What is Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)?
The "PPC" in PPC advertising stands for "pay per click". Pay Per Click advertising is an ad model that has gained most of its popularity courtesy of Google Adwords. In PPC ads, businesses place bids to get positioning for their advertisements. Once their ad is "clicked", the business pays the agreed upon amount (based upon the bid for the ad). The business does not get charged, however, for the appearance (also known as impression) of an ad in a PPC campaign.
How is PPC Advertising Different From Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Around the turn of the millennium, the term "Search Engine Marketing" included both Pay Per Click advertising as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Nowadays, those who reference SEM are often referring to PPC and generally not the organic (natural) listings. Thus, going by the modern definition, pay per click advertising and search engine marketing are referring to the same thing most of the time.
How is PPC Advertising Different From Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The most simple way of looking at pay per click vs. search engine optimization is to think of yourself as a homeowner. PPC is more like renting while SEO has more similarities to buying. The length of your PPC investment is most likely shorter in nature, however you will get immediate results. Your SEO investment is more for the long term, but the time and money you put into it will reap you wonderful rewards that you will eventually own for years (including your optimized website).
What Are The Benefits of PPC?
PPC campaigns are great for businesses because they can control the traffic. This is especially true for newer websites, as they take longer to rank due to algorithms that search engines like Google have in place. Thanks to pay per click advertising on platforms such as Google AdWords, however, businesses can create traffic almost instantly. From text and display advertising to video ads on YouTube, there are now a variety of methods to reach your target audience.
Organic (or natural) search listings are fairly limiting in what searchers get to see for specific terms. With pay per click, a business is able to control the geographic region in which the ad is displayed, as well as the ad description and where the searcher is directed on the website after clicking on the ad. Because of this, PPC is an excellent tool for Ecommerce, as businesses can send customers directly to brand or product-specific landing pages.