An Introduction to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing

Introduction to PPC

Pay-per-click advertising is not the rocket science it used to be. Actually, it was never as hard as ‘rocket science’, but our point is that its become even easier now, with better bang for the buck. So here is our attempt to give you a comprehensive introduction into the world of PPC advertising.

Table of Contents

So, without further ado, let’s get to it…

What is PPC Advertising?

As the name suggests, PPC advertising is a form of paid advertising where you pay for each click of your ad. The most common type of PPC that we see is search advertising where companies place their ads on top of search results to ensure visibility and exposure. Remember those ads that pop up when we Google something? Those are a form of PPC ads.

Example of Pay per click advertising

Essentially, with the help of these ads, you are attempting to buy visits to your websites rather than working tirelessly to “earn” those visits organically. This way, you KNOW your site will be on the first two pages of search results.

What are the Benefits of PPC Advertising?

As mentioned above, this method of advertising enables you to place your website at the top of search results without actually putting in the work needed to reach there organically. That in itself is a big deal. However, there are more reasons why PPC is good for you.

Source: Invesp

What are the Types of PPC?

Although we talked about search advertising, that’s not the only type of PPC there is. There are other types of pay-per-click ads and knowing the difference between them will help you decide which ones would work the best for you.

Search Advertising

Search advertising is the most common type of PPC there is. This might be because most companies do not look beyond Google Adwords when it comes to PPC.

What is Google Adwords? Simply put, Google Adwords is a software by Google (just like Google Analytics) that helps you place ads on Google’s search results pages. Hence, when someone searches for your product or service, you can be right there on top all ready to be clicked. Just like Google, even Bing and Yahoo have their own search advertising platforms.

(Click on images to view infographic)

Now, we understand that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine over at the Adwords world. Lucky for you, WordStream released a nifty little infographic that explains ‘How to Use Google Adwords‘. If you want to know more about the Adwords auction in specific, check out WordStream’s ‘How Does The Adwords Auction Work?‘ infographic.

Display Advertising

Remember those ads that you see on some websites? They’re either a banner, or a block on side? Those are display ads. Through display advertising, you put your brand’s advertisements on other websites where your potential customers may frequently visit. Compared to search ads, you have a bit more freedom with display ads as they allow you to include creative graphics such as images or even videos to your advertisement. Google Display Network, as well as Facebook, has a wide range of partner websites that allow you to cast your advertisements.

Social Media Advertising

These are advertisements that pop up on social media feeds. Marketing is all about being where your customers are, and social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter give you whole new ways to target and reach out to potential or existing customers. Social media advertising provides you with unique targeting options at a relatively lower cost. Plus, they have higher click through rates as compared to search or even display advertisements. Think about it, how many times have we ourselves decided to check out a company’s page just because we liked an advertisement of theirs on Instagram or Facebook?

Facebook and instagram paid ads example

Instream Advertising

Instream ads appear in videos. If you’ve ever watched content on YouTube, you’ve seen some form of an advertisement before or while watching a video. Sponsored video content creates excellent engagement, and helps raise brand awareness while driving conversions.

Youtube advertising example

Considering 63% of all Internet users regularly watch YouTube, it’s a great opportunity for you to reach people where they’re likely to be looking for content. You can get your ads in front of more interested leads that browse videos on YouTube.

Google Shopping

Google shopping ads are another type of paid advertising your business can utilize to help leads find your products. These ads appear in a carousel format above the main Google search results. It allows users to see the products and prices before they click on someone’s website.

Google shopping ads present a “window-shopping” feel to the Internet. It allows users to browse the same product from different companies.

Google shopping ad example

These ads enable you to offer a sneak peek of your product to your audience. They can see a picture of the product, the price, and your company name. There may also be additional information, such as a price drop percentage, product star rating, or special offers like free shipping.

This format is one of the most effective types of PPC campaigns because the user gets informed long before clicking on your listing. They know the item and the price of it. If those two factors fit their needs, they’re more likely to click on your ad and become a customer.

Geo-targeting and Geo-fencing

difference between geotargeting and geofencing

If your company is a localized service business, then this is where your money should be. Geo-targeted ads are ads that are specifically targeted to those within a specific location. This ensures that a coffee shop in Dubai is not advertising to people living in Abu Dhabi, because we both know nobody’s driving 2 hours to and fro, for a cup of coffee.

