How Pay-Per-Click Really Works
Pay-Per-Click (or more commonly, "PPC") is one of the fastest growing forms of web advertising. PPC allows advertisers with budgets...Pay-Per-Click (or more commonly, /"PPC/") is one of the fastest growing forms of web advertising. PPC allows advertisers with budgets large or small to get their message in front of a highly targeted audience of potential customers.
Here's how Pay-Per-Click works:
You (the advertiser) bid on those keywords which you believe your target customers will use to search for your products or services.
Let's use Google's Pay Per Click program as an example. If a person searches using your keyword, your ad may appear on screen in the "Sponsored Links" sections of the Google search results page. We say "may appear" because other businesses are bidding on those keywords as well. In order for your ad to appear, your bid for that keyword must be one of the highest at that given moment. If your bid is the highest, your ad will appear first. If second highest, the second. And so on.
The Sponsored Link sections containing the PPC ads generally appear on the search result page APART from the organic search results. (Note: Organic searches, or "Natural Searches" are not purchased. They are the result of complex algorithms matching the websites with the search terms).
Once the ad is delivered, you only pay when a customer clicks on the link to view your offer or website. This point, coupled with the fact that you are targeted your ad ONLY to those who are searching for you has made PPC on the most popular and cost-effective methods of advertising on the web.
Although Google leads the PPC pack with its Google AdWords program, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft's Ad Center are also significant players in the space.
Pay-Per-Click is popular with small businesses because it "levels the playing field," allowing those companies with a smaller ad budget to reach customers with the same power and efficiency as their Fortune 500 counterparts.