How Does PPC Advertising Work?

Businesses need to ensure their site is ranking high in the Google organic results. However, doing so is a process that takes time. Fortunately, there is a method that can be used to generate traffic and bring in new leads. This technique is known as pay-per-click advertising.

What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising? 

Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is a marketing technique where a business pays for ads on a given platform. However, unlike traditional advertising, the business only pays when a visitor actually clicks on the ad and arrives on the site. If no interaction occurs, the company does not pay for the advertising. 

This technique is of great help to businesses first starting out, but it can be of aid in a variety of other situations as well. For example, when a campaign is time-sensitive, the pay-per-click ad gets the word out quickly. Furthermore, when a company is trying to break into a new geographical market, pay-per-click advertising can help with brand awareness. 

However, there are drawbacks to using this marketing technique. Depending on the keyword selected, the campaign can be costly. Furthermore, the results are often temporary, thus this should not be the only advertising method employed.

How Does It Work?

Business owners often ask how this kind of advertising works. There is no one answer to this question, as it depends on the platform used. Two major platforms that may be utilized are Google Ads and social media advertising. 

Google Ads

When a company wants to advertise on Google, it sets up a Google Ads campaign. Doing so places the selected ad at the top of the search engines result page and on the right-hand side of the organic results. This ensures the ad is seen but the company only pays if a visitor clicks on it. 

The cost of doing so is established by the Cost Per Click (CPC) that was agreed upon before the campaign launched. Depending on the CPC, the budget may last for an extended period of time or it might be depleted quickly. When the funds are gone, the business may pay again or the ad will no longer be displayed. 

Users find they have a variety of ad types to select from. This includes Local Search Ads, Search Ads, Display Ads, and Remarketing. Each has its own function in a marketing campaign. 

Search Ads

Search ads are among the most recognizable of the PPC ads. These appear on the Google search engine results page and the ad displayed is based on the user’s search query. The benefit of this is the viewer is already looking for the product or service being advertised and is more likely to click on the ad when it appears. 

Local Search Ads

Local search ads function just like other search ads. The main difference is the local ads are targeting users searching for a product or service in a specific geographical area. While the default setting is nationwide, the business has the option of narrowing the geographical area when setting up the campaign.

Display Ads

Display ads differ slightly from other pay-per-click models but are still an effective way to advertise a business. Businesses find setting up an ad of this type is streamlined and different payment options can be selected. However, the ad must then go through an auction process and the highest bidder gets to have their ad displayed first. 

Pre-Roll Ads 

Pre-roll ads are video advertisements that are seen before the desired video is played. This is only one option, as a company may choose to have their ad displayed mid-roll or post-roll. It’s all a matter of when the company feels the message will be best received by the viewer. PPC advertising companies can be of great help in determining the correct placement for a given ad if this is something the business is struggling with. 


When a consumer visits a company’s website, the internet takes notice. Remarketing ads target these people by allowing the business to reconnect with them again. This can be a great way to increase the click-through and conversion rates as the consumer is already familiar with the business and its offerings. 

Social Ads

Paid social ads help to refine the audience seeing the ad. Facebook remains the preferred platform when using this type of advertising thanks to its extensive reach. However, other social networks may be of benefit depending on the ad being displayed and the target audience. 

Facebook Ads

Companies advertising on Facebook find they can select from numerous types of ads, formats, and destinations. Furthermore, ads may also be customized based on the desired audience. 

Facebook Pixel is needed to obtain the most benefit from these ads. This tool is used by the platform to obtain data about site visitors. 

If help is needed to define the target audience, turn to the Lookalike Audience feature. With this tool, businesses find they can determine the commonalities of their existing audience to target similar users with the PPC ads.

Retargeting ads can also be created with the help of Pixel and posts can be boosted with nothing more than the click of a button. When the button is used, a post from the current Facebook page of the business is turned into an ad for viewing by the target audience. Again, the placement, timeline, and budget are determined by the business. 


For those in the B2B industry, Facebook might not be the best option. LinkedIn advertising tends to be more beneficial for this crowd. While text-only ads are offered, it’s best to choose those with images because they lead to more clicks.  

Select the audience, job title, demographics, skills or another element to target and determine if they should be placed on the bottom or side of the user’s LinkedIn homepage or sent directly to their inbox. 

Sponsored content is another option for advertising on LinkedIn and increases engagement. Simply choose this option and the content appears in the middle of the user’s news feed. Again, the target audience is determined by the company responsible for the ad and it also controls the bid and whether it is a cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions campaign. 

Now that you have an understanding of how pay-per-click advertising works based on the type selected, it’s time to choose which methods are best for your organization. A PPC advertising firm can be of assistance in determining this. 

Don’t hesitate to request help when setting up a campaign of this type. Those who do so find they benefit from investing the funds in pay-per-click advertising. It is an effective method when used properly in the right locations.

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