Geo-fencing, on the other hand, targets IP addresses. It allows businesses to target their exact market. This is especially good for B2B companies since you can now target specific locations such as conferences, university buildings and so on. Due to the specificity needed to implement this form of advertising, they also result in high conversion rates.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Gmail sponsored promotions

As of October 2018, Gmail had 1.5 billion users. Email has become a significant part of daily life, so it makes sense to advertise there as well, don’t you think? With Gmail promotions, you reach interested leads right in their inbox.

These ads appear at the top of a user’s inbox and look like any other email, except for the “ad” tag on the email and the bolded subject line. Users can see these emails on desktop and in the mobile app.


It often so happens that a potential customer clicks on an ad, visits your website, learns about your products and services, but doesn’t convert. This might be because they need more time to think, or they want to look up competitor and substitute products before making a decision. The purpose of remarketing is to nudge your leads over the finish line and gain conversions.

nike remarketing ad

Nike lets people scroll through several pairs of sneakers “suggested for them” based on their previous activity on Nike’s website. It also includes a call-to-action (CTA) button to direct customers back to Nike’s site to finish shopping. In our opinion, this is the perfect example of a remarketed ad.

The importance of remarketing when it comes to pay per click advertising
(Click on image to view infographic)

For more information about remarketing and the need for it in pay-per-click marketing, check out this infographic by Digital Marketing Philippines. It wraps up everything that we’ve said so far, and provides a few statistics that’ll help.

How to Get Started with PPC Advertising

Now that you know what pay-per-click advertising is, and understand the benefits and types of ppc campaigns, let’s dive into crafting a quality PPC campaign. You will need to work tackle through each of these steps in order to ensure that you create an effective campaign.

Of course, we’ve also added a list of things you can take care of to ensure that your PPC campaign is optimized to the max.

PPC Campaign Management

Having covered most of the basics when it comes to PPC advertising, we’ve finally arrived at a largely forgotten segment of your campaigns, which is management. PPC campaigns are not meant to be launched and then forgotten till its over. They need continuous management and optimization in order to be effective.

We came across a PPC checklist by Midas Media that neatly sums up the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly items that you need to take care of in order to ensure that your campaigns are not simply gathering cobwebs instead of leads.

PPC Tools and Software

Here’s a list of some popular, highly-rated PPC software and resources.

  • WordStream automates the tedious parts of setting up and managing your PPC campaign.
  • HubSpot offers a robust template to help you monitor and manage the moving parts of your campaign, making it easy to keep track of your ad groups, keywords, and A/B tests.
  • NinjaCat lets you combine all of your analytics from multiple platforms into one report so you can track your entire campaign in one location.
  • Optmyzr has end-to-end PPC support, from creation to reporting … and they offer a free trial of their software.
  • SEMRush can help you manage the most important part of your PPC campaign — keywords. You can find relevant keywords, manage and optimize your keyword lists, and create negative lists.

PPC Metrics to Track

Some key metrics to track within your PPC campaign are:

  • Clicks refer to the total number of clicks you receive on an ad. This metric is affected by your keyword selection and the relevance of your ad copy.
  • Cost per click (CPC) measures the price you pay for each click on your ad.
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of ad views that result in clicks. This metric determines how much you pay (CPC). CTR benchmarks vary by industry.
  • Impressions is the number of times an ad is viewed. Cost per mille (CPM) is determined for every thousand impressions. Impressions are most relevant for brand awareness campaigns.
  • Ad spend is the amount you are spending on your ads. You can optimize this by improving your Quality Score.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) is the ROI of your ad campaign. This metric calculates the revenue received for every dollar spent on ads.
  • Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people that complete the call-to-action on your landing page and become a lead or customer.
  • Cost per conversion refers to the cost to generate a lead. This is calculated as the total cost of an ad divided by the number of conversions.
  • Quality Score (QS) determines ad positioning, so it’s an important metric to keep an eye on.

By paying close attention to each of these metrics, you can increase the ROI of your paid campaign and spend less for better results.

And that’s a wrap!

We believe that PPC advertising is a crucial element of your inbound strategy regardless of how long you’ve been in business, or how small or big your company is. Even if you’ve never done it so far, now is just as good any time to start.