PPC Ads: Ultimate Guide to PPC Advertising

PPC Ads: Ultimate Guide to PPC Advertising
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: November 24, 2022

According to Google, 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 its 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.

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 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 the search engine result page.


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.

Essential Elements of a PPC Ad

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

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.

Ad Group

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 of ad groups with highly relevant keywords and run them under the same ad campaign.

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.

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.

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.

Your landing 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 in search results.
  • The advertising platform will charge you the price you specified every time someone clicks on your ad.

How to Create a PPC Ads Campaign?

Follow these steps to create an effective PPC campaign:

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?

A successful pay-per-click campaign requires a strategic approach and a lot of planning. Without it, your ads will never reach their full potential.

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.

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.

Research Keywords

Keywords are essential for pay- per- click advertisement 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 results that won't result in clicks or conversions. You’ll save money and your ad campaigns will be more efficient.

Track Ad 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 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 ad campaigns, 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 Pay-per-Click Ads Advantages

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 campaigns that convert.

Best Platforms for PPC Ads

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:

Google Ads (Previously Google AdWords)

Google, the most visited website, processes 8.5 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.

Microsoft Ads (Previously Bing Ads)

Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, generates more than 1 billion monthly searches. Although its share is significantly smaller than Google’s, Bing is still available in 238 countries and is one of the most popular PPC advertising platforms.

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

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.

Meta Ads (Previously Facebook Ads)

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has 1.9 billion daily users.

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, target audience 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!

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.

Instagram counts 1.28 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.

What Are PPC Ads: Final Word

Even the most 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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