PPC for Beginners: Basic Guide for Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Online Advertising | December 29th 2010

PPC for Beginners - Target your customers

You have a website and you need it to be seen. Getting your message out to your target audience, wherever they are, is the core mission of any promotional campaign. Small businesses can’t really afford to keep all their advertising eggs in one basket: optimizing and extending your marketing efforts are mandatory in order to constantly increase your reach. In today’s competitive web market, Pay-Per-Click PPC advertising is a strategy you simply can’t overlook.

PPC for Beginners - Advertising

What is PPC Advertising?

The general principle of PPC is easy to grasp. Let’s use one of the most commonly known PPC programs – Google AdWords – as our running example. This is the deal: when a user types in a search phrase that is relevant to your business, your text ad has a chance to be displayed on Google’s search engine (given that you bid on that search phrase). You’re only charged if and when the user clicks on your ad, hence the name “Pay-Per-Click”.

Some Basic PPC Terminology

PPC advertising, like other online marketing tools, has many layers and a special language of its own. Don’t get lost in the forest of abbreviations – here is a list of basic terms and their meanings:

  • PPC or Pay Per Click – The advertising model where the advertiser is charged only for each click-through a particular ad gets. An ad might be seen, but not clicked on, so in this case the advertiser is not charged.
  • Publisher – The party who offers advertising space on their own website or network of websites. We’ve all seen the ads on the side of a Google search; in this way, Google is considered a publisher. Sites that run Google AdSense or offer display advertising space are also considered publishers.
  • Advertiser – The party who purchases advertising space for the purpose of promotion. When Harvard Business School buys space on the Wall Street Journal’s website, Harvard is considered an advertiser. In PPC advertising, Harvard can buy the keywords “business school” and “top MBA”. When a potential student searches for those terms or something similar, Harvard’s ad and link to their website may be displayed on the search page.
  • Click-through – A click-through occurs when a website visitor clicks on a certain link and subsequently views the page being linked. The number of click-throughs a PPC ad delivers is used to determine the cost of the advertising campaign to the advertiser.
  • CPC or Cost Per Click – A method of pricing PPC ads. The advertiser generally determines how much they are willing to pay for each click-through based on the popularity of the keyword.
PPC for Beginners - Google Search Advertising

Google search screen: green = organic results, Yellow = ads

Where Do I Begin with Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

To get started with PPC advertising, you’ll first need to determine a long list of keywords and phrases that can drive potential visitors to your site. If you advertise through Google AdWords, it’s very easy to search for keywords using their system. You’ll also need to determine the budget for your campaign after seeing how much each keyword or phrase will cost you. Have a balanced account – too many expensive keywords will exhaust your budget quickly. Conversely, too many cheap keywords indicates ineffective targeting.

Once your campaign is up and running, make sure to review it periodically for effectiveness. Other tools like referral links and landing pages will help you target your advertising. Because managing a PPC campaign is part of a complete Search Engine Marketing plan, always remember to take a step back and reallocate where you split your energy as necessary. Keep your biz tight and your eyes open and your site will stay alive on the net.

Have questions on PPC? Drop us a comment and our Wix Promote team will be happy to reply!




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