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PPC (pay-per-click) Marketing

By June 2, 2021June 21st, 2022No Comments
Scrabble blocks spell out Pay Per Click (PPC)

What is PPC marketing and when should you consider using it as part of your marketing mix?

If you’ve invested in digital marketing, considered investing in digital marketing, or have just generally been on the internet in the last 20 years you’ve probably heard or seen the term PPC or pay-per-click marketing but what is it really?

What is pay-per-click (PPC) marketing?

To put it simply, PPC means pay-per-click, but you probably already knew that. PPC is a pay model used in digital ads where the ad account is charged for each click that the ads receive. 

PPC is a popular pay model in the digital marketing world and, while people typically think of Google Ads when they think PPC, you can actually run pay-per-click ads across most marketing platforms including social media. Most people think of search ads when they think PPC. However, display, shopping, and other ad or campaign types can use this payment model too, as can most forms of marketing delivered on social channels (like promoted posts). 

Pay-per-click campaigns can be used as tactics across your marketing funnel.

For instance, your digital marketing strategy might include a pay-per-click model on your Google Ads behaviorally targeted display campaigns. You could target users who are interested in a topic related to your product or service, like targeting hiking enthusiasts for a camping retailer and delivering ads that display a product feed and pricing. 

These people have not shown interest in your specific product, but they are interested in related activities so they are high in your sales funnel — you’re just looking to generate some interest and don’t want to spend funds each time the ad is displayed, only when it is clicked. 

Once someone clicks your ad and goes to your site, you can ensure they are included in remarketing campaigns. You might consider running your remarketing on a cost-per-impressions model, because your remarketing audience is already familiar with your business and you’re primarily looking to stay top of mind. 

Alternatively, you could also use a PPC model for display remarketing campaigns with a specific promotion, so you have more control over how much you spend to drive consideration and traffic to a certain page or discount. 

Or, to drive conversions,  you might use the most common form of PPC marketing and run search ads to meet your audience at the moment they are seeking information. 

Each of these tactics uses PPC marketing differently than the last, and these are certainly not your only PPC options! If you choose to work with Outmark as your marketing outsourcing partner, our digital marketing team will craft a marketing strategy that fits your business’s goals and needs. While your strategy will be custom, we can almost guarantee that PPC will be in there somewhere since it’s such a diverse pay model.

Let’s talk terms!

Now that you know what PPC is and some ways in which it might be used, let’s talk key pay-per-click terms.



Search Engine Marketing is marketing run on a search engine’s ad network. This can include display, video, local, and in-search placements. Pay-per-click campaigns can be run on these networks but, like we mentioned, the PPC payment style is not limited to just these channels.


Click-through rate is the percentage of users who view your PPC ad and then click-through to your website/landing page. It is definitely a metric you’ll want to use to monitor the success of your campaigns. A low CTR might indicate that your ad copy or image could use some work, or that your audience/targeting isn’t quite right. 

CTR is a good indicator of when something is very wrong or very right in your campaigns. It is a key campaign health metric your digital marketing team should be monitoring, and optimizing with it in mind!


Cost-per-click is the total cost of your PPC efforts divided by the total number of clicks delivered. Depending on how you’re breaking down your data, it is the average cost-per-click for a campaign, keyword, placement, or ad. In most Google Ads cases, you can set a manual maximum on your CPC to keep a tight cap on your ad spend and/or to maximize your ROI. 

While you will hear marketers talk about your CPC for your PPC campaigns, the two terms are not interchangeable. You could also establish a CPC for non-PPC campaigns. 


Cost-per-mille is an alternative to the PPC pricing structure. We mentioned this one above when discussing your marketing funnel options. This type of payment structure charges per 1000 impressions displayed. Some marketers even use CPM campaigns to help establish an ideal CPC for their PPC campaigns, since CPM campaigns typically have a larger reach at a lower CPC.

What PPC is not:

Your only option. Meet with our team of digital marketing nerds to learn more about your digital marketing outsourcing options.


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