Pay Per Click (PPC) Definition

What Is Pay Per Click or PPC?

PPC is an abbreviation that stands for Pay Per Click. It is an advertising form used in internet advertising on Google Adwords, Bing and social media. At PPC, you pay for each visitor who clicks on the ad.

What do all these platforms have in common? They offer free services and have large amounts of data about their users, which advertisers can use to customize their advertising. This particular type of customizable advertising has come to be associated with the pay per click payment model.

So much so that ad forms are also sometimes called PPC. When we talk about PPC, we are talking about the payment model, but it is partly cost-effective due to the opportunities provided on the advertising platforms where it is available.

By optimizing your advertising, you can minimize the number of clicks from people who are not really interested in your offer. And that way, get the most out of your budget.

The advantage of PPC is that you see results directly and it is the most common form of advertising online. It works by the advertiser paying the site owner for every click a visitor makes on their advertising.

The advertising form is a very good complement to the digital marketing strategy and has exploded in use in recent years.

Advertisers are looking for the cheapest options to get relevant clicks

The trend has been that advertisers have been looking for the cheapest PPC options.

When Adwords – and of course Bing advertising – was introduced, PPC bids were very low, which led to high demand, which in the long run increased the price.

Then came social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and many advertisers turned to them in search of low PPC prices.

Right now, few companies look at bloggers and related posts, which means that competition is low and thus the price is lower.

That’s why you need PPC advertising

PPC is an excellent method if you want to directly see the results of your digital marketing campaign – unlike SEO which can take months before you see the results. PPC makes it possible to be seen first among the paid results.

For e-merchants, PPC along with search engine optimization are the most important marketing channels. Through them, your ads can appear directly in the search results.

The trick is to reduce costs by choosing the best channels but also by writing good ads and managing bidding in an optimal way.

PPC ads offer a handful of unique advantages over other forms of search engine marketing, and other advertising strategies:

1. Immediate traffic

Most marketing strategies rely on the accumulation of visibility, authority and that reputation improves over time. Consequently, it takes weeks, months, or even years to see results.

It takes time to set up a PPC advertising campaign (such as designing and expanding a landing page), but once you’ve set up your campaign, you can start bidding right away, and your ads will immediately become visible to new people.

It is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to generate traffic, making it perfect for new sites, new products and short term deals.

2. Guaranteed search engine visibility

With PPC ads, you can take advantage of the power of search engine and placement rankings, as long as you bid enough.

3. Almost total control

There is virtually no limit to what you can do with a PPC advertising campaign. You can direct traffic to your website, a product page or a specialized landing page.

You can choose exact keywords and audiences. You can experiment with hundreds of variables in your wording, timing and placement.

This level of flexibility gives you total control over your results, making it a useful strategy for virtually any business or goal.

4. Transparency and data analysis

Thanks to Google Analytics, and other third-party tools, you can measure the effectiveness of your campaign in many different ways.

You can study your clickthrough rates (CTRs), conversion rates, traffic patterns, and even your overall return on investment (ROI).

Which channels should you use for PPC?

There are several different channels to choose from and you can define audiences to have the highest efficiency of your pay per click ad.

The ad type is very popular among small businesses when looking for new customers where you pay to be listed with your ad on any search engine, usually Google or Bing.

In Sweden, Google’s market share is larger than in the US market. Marketers often look for the channel that provides low PPC values.

When Adwords first came, prices were extremely low but over time, prices have been pushed up many are looking for other advertising channels.

For a while, Facebook’s advertising was extremely cheap and today we see extremely low prices on blog links and so-called related articles.

Before you start advertising with PPC, you need to research keywords and how much is being sought in your industry.

You need to be as specific as possible when describing your products and services to succeed in advertising and to match the ads with what users are looking for.

In the case between Google or Bing, the former is larger and currently more lucrative for PPC use, while the latter has lower competition and thus lower costs.

When it comes to balancing different search engines, it’s up to your strategy and what you want to achieve – the majority of users use Google.

Advertising Online – There are various PPC networks

  • Twitter Advertising – Twitter Ads, there are also solutions where you sponsor Tweet
  • Linkedin Advertising – Linkedin Ads is effective in job advertising. You can also use Linkedin for B2B advertising where you can target job titles and company size. You can pay per click or impression.
  • Instagram advertising – Instagram Ads, opens for companies in autumn / winter 2015 and is expected to become a major channel. Previously, they specialized in exclusive brands, but now they have started to open up their platform.
  • Amazon Text Ads – Reminiscent of Google’s product listings but very inexpensive to purchase
  • Google Advertising and Google Ads are the world’s leading PPC network.
  • Bing Ads – often have lower prices than Adwords due to lower competition.
  • Facebook advertising – Facebook Ads – effective channel where advertisers have very easy to reach their target audience.
  • Youtube Advertising – Youtube Ads – Interruptive PPC Through Videos.
  • Mobile PPC is an area that is growing enormously, read more on our site

PPC on Google Ads and other platforms

In this section of the article, I will reason about why PPC on Google Ads is such a cost effective method. Google Ads is the advertising platform that is most popular among our customers and suits most companies.

