What Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Pay-per-click advertising helps you connect with qualified leads and only pay for results. Read more to learn the steps to creating a successful pay-per-click advertising campaign.

[Featured image] A person with a cell phone and cup of coffee clicks on an advertisement while sitting in front of their laptop computer.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of advertising where you show ads on a website or search engine, such as Facebook or Google, and you pay for the advertising based on the number of times people click on your link. The main benefit of pay-per-click is that you only pay for qualified leads—people who are likely to have interest in purchasing your product—and you don’t have to pay for the ads shown to people who scrolled past without noticing them. 

Pay-per-click is part of digital marketing strategies used with search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and other marketing channels like email, social media, and affiliate marketing. Targeted ads and carefully selected keywords help pay-per-click advertising efforts reach customers who are already interested in purchasing your product or receptive to your message. 

How to create a successful pay-per-click campaign 

To get the most out of your next pay-per-click campaign, follow these steps: 

1. Set your company goals.

The first step in a pay-per-click campaign is to understand what you want to happen. For example, you may want to drive sales or increase overall brand awareness. Defining goals first helps you stay focused on what matters most while you plan the rest of your campaign. 

 2. Plan your ad campaign. 

When planning your ad campaign, you will need to determine who your target audience is, where your ads will appear, which keywords you will use, and the overall budget of the advertising campaign. These planning components rely on one another. For example, the better you understand who your audience is, the easier it is to select keywords that will appeal to them and drive traffic. 

3. Write your ad copy.

In this step, it’s time to create your advertising content. You will need ad copy that uses your selected keywords, but you will also need a compelling landing page for the customer to visit after they click your link. The landing page will need a call to action that drives the result you set as your goal. For example, if your goal is to get people to sign up for your newsletter, you will need to invite them to do so on the landing page. 

4. Analyze the results. 

Once you have the ad copy you need, it’s time to put your pay-per-click ads out into the world and analyze the results. Be sure to have all your tracking metrics in place to collect data about how users interact with your ad and website. 

Related terms

Learn digital marketing with Google 

Learn more about how pay-per-click and digital advertising can help you grow your business with the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate on Coursera. This beginner-level certificate features seven courses, and you can complete it in as little as six months. Learn new skills in marketing, e-commerce, display advertising, email marketing, and search engine optimization from the experts at Google. 

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