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Intero Digital guest blog: Digital Marketing 101: What is pay per click advertising and how does it help your business?

Three wooden blocks spelling out PPC on a yellow background with a pencil, notepad, and plant surrounding them

Pay per click advertising, commonly abbreviated to PPC, is often mentioned alongside a slew of other terms like SEM, paid traffic, and Google Ads. Here, we’ll be answering some of the most common questions related to this digital marketing channel like, “What is PPC?”, “What does PPC stand for?”, “What is SEM?”, “What does SEM stand for?” and many more.

In a previous blog, which was the first in a series of Digital Marketing 101 blogs aimed at helping tech businesses better understand the wide world of digital marketing, we discussed Search Engine Marketing, or SEO. SEO is one very important digital marketing channel to understand, and today we’ll be looking at another highly beneficial avenue of digital marketing.

What is PPC?

While the term “pay per click advertising” might sound self-explanatory to some, you still might be wondering, “what is PPC?” Here’s what you should know: PPC is an online advertising method where an advertiser runs ads on a platform like Google. As the world’s most popular search engine, Google is where most advertisers run the majority of their PPC advertising campaigns, and it’s what we’ll primarily be focusing on below.

PPC ads show the advertiser’s website at the top of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for relevant queries, putting them directly in front of users. Advertisers pay a fee every time one of their links is clicked, hence the term “pay per click.” The term “cost per click,” which is commonly abbreviated to CPC, refers to how much an advertiser paid for a user to click on their link and overall ad spend. With PPC, advertisers are in full control of when and where their ads run and how much they pay.

Advertisers compete against others to bid on certain keywords, and a higher bid will mean better ad placement. While advertisers can bid on any keywords, they should only bid on those that are relevant to their products and services.

There are several types of PPC ads, including search ads, display ads, shopping ads, video ads, and map ads. To differentiate them from organic search results, they feature bolded text that reads “Ad” or “Sponsored” on Google.

While search engines like Google are the primary platform that advertisers run PPC ads on, they can also be run on various social media platforms, media networks, and other websites.

Assuming an advertiser knows the search habits of their customers, PPC can be very beneficial. It is a very quick way to increase traffic to a website – in some cases, results can be seen mere hours after campaigns have been launched. Additionally, PPC enables advertisers to precisely target a specific audience much better than traditional forms of advertising, which reduces wasted ad spend.

What is SEM?

So, what is SEM? And what does SEM stand for? SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, which is an umbrella term that describes a variety of digital marketing strategies, techniques, and methods, including SEO and PPC. Both SEO and PPC aim to increase a website’s visibility on search engines like Google and rank highly for certain queries and keywords but in different ways.

However, SEM can often be used synonymously with PPC, which can make differentiating between the two terms confusing.

What is Paid Traffic?

As you may have already guessed, paid traffic refers to the traffic a website receives from paid advertisements.

What is Google Ads?

Google is the most popular search engine, and Google Ads is the world’s most popular PPC advertising system. Google Ads is where advertisers create the ads that will ultimately appear on Google’s SERPs and other properties, like YouTube.

Digital Marketing is the future, so you don’t want to get left behind! Check back for more Digital Marketing 101 blogs every month, and contact Intero Digital for the services you need to start maximizing the opportunities PPC advertising offers!

About Intero Digital

Intero Digital is a full-service digital marketing company that has been testing, building, evolving, and creating next-level digital marketing solutions for over 20 years. They can provide all of the digital marketing services your business needs to grow, and will support your whole sales funnel. Contact Intero Digital for a free quote today or speak with a consultant to determine your needs today.


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