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SEO basics: PPC explained

Posted on 20 Jul 2015

Last time, ICG's in-house SEO specialist, Steph Leeson, gave an introduction to SEO, sharing her top tips and insights into the ever-changing digital world.

This week, Steph, who is Google Adwords certified and implements and manages pay per click (PPC) campaigns, will share the basics of this form of advertising and how it can benefit you.

"So, what is PPC?"

Great question! PPC stands for 'pay per click', in simple terms it is described as the amount spent to get your advertisement clicked and is essentially a way of buying visits to your site.

This online advertising type is used predominantly to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the owner of the search engine, like Google or Bing, when a user clicks the ad.

Google Search ads

More often than not PPC adverts are created using Google Adwords, getting your advert displayed on Google's search results page when a user searches for matched keywords. These are also known as Google Search ads.

These PPC adverts appear either alongside or above the organic search results and are easily identified by a small yellow 'Ad' logo next to the result.

Google Display ads

These can only be placed on sites that agree to host your display advertisement but let you have the option of a simple text ad, the use of an image or if you really wanted to push the boat out an interactive or video ad.

Google Display ads also let you place your advert on websites that are most relevant to your service or product ensuring the people who are most likely to be interested will see it.

For example, you could stipulate that your ads appear within a set radius from a town, or on websites that are primarily visited by teenagers. Similar to Google Search ads, you will be charged per click of the advert.

"How will PPC benefit me and my company?"

Advertising is often unappealing with many failing to see the benefits of a paid-for advert, especially if you are not seeing a return on your investment. Here are some benefits of PPC that may help you make a decision: Whether it's a mobile, tablet or desktop computer, advertisers can reach their audience whatever their go-to device. Is your audience in a specific country, region or city? PPC ads can be targeted directly at your customer base no matter how far. A Google Adwords account lets you monitor and evaluate how well a PPC ad is doing, giving you insights around the clock. Daily budgets can be set so you won't pay any more than you are willing to. The two different types of paid-for Google ads work completely different to one another and depending on the nature of a business one may be more favourable than the other.

It's important that you weigh up which option is best for you and your business and don't forget you can always drop me an email if you would like further information or a proposal for a PPC campaign.

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