PPC Ads: Ultimate Guide to PPC Advertising

PPC Ads: Ultimate Guide to PPC Advertising
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: March 08, 2023

According to an economic impactGoogle report, every $1 spent on Google Ads, one of the most famous PPC platforms, returns $2. A good return on investment, don't you think? 

Why wouldn't your business increase revenue using PPC advertisement? 

It's time to learn what PPC ads are, how they work, and what benefits they bring. 

Let's start! 

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What are PPC Ads? 

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model where you pay a fee every time users click on your ad. Essentially, PPC ads bring the target audience, ready to convert, to your landing page. 

PPC advertisements run on different platforms and come in various forms: text, images, videos, or a combination of all three. 

With pay-per-click ads: 

  • You define the price you pay for a user’s click. 
  • You don’t get charged for ad placement or impressions. 
  • There are no hidden costs. 
  • You pay only when your advertisement is in front of your audience and have actual chances for conversion. 
  • Ad runs until your budget empties — no credit card depths. 

Convincing enough? 

Let’s dig deeper into the PPC ads. 

6 Types of PPC Ads 

There is a range of advertising options online that only charge you with each click a user makes that leads to your website. Here are the main types of PPC ads.  

1. Search Ads 

Among the various types of PPC ads, search advertising is the most common one with a relatively cheaper ad spend. It’s also a very effective type of paid advertising. Why? It’s based on what the users explicitly search for on search engines, so it increases conversion and clicks.  

To take advantage of the benefits of PPC advertising, you may want to explore various types, but search ads are usually what most advertisers start with. Basically, you can choose which keywords you wish your ads to show on in search engine results, what ad copy will be shown, and the maximum amount you’re willing to pay if your ad is clicked.  

2. Display Ads 

This type of online advertising is great for building brand awareness because they have a wider reach. Display ads are images, banners, texts, or videos that appear on third-party sites to market your brand, products, or services. For example, you can run banner ads on other websites to bring awareness to your business. These ads contain a link to your website.  

3. Social Media Ads 

More thanhalf of the world's population uses social media. You’d want to leverage that number by running online advertising campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

You simply need an account to run these types of ads and put your product or service in front of your target audience.  

The benefits of this type of PPC advertising are that you have full control of what content you want to share and users are targeted based on their interests.  

4. Remarketing Ads 

When users visit your website and fail to convert, remarketing ads can help you turn those users into customers by putting your ads in front of them, persuading them to go back to your site. A huge percentage of your website visitors will not purchase anything during their first visit, so having remarketing ads in place can help you increase your conversion rates.  

5. Google Shopping Ads 

Formerly known as Google Product Search, Google Shopping is a great search engine marketing technique for eCommerce sites to market their products or service.

If you list your product on Google Shopping, it will appear as ads on regular searches on Google. Inside a carousel at the top of the search engine results pages, an image of your product will be featured along with the price and some product details.  

Although there’s no fee involved in applying for a Google Shopping account, you can still run paid Google Shopping ads as you do on top PPC ad platforms like Google Ads. You’re only charged when a user clicks on your products.  

6. Video Ads 

There is an increased demand for video content in 2023. As such,91% of businesses use videos as a marketing tool. Video ads are basically display ads that use videos as the advertisement medium.

Video ads can either appear in video streams — at the beginning, middle, or end — or as a standalone ad. With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is a great place to start reaping the benefits of video ads. 

PPC Ads: Key Terms Explained 

Before we go deeper into PPC best practices, we’ll explain some frequently used terms and acronyms so that you can easily follow the topic. 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 

Every digital marketing activity, paid or unpaid, conducted on search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) is considered search engine marketing (SEM). 

Paid digital marketing is online advertisement brands pay for (e.g., PPC and Google ads), while organic ranking using search engine optimization (SEO) is usually cost-free. 

Pay-per-click advertising isn't exclusive to search engines; you can also do it on social media platforms. 

