Pay-per-click and paid search advertising

How pay-per-click search advertising works


With search engine pay-per-click (PPC), you want people searching for your product or service to find you, click through to your website and buy.

With PPC, you can:

  • choose one or more PPC providers according to your business model
  • target particular demographics according to your marketing strategy
  • define keywords that best describe your product or service
  • bid an amount per click on each keyword that you feel will give your ad an advantage over your competitors - this is known as the cost per click or simply CPC
  • create small ads to specification and submit these to your PPC provider
  • pay your PPC provider your bid price for that keyword each time an internet user clicks on your ad

The usual way businesses use PPC advertising is through sponsored match. When users search for information, the search engine returns a search engine result page (SERP). The SERP presents the most relevant organic and sponsored links to the queried keywords.

Where will your ad appear?

Sponsored links - ie ads placed via PPC that match the search term - normally appear above the natural or organic listings. There is usually a subtle indicator that the listing has been paid for.

Even if the search engine displays your ad, its position is not guaranteed, nor will it be the only one. Other adverts may top the list or be more relevant than yours.

To help your website get a higher search engine ranking you should: