What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?

In today's fast-paced world, eCommerce businesses, entrepreneurs, small companies, and franchises are looking for a quick and effective way to get the eyes of high-converting customers on their brands.

Search engines still happen to be the best avenue for brands to get in touch with potential customers. With just under four billion Google searches taking place every day, it's easy to see why search engines are the way to go.  

Consequently, pay-per-click advertising, also called PPC marketing, is one of the most effective and popular methods implemented by brands to increase traffic to their websites.

Nevertheless, having a solid SEO strategy is the beginning of targeting your audience. However, the expert use and placement of a  PPC ad will cause your lead generation to double. Moreover, with PPC ads implemented, you are sure to dominate more space on the search engine results page.

Whether you've already been using PPC campaigns and you're just looking to improve, or this is your very first campaign, stay tuned. We have some useful tips to help you achieve your goal!

What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?

The internet marketing model, pay-per-click, charges advertisers every time someone clicks on an ad of theirs. This marketing tool enables advertisers to bid for ad placement. This ad placement gets positioned in search engine sponsored links, which takes place once a person searches a keyword related to their business or products. 

Search engines ads are the most popular form of PPC strategy, and the bids for these ads take place through programmatic auctions.

Ads that are fortunate enough to win appear above the results on search engine result pages, or SERPs, for short. If a person clicks on your page, they get directed to your website or whatever page you choose. 

For example, depending on the purpose of your PPC campaign, you can send potential customers to your product page, the home page, or a landing page.

Pay-per-click advertising provides you and your brand with increased visibility on the web. It also fast tracks your customer's buying journey while boosting your conversion rates all at the same time. In short, this is a more efficient way to get traffic to your site rather than waiting for people to visit organically.

With every clicked ad, you must pay a small fee to the search engine. When pay-per-click is working as intended, the fees seem insignificant. That's because the business that you receive from the visitors is worth way more than the price you pay to have them. 

For example, if a click that costs you $2 results in a $250 sale, then the profit that you've made on your investment is the payoff.

Even though the popular belief is that only Google (SERPs) and the Google Display Network provide PPC advertising, that's not the case. While it is the most popular, PPC is available on other search engines and sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube as well.

Different Types of Pay-Per-Click

PPC marketing campaigns come in many different flavors, depending on the particular goals of your campaign. These different types of ads can help to promote your services to the right people and build up your presence online. To fill your sales funnel, it is paramount that you choose the right amount of PPC ads for the task.

What Are Search Ads?

The most common form of paid search marketing is a search ad. The purpose of search ads is to appear to people that are already searching your brand offerings or industry online.

PPC ads are ideal for both one-time campaign promotions and short sale cycles as well. We recommend PPC ads for businesses that desire to get quality leads from new customers.

Search Ads PPC

For example, if you search couples counseling on Google, the first results that come up are labeled "Ad." These are considered search ads.

What Are Display Ads?

A display ad is more than a formidable tool for PPC campaigns. Display ads reach over 90 percent of online users. They will appear on all of Google's partner websites as well. These ads will direct your target audience that visits industry-related sites. 

With display advertising, texts and photos expertly catch the attention of online users and convince them to make a purchase. We recommend display advertising to companies with luxury or niche customers and companies with long sales cycles.

What Are Social Media Ads?

When it comes to pay-per-click advertising services, social media paid ads are the fastest-growing PPC ads. With this option, social media ads will appear on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

These social media ads reach potential customers based upon their networks, hobbies, interests, and other pertinent factors. Social media advertising works best for brands with highly targeted customers and an active presence on social media.

Social Media Ads

For example, if you scroll through social media platforms like Facebook you're bound to come across an ad. Contentfly's ad promotes their writing services. This is based on the premise that the user has looked into Contentfly and its services.

What Are Remarketing Ads?

One of the best ways to double your turnovers and reach customers with high conversion rates is through remarketing. Remarketing ads seek to remind those who've already visited your website to come back in an attempt to get them to convert. 

Remarketing is relatively cheap when compared to search advertising. That is because there is lower competition and the customer segments are specific and highly targeted. However, you can use this in conjunction with your other PPC methods to produce significant results.

What Are Shopping Ads?

If you own a website that has a large volume of products, a Google Shopping ad would be ideal for your site. This kind of pay-per-click advertising appears in a carousel beside or above the main Google search results. From this position, potential customers can view the products and prices on the Google SERP even before they click on a website.