Cost-per-Click (CPC) 

The entire amount you pay every time a visitor clicks on your link is called cost-per-click (CPC). The CPC you set determines the placement of your ad.

As you can expect, the more money you invest, the better place your ad will have on the search engine result page. 

Here is the formula that determines the CPC you're paying: 

(Competitor’s Ad Rank / Your Quality Score) + 0.01 = Actual CPC. 

Ad Rank 

Ad rank determines your ad's position on search engine results pages. 


Maximum Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank 

Quality Score 

Search engines evaluate your ad based on your click-through rate (CTR), comparing it to the average CTR for your placement. The rating you are getting is a quality score. 

Maximum Bid 

The maximum bid is the highest price you are willing to pay for an ad click. 

Cost-per-Mille (CPM) 

The cost per one thousand impressions is also called cost per mille (CPM). This metric is mainly used for social media and display ads. 

5 Essential Elements of a PPC Ad

Every PPC ad has a campaign, target group, keywords, content body, and landing page. 

1. Ad Campaign 

Before running PPC ads, you should develop an ad campaign — a strategy to deliver your message through various platforms to your target audience. The goal of an ad campaign is to generate leads and boost conversions. 

2. Ad Groups 

Your audience consists of different individuals, and although your products are their common point, one ad won't suit all. Therefore, you should make a series ofad groups with highly relevant keywords and run them under the same ad campaign. 

3. Ad Keywords 

Ad keywords are a signal for search engines to display your ad. Each of your ads must contain carefully researched keywords relevant to or the same as the ones you use in your SEO efforts. When users query the exact keywords, your ad will appear. 

4. Ad Text 

Ad text communicates your ad campaign and promotes your products and services. It directly impacts the above-mentioned quality score; therefore, ensure your ad is relevant to your offering and optimize it with keywords. 

5. Landing Page 

When users click on your ad, the landing page is where they end up. Your ad URL is usually the same as the landing page’s URL. 

Yourlanding page experience affects the quality score. Whether you use the homepage, dedicated page, or any other as a landing page, make sure it justifies the visitor's expectations and is optimized to provide a positive user experience and boost conversions. 

How Does PPC Advertising Work? 

The previous section introduced you to PPC advertising platforms, but how does PPC actually work? Whichever platform you choose, the procedure is pretty similar: 

  • Create a business account on the advertising platform and sign in. 
  • Design ad campaigns and create ads, targeting the right audience and relevant keywords. 
  • Set your maximal CPC, so your ads get the best possible placement on the search engine results page. 
  • The advertising platform will charge you the price you specified every time someone clicks on your ad. 

How to Create a PPC Ads Campaign in 5 Steps

Follow these steps to create an effective PPC campaign: 

Step #1: Create a Plan 

Answer the following questions: 

  • Who is your target audience? 
  • What do you want them to do after seeing your ad? 
  • What is the focal point of your ad campaign? 
  • How will you measure results? 

Successful PPC campaigns require a strategic approach and a lot of planning. Without it, your ads will never reach their full potential. 

Step #2: Set Goals and Track Their Progress 

Some of the most common goals of every marketing strategy, including PPC, are: 

  • Increased brand awareness. PPC can help spread the word about your brand among the target audience. Measure social media engagement and website traffic to track the progress of brand awareness. 
  • More traffic. Getting more traffic is an excellent goal if your landing page (and all other pages) have quality content that will keep visitors occupied and interest them for conversion. Measure website traffic using simple SEO tools like Google Analytics. 
  • Lead generation. You’ll generate leads directly from running PPC ads. Since you have a different landing page for each target group, you’ll easily track them using UTM parameters. 
  • Promoting products or services. PPC advertisement is great for promotions and announcements. Give a special code to PPC leads so you can track their responsiveness. 
  • Sales. Paid ads can boost sales, and to check yours, use marketing attribution. 

