Does Pay Per Click Advertising Work? 

 Last Updated May 14, 2023

By Zaid Ammari

As a business owner, you’ve surely done plenty of research on how to successfully market your business on the internet. During this research, you might have heard of PPC, or pay per click, advertising. 

PPC advertising has become an extremely popular model of online marketing in recent years due to its cost-effectiveness and having the potential to generate a significant return on investment. However, if you’re unfamiliar with PPC advertising, you might be hesitant to dedicate a significant portion of your marketing budget to a pay per click marketing campaign. So if you are considering using a PPC advertising service, here’s how it works, and how it can be an extremely effective marketing tactic.

What Is PPC Advertising?

In the simplest terms possible, Pay per click advertising allows businesses to advertise online while only having to pay when a user clicks on one of their advertisements. Rather than paying and hoping to get results, you only have to pay when you final a potential customer.

Pay per click services like Google AdWords and Facebooks Ads allow advertisers to bid on keywords that they want to target in their ad campaigns. The businesses that place the highest bids receive the highest priority for those keywords.

For example, if you run a fishing bait store, you might bid on the keyword “fishing supplies.” If you bid more than other businesses targeting that keyword, your ad will appear in the top spot when users plug “fishing supplies” into a search engine.

Once your ad is published, you only have to pay when users click on it. Ideally, the only people who click on it are people who are serious about buying fishing supplies. Thus, if you create effective ads and target the right audience, you can generate an incredible return on investment. That’s why PPC advertising has become such a popular online marketing strategy – businesses no longer have to pay for ineffective ads.

Does PPC Advertising Work?

To put it simply, yes. PPC Advertising is effective. Not only is it effective at generating revenue, it’s also a very cost-effective form of advertising.

Of course, the efficiency of your PPC advertising campaign depends on a few factors. Primarily, the quality of your business and the quality of your ads themselves.

Business Quality

If your business doesn’t offer high-quality products or services, it doesn’t matter how good the quality of your ads or how well you plan your marketing strategy. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your product or service is reliable, useful, and reasonably priced. Advertisements only serve to get the customer to your website. Once there, your products or services funnel needs to be able to generate conversions on its own.

If you find that your PPC advertising campaign is leading to a lot of traffic for your website but not nearly as many conversions, consider examining your business model before giving up on PPC marketing. 

Creating Effective Ads

If you’re confident in your product or service, then the efficiency of your PPC campaign comes down to creating high-quality ads and targeting the right audience.

Some advertisers make the mistake of marketing to as wide of an audience as possible; however, this can be counterproductive when using a PPC service. When you appeal to a wider audience, you likely will get more views and clicks. However, the majority of these clicks won’t lead to conversions, meaning that you’ll be paying for clicks without generating any revenue. Poor targeting practices and poor ad quality are two of the most common reasons for subpar results.

Why You Should Consider PPC Advertising

There are several reasons why you might decide to make PPC advertising a part of your business’ online marketing strategy. Here are a few of the primary benefits offered by pay per click marketing:

Huge Audience

First and foremost, advertising networks like AdWords and Facebook Ads give you access to a practically endless audience. Combined, these two networks give you access to over a billion unique users. While you likely won’t need or want to market to such a broad audience, this means that whatever audience you do need to target will almost definitely be present on one or both of these platforms, making per click advertising is simply one of the easiest ways to gain exposure and increase your web presence.

Immediate Results

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most common and cost-effective online marketing methods. SEO is a great way to increase your web presence and organically increase web traffic without digging too deep into your marketing budget.

However, particularly for small businesses, it can take quite a while for SEO to produce any significant results. It takes time to establish your website as an authority in your field. Depending on how competitive your industry is, you might not even be able to get your website onto the first page of Google search results for months or even years.

PPC advertising, on the other hand, can produce immediate results. By developing quality ads, implementing effective targeting practices, and picking relevant keywords, you can immediately increase traffic and conversions.

Return On Investment

In many cases, business owners see that PPC advertising can be quite expensive. Especially if your business operates in a competitive industry, keyword bids can get pretty high.

However, you have to consider your return on investment. Since you’re only paying for every click, an effective campaign can easily lead to your conversions outweighing the cost that you spend on your ads. Another great thing about PPC advertising is how simply it is to track your ROI too. Services like AdWords and Facebook Ads have analytics that let you track your clicks and conversions. If you notice that your ads aren’t performing well, you can pause or cancel that campaign and reevaluate your strategy.

PPC advertising allows you to control your spending. You’re never locked into any contracts or anything like that. You never have to go outside of your budget to implement an effective PPC campaign.

Why PPC Advertising Works In Most Industries

PPC advertising is by no means a niche way of advertising. It has proven to be an effective method of advertising for businesses of different sizes and a wide variety of industries. Here is a look at the types of businesses that should strongly consider making PPC part of their marketing strategy.

Local Businesses

While PPC is based on certain keywords, it can also target certain geographical areas. If you operate a small business that only attracts local customers, PPC can be a good way to find people within a particular area who are searching for something that relates to your product.

Local businesses typically have a limited number of potential customers to go after. They can’t always rely on other types of marketing and hope everything works out for the best. With PPC, you can guarantee that everyone in your area who searches for anything related to your business will see your ad, giving you a leg up over your competitors.

Specialized Products

If your business sells items that are rare, unusual, and aren’t typically found at corner grocery stores or large warehouse chains like Target and Wal-Mart, PPC will be a good idea. Odds are, people in search of your product will be looking for it on the Internet. Thus, your PPC ad needs to show up at the top of the search engine. The good news is that there’s usually less competition for long-tail keywords, so PPC costs are reasonable while the potential payoff is high.

Companies with High Margins

Any business that can bring in a large sum of money on a single customer should be doing PPC advertising. This might include lawyers, car dealerships, and companies that sell furniture or large appliances. In these industries, potential customers will usually compare different options online before making a decision. With PPC, you can at least ensure that you’re one of the options they consider. Even if the overall conversion rate isn’t all that impressive, the money brought in from one customer will more than offset the cost of getting your PPC ad in front of countless others.

Businesses with Longterm Customers

If your business model assumes that the customers you get will keep coming back to you for a long time, PPC can be a great way to add to your customer base. Cable and utility companies and family dentists, for instance, fit this description. This could even apply to colleges, as they know that most students will be paying them for at least a few years.

These are all businesses in which customers may look around before picking one. But once they pick one, they usually stick with it. PPC advertising can be a great way to ensure that your business is in the running. Even if only a small percentage of the people who click your ad become customers, you know you’ll be gaining revenue from those customers for many years to come.

Zaid Ammari Headshot

About the author 

Zaid is a leading expert on data driven digital marketing; focusing on analytics and actionable insights from data. Founder of PPC Masterminds - he helps businesses build & run profitable data driven digital campaigns.

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