Are Paid Search & PPC the Same Thing?

Lauren | August 17, 2021 | PPC & Advertising

Not exactly. In digital marketing, paid search and PPC are often used synonymously, but they can have slightly different meanings. Paid search is a wide-reaching term that encompasses PPC as well as a wide range of paid media services including social media advertising, Microsoft ads, Google Ads, and more. Paid search is itself a part of paid media, which includes many forms of advertising, from display ads, to shopping ads, social media ads, and more.

To keep things simple, let’s explore the difference between paid search and PPC, and how you can use them to leverage qualified leads for your business.

What's the Difference Between Paid Search & PCC?

Paid Search is a term used to describe all paid advertising channels on search engines like Google, Bing, and others. PPC, which stands for Pay Per Click, is a method of paid search, where the advertiser is charged each time an ad is clicked.

There are many other types of advertising models other than PPC, although it is one of the most popular.

3 Types of Paid Search Strategies

When you complete a search on Google, you’ll come across many different types of ads. You’ll see:

  • Sponsored search results listed as text at the top of the page
  • Image-based ads on the side
  • Maybe product listings where you can shop directly from the search results page.

All of these are examples of paid search efforts, because they cost the advertiser money. However, how the advertiser is charged may change depending on where you see the ad and how you interact with it. Different types of paid search may be more effective depending on where the ad is placed and the types of customers they want to reach.

1. PPC Ads
Pay Per Click ads work by focusing on a keyword. The advertiser bids on a price for keywords related to the targeted business. Then, the ads will appear on the search engine result pages (SERPs) for searches that contain that keyword. Every time someone clicks the ad, the advertiser will pay the bid price to Google. Prices for keywords vary depending on search volume and competition.

2. CPM Ads
Another type of paid search ad is CPM ads. CPM stands for Cost Per Mille. Instead of paying a fee every time someone clicks on the ad, the fee is paid per one thousand impressions, or the number of times the ad has been seen.

3. Call-Only Ads
Call-only ads are a type of paid search where the advertiser only pays when a customer calls the number listed in the ad. Call-only ads are rare and decreasing in popularity as the use of digital communication channels like email and instant messaging become ubiquitous.

Paid Search & PPC: Why Use Them?

Paid search efforts are a valuable way to increase brand awareness, direct relevant traffic to your site, and capture more qualified leads. Setting up a paid search campaign is easy to do and easier to track.

Google Ads allows you to measure the quality and performance of your paid search efforts so you can optimize your strategy. Once you experiment with different ad types you can analyze which types of ads pull in the best results for your business.

Taking Paid Search and PPC a Step Further: Inbound & Outbound Marketing

Paid search can also be combined with other advertising strategies like display ads and social ads. These help you reach more potential customers because you’re not only putting your business in front of them when they’re searching for an answer to their problem, but also when they’re using sites and social platforms elsewhere on the web. These two approaches are known as inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

Inbound Marketing - Involves providing value when customers are actively searching for it and the solutions your business offers.

Outbound Marketing - When you approach potential customers to offer your products, whether they’re searching for them or not.

By using both inbound and outbound marketing strategies, you can reach more customers and ensure that when they have a problem you can solve, you’ll be top of mind.

Looking for Paid Search & PPC Experts?

At Evenbound, we value a balanced approach between Inbound and Outbound marketing to help our clients reach their traffic, leads, and sales goals. If you think your PPC or paid media campaign could be doing more to provide value for your business, check out our PPC Advertising Checklist or reach out to our team today.

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