Even if you don’t pay attention to those ads, most people usually find what they’re looking as soon as they click one of them. This is because of a little magical process called search engine optimization (SEO). We’ll discuss SEO later, but it’s important to know that these web ads work thanks to pay-per-click advertising.
Pay-per-click advertising is basically a form of advertising in which marketers pay every time one of their search result ads are clicked. If your ad is at the top of the search results and it’s clicked by 500 users, you’ll pay for 500 clicks – nothing more, nothing less.
An effective ad retrieved using the proper search terms can guarantee clicks, but how does your ad get there in the first place? It’s done through a process called auctioning. Basically, a web service provider like Google auctions ad slots for certain search terms. Marketers bid to pay the highest price for each ad click for that search term. The brand that bids the highest for a click will see their ad show up first in the search results. The second and third highest bidders will see their ads second and third, respectively, and so on. Below these pay-per-click ad slots are the organic search results that show up based purely on relevance.
All things considered, pay-per-click advertising is a great way to generate initial traffic on your website and gain traction in the initial stages of advertising your brand. Many systems, such as Google Adwords, can generate traffic within moments of bidding on a search term.
Pay-per-click advertising is also very responsive. You can change your ads to adapt to your brand’s preferences, ensuring that your ad campaign maintains fresh and updated. Print ads and even organic web ads can take significant time to adjust which can waste valuable time that could otherwise be used to generate more traffic.
Because of the nimble nature of pay-per-click advertising, it can be used for short-term ad campaigns and is especially useful for product listings. Pay-per-click advertising is a scratch on the surface of SEO, but if used correctly, can launch your brand quickly into the public eye and generate much needed traffic in the early stages of brand advertising.