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what is pay per click

What Is Pay Per Click and How Can You Benefit From It?

Chances are you’ve heard the term tossed about in business conversations, but what is pay per click, really?

You’re not alone in wondering, and if you’re a business owner or someone considering a startup, it’s an important term to know. After all, pay per clicks can save you cash, increase your brand awareness and more.

So what are you waiting for? Learn the basics of PPC here as well as why you should consider it for your company.

What Is Pay Per Click?

Pay per click marketing, or PPC, is an advertising system used by almost half of businesses. Pay per click is utilized mostly in search engines, although it is also used in other virtual locations:

  • Banner advertising
  • Shopping engines
  • Directories

It is sometimes referred to as paid search.

Google, Yahoo! and MSN Bing are common companies offering PPC services, but more businesses have entered the market. And while owners can attempt to create ad campaigns alone, reports indicate they’re liable to waste at least 30% of their advertising budget.

According to Quirk eMarketing, “PPC advertising revolutionized the online advertising industry, and today, advertising generates 97 percent of Google’s revenue.”

Even with numbers like these, PPC investment growth in small businesses is modest. In 2018, there has only been a 5% growth thus far, more than halving the amount experts suspected would occur.

How Does PPC Work?

The process behind PPC advertising is straightforward. An entity pays a company to post ads and banners marketing their products or services. Every time an individual clicks on the ad, the entity is charged for it.

Once the funds supplied to the marketing company are depleted, the ads disappear until funds are provided. Businesses can choose to set up monthly plans to avoid halting their campaign or make one-time payments. You can find more info on plans and pricing here.

It’s that simple.

But where will your ad show up in a search? This ranking is based on the payer’s maximum bid and the ad’s relevance to the advertisement, so it depends.

What Are the Benefits?

As you probably suspect, there are a number of benefits from such a program.

You Get What You Pay For

When investing in a PPC campaign, companies are literally paying for what they get. Every worthwhile click means more visitors to the business’s webpage.

That means you’re paying only for what works.


Pay per click campaigns target consumers who are actively searching for your service or product. Consequently, they are receptive to the ad that pops onto their screen.

In fact, studies find that 90% of consumers select their product from the first page that results from their search while 80% select the product or services within the first four pages.

Audience Base

PPC companies research consumers to find the perfect search criteria in which your ad should appear. That means you have the ability to reach hundreds and thousands more consumers, broadening your customer base.

If you wow them with your product or business, they’re likely to come back.

Brand Identity

In utilizing search terms and other factors to reach as many people as possible, PPC campaigns encourage brand identity. More consumers see your logo or read your company name, and it is associated with whatever they searched for.

As a result, your company’s brand receives a boost.


You might be wondering how quickly you should expect results. The answer is “very quickly.” Dr. Raj Murthy writes, “In most cases, you should see results from your campaign in under a day, most likely in an hour–or the time it takes to bake an apple pie.”

Verifiable Results

One of the best things about PPC marketing is that it is recordable. You can measure everything: the costs, clicks, visits and more. From this data, it’s simple to analyze if your costs are truly worth it.

Recycle Data

The data you have can be recycled elsewhere. Companies use it to better reach their target audiences or for other marketing campaigns. It’s especially useful for SEO, as many of the components necessary for successful pay per click marketing transfer to successful SEO ranking.


Investing your money is always something that should be considered carefully. Even with PPC campaigns, there are risks involved.

Research Companies

Firstly, it’s important to verify the credentials and reputation of the company you work with. In 2014, marketers lost over $11 billion in advertising because of click fraud.

In fraudulent cases, an individual repetitively clicks on a business’s ad so the campaign company receives payments. As a result of the prominence of click fraud, researchers are investigating various methods to avoid future issues.

Consider SEO Costs

Another topic to consider is SEO implementation. Because much of the same information is used for PPC campaigns as SEO integration, it follows logically that companies should invest in their ranking at the same time. In fact, 86% of small companies with PPC campaigns also invest in SEO for this reason.

It may mean more money is funneled into advertising, but it pays off very quickly and is an effective duo.

Be Careful About Broad Match

Finally, companies may offer a broad match service, a keyword matching option. As the name suggests, this method has your advertisement appear whenever a broad range of keywords (that are still somewhat related to your product or service) are typed into a search engine.

For Google AdWords, this is the default setting. While it increases the chances of your business popping up in a search, be leery. Many investors find this to be a waste of money, claiming they get better results from specific keyword matches.

It’s a lot easier to start with a shorter list of keywords, track your progress, add some more and compare the changes.

Find Other Helpful Tidbits

Having an answer for “What is pay per click?” in the business world is akin to answering “What organ supplies blood to the body?” in medicine. Marketing, especially pay per click, is an easy way to up your game and get noticed.

To help you along your PPC journey, we’ve compiled an easy step-by-step guide on how to set up a Google AdWords campaign. Check it out here! With our help, you’ll have your account set up and those clicks registering in no time.

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