What is PPC?

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay per click and most people would know it better as Google Adwords, although the other larger search engines have similar models.

PPC allows you to place a small ‘ad’ on Google’s search results pages. You get a hyperlink to your website and room for a few sales messages. What’s more, you are effectively bidding for the space against others who want to be associated with a certain keyword, or group of keywords.

The best way to understand PPC is to look at it in action.

So, on a particular day, at a particular time (the results are constantly changing), we typed in seo consultancy, a term which Cayenne Red has within its PPC portfolio, and we got the results below. Now, a search results page is divided into a number of parts, which all have a value for digital marketeers. The two most important pieces of real estate on this page are “Ads related to [keyword term]” and Search Results.

See below:


For SEO, the  listings not with a yellow background are the top organic (not paid for) results; helpfully labelled Search Results. Note however that the top of the page is reserved for those that pay for their links to be displayed in the page’s most prominent position (‘the ads related to’): this is the whole idea of PPC agencies. You are not relying on a random search, you are paying for your link to be there.

What the example above doesn’t show is the right hand side of the page where a number of other ads run down the page.

You need to remember that the positioning of the ads is not random. Effectively, the more you pay, the higher you go up the page until you reach the number one spot. This, in theory, creates the most exposure for you and should bring in the highest number of clicks. The less you pay, the further down the page you end up.

There is a school of thought which says that unless you are within that top panel of a maximum of three places, forget it, you are wasting your money.

What you should also realise is that Google (and most people new to PPC don’t get this), will base their cost of your ad on a profile that they will build on you. This in many ways is similar to a SEO algorithm – they will build a set of parameters which means you will either have a leg up, or a firm push down.

These parameters will be based on many things, including how much you are willing to spend. Those who drift in and out of PPC programmes with small budgets might want to consider other ways to boost their digital marketing effort. What Google wants is you to spend lots of money with them and if you’re willing to do that, then they will do what they can to help.

In effect, you will be scored, and that includes how well your website converts leads and boosts the user experience. If you have a poor website, which doesn’t ‘process’ the person once they have clicked through, it’s likely your quality score will be down and you will have to pay more per click. So it pays to have a good website with sound landing pages which relate to your ad.

PPC is not about skipping the important things the SEO practitioners obsess about. Many of the principles used within quality SEO strategies, also relate to PPC.

Need Help with your PPC Search Marketing?

If you need help with your PPC search marketing why not contact us today or call 0203 286 1153