Google Pay-per-Click Ads Guide

Google Pay-per-Click Ads Guide
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: April 02, 2023

The main goal of Google pay-per-click advertising is to get more people to view your website and ensure that they take action once they click your ads. A business can make $2 on average for every $1 spent on Google pay-per-click ads.

Traditionally, advertising was considered an expense instead of a good starting place for return on investment (ROI). However, this assumption is shunned nowadays, especially with the proliferation of the internet and digital marketing.

What Are Google Pay-per-Click Ads?

Google pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an online advertising model wherein the search engine charges you a fee for every click on a promotion linked to your website.

Pay-per-click advertising on Google gives you an ad placement within the display campaign or a banner ad. This placement can rank higher on search results pages (SERPs) or appear on affiliate web pages. You also have the option to display your ads at the bottom of SERPs.

Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

How Google Ads Pay-per-Click Model Works?

To understand what Google pay-per-click advertising is, you first need to understand what PPC or pay-per-click advertising is. In a nutshell, this is a type of advertising where you only pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ads. Hence, the name, pay-per-click.  

When it comes to the Google Ads pay-per-click model, it’s anchored on keywords. That’s why it’s essential for the advertiser (in this case, you) to perform extensive keyword research to find out the relevant keywords consumers are searching for on the internet. This will help you get higher click-through rates and return on investment.  

So, how exactly does it work? In a pay-per-click campaign using Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, you’re paying Google Ads to place your ads at the top of its search results page on the keywords you choose. For example, when someone searches the keywords “sporting goods store in New York”, you can pay Google to have your ad placed at the top of the results page.  

When someone clicks on your ad, that’s the only time you’re paying a fee, which is called cost-per-click (CPC). Google Ads will continue to run your ad until you reach your daily budget or increase it.  

Google Ads Pay-per-Click Payment Schemes

Google pay-per-click advertising rates are determined using the following pricing models:

Flat Rate

In the Google Ads pay-per-click flat rate scheme, the publisher or search platform charges you a fixed fee for every click or website visit.

They may offer a lower fixed price if you agree to a higher-value or longer-term contract. You may negotiate with Google regarding the price.


In the Google Ads pay per click bid-based model, you will make a bid at the maximum amount you are willing to spend on an advertising position. Then, Google will proceed with an automated auction that runs when a user triggers the advertisement spot.

The auction winner will be based on the amount offered and the content quality. These two factors are equally important for the bidding.

Google Pay-per-Click Ads Search and Display Networks

There are two channel options for your Google PPC ads. They are as follows:

Google Display Network

Through the Google Display Network, your brand can reach, attract, convert, and retain your target audiences using compelling copy and engaging visuals. Plus, your ads can appear on multiple formats and devices.

Here are the locations where advertisements crafted for Google Display Network are displayed:

  • Google
  • Gmail
  • YouTube
  • Affiliate websites
  • Mobile apps

The Google Display Network ad types are as follows:

  • Animated graphics
  • Static images
  • YouTube videos
  • Optimized ad copy and logos

Benefits of Google Display Network 

The Google Display Network is composed of over 2 million websites, apps, and videos where your Google Ads are displayed. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Google Display ads is raising brand awareness.  

Brand Awareness 

Google Display ads are great for targeting consumers at the top of the sales funnel — the awareness stage. At this stage, consumers aren’t actively searching for a product or service. They don’t have the intent to buy yet. However, Google Display ads help put your brand in front of your target audience. They help more people know about your brand.  

With Google Display ads, you can incorporate various aspects of your brand, such as logos and images. It’s not just small lines of text like in Google Search ads. As a result, it leaves a more impactful impression on consumers about what your brand is about, making Google Display ads a great option for brands that have yet to make a name for themselves.  


Additionally, the Google Display Network is a good choice for businesses that want to remarket or retarget their ads. This process takes a user’s search history and displays ads from companies they’ve had previous interactions with or products they’ve previously searched for.  

If you want to increase the CTR on your display ads and effectively retain consumers, remarketing is a good way to do it.  

Google Search Network

Within the Google Search Network, your enterprise can target potential customers while they search and browse the results on both Google and non-Google websites (also called search partners).

These are the covered locations of the Google Search Network:

  • Google Search
  • Google Maps
  • Google Video
  • Google Images
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Play
  • Search partner web pages

Types of Google pay-per-click ads in the Search Network include:

  • Basic text ads featuring the URL, a headline, and a site description
  • Dynamic search ads using your website content to reach people performing searches
  • Call-only ads directing calls to your business contact instead of rerouting the click to your business page
  • Shopping ads endorsing your eCommerce site and online inventory to shoppers

Benefits of Google Search Network 

Google search ads appear when users search for specific keywords on Google. Here are some of its notable benefits.  

