PPC (pay-per-click) is an online advertising strategy in which advertisers are charged based on the clicks their ads get by users. Typically, advertisers bid on the value of a click based on the platform, keywords, and audience type. Advertisers use this strategy to generate leads, promote brand awareness, and to increase sales for their organization.

The key to success in PPC is relevance. Advertisers carefully select keywords and placement strategies to increase the likelihood that a user will click on the ad. The way advertisers target users is why PPC campaigns are successful.

PPC Platforms

The two primary platforms for using PPC are Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Google AdWords is the biggest platform for PPC campaigns, and has options for every size business. AdWords runs on Google, search partner sites, and display network sites. Bing shows ads on Bing and Yahoo networks. Bing Ads are primarily keyword-based advertising.

Campaign Types

There are four primary types of campaigns you can pursue with PPC marketing: search network; display network; search network with display opt-in; and shopping: product listing ads.

  • Search Network is the most common targeting option for PPC campaigns. It consists of Google and its search partners, including AOL, Amazon, and many more sites. This type of campaign is driven by keyword searches. That is, a user types in a keyword or phrase and an appropriate ad pops up as part of the search results.
  • Display Network is comprised of millions of sites that agree to show ads from Google. These ads include text, images, and video ads. These types of ads are not keyword-driven. Instead, they are driven by demographics and audiences based on Internet and search history.
  • Search Network with Display Opt-In is a combination of both networks (search and display). While this is beneficial to expand the scope of the campaign, it should be noted that, in this option, Google determines where and when ads perform best.
  • Shopping: Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are shown on Bing and Google. These campaigns do not include keywords. Instead, the search engines match user queries with products the search engine determines are most relevant to the search. This determination comes from the information provided by the advertiser about the product lists.

Using the Data

When you work with Google or Bing for PPC campaigns, you have access to information about the performance of your ads. This information is very important for the success of marketing campaigns. Using the data you get in reports can shape how you use PPC in the future by identifying what works, what doesn’t, and what can be tweaked to be more effective. As a result, you’ll be able to develop PPC campaigns that help you achieve your business goals.