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Demystifying Pay-Per-Click Ads
Home Business Ecommerce
By: Lindsay Heidbrink Email Article
Word Count: 534 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


Pay-Per-Click ads can be a great marketing tool, there’s little doubt about that. However, this form of advertising is not for everyone and is more difficult than it looks. Sure, anyone can come up with a slogan, title or headline that they think properly describes their product or service. But is that really a good and effective ad? In this post, we review three major reasons why people click on ads and how you can apply this to your own online marketing strategy.

Let’s start out with a small introduction:

What is a Pay-Per-Click ad, really?

PPCs are ads sponsored by an independent person, such as yourself, that appears on the sidebar or at the top of the results page within relevant search engine results. The ad will appear when keywords or phrases, that you’ve previously specified, are searched for. This is a very keyword-targeted form of marketing and is much more aggressive that classic SEO practices.

What are the immediate benefits of a Pay-Per-Click ad?

A PPC ad is your chance to catch targeted visitors based on the content you choose to publish. Unlike SEO, which automatically pulls up relevant links and content according to the search engine "crawlers", a PPC ad is written and planned by you alone. This means that the content and keywords chosen for a PPC ad will be the lifeblood of your traffic.

What motivates people to click on an ad?

If you want to create a successful PPC ad, it is important to understand why people click on them! This will help you get in the correct mindset for writing a great ad that will matter to people. Three major motivations for clicking include:

1. Benefits: people browsing the internet are in it for themselves—show them an immediate benefit, such as access to important information, a special sale, a coupon or discount for clicking, or satisfaction to their curiosity. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes: what do you want to see in an ad?

2. Differentiation: make your ad look different than the others around it. For example, if someone searches for "car dealerships," does your ad make the same claims that everyone else does? Or are you offering something different, and better?

3. Call to Action: readers are more inclined to click on an ad when there is a clear call to action. People don’t want to guess what they’re supposed to do—let them know what to do once they click on your ad. Should they check out the sales? Visit the "new items" page? Or sign up for your newsletter?

Now that you understand the basic motivations behind the clicks you’re paying for, you can begin to discover which motives above would work the best for your ads. For example, would your particular marketing need benefit from an ad that focuses on differentiation or benefits? Playing around with these different concepts can not only increase the traffic generated from your PPC ads, but help align your advertising with your brand messaging. Send a clear message to consumers and you’ll reap the benefits.

Lindsay Heidbrink is attending Brigham Young University and will receive a BA in Communications: Public Relations in April 2012. She currently works for Marketecture,a company that provides website construction/hosting. Visit for more information.

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