Product management glosary

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Product Management Glossary: Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising

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

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a digital marketing strategy where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked by a user. This model allows businesses to essentially buy visits to their website, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically through search engine optimization (SEO) or other marketing efforts. PPC advertising is commonly associated with search engine advertising, such as Google Ads, but it can also be found on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

How Does PPC Advertising Work?

PPC advertising operates on an auction-based system. Advertisers select keywords relevant to their target audience and create ads that will appear when users search for those keywords. Each time a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser is charged a fee, which is determined by the maximum bid they are willing to pay for a click and the quality score of their ad.

The quality score is a metric used by search engines and advertising platforms to determine the relevance and usefulness of an ad to users. It is based on factors such as click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. A higher quality score can result in lower costs per click and better ad placement.

Benefits of PPC Advertising

  • Immediate results: Unlike SEO, which can take months to see results, PPC advertising can generate traffic to your website almost instantly.
  • Targeted audience: PPC allows advertisers to target specific demographics, locations, and interests, ensuring that their ads are seen by the most relevant users.
  • Measurable and trackable: PPC campaigns provide detailed analytics, allowing advertisers to track the success of their ads and make data-driven decisions to optimize their campaigns.
  • Flexible budget: Advertisers can set a daily budget for their PPC campaigns and adjust it at any time, giving them control over their advertising spend.
  • Improved brand exposure: PPC ads can increase brand awareness by appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and on popular social media platforms.

Challenges of PPC Advertising

  • Cost: Depending on the competitiveness of the keywords, PPC advertising can become expensive, especially for small businesses with limited budgets.
  • Complexity: Managing a successful PPC campaign requires a deep understanding of the advertising platform, keyword research, and ad creation. This can be overwhelming for beginners.
  • Competition: With many businesses competing for the same keywords, it can be challenging to achieve a high ad rank and maintain a low cost per click.


Pay-per-click advertising can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to drive targeted traffic to their website and increase conversions. However, it requires careful planning, ongoing optimization, and a thorough understanding of the advertising platform to be successful. By focusing on creating high-quality ads and targeting the right audience, businesses can maximize the return on their PPC investment.