PPC, or pay-per-click, is advertising. Search engines allow you to create ads (both text or banner) that appear in search engine result pages and other partnering properties. They are highly effective for commercial and retail goals, and work incredibly well with natural (SEO) results in improving branding, mindshare, and reputation management. Studies show that when you own both natural and paid real estate, each listing is more effective.
PPC is an auction where you bid on keywords. Keyword pricing is based on several algorithmic factors, but can be optimized to lessen the cost. The better your ad and landing page, the cheaper your click cost. These are the benefits to PPC through search engines:
- Pay only when clicked.
- Track leads/sales back to specific keywords and ads for better management of time and money.
- Geo-targeting – target by city, state or country.
While paid search and natural search are very separate models, there is some overlap.
- PPC provides keyword data that you don’t get with natural search. However, this data can be used to improve SEO campaigns.
- Ad testing can be a barometer for content ideas.
- Test potential organic keywords to see if they’re worth going after.