Consequently, this means that you have a greater chance of conversion with every click. That is only true if, presumably, your target customers have already explored the sum of your product offerings on Google Shopping ads. 

We recommend Google shopping ads to eCommerce businesses looking to contact customers with a clear and precise buying intent.

What Are Video Ads?

In-stream ads, or video ads, appear on YouTube videos, YouTube search results, and even video partners on Display Network. 

Video ads offer both aspiring and established brands a special and attention-grabbing way to present their products. In that same vein, Facebook has begun to run in-stream ads, allowing companies to broadcast their products during natural breaks in video content.

Reasons to Use PPC Ads

Pay-Per-Click PPC advertising is a powerful and effective digital marketing strategy that can maximize your ROI and significantly increase conversions. PPC management that's data-driven creates many pathways for your brand to be connected to the proper audience while improving your profitability at the same time.

What Are the Benefits of PPC Ads?

Below are the top reasons for investing in PPC advertising services:


Pay-per-click advertising, regardless of budget, is one of the most cost-effective ways to drum up traffic to your website. The prices for ads get determined through bidding, which gives you some leeway with how much you want to spend on ads. This strategy is ideal, especially for small businesses.

Control and Test Ads

PPC advertising offers another priceless benefit of being easily tracked and measured when run through the Google Ad service. If you use Google Analytics in conjunction with the Google Ads tool, you will be able to measure the progress of your ad campaign.

You will become privy to performance details such as impressions, clicks, and most certainly conversions.

The stats will reveal how well you're doing on your PPC campaign and how the results and web traffic affect your budget.

Target Customers    

You have the option to use demographic targeting to make sure you're reaching the audience that's most likely to convert. You will have the ability to target ideal messages to the customer base that you wish to reach based on their behaviors, preferred platforms, and online activities.

PPC services will prioritize all relevant audiences simultaneously when they are close to making a purchase decision. What's more, pay-per-click enables you to connect with specific customer groups based on age group, demographics, gender, and location.

Brand Awareness        

Investing in PPC management services is one of the best ways to get your product showing up in the same places where your target customers spend time. Doing so gets more eyes on your products and high conversion customers to take notice of your growing brand.

How Does PPC Work?

Pay-per-click advertising is a marketing strategy that utilizes keywords to drive traffic to a company's service or product. Some management services such as AdWords will assign value to various phrases and search terms based on three factors: level of competition, search volume, and difficulty. 

The keyword costs more if there are a lot of advertisers that are competing for that same word or phrase. 

Certain platforms like Google have limited slots. Therefore, you have to get into a bidding war to secure your spot. It's not as simple as just paying for the prominence of your ad against everyone else's. 

Google's PPC program uses ad auctions to decide where your ad goes. It's a pre-programmed process that the search engine uses to determine the validity and relevance of ads that show up at the top of the page. 

Make sure you have a solid Quality Score to boost your ad's position while making the cost-per-click lower. Click here to read more about the quality score. 

What is the Process of Creating a PPC Campaign?

There's a lot that goes into developing a successful PPC campaign, but here are the basic foundational steps:

Step 1: Identify and Outline Goals/Budget

This step is the most crucial to your campaign because it sets the tone moving forward. What do you want to accomplish first? If you don't want to waste valuable time and money, identify your goals and structure them around your budget. 

Also, ensure that the goals you set for your PPC campaign coincide with your marketing objectives at the time. 

The second part of this step is to look over your SEO (search engine optimization) tactics and make certain that your paid ads aren't interfering there either. The organic traffic that you generate from SEO doesn't need to be included in your PPC strategies.

Step 2: Research Your Competitors

This part is exactly how it sounds; do a little research so that you can get a better understanding of how your competitor's ads are performing. What is making them succeed? 

Your research will inform you of how much effort you need to put forth to compete in your chosen area. 

If you're curious about how to do competitor paid ad research, you can start by researching what pops up when you type in your keywords. You'll be able to see what companies are putting out there, and adjust accordingly.

Step 3: Build a List of Keywords

Your keywords will be the driving force behind successful conversions. Maximize your budget and efforts by selecting the best keywords and phrases for your paid advertising campaign.

We'll go over this in-depth a little further along, but for a brief overview, just make sure your research is centered on the user. 

After you've done the competitor research, you should have a good idea of which keywords to focus on. You'll also want to start with a broad list of terms. 

