There’s one clever way most big advertisers are making money online these days and it’s called Pay Per Click (or PPC, as it sometimes known by).

An example of a Pay Per Click advert

For most of the time pay per click is a small advert of text and (or image) that displays on the edge of a website, or in your social media feed. Every time you click one of these ads, the advertiser is charged a small fee for the success of their advert.

The purpose of the advert is simply to direct the user’s attention away from the website they’re currently looking at and focus on a new subject that could be of interest to them, which is usually something they’d like to buy, or try.

It’s a very interesting sales tool and the smartest marketers will be sure to place these ads on relevant sites, or for relevant search results, meaning that the person viewing them is already interested in what’s being advertised.

Google’s Different Search Results (and how they make money)

Google are, of course, one of the most profitable companies in the world and pay per click is how they make most of their money.

Google Search Results featuring AdWords

Every time you search for a given subject on Google you’ll see two types of search results. The first two or three results are usually an advert, which means that someone has paid for that result to be shown and when you click, they’ll be charged.

On a desktop computer you’ll also see some adverts down the side. The advertisers are normally charged less if you click on these, as they’re not as prominent. Take a look at the screenshot to the right, the adverts are the areas I’ve highlighted in red.

All other results are shown naturally, based on Google’s really clever search algorithm. But that’s a story for another time!

What Can Google AdWords Do For You?

If you’re a business, or a brand, Google AdWords is a quick and easy way to get your customer’s attention. Here are a few benefits:

  • It’s advertising for a very specific audience, because you get to choose who sees your ad.
  • You get to set your own advertising budget.
  • You can even determine how much you’re willing to pay for every click.
  • It’s the kind of advertising you can switch on or off, depending on when you need it.
  • Using tools like Google Analytics you can track the results.
  • Possibly best of all… it pretty much guarantees instant traffic.

It’s likely that the majority of your customers are searching Google every day to find people who do what you do. Being at the top of Google’s results means they’re more likely to choose you. Google AdWords is the paid way to make this happen fast.

Usually more views equals more clicks. More clicks equal more views to your website. And if your web design is up to scratch then more views means more customers!

How Is It Different to Search Engine Optimisation/ SEO?

If you spend any time around people who work on the internet, you’ll probably hear the term SEO used a lot, or Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a way to ‘naturally’ raise your profile with Google to appear further up the search results without having to pay for each click.

The main difference between PPC and SEO comes in their ‘stickiness’. If you switch off your advertising with Google AdWords you’ll immediately disappear from the search results. The good thing is you can switch this back on at any time; meaning if you need a sales boost then switch it on, if you don’t then just switch it off.

If you stop your SEO activities, however, you’ll likely stick around at the top for a little while longer. In terms of cost they’re usually about the same. Note however that with AdWords (being advertising) you determine the budget whereas, in comparison, your marketing company will usually set the price for SEO; if you don’t pay your results will slowly start to fade.

Are you eager to get set up? You can open your own account with Google Adwords here.

A word to the wise though; if you know what you’re doing then PPC is potentially very profitable. If you don’t know what you’re doing it can eat all of your money and deliver very little in return.


I’m a relationship-driven Web Design Specialist with over 6 years of experience in helping small and medium businesses to see success and results from digital marketing.

Our work at Illustrate centres around your return on investment – working closely between our Cardiff web design and development team to help bring more views, clicks and sales to the websites we design and build.

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