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What is PPC and how does paid media work?

We’re taking it back to basics today to explain exactly what PPC is and how it works.

If you’re new to digital marketing, you may find the various acronyms a little confusing. PPC is one such culprit. Fear not, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.


What does PPC stand for?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. PPC is a form of internet marketing whereby advertisers pay a fee every time one of their ads is clicked on.

It can easily be thought of as a way of paying to get people to visit your website. Another way of doing this is through SEO (search engine optimisation). However, SEO gets visitors to your site organically rather than paying for the same traffic.


Why use PPC when SEO is free?

Any successful digital marketing campaign will use a mix of both PPC and SEO to drive results.

Sure, SEO marketing might seem like a better option on paper. After all, it doesn’t cost you anything. However, SEO takes a long time and it may be many months before you start to see the benefits.

The price you pay for PPC is minimal and is oftentimes irrelevant when you put it next to conversion rates. Users clicking on your PPC ad are likely to already be in the consideration and intent stage of their buying journey. Therefore, they are more likely to make a purchase from you when compared to SEO traffic. So, you’re essentially getting more money out of the ad than you’re putting in.


How does paid media work?

Every time an ad spot becomes available on a search engine results page (SERP) an auction immediately takes place based for the keyword.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to sit at a computer and check these auctions every second of the day. Auctions are automated through platforms such as Google Ads. You set your budget and keywords and the rest is all done for you.

These auctions are triggered whenever a user searches for something on a search engine. If that search term matches what advertisers are wanting to show ads for, the auction begins. The auction is based on keywords that advertisers bid on. Ads that win the auction will then be displayed on the search engine results page.

Whether or not you win the auction depends on a few factors such as your budget and the quality of your ad.


How to get started with PPC

If you’ve never used PPC marketing before, its best to consult with specialists first. You will need to have a bidding budget in mind as well as capacity to create the various types of display ads – once you’ve determined which are right for your business.

Ultimately, there is quite a lot of technical knowledge required to maintain profitable PPC campaigns. While it might seem confusing at first, it will all start to make sense once you start to see the results.

If you’d like to start using PPC as part of your marketing strategy, get in touch with us today for an informal chat about getting started. Drop us an email on

Morgan Mitchell - Modo25
Morgan Mitchell
Morgan Mitchell - Modo25
Morgan Mitchell

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