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Online advert payment methods - Beginners guide

Written/updated by Thomas Skov Iversen

To make the most of your online adverts you have to choose the right advert payment methods. Below it is explained how and when to use the different online payment methods.


PPC stand for "Pay Per Click".

From the advertisers point of view this is called CPC "Cost Per Click", as he sees it as an expense. As the abbreviation PPC indicates, this is an amount of money you will receive every time a visitor clicks one of your adverts on your site. The amount highly depends on what the advert is about and what affiliate network you are using.

PPC is good when your visitors are easily tempted to follow links that looks like something they are looking for. If your users/visitors are experienced in using the web, this method might not work, as they will be "immune" and quite possibly ignore the adverts.


PPA stands for "Pay Per Action/Acquisition".

As the abbreviation PPA indicates this is an amount of money that you will receive every time an advert on your site leads to a purchase or other action at the advertisers end. Put more simply, if a visitor clicks your advert and hereafter buys something from the advertiser, then you will get paid as well. The size of these payments are substantially larger than what you earn on PPC, but they are also that more infrequent. The payment is often measured as percentage of the total sale.

On the other hand PPA is called CPA "Cost Per Action", if your are an advertiser.


PPM stands for "Pay Per thousand impressions" . The M originates from the roman numeral M, which means 1000.

This means that every time an advert has been displayed a thousand times you will get paid. Notice that this is impressions and not clicks, which means that your visitors do not have to click before any payments will be coming your way. The size of the payment is a cross between PPC and PPA. As always the size of the payment you will receive, depends on the advertiser, the industry you are in and the affiliate network that you are using.

PPM can be beneficial if your users are not willing to click your adverts. PPM is especially good when you have a high number of visitors who come and go often, without looking to much into your content. Unfortunately there are very few affiliate networks that offer PPM.

Depending on your affiliate network, you can freely choose what payments methods that fits you, your website and your visitors the best. However, some affiliate networks such as Adsense, will pick the adverts based on the content of your website. Often you will be able to combine different methods by using multiple affiliate networks. The next article will explain how the right Positioning of adverts will help you attain as much clicks and advert views as possible.

Source: E-Business and E-Commerce management by Dave Chaffey

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