Pay per click (PPC) is a form of online marketing wherein advertisers pay their chosen advertisement platform host every time someone clicks on one of their advertisements. PPC essentially provides advertisers with a way to buy online traffic as opposed to earning traffic via organic search. PPC ads can appear in search engine results pages but also on social media platforms. 

PPC advertisements are designed to lead a user to the webpage where they can complete a specific action, such as signing up to a mailing list, downloading a guide or e-book, or purchasing a product or service. Search engines are popular advertising platforms because they provide advertisers with the opportunity to connect with their audience at precisely the right time. Google Ads is one of the most popular platforms because it sells advertising space in automated auctions using real-time bidding (RTB) and data.

As a result, search engine marketing is one of the most effective forms of PPC. 

How does Paid Search Work?

Whenever a SERP advertising spot becomes available, a real-time auction will immediately take place for that particular keyword. A variety of factors, such as ad quality and bid amount will be used to determine which advertiser will successfully secure the position. In order to take part in these real-time auctions, advertisers must use their accounts on ad platforms to decide when and where they would like their adverts to appear.

Additionally, advertisers are also required to prepare their advertising campaigns. Campaigns that have shared target keywords and common themes should be organised into ad groups.

PPC ads can be displayed at the top or the bottom of a SERP and as such, generally include a headline and a description alongside a URL.