PPC differs from SEO “Search Engine Optimisation” traffic in that ads are displayed on the right hand side and top of the search engine results as opposed to the left side which is reserved for “Organic” results.
Another difference is that SEO often takes months to achieve relevance for the selected keywords whereas Pay per click campaigns can provide a near instantaneous influx of targeted traffic to a website for a broad range of key phrases.
PPC ads can also include many interactive elements, such as review integration and site links which allow faster navigation to specific categories.
The positioning of a PPC campaigns ads (Ad Rank) in regards to specific keywords is decided using a complex algorithm based on budget and quality score, in the majority of cases the higher the budget the greater the Ad Rank.
So, what stops larger companies with increased budget from dominating the listings?...well Google thought about this and created the quality score metric, quality score is a measure of a websites relevance to the keywords being used in the campaign and vice versa.
Quality score ultimately dictates both Ad Position and Cost per click so the more relevant you are, the cheaper the campaign will be and the more traffic you will receive.
Other common metrics when talking about PPC are “CPC” or Cost Per Click, this relates to the individual cost that is incurred when a user clicks through on an ad to your website, different keywords can have different CPC’s attributed to them depending on their search volume.
Another is Impressions; these are appearances of your ad in the search engine results triggered by entry of an active keyword.
Finally, there is CTR…this metric is based on Clicks/Impressions, a single click on a single impression would equate to a CTR of 100% this is often a measure of how relevant an ad is to the search query.
There are also different match types for keywords, designed to increase or restrict a keywords visibility, these are broad/phrase/exact and broad match modified match types, as part of our own PPC campaigns BT Search Marketing use all 4 match types to provide the maximum campaign coverage.
The first of these “broad match” will pull in all searches, including all variations for a particular keyword regardless of position, having the keyword “shoes” on this match type will cause your ad to show for “cheap basketball shoes” and “red shoes” respectively.
“Phrase Match” is a bit different in that your ad will only appear for the keyword as it is written; however, searches using the keyword within a longer key phrase will also trigger your ad to appear, i.e. if “red dress” was an active keyword your ads would also show for “womens red dress” or “evening red dress”
The 3rd match type is “Exact Match” and is the most restrictive …your ads will only appear for searches using the exact keyword being used in the campaign with no other key phrases or variations permitted.
The last match type is “Broad Match Modified” and is often represented using the + symbol, this match type allows for greater control over broad match keywords by including specific variations that you would like to appear for i.e. “Formal shoes” would also match “frmal shoes” and “formal evening shoes” this enables us to tailor our broad match keywords specifically to our customer’s products and services whilst retaining a degree of control to reduce irrelevant impressions.