Today, thanks to the tremendous growth of the internet, companies are now able to get their products and or services in front of billions of users that surf the net every day. It has brought about digital marketing which is redefining marketing in a whole new way.

Companies and marketers can now serve ads to only those that are most likely to purchase what they are offering, significantly producing huge returns on investment and saving a lot of money. This is unlike traditional advertising like print where ads are served to everyone with the hope that they reach the hands of their target customers. Although this medium has worked and still works, the profit margin between how much was spent on marketing and how much profit was made as a result is nowhere near the numbers internet marketing pulls in.

With digital marketing, advertisers have several options that help them save a ton of money on their marketing budget. One is that they may choose to pay whenever their ad is shown to anybody on the internet; this is called impression. In this case, the advertisement platform charges for the ad regardless of whether the users that saw it interacted with it or not.

The other option is that the advertisement platform will charge for an advertisement only when users interact with the ad by clicking on it. This option is called pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

What is PPC?

Per-per-click is an advertising model that allows advertisers run ads on an advertisement platform, but only pay when users interact with the ad by clicking it; hence the name- pay-per-click. These ads have just one goal which is to lead the user to the advertiser’s website to complete a valuable action.

PPC is most common on search engines like Google and Bing because these search engines show only ads that are relevant to what a user is searching for. This helps advertisers save a lot of money because only users that are likely to convert will see and interact with their ad; a notable advantage over traditional marketing. PPC does wonders for businesses and if you’d like to try it out, here is a good resource to help you get started.

pay per click

How does PPC work?

Whenever an ad spot opens up on a search engine results page (SERP), advertisers bid on the keyword that will trigger that ad to be shown to a user. Don’t be scared, this auction and bidding is largely automated. That is, advertisers already have an ad and a bid price setup.

Whenever the ad is triggered by a relevant keyword, the search engine goes through all the advertisements set up by different advertisers and picks the one with the best quality score to show to users. This quality score is determined by several factors including ad quality, and bid amount.

To participate in these auctions, an advertiser needs to have an account with platforms like Bing ads and Google ads. It is via this account that digital advertisement can be created and the choice of placement made.

To set up an effective PPC ad, one must first understand the following:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Ads
  • Keywords
  • Bids and budget

Campaigns

Campaigns basically help to structure an ad account and keep things organized. It is a set of ad groups that share a specific budget and other settings. You can set up different campaigns for different marketing goals. For instance, if you run a sport gear and equipment store, and would like to boost online sales, you could run several campaigns for the many different types of sport equipment you have.

For example, you can run a campaign for sport footwear. The campaign would also have several ad groups that would run ads for footwear for specific sports. That is, one group could be for soccer boots, another for hiking, one for basketball, and so on; you get the point. Setting up your campaigns properly will save you a lot of headaches down the line as you begin to run more and more ads. Trust me; you don’t want to have a messy account!

pay per click

Ad groups

Ad groups house one or more advertisements that are similar and allow an advertiser to set a bid for a keyword that triggers an ad in the group. This bid is called cost-per-click (CPC). To get the most out of these groups, use themes to organize your ads. To explain further, let’s use continue with our sport footwear example.

So, your campaign is set and you are now in the ad group section. To keep things even more organized, you would want to follow a theme. Remember that in the campaign level we created an ad group for sport footwear, right?  Now there isn’t only one brand of sport footwear, there are several sport brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, and so on. Also, there are footwear for various sports. This is where themes become necessary.

Ads can be grouped into the different brands of soccer boots you sell, the different brands of hiking boots, basketball and so on. This will keep your account organized so you know exactly where you need to look to make any changes.

pay per click

Keywords

Keywords are at the center of PPC advertising; they are the glue that holds everything together. If you do not get your keywords right, you’d be burning your marketing budget and blowing the ash into the air. When it comes to PPC, or even any type of digital advertising model, relevance is key.

To get your target audience, your ads need to contain keywords that are being searched for by your target audience because they are what trigger the ads in the first place. This is why keyword research is extremely important in PPC advertising. Visit https://ahrefs.com/blog/keyword-research/ to learn how to conduct keyword research.

Bids and budget

Using the right keywords isn’t all that is needed to get ads in front of the people you want. How much you’re willing to bid on the keyword is also a determining factor. To win a bid auction, your need to meet all the criteria which also involve placing the right amount on the keyword. Search engines will only show the ad that is most relevant, uses the best keywords and offers a good bid price.

Conclusion

PPC is extremely flexible and gives advertisers a lot of options. Done right, businesses can get a ridiculous amount of traffic to their site and generate leads. It is very efficient because almost every action taken on ads can be tracked and recorded to understand users’ behavior.