What Is Pay Per Click Advertising?

posted by Zack Spear
Read time 5 minutes

Whether you are new to marketing or a seasoned veteran and looking to learn more about PPC, you've stumbled across the right blog post. So where do we start? Well, let's start with defining what PPC is so you have a basic understanding of how PPC advertising works. 

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as cost per click (CPC), is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a website owner or a network of websites) when the ad is clicked. - Wikipedia

Search engine advertising is the most popular form of PPC and its growing faster than ever. This allows advertisers to bid for position and placement when someone searches a keyword that is related to their business offerings of campaign goals. For example, as a marketing agency, we want to be found when people search, "local marketing agency" with this in mind, we place a bid on this keyword to ensure we are found when people are searching for a provider. 

Whenever our ad is clicked, a visitor is sent to a landing page of our choice and then we are paying a small fee to the search engine. When your ad campaign is working correctly this fee should be very small, if it's not well it might be time to revisit digital ad agencies or hire one if you are trying to manage yourself. 

Not that you can't manage your PPC campaign yourself but a lot goes into a winning campaign. Doing the proper keyword research, finding the right keywords to target and organizing those keywords in a campaign with ad groups and landing pages optimized for conversions is no small task. Search engines actually provide better rates to those who create engaging and relevant campaigns. 

What is Google Ads?

Well if you missed our blog before, we will give you a light summary. Google Ads, (previously known as Google Adwords) is the most popular PPC system in the world. The ad network allows you to have ads appear in the Google search engine as well as other Google owned properties. 

Using Google Ads is valuable because its the most popular search engine so your ads will get the most impressions and clicks possible. How often your ads are shown is defined by which keywords and match types you select. As well as these three key factors: 

  • Keyword Relevance – Crafting relevant PPC keyword lists, tight keyword groups, and proper ad text.
  • Landing Page Quality – Creating optimized landing pages with persuasive, relevant content and a clear call-to-action, tailored to specific search queries.
  • Quality Score – Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with better Quality Scores get more ad clicks at lower costs.

*Three key factors taken direct from Wordstream



giphyPPC Keyword Research

There's no point in starting a PPC campaign without the proper research. Finding out if there is an audience and what the competition is for that audience is crucial to your success. The most successful campaigns grow and refine their keywords ongoing to ensure proper optimization. Here are two things you should look at when conducting your keyword research. 

Relative Keywords - You want to make sure the traffic you are receiving is relevant to the offerings your business has. You'll want to find targeted keywords that will help your click through rate while being cost effective. 
Popular Keywords - You don't want to have the most popular keywords because you will end up paying so heavily for them. Having a mix of long-tail keywords can be more valuable since they are so specific and there would be less competition around them. 

Managing Your PPC Campaigns

Now that you have your campaigns created the fun begins! Managing your campaigns regularly is the only way to guarantee success. Here are some things to review each month to ensure the ads are working properly. 

Negative Keywords - No matter what you are going to get found for keywords you don't want to be found for originally. That's why its important to build a strong negative keyword list so you can avoid spending on those keywords again in the future. 
Review Costly Keywords - Not every keyword is the same, which means they don't all cost the same! Pick and choose the keywords that make the most sense to keep to maintain a healthy budget. 
Review Your Landing Pages - You can have a kick ass PPC campaign running but if things aren't converting you need to learn why. Where you send your traffic is just as important as the health of the campaign. Play with your landing pages to see what is working and what isn't. *Pro Tip videos help and so do precise forms!

Take a peek at our top performing landing page -> How To Boost Your Email Marketing Performance

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