What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? (2022)

Paid search marketing is known in the marketing and advertising industry by many different names (and abbreviations).

Search engine marketing (SEM, which can include SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), search engine advertising, sponsored listings… the list goes on. And that’s before you start to involve the names of specific advertising programmes and ad types, such as Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), Google Product Listing Ads, Google Shopping Ads, and Bing Ads.

But never fear: Econsultancy is here to demystify everything. In this article, we’ll give you a basic overview of what paid search consists of and what it looks like, explain the different abbreviations and ad types you’ll come across, and examine the benefits and drawbacks of investing in paid search.

This guide is aimed pretty squarely at beginners, so if you consider yourself an expert in paid search, it might not be for you – but please leave any tips or advice you have in the comments!

Paid Search: Best Practice Guide

The basics

According to Econsultancy’s own Paid Search Best Practice Guide:

“Paid search marketing affords businesses the opportunity to advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying either each time their ad is clicked (pay per click) or less commonly, when their ad is displayed (CPM or cost per thousand) or when a phone contact is generated, which is ‘pay per call’.”

The guide author goes on to note that paid search and pay-per-click – PPC – are not directly interchangeable terms, as paid search marketing can also encompass other types of payment model, including CPM (which stands for cost per mille, or cost per thousand impressions) or CPA (cost per action / acquisition).

However, PPC (the cost-per-click model) is still the most widely-used form of paid search, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. For this reason, we’ll be focusing primarily on pay-per-click paid search in this guide, while also noting where other types of paid search ad differ from it.

So, what do paid search results look like when you encounter them in the wild?

If a user searches for “chocolate fountain” on Google, the search engine results page (SERP) returns the following:

(Video) Paid search explained

What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? (1)

As you can see from the screen grab, the paid search results are in the carousel at the top, marked with the term “Sponsored”. These are Product Listing Ads (PLAs), more commonly called Google Shopping ads (though other comparison services do appear in these spots, too) – they are a type of PPC ad that is displayed when a user searches for a product on Google.

Nisbets has the highest Ad Rank in the example shown for the search term ‘chocolate fountain’ and therefore Nisbets appears at the beginning of this results box. It will likely cost Nisbets more than the other listed companies if the user clicks on the first product and heads to their website, but it’s not just bid price that determines Ad Rank. Read more on Google – factors that affect Ad Rank include the quality of your ad, any ad extensions you have used, and the context of the user search.

What do paid search ads look like for a non-product search? Here’s a search for “paid search expert” (which, as you can imagine, is a term in high demand):

What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? (2)

Instead of the carousel of product images, we’re presented with a list of regular text ads that resemble search listings – only distinguished by a subtle “Ad” label to the left of the web address.

Moving over to Bing, we’re greeted (see below) with a very similar-looking experience on both counts: a visual carousel for Bing Product Ads (which are part of Bing Shopping), and text-based ads for a non-product search.

What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? (3)

As you can see below, Bing also has an additional text ad space below the product carousel, in place of Google’s local map ads.

What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? (4)

Interestingly, Bing only has one paid search result for “paid search expert”, compared with Google’s four. Perhaps all the paid search experts are advertising with Google?

(Video) What is Paid search marketing - A brief Explanatory video for beginners 2022 #ppc

A glossary of abbreviations

We’ve already covered a few of the three-letter abbreviations that pop up in relation to paid search, but here is a comprehensive list of what each refers to.

CPC

Cost Per Click, or CPC, means that you as an advertiser appearing on a SERP pay the search engine for each user’s individual click on your ad. It’s effectively the same as PPC (pay-per-click), though some use Cost Per Click to refer specifically to the metric that measures cost per click, and PPC to refer to the strategy as a whole.

CPM

Cost Per Mille, CPM, means cost per thousand impressions. Unlike CPC, this is an advertising model based on the number of people who see the ad (known as “impressions”) regardless of how many actually click on it. This model works best for companies aiming to improve brand awareness rather than generate direct sales.

