Full Guide on PPC (Pay Per Click)

by | December 24, 2018 | Marketing


Let’s all face it. The most essential digital marketing goal is to have your site ranking high on search engines (particularly Google) organically. This process not only takes a lot of time, but requires in depth knowledge. This is a time-consuming and highly unpredictable process.

If you have little knowledge on ranking websites and want quick results, PPC may be for you. So what exactly is PPC?

What is PPC?

Before we dive into how PPC works, we first need to understand how this type of advertising works and how it’ll fit into your campaign. Pay per click is a kind of advertising where you set a budget for ads on a specific platform, like Facebook or Google, and then pay for the clicks received. There are many other similar forms of advertising such as pay-per-view or pay-per-impression. They all work on the idea that you will pay only when the desired interaction has been met.

Pay-per-click could play a crucial role in your company’s vast online marketing campaign. It could be particularly useful for specialised, time-sensitive campaigns, to handle your competitors, or make way into new geographic markets. Unfortunately, PPC advertising can be time-consuming, expensive, and short-term. Instead, pay-per-click advertising should be used as part of a strategy that incorporates strong analytics, video and content development, SEO, and social media presence.

Paid advertising as a whole is a much faster method of getting results compared to organic. If you aren’t on a budget and want fast results, then paid advertising, especially PPC is a good option.

How Does PPC Advertising Work?

PPC advertising is an incredibly vast category that includes a broad range of mediums and platforms. However, a majority of PPC ad campaigns can fit into Social Media Advertising with Social PPC ads and Google Ads.

Google PPC Ads

How do they work?

In a PPC campaign, you will normally pay Google however amount you want to have them list ads for your website at the top as well as the right of their organic search listings. When a visitor clicks your ad, you will pay the current Cost-per-Click from your set budget. After your budget is depleted, Google will no longer run your ads until you add more funds. There are various types of Google Ads and they include Remarketing, Local Search Ads, Display Ads, and Search Ads.

Search Ads

Google Search Ads are arguably the most widely recognized type of pay per click advertisements. They are usually displayed beside or above Google search results as a response to what people are searching. So, if a potential customer searches for the service or product, your ad will be the first shown. Depending based on your PPC model, you will only pay when they click on the ad.

Setting up a Search Ad campaign is as simple. All’s you do is write your specific ad copy, choose the keywords you want, and set a daily budget. However, getting the most out of the ads is no easy feat. There is a gruelling process of fine tuning and management to ensure you are receiving the best ROI for your ads. We will look at some of those factors later in the article.

Local Search Ads

These ads are not an entirely different type of pay per click advertising but rather a specialised subset of the Search Ads. These are mainly location-focused ads which target users who are searching for services or businesses near yours on Google Maps or Google. Similar to Search Ads, they are usually charged on cost-per-click.
By default, Ads are going to set your campaign live across the country. However, if you’re a local business, ship to specific locations, or provide services to a particular geographic area, it is best that you customize location targeting in Google Ads.

Display Network

Display Ad is not considered an actual pay per click model. Although, it’s quite a similar process and gets to a broad audience. The ads could be media rich or text-based banners and could be shown on any of the 650,000 apps and 2 million websites.

The setup process is rather straightforward. You need to create an ad that fits your desired format, choose the audiences you intend it to reach, and then create a budget. Lastly, you can select from the various payment options depending on your goals for the campaign; these could include cost-per-acquisition, cost-per-thousand impression, and cost-per-click.
Setting a budget, however, does not guarantee that your ads will be displayed instantly. Instead, for every ad placement, there is usually an automated action for every payment option. The one who emerges as a winner is charged the least amount required to outrank the immediate advertiser in the auction once the ad is displayed.

Retargeting or Remarketing

Remarketing Ads are usually shown to individuals who have come to your mobile app or business website before. These ads are probably the most powerful as they’re targeting people who are already interested. Remarketing ads could be shown as Search Ads or on the Display Network and are usually priced based on an automated bidding model.

Social PPC Ads

While Google Ads probably have a wider reach (spanning close to 98% of the web), social PPC Ads could also offer an unmatched audience refinement. The leader in this space is Facebook which boasts more than 1.5 billion monthly users (and now that Facebook also owns Instagram, ads works flawlessly on the two platforms. For specific B2B industries, LinkedIn would be an ideal platform to use despite being relatively expensive than Facebook. Now the question is, how does pay-per-click work on these social media platforms?

Facebook and Instagram Ads

There is a wide range of ads available on Facebook and other associated platforms and they vary in format (from videos to single images) and in the destination (where the ad will display). There is always the option to specify your audience depending on interest, location, basic demographics, and more.
To reap the most out of Facebook ads, you should consider installing Facebook Pixel which allows this social platform to collect crucial data about visitors coming to your site. And if you are not sure how to go about defining your audience, the Lookalike Audience feature lets you analyse the commonalities of your existing audience and target similar users with your ads.

LinkedIn Ads

If your company/business is geared directly to its consumers, Facebook will obviously get you a high return on your social advertising investment. If you are in the B2B camp, however, LinkedIn advertising is worth considering.
While you could strictly use text-only advertisements on this platform, ads with images have been found to drive 20% more clicks so it is best if you used both. After that, you can select your audience, segmentation by demographics, job title, company, skills, and more. These PPC ads could be placed at the bottom or side of a user’s homepage or in their inbox.

How To Get the Most Out of PPC Advertising

While pay-per-click advertising can be relatively easy to implement, rushing into this process could result in a disaster if you’re not aware of the basic guidelines. By looking at the tips below, you should easily launch an effective pay-per-click advertising campaign that will drive new visitors to your website or business.

