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What is Pay Per Click (PPC)? Explain it to me like I’m an 8-year-old


Let’s imagine. You’re 8. You’ve got a lemonade stand. It’s adorable.

Problem is, there are some particularly enterprising grade schoolers on your block this year, so there are five other competing lemonade stands in your neighborhood. How do you make sure yours is the first one people visit?

Well, Old Man Google lives right in the prime lemonade stand position: His yard is the first and biggest on the block. Green-yet-shady, and right opposite the park, Old Man Google’s oasis of a yard sits right where the sun is hottest and a nice glass of child-made lemonade would taste the best

So you go to Old Man Google, and you ask him to rent space in that perfect lemonade bullseye of a yard. But, since you’re just an 8-year-old and success isn’t guaranteed, and because Old Man Google is cool like that, he says he’ll take the rent every time someone visits your stall. If you don’t get any visitors, you don’t pay.

So, how do you make sure you sell that lemonade? It’s a four-step process.

1. Make your sign

You’re gonna want to make a big-@$s lemonade sign, telling people exactly what you offer. They’re looking for lemonade, and you’ve got it. So make that lemonade sign big, beautiful, and descriptive. Get your crayons out and draw some lemons! Reach for the glitter glue! Buy some poster board!

2. Focus on what makes you different

There are five other lemonade barons jockeying for that prime hot spot of a yard, and they’ll all have a big sign that also says ‘LEMONADE’. So how do you make sure people come to you?

If you know what they’re looking for, you can give it to them. So do your research. If you know recycling is hot in your neighborhood, make sure to mention your lemonade comes in recyclable cups. If you know three out of every five kids on your block have allergies, make sure you mention your lemonade is free of allergens. If you know kids have been really into the new Wonder Woman movie, make sure to mention you have branded Wonder Woman napkins. #GirlPower

3. Set your rent with Old Man Google

You’re 8 years old. You don’t have tons of money to throw around, so you need to set a budget with Old Man Google. Decide beforehand how much he gets for every person who visits your stand. But don’t worry – he’s not a scary Sandlot old man (who is actually nice #SpoilerAlert) (#ItsBeen25YearsDude #You’reKillingMeSmalls), so if you’re not getting as many visitors as you’d like, you can negotiate rates. And remember – if no one comes to your stand, you don’t pay any rent. And if you’re not having a good lemonade day, you can shut the whole thing down at any time.

4. Stay in Old Man Google’s good books.

Those other five tiny lemonade tycoons will have figured out that Google’s yard (too many references to old men at this stage in the blog) is a bonafide lemonade epicentre, so they’re going to be offering him that cash money to get in there.

How does  Google decide who gets that prime position? He takes three things into account:

  • How much you’re willing to pay
  • How good your lemonade is
  • How likely you are to give the neighborhood the tasty lemonade it craves

So. Set a flexible budget and splurge if you have to, make lemonade that tastes good, and make sure your lemonade stand is specifically targeted and relevant. Don’t make all the drinks for all the people. Make that organic, allergen-free, Wonder Woman-ed lemonade the neighborhood is after. Then go out and smash the lemonade competition.

When life gives you lemons, make PPC ads! Or let us do it for you!

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