Updated: Jun 30, 2021
PPC is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. ... All of these searches trigger pay-per-click ads. In pay-per-click advertising, businesses running ads are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad, hence the name “pay-per-click.”
There are different types of PPC ads, but one of the most common types is the paid search ad. These ads appear when people search for things online using a search engine like Google – especially when they are performing commercial searches, meaning that they're looking for something to buy. This could be anything from a mobile search (someone looking for "pizza near me" on their phone) to a local service search (someone looking for a dentist or a plumber in their area) to someone shopping for a gift ("Mother's Day flowers") or a high-end item like enterprise software. All of these searches trigger pay-per-click ads.
In pay-per-click advertising, businesses running ads are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad, hence the name “pay-per-click.”
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In order for ads to appear alongside the results on a search engine (commonly referred to as a Search Engine Results Page, or SERP), advertisers cannot simply pay more to ensure that their ads appear more prominently than their competitor’s ads. Instead, ads are subject to what is known as the Ad Auction, an entirely automated process that Google and other major search engines use to determine the relevance and validity of advertisements that appear on their SERPs.
How Keywords Work in Pay-Per-Click Advertising
As its name implies, the Ad Auction is a bidding system. This means that advertisers must bid on the terms they want to “trigger,” or display, their ads. These terms are known as keywords.
Say, for example, that your business specializes in camping equipment. A user wanting to purchase a new tent, sleeping bag, or portable stove might enter the keyword “camping equipment” into a search engine to find retailers offering these items.
Although the basics of pay-per-click advertising are simple, managing a successful paid search account can be anything but. Many advertisers simply cannot devote the time and effort required to stay abreast of developments to Google AdWords and Bing Ads, and many are missing valuable opportunities to grow their business through PPC.
WordStream can help.
Our suite of free tools, as well as our trusted WordStream Advisor software platform, demystify pay-per-click advertising management and allow you to focus on what really matters – growing your business and helping your customers. WordStream’s tools can help you every step of the way, whether you’re an experienced PPC advertiser or are new to the world of paid search.