PLA

Product Listing Ads. Also referred to as Google Shopping Ads.

PPC

Pay per click, or PPC, is the most widespread paid search model and is often used to refer to paid search in general. As mentioned above, it is effectively the same as Cost Per Click (CPC): the advertiser pays the search engine for every click on their ad.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing, also known as Search Marketing, is a nebulous term. It is often used to refer purely to paid search advertising, but can also encompass SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Google Ads

Google Ads (known as Google AdWords prior to July 2018) is Google’s own advertising network. It offers PPC/CPC and CPM advertising as well as site targeted banner, text and rich media ads.

By using Google Ads, you can show your ads on one or both of Google’s advertising networks:

  • Google Search Network, which encompasses any ads that appear on Google search results pages, including Google Search, Google Shopping, Maps and its various search partners.
  • Google Display Network, which covers any website that partners with Google, and other Google sites such as Gmail and YouTube.

With Google Ads, if you choose CPC, you can set your bid (the amount you’re willing to pay for each click) to manual or automatic. With manual you choose your bid amounts, with automatic Google chooses the bid amount for you within your budget. With CPC and CPM you can set your maximum bid amount.

What are the drawbacks of using Google Ads?

Google is always rolling out new features and improvements to its products, so something that appears to be a major issue or oversight on Google’s part will often be fixed further down the line – though sometimes only after several years have passed.

For example, in 2013 Google rolled out Enhanced Campaigns, which allowed advertisers to target people based on time of day, location and device. However, with this update came an end to advertisers’ ability to target tablet users separately from mobile and desktop users.

(Video) Are Paid Search and PPC the same thing?

Google argued that as many users were swapping out their home PCs for tablets, the behaviour being exhibited was similar enough to group both device types into the same category, and so desktop and tablet users were treated as one and the same.

Google Ads users complained bitterly, and finally in 2016, Google announced increased control over device-level bidding in Enhanced Campaigns, which included the return of tablet bidding.

If you’re used to advertising on Facebook, Google’s audience targeting will also seem much less finely-honed. Google allows targeting by age, gender, location and device type, which gives you several options to be going on with – but doesn’t come close to Facebook’s level of granularity.

Of course, the nature of search advertising (where the user shows intent and is more likely to be in the market to buy) is also different to Facebook’s social advertising, and so the results you’ll see from the two platforms will always differ. However, don’t approach Google Ads expecting to directly reproduce Facebook’s granular targeting.

Five expert tactics to improve PPC campaign performance

The Bing Network (formerly known as the Yahoo Bing Network)

Google Ads’ closest rival is the Bing Network, owned by Microsoft, which owns its biggest search rival, Bing. The Bing Network was previously known as the Yahoo Bing Network, and – as the name suggests – also encompassed advertising on Yahoo Search, as well as syndicated partners like Facebook, Amazon and Monster.

However, in 2016 Microsoft and Yahoo renegotiated the terms of a 10-year search deal that existed between the two companies, and control of ad sales and account management was returned back to each company, where previously it had been handled jointly. Bing subsequently announced the Bing Network, which represents an expanded network of syndicated partners, including AOL, the Wall Street Journal, Infospace and Gumtree.

According to statistics from Bing Ads, at the time of writing the Bing Network has a 24.7% market share in the UK, with 960 million monthly searches. In the USA, Bing’s market share is higher at 33.9%, reaching 136 million unique searches with a total of 6 billion searches every month. The Bing Network also has a 16.5% market share in Canada, with 403 million monthly searches, and a sizeable market share in parts of Europe, including France (18.5%) and Norway (17.1%).

While Google, as the world’s most popular search engine, will naturally offer much greater reach with Google Ads, there are advantages to buying ads on a less-popular search engine like Bing, including reduced competition and lower cost per click. As we’ve seen from the screenshot earlier on, at times yours may be the only company with a sponsored ad slot, allowing you to effectively own the sponsored results for that search.

