What Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and Why Should You Use It?

So, what is pay-per-click advertising? PPC advertisements, also known as cost-per-click advertisements, are a quick route for driving traffic to your site. As a business owner, you can create ads around specific keywords and bid to have them displayed to users searching for those terms. The ad network, search engine, or website publisher then charges a fee when a user clicks on an ad that leads to your site.

Organic traffic — the holy grail of search engine optimization — becomes ever more elusive with every Google algorithm update. First-page ranking for your keywords takes time and involves 200 variables: number of backlinks, domain authority, content quality, etc. Even if you make it to the promised land, a competitor could steal your spot. So, you best include PPC advertising in a piece of your online marketing strategy. If you’re a WordPress.com Premium and Business member, you get $100 in Google Ads credits to start promoting your site.

Pay-per-click results and SEO results in a Google search for the keyword: pay-per-click

What is pay-per-click going to do for you versus SEO?

1. Provides immediate results

Depending on your ad budget and the level of competition for the keywords you’re targeting, your ads could appear at the top of the first page of Google search results, sending traffic to your site pronto.

2. Targets ideal shoppers effectively

Facebook ads, for example, appear only to people who live in a given area and apply numerous other demographic criteria to help target the ideal user.

3. Measurable key performance indicators

You will know right away whether your ads are winners or sinners from the ratio of click-throughs and sales they generate. The average click-through rate for Google Ads is about 2 percent in the search network and 0.35 percent on the display network, according to WordStream. Sponsored ads account for two-thirds of clicks on keywords by visitors with high intent to buy, notes WordLead. And according to PPC Resellers, the three listings at the top of the page for a given keyword — usually ads — take two-fifths of the clicks.

4. It’s cost-effective

You only have to pay when somebody engages with your ad by clicking on it to learn more. A Varn study found that half of people could not tell the difference between an organic result and a paid ad. And perhaps they don’t care as long as the page they land on has what they’re looking for.

5. Allows you full control

You decide where your ads appear, who sees them, how much you want to spend, and how long they run.

“PPC works amazingly well with product launches, squeeze pages, CPA marketing, and affiliate marketing involving high converting offers, joint venture (JV) projects, seasonal promotions, event-focused marketing, and analogous online business campaigns,” notes WordStream founder Larry Kim. His site also offers a free ad performance grader that reveals whether your ad dollars are being spent wisely.

So, what is pay-per-click advertising besides an efficient means of attracting visitors? It’s also a way to make money with your website by displaying ads. As with all things these days, there’s an app for that. There’s no need to hire a team of John H. Patterson disciples to sell ad space on your behalf when you join the WordAds program. WordAds displays ads on your site from more than 50 advertising networks — such as Google AdSense, Yahoo, and Amazon A9 — that competitively bid to appear on your site. The program also automatically accepts WordPress.com Premium and Business users.

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