You can get your campaign underway once you've sorted all of your keywords into groups.

Step 4: Structure Your Ad Account

Once you have your keywords situated, you'll need to build an ad account structure. If you have more than one PPC campaign, make associated ad groups for each.

You will need to develop a diagram that shows each campaign with a few ad groups and a few text ads. 

Decide what actions you want potential customers to take once they click-through to your ad. Defining your campaigns with an ad group and desired actions is how you will create your text ad.

Step 5: Create Good Ad Content for High CTR

Recognized as an essential step in pay-per-click advertising, your ad content needs to be strong, relevant, and effective to generate conversions. This step is where you begin to increase the click-through rate and lower your ad spend. 

How to get more click-throughs from your content:

  • Put the target phrase and keyword in the ad's body description and the headline.
  • Write content that's strong and drives visitors to acknowledge your CTA (call to action) and complete an action. Examples of this are "Sign up today!" and "Don't miss this deal!".
  • Before you encourage them to take action, illustrate the benefits of doing so.
  • Be sure that your landing page is concise, neat, and user-friendly with a clear display URL.
  • If you have lower prices than your competitors, you might want to put your listing price front and center to grab the user's attention.

In addition to viewing the competitor's ad content to improve your own CTR, you can also use ad extensions to your benefit.

How Do the PPC Ad Auctions Work?

Search engines aren't showing everyone's ad for each query. To be eligible, the keywords must contain commercial intent (a product or service). If they do, an ad auction happens for these queries upon submission.  

Multiple factors determine:

  • Whether an advertiser is eligible 
  • The order that eligible ads will appear on the SERP
  • The cost of each
  • An advertiser’s eligibility for the auction.
  • The subsequent order in which eligible ads appear on the page.
  • How much each advertiser will pay if their ad gets clicked.
  • How much the advertiser bids; the amount you're willing to pay per click is important because you'll have to set up your maximum bid. This is also known as a max CPC. You can do this for a group of keywords or a single word. 
  • The relevance of the ad is critical because the goal of the search engine is to show the most useful information. If the ads are irrelevant, the engine loses revenue due to a bad experience for the user. 

If your ad is eligible to get included in the auction, the following formula determines your ad placement on the results page:

Max CPC x Quality Score= Ad Rank

Quality score (combination of points assessed based on relevancy)

How to Manage PPC Campaigns

Don't forget to consistently manage your campaign and maintain a standard of relevance and excellence. 

You need to keep them up to date and track the data that shows you if your ads are effective, or where they need improvement. 

Follow these tips to optimize your ads, content, and landing page:

Add More PPC Keywords: Expand the influence of your campaign through the addition of a relevant keyword or phrase.

Negative Keywords: You need to identify any negative keyword that will not convert customers to make sure your ads aren't showing up for irrelevant searches. This tip will also save you money in the end. 

Divide Your Ad Groups: Refine the Quality Score and CTR by dividing your ad groups. Make smaller groups that are more relevant. That leads to hyper-relevant landing pages and targeted ads. 

Check the Performance of Costly PPC Keywords: Review the keywords that are most expensive to see if the performance matches the price. If not, eliminate them. 

Adjust the Landing Pages: Change your CTAs and your content if you need to better align them with specific search queries so that you can increase the conversion rate. You can send traffic to different pages, which is a good way to get exposure in multiple ways.

How to Conduct Keyword Research

Researching keywords takes quite a bit of time, but it's the most crucial part of your campaign. You construct your campaign around the keywords and expand from there. 

In the instance that you only research your competitor's ads once or you don't do your due diligence, you'll miss out. You'll miss the long-tail keywords that are relevant to your company and cost less, and on other keywords that have recently become topics of interest. If you find yourself struggling, a PPC agency can help. 

This is how to adjust your keywords in your ongoing research, and how to make your keyword list effective:

Relevant: Find the most effective keywords that lead to increased profits, higher CTRs, and a lower CPC. Make sure all keywords are closely related to your service or product. 

Exhaustive: When you conduct keywords research you should include the most frequently searched and popular terms. Also, long-tail keywords are vital to success. They're super specific and not as common, but you can gain targeted customers this way. These types of keywords aren't as expensive because they aren't competitive. 

Expansive: always strive to refine your campaigns and build upon your existing structure. You have to constantly adapt to the trends and keep your content and PPC ad campaign fresh.

Drew Hendricks
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