Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and campaigns are the primary way of advertising on the internet. As of May 2009, the three largest players in the market are Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
A PPC campaign lets you determine exactly who comes to your website. You only pay for clicks to your site; if a person clicks on a search engine result, link, or banner and lands on your site (aka PPP pay-for-performance advertising). If the person only sees your link, but does not click through, this is called an impression.
Impressions are "the number of promotional units a person is subjected to" (Cone, S. 2008. Powerlines) You do not have pay for impressions. There are also pricing models based on impressions, which charge per thousand (CPM). Whether or not the purchase of impressions is interesting for you depends on your product and target audience.
Using clickstream analysis, a tracking system will tell you what people do on your site once they arrive through PPC advertising. This information is necessary to manage your advertising, and determine the best ways to:
- obtain quality traffic
- convert visitors into customers
- create action that generates revenue
PPC advertising is based on keyword selection. The entire internet advertising market revolves around choosing the correct search terms and keywords. Well managed PPC advertising will bring traffic that achieves your goal, or 'desired outcome', whether it is to publicise an event or sell goods and services.