by Kelley Kilanski
In simple terms, PPC advertising is Pay-Per-Click advertising used widely on the web in order to get customers to purchase products. Most notably PPC advertising is the model used for search engine advertising.
With regards to search engines, the PPC model offers advertisers the opportunity to bid on keywords they believe will target those interested in their product. For example, if an advertiser is trying to sell car parts, the advertiser could bid on the keyword "car parts" or the specific car part or be even more specific and bid on a more precise keyword. When a user types in the keyword the advertiser bid on, the product ad shows up in the "sponsored links" or "sponsored ad" section of the search results.
PPC advertising can be expensive if not done correctly. When an advertiser uses PPC advertising, they are competing with other advertisers for a top spot in the sponsored ad results. The goal is to keep the cost per click low while achieving a high ranking. For many search engines, your ranking is based on a quality score, which is based on several factors: keyword relevance, ad copy, landing page quality and bid amount. While the exact algorithm used in the quality score is not generally known, if any of these factors are not considered, you could end up paying a lot of money per click and have your marketing expense increase dramatically or worse, your ad not shown at all.
When you use PPC advertising, you want to start out cautiously and be smart about it. Read the guidelines that the search engines offer for webmasters and for advertisers. The guidelines are the best starting point but overlooked by many advertisers. Indeed, last July when adwords started considering landing pages in the quality score, many advertisers had their cost per click minimum increase dramatically shutting down a lot of campaigns. However, if they had read the guidelines, they would have been better prepared.
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