC” for short, is the other side of Search Engine Optimization. We previously outlined how Search Engine Optimization works– but that was only about half the story. There’s another side of it that’s how Search Engines make money.

Have you ever noticed those results highlighted on the top and on the side whenever you type something into Google? Those are paid advertisements– and they’re all usually commercially relevant to what you’re searching for. These advertisers pay- per click. So if you click on an anything from the top few results of a search engine, or from the SERPs side-bar; the company that published the ad you clicked on paying money to the search engine that brought you there. Its our job to set up and publish ad campaigns that are cost effective for the online advertiser. A PPC campaign goal is to drive more traffic to your website; This is done by presenting the searcher with a tempting ad to click on, and then delivering the goods once they launch on your website. If done well, PPC is an all-round good deal, and even very small businesses can take advantage of Search Engine PPC.

How Does PPC Work

Well, for most search engines– and there are exceptions– an advertiser bids on certain key-words or phrases that are typed into a search engine and sent as a query. Say for instance, if you owned a fish-bait shop, you might want to always be at the top of results for any search like “How to catch fish?”- right? For a pretty reasonable price you can do that. You buy words or phrases and set other parameters (like if you only wanted to be on the top of results for just the Miami area) and then set a price you want to pay per click. Depending on many factors, including the quality of your landing page and your maximum bid price you may or may not get the top spots. PPC keyword prices also range by niche. More sought after keywords are generally more expensive. Once in a while, we encounter keywords gems, those keywords with high quality traffic and little PPC competition.

How Effective Is It?

Apart from Search Engine Optimization, a PPC campaign is one of the most efficient forms of advertising. It falls under the category of re-directional advertising which is the premise that the customer has already decided what they’re looking for, and then it becomes a game of whether you or your competition will get that person’s business. If you’re the first result they see; there’s a good chance they will go with you. Furthermore, because you only pay for clicks rather than just for someone seeing your ad (in the industry that’s called Pay Per Impression)– you’re much less likely to be taken advantage of by the advertiser.

Are There Any Risks Involved with PPC?

Yes. There are risks with PPC. If you set up your parameters incorrectly, your small Miami-based fish bait shop might be advertising globally, and you could be getting clicks from somewhere like Romania and still paying for them. Also, advertising costs can add up very quickly if the campaign is not well supervised. Go with an experienced professional who can contract out managing this service for you.