What is Pay Per Click?

When you search on Google or Bing for any given search term, little text ads, or ‘Sponsored Links’, appear at the top and the bottom of each search results page. These can be recognised by the little green ‘AD’ icon that appears to the left of the listings in Google.

This is “Pay Per Click” or PPC advertising – so called because the advertiser PAYS Google when the visitor CLICKS on their ad, taking the visitor to the advertiser’s website.
This is distinct from the ‘natural’ or ‘organic listings’ which appear as the main body of the results page on the left hand side – these listings cannot be bought and are determined by the search engine’s ranking algorithm. The techniques used to gain positions in the natural listings are known as Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) and are entirely separate from Pay Per Click.

How PPC works

Broadly speaking, with PPC the advertiser bids for position – the more you are prepared to pay for the visitor’s click, the higher up the page your ad appears. In reality it is more complex than that because Google factors in the relevancy of your ads and your website into something called Quality Score which it uses to help rank your ads, but the principle still stands.

It is generally believed that the top three positions for any given search attract about 75% of the clicks, so it’s not difficult to see why there is often fierce competition for those top positions and these clicks are often considerably more expensive. However it’s not always necessary to appear at the top of the listings to get good levels of clicks and conversion – there is normally an optimal position and you have to weigh cost against the return you make.

As a business, why should you test PPC advertising?

  1. The primary benefit is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You know they are interested in what you have to offer because they have searched for a search term you are bidding on, so when they click on your ad it demonstrates they have a specific interest in your product or service. This is ‘qualified traffic’. Compare this to a press ad for example, where you pay whether someone reads or responds to your ad or not.
  2. It is measurable, so you know whether it’s working. Response and conversion are instantly measurable down to the search term level so you can tell which elements of your campaign are most profitable.
  3. It is instant– it is quick to setup and it can be turned on and off like a tap.
  4. It is responsive – it begins to produce results within minutes.
  5. It is generally cheap to test – from around £100.
  6. It can be HIGHLY profitable.


To get the best out of your AdWords you need to optimise your campaign. There are many techniques which have been proven to enhance performance and this is where a good PPC consultant will really add value.

As with all direct response advertising, the approach is to monitor regularly and consistently prune out the less effective elements; refinine and reinvest in the winners; and test new things to try to improve Return On Investment.

How well does your website convert?

Of course it’s no good sending qualified visitors to your website if it does not convert them into leads or sales. PPC campaign performance can often be significantly improved by developing dedicated landing pages which are specifically designed to get the visitor to make contact. Once the visitor’s contact details are known, they can be re-marketed with further information or special offers to move them closer to a sale.

What can we do for you?

To discuss your Pay Per Click Advertising requirements, call me on 01732 460052 or complete the Enquiry Form here.

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