Quick Conversions 

When it comes to Google pay-per-click advertising, search ads are perfect for consumers that are deeper into the sales funnel, particularly those who already have the intent to purchase, as they’re already actively searching for relevant products and services.  

Google Search Network is also a great pay-per-click Google Ads tool for companies that provide immediate solutions to common problems. For example, if you’re a dentist, you can run search ads on Google so that when someone searches for a dentist nearby for their toothache, yours is the establishment they’re going to primarily see.  

Cost-Effective Option 

If you have a somewhat limited marketing budget, starting off with search ads is a brilliant idea. Because of higher conversions, you’re more likely to yield results and get a return on investment.  

Receive proposals from top PPC agencies. It’s free.

5 Google Pay-per-Click Advertising Strategies

Follow these best practices for optimizing your PPC campaign performance:

  1. Target the Right Audience
  2. Allocate Your Budget Correctly
  3. Create Effective Ad Copy and Images
  4. Track Your Google Pay-per-Click Ad Performance
  5. Modify Campaign as Needed

1. Target the Right Audience

Identify and set the attribute of your target market. If you use local targeting, specify the area wherein your prospective customers reside. You can also use the local language to narrow down your potential clients.

Other qualities you can assign to your target audiences are:

  • Interests
  • Recent website visitors
  • Search queries related to your business

2. Allocate Your Budget Correctly

Ensure you do not spend more than your bottom line allows. Neither should you overspend on clicks from people outside your target market.

Google pay-per-click ads offer two ways you can set a budget:

  • Daily budgeting lets you set a limit to your everyday ad spending.
  • Total budget setting allows you to regulate how much you intend to spend on an advertisement throughout its campaign life cycle.

3. Create Effective Ad Copy and Images

Incorporate relevant targeted keywords into your well-formulated ad text. This will help reach people who are interested in your offers. Also, it will keep you from being labeled spam.

Use strong call-to-action (CTA) phrases, like “get free trial.” This will encourage prospective clients to find out more about your brand.

4. Track Your Google Pay-per-Click Ad Performance

Regularly monitor your Google pay-per-click ad performance via your account to check if you are meeting your goals.

This involves keyword reporting and conversion tracking. Both can assist you with assessing which areas of the ad campaign are working and which ones need improvement.

5. Modify Campaign as Needed

Changing your Google pay-per-click advertising campaign when necessary is a vital aspect of managing it effectively. You should constantly adjust your targeting and setting to ensure you are getting results.

Tracking Google Pay-per-Click Ads

PPC conversion tracking lets you know which advertisements drive the most conversions. This way, you can adjust your keyword choices, bidding, and budget to optimize those effective campaigns. You can also apply the effective tactics of your successful ads to the ones that require adjustment.

Keeping tabs on all completed conversions assigned to your Google Ads account, PPC tracking empowers you to trim ad expenses while maximizing profits.

These are the five main conversion types you can set up and monitor on your account:

  • Website actions include a button click, form-fill, adding to cart, email subscription signup, and purchase.
  • Phone actions are conversion actions that originate from your ads and are taken on a mobile device. This is critical because 95% of ad clicks are made on smartphones.
  • Application installations and in-app conversions, only applying to brands with PPC ads on app, count the app downloads and other interactions.
  • Imported conversions are tracked actions that happen offline, such as a successful phone sale or an in-person action.
  • Local conversions, actions related to your business’s physical location, refer to interactions like getting directions or viewing a menu.

How To Know If PPC Google Ads Are Right for Your Business?

There are various benefits to using Google Ads PPC advertising for your business. We’ve already mentioned that above. However, how do you really know if this type of online advertising is the best choice for your business? Here are some things to consider.  

Marketing Budget 

The amount you pay per click depends on the industry your business is in and the search volume of the keywords you pick. However, you can analyze the average CPC in your industry and compare that with the average conversion rates to see if it’s even worth investing your time and money to do pay-per-click Google Ads.  

Doing this will also give you a broad idea of how much it’ll cost you to gain one customer. This way, you can check with your marketing budget if you can afford the costs. However, you should also take into account that bringing in one customer doesn’t mean they’ll only do business with you one time. They could be a loyal customer that does business with you numerous times a month or year, so that’s something to consider as well.  

Time Constraints 

After checking your marketing budget and the average cost to expect, the next thing you need to consider is if you have the time to manage your Google Ads pay per click campaign. If you don’t have the bandwidth to take on this task, do you at least have employees who can do it for you? Alternatively, can you outsource this task to a digital marketer for an affordable rate?  

Google pay-per-click advertising delivers fast results. However, that’s not to say that it’s not time-consuming. You may need to dedicate a few hours per week to managing and maintaining these ads. You need to create new ads, adjust your allocated budget, test new designs, look for new keywords, and more.  

