What is PPC? Learn the Basics of Pay- Per-Click (PPC) Marketing

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing can be a really valuable tool for businesses looking to grow and flourish, whether on the Internet, across the country, locally or otherwise. Learning a new strategy, however, can be a daunting challenge. PPC is no exception. This guide is designed to help business owners and marketers that are brand new to PPC. We’ll go over the basics and discuss some of the initial steps that should be taken to become successful on this marketing medium, as well as answering common PPC questions.

What Exactly Is PPC?

Pay-Per-Click is an Internet advertising medium where a company places an ad on a popular website or platform and then pays that site each time their ad is clicked. This allows businesses to exchange money for increased traffic to their website or landing pages. PPC comes in a number of different formats. The most common is through search engines, like Google or Bing. PPC can also include social media ads on Facebook or Instagram, and video
ads on YouTube. The model is always the same: paying for a click to attract traffic to your website.

Why IS PPC Important?

As an advertising platform, PPC has the ability to spread brand awareness and help a business attract frush customers. PPC generates clicks and traffic to the areas of your website that can lead to conversions. These are powerful chances to forge long-lasting and lucrative relationships with customers. PPC is increasingly becoming a must-include channel for any modern business’ digital strategy. When you consider how much consumers use search engines, especially on their mobile devices, it becomes immediately apparent why PPC is one of the building blocks of a successful
company. These ads are a valuable tool that consumers use when conducting product research or while looking for new brands to purchase from. If you aren’t present on search results, you’re not going to produce as many of these important connections. Plus, you’re opening the door for competitors to grow without challenge.

Need-To-Know PPC Terms And Definitions

The terminology of PPC can be confusing. If this is your first time exploring the world of Google Ads, the abundance of new concepts and acronyms can really be off putting. This is a basic overview of terms you need to know in PPC.

Clicks: Very straightforward, how many people are clicking on your ads.
Impressions: How many times your ad was loaded onto a page and potentially viewed.
Click-Through-Rate (CTR): This is a rate of how many people have seen your ad (impressions) and then clicked.
Conversion Rate: The number of users that click and ultimately buy, subscribe or perform another desired action.
Landing Page: The page that your PPC ads link to.
Ad Copy: The writing of your ad and what it says to attract a click.
Bounce Rate: How many site visitors click away from the page, without further exploring your website. A sign of a bad landing page experience.
Bid: How much you are willing to spend for a single click.
Budget: How much you are willing to spend per day on PPC.
Quality Score: Your bid impacts your ad rank, but so does quality score. Google uses a number of factors to determine quality score, but it is designed to determine how effective and relevant your ads are.
Return On Investment (ROI): How much you’ve spent on PPC, based on how much money you’ve earned through your campaigns.

Getting Started With PPC

Google does a lot to make its PPC platform simple and easy to use. Even if you are a small business owner with limited digital marketing or advertising experience, you can successfully navigate Google ads. Not only does Google go step-by-step in the creation of your account and first ad campaign, but they also have great resources that explain all things related to PPC, whether it is a simple definition or a more complex concept. Thus, it’s the first place that any new pay-per-click marketer should start.

As intuitive as Google Ads is, it doesn’t know everything about your business and there are still some steps that you need to take on your own:

  1. Understand your audience: You need to know what demographic your ads will target. This will shape the rest of the stages. Remember, your normal target audience may be different than your target market on Google Ads.
  2. Develop keywords: Once you’ve got your target audience, you need to develop an exhaustive list of keywords that these consumers could be searching for. Keywords are the most important aspect of PPC, so spend a good amount of time creating your list.
  3. Decide on landing page: You need to think about where you want your PPC traffic to go. Do you just want them to go to your website’s homepage? A product page? Or, do you want to create a unique landing page for your ads?
  4. Create a campaign: With your keywords in hand, you can create your first ad campaign. Again, Google does a lot to help streamline this process and make it all very straightforward, especially if you already have steps 1 and 2 completed. As you get more advanced, you may be running more than one campaign with multiple different ad groups. You can think of this as having folders (campaigns) and subfolders (ad groups) of PPC ads.
  5. Craft compelling copy: Now comes the creative side to PPC: writing ad copy that entices search users to click and ultimately convert.
  6. Test and monitor performance: No one masters PPC right away. Even experts run unsuccessful ads that don’t yield the conversions they hoped for. Google Ads offers a lot of data into your ad and keyword performance. Paying close attention to this stream of information and making adjustments to improve campaigns is an absolute must.


Understanding the basics of PPC can help business owners produce more successful campaigns. Resources like this one are vital towards growing your understanding of the PPC channel and how to use it effectively. While this guide is a great start, it is critical to realize that PPC is always changing. Your users are going to change their search patterns and competitors are going to shift their bidding strategies to develop stronger ads. Thus, you should always be learning and paying attention to how the PPC marketplace is changing. For more information read this guide. ppcexpo

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