What Is PPC? Discover the Basics of PPC Marketing

If you have heard the term “PPC” and are curious to find out what it is, or if you have already identified that you want to use PPC in your business digital marketing toolkit, but aren’t sure how to start, then look no further! We will start by defining PPC, and then get up to speed with a basic understanding of how PPC advertising works. Let’s dive in!

What Is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, an advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee every time one of their ads is clicked. Basically, it’s a way of buying visits to a website, rather than relying on organic visits.

PPC marketing is a very popular form of search engine marketing. It allows advertisers to bid for an ad placement in the search results when a user searches for a keyword that is related to the business's product or service. For example, if a PPC marketer is bidding on the keyword “PPC blogs”, their ad will have the opportunity to trigger and be placed at the top spot of the search engine results page.

PPC Marketing, Google SERP for keyword PPC Marketing

Every time one of these ads is clicked it sends a visitor to a website and charges a small fee to the ad account. If your account is optimised the fee paid for a click is a small price in comparison to the potential revenue. For example, if you pay £3 for a click but the click results in a £300 sale, there has been a substantial return on your investment.

A lot goes into PPC campaigns. Researching keywords, organising keywords into tightly grouped buckets, structuring campaigns, creating ad groups, and setting up PPC landing pages optimised for converting users. These are all factors that contribute to the rewards given by search engines in the form of quality score. If your ad campaigns and landing pages are highly relevant to the users search query, then Google will charge you less for your ad clicks, making your cost per click even lower. This is why it is so important to learn how to conduct PPC marketing correctly.

What is 'Google Ads'?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords is the most popular PPC advertising platform in the world. The ad platform allows businesses to create advertisements that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google networks.

The Google Ad platform runs a pay-per-click model, whereby businesses can bid on keywords and pay on each click their advertisements generate. Each and every time someone queries the search engine, Google will enter advertisers into an auction and will choose winners whose ads will occupy the top search results. Google uses many factors to determine who wins the auctions. These factors include the relevancy of keywords and the amount the advertiser is bidding for that keyword.

The technical term for the group of factors contributing to the winners of these auctions is called “Ad Ranking”. It is a metric calculated by multiplying the keyword bid (the highest amount an advertiser is willing to pay for that keyword) and quality score (a value based on the expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience).

PPC marketing using Google Ads is extremely valuable because it's the most popular search engine and therefore has the highest amount of user traffic giving you the best opportunity to reach the right audiences. Google Ads can produce some remarkable results by focusing on these 3 areas:

Keyword Relevance - You MUST have relevant PPC keywords triggering your ads. It’s very important to keep the user journey as relevant as possible. So keep your keyword groups tight that trigger relevant ads crafted specifically for those keywords.

Landing Page Quality - Create dedicated landing pages for PPC optimised for converting visitors with a clear call-to-action (CTA).

Quality Score - This is a key performance indicator for any PPC account. Increasing your quality score by making your keywords, ads, and landing pages more relevant will allow your business to get more clicks, for less.

Conducting PPC Keyword Research

PPC keyword research is often overlooked as being too time-consuming. But, it is a very important stage of building PPC accounts correctly. As PPC marketing uses keyword targeting to trigger ads, Google Ad specialists should never stop growing and refining their PPC keyword list. If you set up your account and never research keywords again, you run the risk of missing out on valuable keywords that could be delivering highly relevant user traffic to your site.

Here’s our top tips for building PPC keyword lists:

Keep it relevant - Make sure you aren’t paying for unqualified web traffic that is searching for products and services that your website does not offer. Instead, find keywords that have some chance of converting. This will increase your expected click-through-rate and in time, improve your quality score meaning you will pay less per click.

Make your lists extensive - Don’t limit your account to keywords that you already know have a large chance of converting visitors. Keep testing things out by adding new keywords. For example, long-tail keywords are more specific search terms but are less common, however, they are less competitive and therefore more affordable.

Management of PPC Campaigns

After you have structured your ad account, you’ll need to manage them on a very regular basis to ensure they remain optimised and continue to produce the results you want. You should never stop analysing the performance data, and should always set goals for testing, learning, and optimising your campaigns.

Here are several factors you should consider when managing your PPC accounts:

Adding PPC keywords - Don’t limit the reach of your PPC campaigns. Test keywords and see how they perform. Just make sure that you are comfortable with the level of relevancy the keyword has when you decide to add it to avoid wasted ad spend.

Add Negative Keywords - Make sure you keep on top of the keywords you DO NOT want your ad to trigger for. By adding keywords to your negative lists, you essentially block out your ad from ever triggering on those irrelevant keywords, increasing your campaign relevancy and reducing wasted ad spend.

Keep Ad Groups Tightly Organised - To improve your quality score, it’s essential to split your ad groups and keywords into tightly bunched together buckets. This will help you create more targeted ad text and landing pages. Keep it all relevant, increase your quality score and watch the cost-per-click go down!

Optimise Landing Pages - Make sure your landing pages are optimised for the high quality traffic you are delivering through PPC marketing. Don’t send all traffic to the same landing page, try to create individual landing pages aligned with their respective search queries and advertisements.

How Clear Click Can Help

Wondering if Clear Click might be the digital marketing partner your business needs? Our experienced paid search team integrates strong data driven strategies that help our clients identify growth opportunities and reduce the risk of wasting ad spend. If you want to start reaching your ideal customers and position your brand in the top search results then contact us today!


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