Data from WordStream has also indicated that click-through rates may be higher for Bing Ads than Google Ads – particularly for Bing’s Expanded Text Ads – with an average CTR of 2.83% on Bing Ads across all industries, versus 1.91% on Google Ads.

Add to that the fact that you can still reach a significant audience on Bing’s network that aren’t present on Google, and it’s worth considering whether it might be beneficial to run some additional ad campaigns on Bing and monitor their performance.

(Video) Paid Search in 5 Minutes

Why should you use paid search?

The biggest benefit of paid search is your company’s appearance at the top of the search engine results page. While it’s always possible to improve your organic search strategy in an attempt to rank in position 1 – or position 0, with a featured snippet – on the SERP, paid search will guarantee it. This is all the more important on mobile, where a smaller screen means that increasing amounts of real estate are given over to sponsored results.

Multiple surveys have also found that many searchers are unable to tell the difference between paid and organic search results (2016 data, published by Ofcom, found that only 49% of adults could reliably identify sponsored search results as ads), implying that there is often no difference in searchers’ willingness to trust organic search results over paid results.

If you have enough investment, PPC is the fastest way to get to the top. If you know your way around the platform, you can set up a PPC campaign in less than an hour and appear immediately in the sponsored results.

Tracking is also a lot easier using search marketing. You no longer have to take a gamble on ads you’ve paid for in advance in other media, with little way to measure how successful they are. With paid search, every ad, keyword and penny spent can be tracked, allowing for a more accurate ROI. This also means it’s a lot easier for an advertiser to test campaigns too.

All of this, along with access to each search engine’s affiliate network websites and products, and the ability to schedule ads and target them to specific locations and times, makes paid search an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Alternatives to paid search advertising

If you run a small business, have a tight marketing budget, or simply don’t want to jump into bed with the major search engines, you can still make significant headway with organic marketing.

Although it seems like marketing is increasingly “pay to play”, there is a lot to be gained from a savvy organic marketing strategy, whether that be search engine optimisation (SEO) or social media campaigns.

Learn more

Econsultancy offers training in both paid search and SEO.

You can also download:

  • PPC Best Practice Guide
  • SEO Best Practice Guide

FAQs

What is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? ›

Basically, “paid search” refers to all ads that you can place on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) like results pages on Google, Bing and more. “PPC” – meaning ads that the advertiser only pays for when people click them – is a very common model in paid search advertising.

What is PPC and why do you need it? ›

Pay per click, or PPC, is the most widespread paid search model and is often used to refer to paid search in general. As mentioned above, it is effectively the same as Cost Per Click (CPC): the advertiser pays the search engine for every click on their ad.

Why do you need PPC services? ›

Pay-per-click (PPC) services help organizations manage their PPC advertising programs using a professional PPC or search engine marketing (SEM) expert. The overarching goal of these services is to help you get the best return on your advertising dollars.

Get an in-depth look at PPC services and how to get the right pay-per-click services to meet your business’s advertising goals.

Pay-per-click (PPC) services help organizations manage their PPC advertising programs using a professional PPC or search engine marketing (SEM) expert.. Pay per click services can help you determine and reach the goals of your ad program, such as:. These formats might include text ads, banner ads, mobile ads, YouTube sponsored video ads, and product shopping ads (to name a handful).. Many businesses hire outside vendors even if they have an in-house PPC expert.. PPC service providers may or may not be certified as experts in different advertising networks.. When hiring a PPC services provider, keep in mind criteria like experience, reputation, approach, performance and what other marketing services they provide.. For example, here at Bruce Clay Inc., our SEM experts have no less than 10 years of experience in their field.. So you want the consultant or vendor to have experience with different ad networks and formats.. If the PPC services provider does little more than ask for your Google Ads login to get started, that’s a red flag.. All of your digital marketing services should work together towards common business goals.. Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education.