Start By Creating Goals for Your Campaign

The majority of businesses, as well as marketing teams, jump into PPC advertising without a clear sense of their expectations and goals. This could result in wasted money, time, and significant frustration. To avert this, ensure your marketing team can comfortably answer these questions before setting up a PPC ad campaign.

What is your target audience?

You need to constantly remind yourself about who you want to reach via paid search. When selecting keywords and creating your ad copy, go for phrases or words your audience would most probably search for. Ensure the content on your landing page logically aligns with your keywords as well as ad text to guarantee a high-quality UX and maximize your return-on-investment.

What outcome are you after?

You need to determine what you want the user to do after the click on your ad. Be sure to include the goal as a call to action in the ad text. Strive to drive visitors to a landing page which easily guides them towards your goal.

How will you establish the success of your PPC campaign?

Make sure you have set up a good way to measure success before you can proceed to launch your campaign. Check your tracking pixels and URLs so that you will know the activity and traffic coming from PPC, and which is organic or direct traffic.

Create an Easy-to-Use Campaign Structure

The words to bear in mind, in this case, are relevance and simplicity.


On Google and Social PPC Ads, there is an option to group your ads. While you could be tempted to get as much of the message into many ads, it is important to stay focused. Through this, you will reap the most from your targeting options and offer relevant information to each segment of your audience. There will be a greater audience response if there is more relevance in your ads.


While a PPC campaign could be a single dice of your entire marketing efforts, it needs daily management and monitoring. Ensuring your PPC campaign is manageable and intuitive will make monitoring easier and your team will better pinpoint efficiencies and inefficiencies. With a complex setup, you will probably end up missing out on a huge ROI.

Understand the Factors of the Campaign Success

However large your business is, if you will be incorporating PPC advertising in your overall marketing strategy, you need to understand the factors that come into play for the success of any PPC campaign. This will help you set appropriate expectations and goals, and make adjustments that will lead to success. Here are four crucial factors that could affect the frequency and effectiveness of your ads:

1. Keyword and Ad Relevance

When selecting keywords and an ad language, be sure to keep your audience in mind. With Google Search Ads, for instance, there should be a close but obvious connection between the keywords you want to target and your ad copy.

2. Landing Page

While we have widely talked about the nature of your pay per click ads, landing pages are just as important. Landing pages must be optimized, related to your ad, and have a relevant call to action. And in the current mobile-driven world, landing pages must also be optimized for various devices.

3. Quality Score

While this factor is essentially unique to Google Ads, it is worth mentioning. Typically, this score is Google’s rating of the relevance and quality of all aspects of your campaign: ad copy, keywords, landing pages, and more. The higher your quality score, the more ad clicks you will receive, and at a lower cost. Simply put, it pays well to play by all rules.

4. Budget

Besides taking into account your own budget, there is a need to consider your competitors’ potential budgets. This mainly applies whenever bidding is involved in the ad displaying process. On Google Ads, for instance, the price of keywords often varies based on their demand. Highly-valuable keywords in your niche could have a higher cost-per-click and if your closest competitor has a huge budget, they could easily outbid you.

Why Use PPC?

Let’s begin with some important statistics: 98% of internet searchers go for a business that’s on the first page of the Google search results, 64% of people who click on Google Ads are usually looking to purchase an item, and more than 72% of AdWords marketers are planning to boost their PPC budgets.

With the above statistics, you are justified to look at your current marketing budget and wonder whether it makes sense to allocate a section of it to pay per click advertising. However, the truth is that in some scenarios, pay per click advertising could be a crucial element to realising your marketing goals, particularly when you want quick results. Here are some reasons why using PPC makes sense.

It Supplements Your SEO Efforts

SEO is not a one-night undertaking. From the day you start generating content and optimizing your site, it could take months or years before you see competitive ranks on your keywords. As such, supplementing the process with a pay per click campaign could aid in filling the gap.

Building Awareness of New Services or Products

SEO works wonders when your selected target keywords are what buyers would search online. Unfortunately, new services and products face the problem of audiences not knowing what they should search. With PPC ads, you can easily take an awareness-building message to your intended audience.

To Beat Your Competitors

If you’re trying to establish an online presence for an industry that is dominated by corporates, it will take time for you to own some real estate on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Luckily, ad placements usually take up 85% of the space and 80% of search results usually have Google Ad placements. This implies that even as you work to own some real estate in organic results, you could purchase visibility for keywords that your competitors are already targeting organically.

How Much Does Pay Per Click Advertising Cost?

As mentioned earlier, there are several factors that contribute to your pay-per-click campaign budget and the success levels to expect. Some crucial elements to consider are:

Target Geographical Location

On the majority of platforms, you can choose where you would like your ads displayed. Usually, the more you choose to narrow your audience, the higher the cost-per-click will be.

Target Keywords and Industry

The competition levels usually vary depending on the keywords and industry you choose, and this will directly affect the potential cost-per-click on the keywords you choose. For instance, some keywords would go for as low as $0.06 per click while others would cost $30 or more per click.

The Intended Action

Do you want your audience to see the ad, click on it, or fill out a detail form? Your goals for the ad also impact the cost of your campaign. On Facebook, for instance, impressions will be less expensive while a visitor click to a landing page will cost more.

What’s the Return-on-Investment for PPC?

When utilised effectively, pay per click advertising could be an effective way to get to new audiences and bring new visitors to your site. Actually, pay per click visitors is 50% more likely to buy something from a website compared to organic visitors.


To wrap things up, we can confidently say that pay per click advertising should encompass your entire online marketing campaign. Now that you have a better understanding of how pay per click works, you need to determine how it would work for your business in the context of your entire marketing campaign.

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