Pay per click does not work in exactly the same way on all platforms. However, much of what is written here about Google Ads is also consistent with how it is done on other digital advertising platforms.

Okay, let’s start listing reasons why pay per click with Google Ads is so cost effective:

1. You only pay when someone clicks

Choosing PPC and only paying when someone clicks is a big advantage. Because it’s rare that the majority of those who see an ad click on it.

But those who click probably feel that your ad aroused their interest. As a result, you only pay for the traffic from visitors who are interested in your message, and thus more likely to become customers.

On top of that, you get free exposure. Even if a person does not click on your ad today or at this particular search, they have seen your brand and gained a little more insight into what you are offering.

The potential customers in this group may find their way back to you at another time.

2. You get the opportunity for double visibility in the search results

If you succeed in appearing in both the search results and the ads on the same keyword, you have won a lot. This is because it is more likely that users choose one of your links than a competitor.

With pay per click, you can thus take up more space on the page that users see in front of them, which makes it easier to click on your links.

Dual visibility also signals expertise and that you probably have something meaningful to share.

3. You can further reduce your costs by increasing the quality of your ads

In bidding, Google balances your bid with other factors, primarily related to quality. A higher quality ad can win a bid against a competitor with a higher bid, if the competitor’s ad is of lower quality than yours.

So working actively with quality, which can give you more business, also contributes in the long run to lower costs for pay per click.

But what does Google see as quality? The answer is relevance and historical achievement. So let relevance be your guiding light when designing ads.

For example, you can ensure that there is a common thread between content, landing page and keywords for each individual ad.

As your ads start generating more clicks from people who stay longer on your site, Google will see it as a signal that you have something of quality to contribute.

4. Negative keywords – you can choose what you do not want to be seen on

When choosing which keywords to advertise on, it is standard to choose broad matching. This means that Google helps you advertise on similar phrases as well.

For example, when someone has misspelled, used a synonym or similar word. But since an automated program makes this assessment, it can get a little wrong sometimes.

Say you are a jeweler selling necklaces, then you probably do not want to be seen in the search results when someone is looking for dog necklaces.

This can lead to you paying for clicks from dog friends who are not at all hungry for new jewelry for themselves.

To avoid this, you can use negative keywords. With them, you tell the search engine which keywords you do not want to appear on.

If you work actively with negative keywords, you can increase the relevance of your ads, which increases the quality and lowers your PPC costs.

5. You can ensure that only visible in the correct geographical region

You can define which geographical region you want your ads to appear in, in order to focus the advertising budget on people who have the opportunity to proceed with purchases.

Even if you run an e-commerce business, this is a sensible feature to work with, so you only show ads in countries to which you can ship orders.

Extra important is the geographical function if your business requires you or the customer to go to a certain place. For example, it is rarely a point for a plumber in Italy to pay for ads that are seen in France.

The same applies to, for example, craftsmen, brokers, restaurants, dentists and physical stores and service points.

PPC fraud

PPC fraud is a fraud that means that you as an advertiser have to pay more than you need, which can be due to illegitimate black hat methods used against you and is a serious security risk for several large companies’ budgets.

How do you create an effective PPC campaign?

When running a PPC campaign, there are several factors you need to consider in order for it to be as good as possible. It is common for marketing budgets to be wasted on irrelevant traffic.

It is essential that you define your audiences and ads.

Also make sure that you can change your campaigns quickly and have a flexible marcom system so you can test different hypotheses on the account.

Digital campaigns are not static, but you have to build the ads based on how users think and create landing pages and bidding strategies that work and beat the competitors’ ads.

Users behave differently and you may need to adjust bidding by location, time of day to maximize conversions.

Which matching types are used. Several types of matches can mean that your search results are displayed in lots of impressions that are irrelevant.

Of course, this is not good because you have to pay for the ads when someone clicks on them.

Google’s Quality Score formula means you can pay less for your clicks if you continually optimize your campaigns.


Benefits of PPC

The benefits of PPC advertising are many. You only pay for the advertising that actually leads to traffic to your website.

At the same time, you have great control and can follow up so that your advertising actually becomes profitable. The possibilities are on the verge of endless in terms of how you can fine-tune and improve your campaigns over time.

PPC has become an extremely popular form of advertising – where PPC and search engine optimization are generally seen as the two main forms of marketing.

PPC is guaranteed here to stay!



This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

Recent Posts