Paid search marketing is known in the marketing and advertising industry by many different names (and abbreviations).

And that’s before you start to involve the names of specific advertising programmes and ad types, such as Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), Google Product Listing Ads, Google Shopping Ads, and Bing Ads.. Paid search marketing affords businesses the opportunity to advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying either each time their ad is clicked (pay per click) or less commonly, when their ad is displayed (CPM or cost per thousand) or when a phone contact is generated, which is ‘pay per call’.”. The guide author goes on to note that paid search and pay-per-click – PPC – are not directly interchangeable terms, as paid search marketing can also encompass other types of payment model, including CPM (which stands for cost per mille, or cost per thousand impressions) or CPA (cost per action / acquisition).. For this reason, we’ll be focusing primarily on pay-per-click paid search in this guide, while also noting where other types of paid search ad differ from it.. These are Product Listing Ads (PLAs), more commonly called Google Shopping ads (though other comparison services do appear in these spots, too) – they are a type of PPC ad that is displayed when a user searches for a product on Google.. Read more on Google – factors that affect Ad Rank include the quality of your ad, any ad extensions you have used, and the context of the user search.. What do paid search ads look like for a non-product search?. Interestingly, Bing only has one paid search result for “paid search expert”, compared with Google’s four.. By using Google Ads, you can show your ads on one or both of Google’s advertising networks:. Google Search Network , which encompasses any ads that appear on Google search results pages, including Google Search, Google Shopping, Maps and its various search partners.. While Google, as the world’s most popular search engine, will naturally offer much greater reach with Google Ads, there are advantages to buying ads on a less-popular search engine like Bing, including reduced competition and lower cost per click.. Data from WordStream has also indicated that click-through rates may be higher for Bing Ads than Google Ads – particularly for Bing’s Expanded Text Ads – with an average CTR of 2.83% on Bing Ads across all industries, versus 1.91% on Google Ads .. Multiple surveys have also found that many searchers are unable to tell the difference between paid and organic search results (2016 data, published by Ofcom , found that only 49% of adults could reliably identify sponsored search results as ads), implying that there is often no difference in searchers’ willingness to trust organic search results over paid results.. All of this, along with access to each search engine’s affiliate network websites and products, and the ability to schedule ads and target them to specific locations and times, makes paid search an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Know more about what paid search advertising is and the benefits it can give you. Be ahead of your competitors and drive more sales with paid advertising.

You may even have noticed PPC ads when searching for different topics on search engines like Google.. Paid search ads appear on the search engine results page, and they help drive relevant traffic back to a business’ website.. We’ll also dive into the basics of paid search advertising as well as explain how a PPC ad agency can help improve your campaign performance.. Paid search is a digital marketing method in which marketers place ads on search engine results pages and pay for the engagement that those ads receive.. Paid search advertising involves placing PPC ads on search engines like Google.. With paid search ads, businesses bid on ad placement to appear as a sponsored link on the search engine results page.. When search engine users search for relevant keywords related to the business, the PPC ad will appear at the top of the page in their search query.. If you’re just getting started with paid search ads, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the basics of how PPC ads work.. You need to set up a Google Ads account if you want to reach Google’s search engine users through paid ads.. Once you have created a Google Ads account and done some keyword research, you can start to create new PPC ad campaigns.. Due to the complexity of PPC ads, many small businesses choose to partner with a digital marketing agency that specializes in paid search advertising.. Google Ads cost your business money every time a search engine user clicks on your ad.. That’s why many small businesses choose to partner with a PPC ad agency for help creating and managing their PPC ad campaigns.. Though Google makes it easy to sign up for Google Ads and start a campaign, you need experience with PPC ads if you want to optimize your ad budget.. Our PPC experts know the ins and outs of paid search ads and focus on developing ad campaigns that drive conversions.