Step #3: Choose the Ads Type 

PPC ads leave you with many choices to target the prospects you want. Besides the platform, you can choose the type of advertising campaign that suits you the most. 

Search ads are usually in textual form and placed on search engines. 

Dynamic search ads can be a great addition to search ads. They are easy to use and add value to PPC campaigns, and the best part is that they don’t contain keywords! 

Display ads mainly include images suitable for social and external websites. 

Social ads display on the audience’s home feed on social media platforms. 

Step #4: Research Keywords 

Keywords are essential for pay-per-click advertisements since they signal search engines when and whom to show your ads.

Choose between one to five keywords for every ad group and ensure they're relevant to your offering. Your quality score depends on keywords relevance as well as user experience. 

Monitor how keywords are performing. If they bring traffic and conversion, increase bids on these keywords. If they don’t contribute to your goals, change them until you find the right ones. 

Include negative keywords in your ads. Negative keywords prevent ads from showing in irrelevant search engine results that won't result in clicks or conversions. You’ll save money and your PPC campaigns will be more efficient. 

Step #5: Track PPC Campaign Results 

Use Google Analytics to get helpful insights about website performance and user behavior. It benefits PPC ads, SEO campaigns, and all other marketing efforts. You can use this free tool externally or install Google Analytics 4 Property (GA4) on your website or app. 

PPC Campaign Management 

Management ensures PPC campaign efficiency. Continuous monitoring provides valuable insights and allows you to make necessary adjustments to improve ad performance. 

Create more ad groups and target each with relevant keywords and landing pages to improve ads performance. 

Adjust landing pages for every ad group. 

Constantly research relevant keywords and use them in your PPC campaign to expand the reach and target all ad groups. 

Review expensive and underachieving keyword performance (short-tail keywords, we’re looking at you!) and stop using them if they don’t bring ROI. 

Use negative keywords to filter unsuitable audiences and reduce expenses. 

7 Benefits of PPC Advertising

PPC ads bring many benefits; here are some of the most prominent: 

1. You Can Target Ideal Customers

PPC ads offer many targeting options: besides keywords, you can target users based on their demographics and online behavior. 

Thanks to detail-oriented targeting, you can promote your products or services to prospects ready to purchase. Also, you can use results for retargeting leads that didn’t make a purchase the first time they ended on your landing page. 

2. You’ll See Results Quickly

Once your PPC ad goes live, you’ll see increased traffic on your website in only a few hours after launching. The pay-per-click ads provide fast results, and it is ideal when you have no time to rank organically or want to boost your business. 

3. PPC Ads Are Cost-Effective

You’re setting CPC for your PPC ad. No hidden costs, just the price you’re willing to pay. 

Also, you’re getting charged only when someone clicks on your ad. 

No traffic. No charges. 

Traffic brings leads. Leads convert. Conversions bring revenue. 

4. You Can Use PPC Ads for Retargeting

PPC analytics gives you insights into users’ online behavior. You can see which users interacted with your brand but didn't follow CTA. Reinforce them using relevant display ads all over the web to come back and make a purchase. 

Sometimes, a little nudge is all it takes for leads to convert. 

5. PPC Boosts Your SEO Strategy

PPC doesn’t replace SEO — it complements it. Combining these two digital marketing strategies can help you achieve long-lasting results. 

However, PPC ads provide a great chance to quickly evaluate a keyword's performance in front of a target audience and use them in your SEO strategy. 

6. PPC Brings Great ROI

As we mentioned, Google Ads returns $2 on every $1 spent for CPC. 

PPC results are easy to measure and analyze. You can track the ROI you're harvesting and retarget campaigns until you find the one that works best for your business. 

7. Algorithm Changes Don't Affect PPC Ads

SEO is a great way to achieve long-lasting rankings that attract organic traffic. It is also ever-evolving since more than 200 Google ranking factors affect your strategy. 

