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From Google to Facebook and Twitter - Pay Per Click explained

You may have heard the term Pay Per Click or PPC for short, and wondered what it is. Richard Higham, Senior PPC Manager at mmadigital explains what it is and how it can help attract new clients to your website.


It’s hard to ignore the power of Google. At the end of 2013 it announced that an average of almost six billion searches were made through its website. AdWords where essentially the first PPC tool and are very clever in how they help a business attract new clients. 

Rather than an advertisement in a magazine or on a static website, where only a small percentage of the readers might be interested in your service, Google AdWords allow you to place an advert on the pages of Google’s users when they search for certain terms. Google then only charges you if someone actually clicks on your advert. Hence the term Pay Per Click. 

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have also been using PPC for quite some time but have different ways of targeting the people you want to reach. While the cost of using social media is free for the user in financial terms, the cost comes from users sharing parts of their life with the site so they can sell this audience, in varying degrees, to advertisers . With the amount some people share on sites like Facebook, this does allow a law firm to be able to create adverts that target those who will be interested in their services.

Let’s say someone is into motorcycling. It’s likely that they will join groups related to motorcycling. This could be groups that are local to them, national rally groups, pages from motorcycling manufacturers and so on. 

If you’re a law firm that specialises in motorcycle accidents then you can ask Facebook to only post your advert to an audience that has a direct interest in motorcycling. Due to Facebook knowing who these users are, you get a well-placed ad and this can be at a lower price than Google.

Google’s AdWords are not your only option but they work most effectively as part of a wider digital strategy encompassing more expensive and cheaper routes to your target audience. Research the cost of AdWords and then compare those terms to those on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter. In the same way that your clients will, shop around for the service that matches what you expect to pay against the service you expect to receive. Time researching what works best for you will be time well spent in ensuring that as many clicks as possible on your advert are made by future paying clients.

Richard Higham is senior PPC manager at mmadigital

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07 August 2014

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