Have you asked yourself: “What is paid search?” The professionals at Valve+Meter explain how PPC strategies can help your HVAC company.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising has been a staple of retail and B2B marketing for nearly 20 years now, and there’s still a fair amount of confusion about PPC and its role in advertising and digital marketing.. In this article, we’ll define the key differences between search marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.. We’ll tell you why it makes sense to use PPC for your HVAC or home services company, what’s new in PPC , what to do before your first (or next) campaign, and answer some frequently asked questions.. Search Marketing (SM) Search Marketing (SM) is an umbrella including a variety of tactics to increase website visibility on search engines.. It can include marketing techniques, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pay Per Click (PPC), and others, including Reputation Management, Listing Optimization, Link Building, Content Marketing, and more.. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the effort designed to achieve web traffic through unpaid or free listings.. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is buying traffic through paid search listings.. Pay Per Click (PPC) Pay Per Click (PPC) is pretty much what the name implies.. PPC puts your ads in front of customers searching for the services that your HVAC company provides.. PPC allows for mobile optimization through responsive ads designed to recognize the device searchers are using and adjust ad sizes and content to provide the optimal experience based on the specific device.

Learn the basics of paid search marketing, what you need to know about how pay-per-click advertising works, and how to get started in PPC.

Search engines are popular host platforms as they allow advertisers to display ads relevant to what users are searching for.. If there are advertisers interested in showing ads related to a user’s search query, an auction is triggered based on keywords that are bid on by advertisers.. The ads that win the auction then appear on the search engine results page.. To get involved in these auctions, advertisers use accounts on platforms like Google Ads to set up their ads and determine where and when they would like those ads to appear.. Keywords , on the other hand, are what marketers use to target these users by matching their search queries.. Services like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads provide features called ad extensions that enhance the appearance of ads.. These allow advertisers to set a specific goal for their campaigns and then have the advertising platform determine the most appropriate bid for each auction.. The relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query.. Search engines penalize advertisers who bid on keywords with low Quality Scores by rarely showing their ads, even if they have high bids.. Using an analytics service like Google Analytics can help decide how credit for conversions is assigned to conversion paths.

Get an in-depth look at PPC services and how to get the right pay-per-click services to meet your business’s advertising goals.

Why are PPC services important?. And how do you choose a pay per click vendor or consultant?. Pay-per-click (PPC) services help organizations manage their PPC advertising programs using a professional PPC or search engine marketing (SEM) expert.. Pay per click services can help you determine and reach the goals of your ad program, such as:. These formats might include text ads, banner ads, mobile ads, YouTube sponsored video ads, and product shopping ads (to name a handful).. Many businesses hire outside vendors even if they have an in-house PPC expert.. PPC service providers may or may not be certified as experts in different advertising networks.. The importance of managed pay-per-click services has grown along with the growth of digital advertising.. When hiring a PPC services provider, keep in mind criteria like experience, reputation, approach, performance and what other marketing services they provide.. For example, here at Bruce Clay Inc., our SEM experts have no less than 10 years of experience in their field.. So you want the consultant or vendor to have experience with different ad networks and formats.. If the PPC services provider does little more than ask for your Google Ads login to get started, that’s a red flag.. All of your digital marketing services should work together towards common business goals.. Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education.. See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

This will hopefully touch on all the various elements you might hear uttered in the same breath as paid search, taking in such puzzling acronyms as PPC, CPM, CPC and SERP.