With PPC, you don’t have to worry about algorithms. 

Concentrate on creating attractive and convincing PPC campaigns that convert. 

Top 5 PPC Ad Platforms

Many people equate PPC ads with Google ads, but the truth is Google is just one of the platforms you can use for this advertising method. 

Dozens of platforms use pay-per-click ads. To choose the best one for your needs, look for keyword availability, your target audience's presence, your advertising budget, and the likelihood of a high return on investment (ROI). 

Here is a list of some of the best PPC platforms you can advertise on: 

1. Google Ads (Previously Google AdWords) 

According to an Oberlo study, Google is the most visited website and processes8.5 billion searches daily. 

Google pay-per-click ads enhance the chances your target audience will see your ad. The downside is that Google is very competitive, so you will have to spend more on CPC to get noticed. 

2. Microsoft Ads (Previously Bing Ads) 

Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, generates more than1 billion monthly searches. Although its share is significantly smaller than Google’s, Bing is still available in 238 countries. Bing Ads is one of the most popular PPC advertising platforms. 

The interface of Microsoft Ads, previously Bing Ads, very much resembles Google Ads. Therefore, many Google users export their ad campaigns to Microsoft and run them without additional settings. 

3. YouTube Ads (Part of Google Ads) 

Remember all those videos that precede the YouTube videos you want to watch? Those are YouTube PPC Ads. They can also appear on top of YouTube search results. 

Video materials provide many benefits: they engage the audience and keep their attention, delivering excellent results. 

4. Meta Ads (Previously Facebook Ads) 

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has1.9 billion daily users according to a recent Backlinko report. 

Do you want to bet your customer are there, too? 

Meta Ads uses the CPM charging model more often than CPC primarily because of its unique targeting options. Meta is an audience-oriented platform, so don’t target keywords. 

Instead, the target audience is according to age, gender, education, interests, income, behavior, and other demographic characteristics. 

Meta will naturally incorporate ads on your audience’s feed, and you can also use them for Instagram advertising! 

5. Instagram Ads (Part of Meta Ads) 

Meta owns Instagram. Although it is not a separate advertising platform, you can manually set up Instagram-only advertisements. 

Statista found that Instagram counts1.28 billion active monthly users. Considering its highly visual platform, if your products photograph well, Instagram is the place you need to use for your pay-per-click advertisement. 

Besides mentioned, you can use PPC advertising on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat. 

PPC Ads Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What's the Difference Between SEO Vs. PPC? 

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing your web pages to obtain a high ranking on a search engine’s organic results. On the other hand, PPC marketing involves advertising your products and services for a fee that you pay each time a user clicks your ad. 

2. What's the Difference Between PPC Vs. CPC? 

As you already know, PPC marketing is a type of paid advertising where you only pay for each click users make on your ads. CPC, or cost-per-click, is a term used in PPC marketing, which is the amount you pay for each click you obtain in your campaign.  

3. Is PPC Advertising Right for My Business? 

The main benefits of PPC advertising include quick results and precise targeting to reach your target audience. If you want to take advantage of these benefits, then perhaps PPC marketing is right for your business.  

Moreover, if you have an eCommerce site with a high cart abandonment rate, PPC advertising can help you pull those customers back to your site and increase conversion.  

4. How Much Does PPC Advertising Cost? 

Several factors go into PPC pricing, including which top PPC ad platforms you advertise on, your company size, and who manages your campaign. However, businesses spend anaverage of $2.59 per click on their campaigns. 

What Are PPC Ads: Final Word 

Even themost valuable brands, like Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Coca-Cola, recognize PPC ads’ advantages and use them in their marketing campaigns. 

If your business could use a little boost, too, PPC ads are an effective digital marketing strategy for increasing brand visibility, website traffic, and conversions. 

Use pay-per-click advertisement benefits as an addition to your SEO efforts to achieve long-lasting results and stand out from the competition.

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