This is the second of a three-part series exploring the major elements behind using search engines for business. This week: pay-per-click marketing.

What is Pay-Per-Click Marketing?

PPC is an online advertising method that places a small, text-based ad on a search engine results page. You may have seen these while using a search engine, usually featured in a box at the top or on the side of the page. The name comes from the fact that you only pay when a user clicks on the ad to come to your website. The fee is very small, often just a few cents, making this system very affordable and effective. Plus, you have the benefit of knowing you only pay when the advertisement actually works!

How Will PPC Help My Online Business?

There are many advantages to PPC. The first is its affordability, as you only pay when someone actually clicks on the ad. But don’t worry, you can control your budget to decide exactly how much you will spend in a given time period. Secondly, PPC allows for targeted marketing – your ad will only appear when it is most relevant, and may be directed to a particular group or geographical location of online users. Thirdly, PPC kicks in very quickly. You can set it up in minutes and it will start working for you immediately. An additional benefit: PPC may allow you to forgo SEO (see above) since the ads are automatically placed near the top of the page!

A Quick Tip for PPC

Keep in mind that even if you don’t get many clicks, your ad is still listed and is certainly visible. In other words, your ad continues to work and you don’t pay a cent. In fact, some people format their ads simply to spread brand awareness – and not to be clicked at all!