On a search engine results page (SERP), you can pay for your website to appear in specific sections of the results.. Here’s the Google SERP for the term ‘confetti cannon’ and you can see how ads dominate the page…. Google makes the majority of its revenue from advertising.. Whether that’s through the paid-for AdWords results on SERPs, or display advertising throughout its AdSense network or pre-roll ads on YouTube, advertising is what keeps Google thundering along.. You pick some terms that a searcher may use on Google Then create an advert that will appear on the SERP based on those search terms. You will also notice that there are three different companies serving an advert for the same search term.. Chances are you won’t be the only company wanting to serve ads based on your chosen search term.. If you want to appear in this space, you’ll have to bid against other companies.. The amount you spend will depend on how much you’re willing to pay Google AdWords every time a searcher clicks on your ad.. You can still rank highly in SERPs through various organic, unpaid means depending on the focus of your website.. However if you’re struggling to get higher than the top few organic results, paid search can give you immediate access to the lofty world at the top of a SERP.. Many businesses will do both, even if it has the top organic result just to completely dominate the SERP and push the competition further down the page.

There are multiple platforms available for you to start advertising your brand on. You can choose from many platforms such as Amazon, Google AdWords, Microsoft, etc. Out of all, Google PPC online...

It changed the way sellers approached their customers and helped businesses to expand their market reach.. Sellers can expand their market even further if they focus on their Google ad campaign , so as to reach an even higher number of customers.. So here are certain innovative approaches to improve a Google ad campaign:1) Use videos to showcase your campaign:. Using videos instead of long texts can appeal more to the viewers.. Highlighting the products that show the most promising results in your ad, will attract a greater number of customers and go a long way in making your Google ad campaign a success.. 4) Use contrasting colours to instantly attract viewers:. It has been widely accepted that providing images of things that emotionally trigger the audience will catch a greater number of eyes.. Humour, in a way, can be helpful in making ads more appealing.. 7) Highlight discounts and other additional benefits:. Ad rotation is a very thoughtful strategy that can revolutionize a Google ad campaign and get more clicks that actually convert for you.. Various companies provide the viewers with the features of the product, but how many of them actually showcase the benefits?. Highlight the benefits so as to convince the audience that they need to go forward with a particular ad.. The more innovative and thoughtful the ads are, the more active customers they attract.

Find out how to get more from your search marketing campaigns with a PPC audit.

A PPC audit is an analysis of a PPC program to determine how it could be optimized to get a better return on investment.. Even if you’re managing your accounts according to best practices, odds are that you’ve missed something — especially if you’ve been working on the account for a while.. Tool-based PPC audits Comprehensive PPC audits. You’ll see this type of PPC audit performed most often by agencies or consultants to promote their PPC management services.. In Google Ads, a PPC audit may analyze the following types of information.

Looking for your first PPC job? Follow these tips to get your foot in the door and then nail the PPC job interview.

I remember back when I was first applying to jobs, this felt like an infuriating Catch 22—how was I supposed to gain experience if no one would give me an opportunity?. If you’re looking to get your first big break in the PPC industry, here are a few tips:. If you don’t have direct experience with some of the tasks, don’t skirt around these in the interview.. When I interview candidates with no solid PPC experience, I like to ask them to explain paid search to me as though I was a fourth grader.. Aside from prepping your PPC pitch, there are a few interview etiquette items to be mindful of as you embark on your job search.. I lacked experience and didn’t have a strong professional background.. That said, I needed to use the cover letter to make a case for myself and prove that indeed I was the ideal candidate for that specific role, despite my lackluster resume.. I know it can be time consuming to write a cover letter for every job that you apply for but, learn from my mistake, it will be well worth your time!. Not only is this your opportunity to learn more about the role/company and determine whether it is a good fit for you, it is also an opportunity to show the interviewer that you’ve done your research and have prepared for the conversation.. We want to see that you are engaged, committed to learning more about the position and did your prep work ahead of time.. If you’ve gotten to the point where a potential employer is doing a reference check, things are looking pretty good.. Also, be sure to meet with your reference ahead of time to give them some background on the job that you’ve applied for.

It's time to talk about ethics in paid search. Find out what ethical PPC is, what it entails, and why professionals should conform to the concept.