Product or Service Offering 

With various types of online advertising, you have to determine if your product or service will do well in Google Ads. You already know product images aren’t shown in search results. Evaluate the main drivers of your product sales. For example, if you need to show diverse product images for your product to sell well, your product may not do well on Google Ads. Perhaps Instagram is a tool to consider.  

Traffic Potential 

Keyword research is an essential step in setting up pay-per-click Google Ads. You first need to see how many internet users are searching for the product or service you’re offering to see if it’s worth it. If there are not enough people searching for the keyword/s you want to target, it may not be worth it.  

To do keyword research, you can use tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to check if relevant keywords have enough search volume. This metric is the estimated number of times a particular keyword is searched by users each month. Look for relevant keywords that have a search volume of at least a few hundred.  

PPC vs SEO vs CPC: How They Differ?

Building a strong digital marketing campaign is crucial for high conversion rates and fast revenue. With that, you may have come across these three terms and wondered exactly what they mean. Luckily, we’re here to make things a bit clearer.  

  • PPC (pay-per-click): This type of digital marketing strategy is a solid option for brands that want to raise brand awareness by reaching a wider audience. With PPC platforms like Google Ads pay-per-click, brands only pay a fee when a user clicks on their ads and is led to their website.  
  • SEO (search engine optimization): Basically, SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its ranking on the results page on search engines. SEO is a strategy that digital marketers employ to get lasting results. It may take a while for you to see results, but optimizing your site for search engines isn't as costly as PPC and its results are more long-lasting.  
  • CPC (cost-per-click): This is a commonly used term in pay-per-click advertising, which refers to the amount you pay for each click your ad gets from a user. There are numerous factors that go into determining the CPC, including the industry you’re in and the search volume of the keyword you’re showing your ads on. 

Benefits of Pay-per-Click Advertising on Google

Google has a massive reach and dominates the search market. And its pay-per-click advertising gets you the most beneficial spots on search results.

Besides prime ad locations, the advantages of Google PPC include the following:

Advanced Targeting Technology

With Google PPC, you can reach audiences easily based on specific interests and demographics—such as location, habits, hobbies, and parental status.


Google pay-per-click advertising is an excellent opportunity to harness an impressive return on investment (ROI) at costs within your means.

Maximum Utilization of SEO

SEO is a valuable companion to Google pay-per-click ads for these reasons:

  • You can use your PPC reporting data for your SEO tactics.
  • SEO can help decrease your PPC expenses by performing well on the organic search results page.
  • It boosts your online visibility as your business website and other information will appear on both organic and paid search results.

Full Control Over Ad Campaigns

Maintain complete, thorough control over your campaigns and budget at all times. Google Ads pay-per-click program enables you to decide your spending daily and monthly based on performance analytics and insights.

Invest more in ads that are performing well and increase the expected results. In contrast, you can lower the ad spend on underperforming advertisements and stop running them entirely to avoid bigger losses.

Google Pay-per-Click Ads FAQ

How Much Does Google Ad Pay Per Click? 

The amount brands pay for Google Ads varies extensively, particularly since you get to set a budget. However, according to WebFX, the average CPC on Google Ads pay-per-click is $1 to $2 for search ads and less than $1 for display ads.  

How Do I Create a Pay-Per-Click Ad on Google? 

After determining that Google pay-per-click advertising is the appropriate route for your brand, you can follow these steps to start a Google Ad campaign.  

  1. Create a Google Ads account. 
  2. Outline your campaign goals. 
  3. Add a detailed description under the “Describe your business” section. 
  4. Specify your geographic location. 
  5. Set up keywords.  
  6. Write your ad and set up a budget. 
  7. Fill out the “Budget and review” section. 
  8. Set up billing and press submit.  

How Many Clicks Are Good for Google Ads? 

Your click-through rate depends on numerous factors like your industry and keywords. However, the average percentage is 1.91% for search ads and 0.35% for display ads. Ideally, you should get at least 15 clicks daily for each ad group. 

Key Takeaways on Google Pay-per-Click Ads

You can launch a Google Ads pay-per-click campaign in less than an hour and get your website to appear instantly under sponsored search results. Investing enough in pay-per-click advertising on Google is the quickest way to get to the top results.

Set up Google pay-per-click advertising by conducting extensive keyword research, formulating a compelling copy, and participating in ad auctions.

Rather than being pressured to shell out huge amounts on your campaign, choose to start small. You have the option to pause your campaigns depending on their performance.

Follow the best practices in Google pay-per-click advertising, track results, and you will be in the right direction to boost your website traffic with paid search strategies.

We’ll find qualified PPC agencies for your project, for free.
Subscribe to Spotlight Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest industry news