What is PPC?

PPC is short for Pay Per Click

It is Google’s advertising model for Google Adwords.

Basically it describes how advertising on Google Adwords is paid for – every time an ad is clicked, the advertiser pays Google a fee.

PPC works like this:

  1. The advertiser/website owner sets up an AdWords account with Google. No money is involved at this stage.
  2. The Advertiser then creates a number of ads and decides how much he wants to spend each day on those ads  (this is called the Budget).
  3. Before the ads can go live (i.e. be shown on Google’s Search Engine Results pages aka SERPS) the advertiser has to add his billing details to his account and tell Google what the maximum daily budget is.
  4. Once that is in place the ads start to run. When the ads appear on the SERPS these are called “impressions”.
  5. Impressions are free, but every time someone does a search and then clicks on the ad then the advertiser is charged a fee.
  6. Once the daily budget has been reached, the ads will no longer show until the following day when the process starts again.

So let’s assume you want to start an ad campaign. You decide on £5 a day as your maximum budget. Your ads are shown 50 times and you get 8 clicks from those 50 impressions which each cost you 56p. That comes to £4.48. You don’t have enough in your budget to pay for another click so after click no. 8 your ads won’t show again for the rest of that day.

But if you only receive 5 clicks in a 24 hour period you will only be charged £2.80 for that day. The balance is not carried forward. So the most you will pay Google for one week of running your ads at a £5 a day limit is £35.

And that, in its simplest form, is how PPC works. You can change or pause your ads at any time, and you can increase and decrease your budget.

There are many other aspects to PPC which can affect the success of your advertising, and as these can take a long time to learn its best to leave that to the experts, but for a beginner it’s worth giving PPC a try!