Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) are the two most popular approaches used in internet marketing to boost website traffic. However, there’s a major difference between the generated traffic from both channels. 


SEO traffic is free, PPC traffic is not.


And while they are not mutually exclusive, why do you think some companies still pay for clicks when there’s already a free option?


Perhaps, we should explore a little bit more.


What is PPC and how does it work?

PPC is an advertising model where you pay a platform, such as Google or Facebook, every time someone clicks on your ad. It runs on an auction system, which means by bidding on keywords or actions, you get to secure a placement for your ad. Basically, the more you are willing to pay, the better exposure you get. 


And just to give you a better idea of how it works, here’s an example of a Google Ads process.


Let’s say, you own a restaurant in London. One of your keywords can be “best restaurant in London”. This will get a corresponding bid. So, whenever someone types a query in the search engine containing that keyword, you will go through an auction with other advertisers targeting the same phrase. The bids will determine the order of the ads at the SERPs (search engine results page) and the cost of the ad if it gets clicked.


What are the pros and cons?

PPC is known for delivering immediate results. It’s also a very flexible channel since it allows advertisers to specifically target audiences based on their age, location, interests, etc. Or even better, if you have a plan that contains a ‘campaign ready’ data, you can just upload that and create an entire audience based on it.


But as always, there’s the other side of the coin. The disappointing part about it is that it’s temporary. As soon as you stop paying, there will be no more traffic. It also involves a little risk since you would have to experiment to be able to come up with the right strategy. And if you’re not willing to do that, you might not be able to get the results that you want.


Is it worth it?

While PPC might guarantee visibility, knowing if it’s a worthwhile investment is the tricky part. Usually, calculating your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) can give you a better understanding of how much you should be spending on your PPC campaigns or if you should be using the channel at all.


Just like any other investment, for it to be worthwhile it has to provide an opportunity for you to grow your customer base and scale-up. It can be a gold mine if you’re the right fit for it, and if done right.

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