Well into 2019, pay per click (PPC) advertising is alive and kicking.

It’s still a go-to digital marketing strategy for reaching specific goals. In a nutshell, it gives you a chance to get your products and services in front of online customers.

Businesses of all shapes and size leverage it to improve sales and spur business growth. If you are wondering how does pay per click work, we got you covered.

In terms of capturing traffic, PPC is a faster alternative to SEO. You basically buy your visits rather than earning them organically over time. There are various pros and cons related to this practice.

If you want to successfully implement it, you have to do your homework. Diving in unprepared is not an option. There are many moving parts to grasp, ranging from keywords to adverting platforms.

So, let’s find out how to pull it off.

Pay to Play

PPC is a great way to respond to sudden ups and downs of market demand.

The basic idea is simple. You target people who presumably want your offerings. You try to do it precisely at the time when they want them.

For instance, you can display ads on a website relating to your business or in specific search engine results (SERP). The beauty of it is you pay for actual clicks people make. In this way, PPC differs from some similar strategies like pay-per-view or pay-per-impression.

The interaction that springs ads is different.

What does this mean in practice? Well, more often than not, you can drive sales and conversions without breaking the bank. Indeed, PPC tends to be a sound marketing investment associated with a high ROI. Official Google statistic claims people make $2 on every dollar invested in Google Ads.

The ROI is proportionate to the amount of effort you put in your campaigns.

So, How Does Pay Per Click Work?

Before you start developing campaigns, you need to know a couple of basic things.

First off, bear in mind you cannot spend more money to elevate your ads above the competition. Ad auction is an automated system, which assesses the relevance and validity of ads in SERP. You bid for specific terms (keywords) you want to use as triggers for ads.

Algorithmic calculations take place after a user submits the query. This complex, yet lightning-fast process determines what ads will show. So, there are no guarantees whether and when your ads will reach customers.

Once a click does occur, you pay the agreed amount from your budget. When the budget runs dry, Google seizes to display your ads.

One key lesson to draw is the importance of bidding for keywords that reflect your offerings.

There are many keyword tools that streamline and inform your selection. Likewise, analytics platforms give you insights into top-performing keywords, conversion stats, ad performance data, etc.

With their aid, you can steer clear of negative keywords and other resource-sapping pitfalls.

Weighing Your Options

Note there is no single PPC avenue to explore.

Choices usually boil down to two options: Google Ads and Social Media Advertising. Google Ads is the undisputed market leader. This comes as a small surprise considering search engine behemoth occupies 98% of the web.

Its reach is unmatched all right, but this doesn’t mean it’s a one-size-fits-all solution. You would be wise to get familiar with other types of advertising. Three staples of PPC are: display advertising, remarketing, and paid search (including local search).

As we indicated, paid search advertising is the most common. It involves ads that pop up in organic results when queries with commercial intent are detected. They usually occupy the top and right section of the listings.

With a subset of local search ads, you follow the same framework. In addition, you are able to capitalize on one prominent trend.

We’re talking about the rising number of internet users looking for local business products and services. Most of them use the Google search engine or Google maps, where geographically-focused ads draw their attention.

This kind of local advertising is a rather precise method of deploying ads.

A Wide Spectrum of Choice

Contrary to that, Google Display Ads float around the vast digital ecosystem.

They exist across 2 million websites and 650,000 apps. The process though is similar to paid search. You have to set a budget, pick a format, and choose a target audience.

The difference is a variety of payment models. Apart from cost-per-click, you can go for cost-per-thousand-impressions and cost-per-acquisition package.

Furthermore, remarketing ads aim at people who already came in content with your digital real estate. In other words, these ads focus on a specific audience, people who expressed internet in your brand.

Hence, a tailored remarketing strategy enables you to reconnect with and steer them toward conversion.

Finally, we have social advertising, another approach based on audience refinement. Here, the key decision is what network to prioritize. You cannot afford to spread yourself too thin.

Facebook still has the most monthly active users and is usually a safe bet. That being said, other networks could make more sense for your specific business case.

For example, if you operate in a B2B industry, LinkedIn is probably your best shot. On the other hand, YouTube is a platform of choice for video ads.

You get the point.

Making the Most of It

With the right knowledge and tools, it’s possible to craft highly specialized and time-sensitive PPC campaigns.

You can break into new markets and outmaneuver your competition. But, profit isn’t just there for the taking.

There’s a real risk of wasting your time and money. Effective PPC advertising always involves a whole lot of management and optimization on your part.

You cannot afford the “set up and forget” mentality.

Instead, do your research and evaluate the level of competition. Work out your buyer personas and set tangible and realistic goals. Establish clear performance indicators for measuring success.

Know what outcome you want ads to lead to. Do you seek to drive more traffic, improve conversion rates, or simply boost visibility? Only after careful deliberation can you initiate the execution stage.

Write compelling ad copy and calls to action. Make sure content on your landing pages matches the ads. Secure keywords your audience searches for.

Finally, remember PPC shows full potential in combination with other marketing strategies. Employ it to complement your SEO, social media, and content marketing.

SEO is particularly important as a digital foundation. Unlike PPC, its results do accumulate and persist over a long haul.

Achieving Success One Click at a Time

Again and again, PPC is proving fruitful for digital marketers.

It’s your opportunity to dominate the booming internet highways. There, you can put visible branded signs and direct traffic before your competition does it.

To make it happen, however, you have a lot of ground to cover. Knowing how does pay per click works is a good starting point.

We would encourage you to embrace a data-driven, target approach and eliminate guesswork from the process. Be realistic about your prospects— confirm you have the bandwidth to manage campaigns.

Instead of going all scattergun, cater to a specific target audience. Optimize your campaigns for maximum conversions and ROI. Play by the rules of internet powers that be.

Avoid using PPC as a sole and isolated tactic. Ensure synergy between your digital marketing mainstays.

You can contact us for more insights. We can help you seize lucrative opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.