What Is Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising refers to media bought on a per-click or CPC basis. If no clicks occur, the advertiser does not pay anything. Such media types are often available on networks, such as the Google Display Network, or walled gardens, such as the major social media.

How PPC Works?

The buying process within each network or walled-garden platform includes only requests native to the platform, in contrast to exchange buying where external buyers compete for inventory. As a result, the network ranks all advertisers trying to buy a spot at any given time, determines which ad to show, and charges the advertiser only when a click occurs.

PPC Formats

Google Ads

Google Ads is the largest advertising network and includes millions of websites for display and video advertising, in addition to Google-owned YouTube and Google’s search engine. Formats within Google Ads, although more restrictive, follow the basic native, static, rich media, and video formats.

Social Media

Social media formats include a variety of native formats discussed in our Native Advertising section. Often, video formats on social are bought on a CPM basis rather than CPC to account for the advertisers’ objectives.

Native Networks

Native networks are examples in which all or most of the buying activity occurs within the interface or APIs of the platform. Formats include the typical examples found in our Native Advertising section.

Smaller Networks

Regional network with limited capabilities for integrations support CPC buying but often lack the scale or tools for any other optimization models. Their formats vary greatly.

Why PPC?

Search Advertising

Search Advertising is CPC based and offers an important channel for advertisers to reach users in search of their products or services.

Social Advertising

Social Advertising offers incredible reach during the time when users are relaxed and interacting with their friends, this leading to meaningful brand interactions.

Smaller Budgets

PPC is often associated with smaller budgets and helps advertisers test ideas and form opinions about how to approach a given market.

Quick Start

PPC is usually quicker to start than exchange buying as smaller networks, buying internal inventory, are faster to approve the necessary creatives and landing pages than DSPs.

First Steps Online

PPC is ideal for advertisers to make their first steps into digital advertisers, without substantial commitments of resources for planning, preparation, and execution of complex strategies.

Complement Other Media

Niche advertisers often require presence in specific media that may not be open to selling their formats on an exchange or could be under exclusivity arrangements with a certain network.