Pay Per Click - also known cost per click (CPC) - is a type of paid advertising, such as paid search, sponsored listings, sponsored links and partner ads. In a PPC model, the advertiser pays the site that hosts the ad space only if the user clicks its ad and goes through to the destination URL or landing page - the location on the Internet where the person who clicked the ad ends up.
PPC ads usually appear on the search engines results pages along the top and right sides of the pages that contain the organic search results as Sponsored Links or Listings. These ads won't appear unless someone performs a search in that engine, and the ads that do appear are those that the engine deems most relevant to the user's search results. However, Pay Per Click is not only available on search engines. Publishers and other Website owners can also include PPC advertisements on their sites. Google Adwords is the best and most popular PPC programme online.
There can be several reasons for using PPC as well as, or instead of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
If PPC is done correctly, the results can be measured very accurately to give you an idea of where you can put your advertising next.
The position of your advert on a Google search results page, whether on the top of the page or in the right hand side column, depends upon how much you are willing to pay for a particular position. Using a system of bidding, you can choose to have the ad listed higher or lower, depending upon how many clicks you can get on each position and how much it costs.
You pay only when a searcher clicks on your listing and connects to your site. You don’t pay to show your advert, you only pay for clicks or click-throughs. Therefore, the more you pay “per click”, the better results you will have. The cost per click can vary from a few pence to a few pounds, depending on how much demand there is for your chosen keywords and key phrases. This way you only pay for the traffic to your site, there are no other hidden costs.
Don’t be put off by runaway costs in case you have a lot of clicks – you can set a daily budget, so as to limit your spend to suit your budget. You can set your budget to spend by time of day or geographic location and even turn your ads off when necessary, either automatically or manually.
PPC gives you a lot of flexibility for managing both the amount spent and the frequency of your ads.