AdWords overview by Matt Ottewill (March 2014)

This article is currently in production - check back later

PPC (pay per click) is potentially the most useful and successful form of advertising for businesses, especially SME's (small and meidum sized businesses. The market leader is Google's AdWord and ad-server network PPC system, and as this system currently accounts for the vast majority of traffic, this article focuses on it.

What is PPC?

Pay Per Click follows a simple display advertising model whereby a business's ads (text links, banners etc) appear on a search engine search results page (such as Google's where they appear above and to the right of organic search results) and other partner websites (which have chosen to host ads). Everytime an ad is clicked on, the business pays the ad-server (eg Google) a fixed amount (eg 15 cents).

A business seeking to place ads, opens a Google AdWord account, and uses the web based dashboard interface to create an ad campaign

Search result page ads

The amount that is paid, and the exact position of the ad in the rankings, depends on a number of factors including ..

  • the keywords and keyword phrases(search terms) the business has chosen to trigger the ads
  • how much they business has bid (competitors may be using the same keywords)
  • the budget the business has set

Third party (partner) website ads