According to Nielsen, about four-in-10 people trust online banner ads.. My only hypothesis is that businesses are making money from people clicking ads and they’re converting so they don’t see a problem unless Google tells them.. “Ethical PPC is the practice of online advertising that promote services or products with expertise, authenticity, and transparency.”. But remember, expertise is a spectrum and not a binary system and that’s why it’s so important to convey your level of expertise in your paid ads.. Dynamic keyword insertion is an advanced Google Ads feature that allows you to insert a keyword into your ad copy based on the user’s search query.. If you look at SERPs as shop windows, your ads are like the classified ads stuck to the glass or, in the case of a department store, the well-dressed mannequins or physical products they’re engaging with.. And your online ads need to offer that same transparency.. When Google rolled out its SERP design changes on desktop in January 2020 (the changes on mobile went through in May 2019), SEOs went into a frenzy over the visual similarities between paid ads and organic listings.. Organic listings no longer have the favicons but ads still use the black Ad label.. This is the antithesis of ethical PPC and I don’t understand how this got through in 2019 when, in 2011, Google canceled an ad for an Irish sex worker rights group claiming it “sold adult sexual services” when it was, in fact, a nonprofit campaign for sex worker rights.. While I don’t see paid ads becoming sentient and potentially murdering us any time soon (thanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger), we should be safe from paid ads that could detrimentally affect our lives.. I’d argue that PPC professionals play a part in that too, not least because ads are the first things they see.

Find out the answer to what is PPC & everything you need to know to successfully create & run results-driven PPC ad campaigns.

PPC is an acronym for Pay-Per-Click and is an advertising model where ads are placed online and advertisers pay only when their ad is clicked on.. Google ads are created and managed through the Google Ads platform, formerly called Google AdWords.. Your ad + bid enters an auction where Google decides where and when to show your ad.. PPC search ads use keywords for targeting which allows you to advertise your product or service to those that actually need it and likely need it now.. You are in complete control of what ads you run, when your ads are viewed, and who your ads target.. So now we know the benefits of PPC advertising , let’s move forward by looking at the general structure of the most popular form of PPC, Google search ads.. Campaigns are like folders – they contain your ad groups, keywords, ads, budget, and settings.. Within a campaign is ad groups, ad groups contain your keywords and ads.. In each campaign, there is an ad group for the exact match keyword match type and the broad modified keyword match type.. If a potential customer searches on Google using a keyword contained in one of your ad groups, your ad will appear.. Match types “dictate how closely the keyword needs to match with the user’s search query in order for the ad to be considered for the auction,” according to Google.. Ads appear on the search results page when your keyword is triggered and your bid wins the auction for that keyword.

In this guide, we‘ll help you to understand what PPC is and how it works, as well as making sure that you‘re familiar with the different platforms (predominantly Google Ads and Bing Ads) and how they work and how you can use these to drive success and enjoy a strong ROAS for your business from the channel.

PPC as a marketing channel covers a number of different ad platforms, with the most common of these being Google Ads and Bing Ads.. Search Ads Shopping Ads Display Ads Video Ads Gmail Ads. Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is the ad platform that allows you to run search and shopping ads on Google, video ads on YouTube, Gmail ads, and display ads on the Google Display Network (GDN).. Google Ads and Bing Ads aren't the only ad networks that you might consider to drive growth with PPC; others include:. Bidvertiser RevContent AdRoll Facebook Ads BuySellAds Advertise.com AdBlade LinkedIn Ads Twitter Ads Amazon Ads AdRecover. Ad Groups Ad groups sit within campaigns and are where both ads and keywords sit.. You can use our Ad Builder tool to create and build out your PPC campaign, using your competitor's ads as a template and customize to your own business and export these so you can import to Google ads.

In this beginner's guide to paid search marketing, you'll learn what it is, benefits of using it, and how to succeed with paid search ads. Questions? Shoot us an email!

Below I’ll break down what paid search marketing is, the benefits of these ads, and how a great paid search strategy can increase leads and sales.. When using paid search ads, you pay to list advertisements throughout the internet search engines and platforms.. One thing to note is that while it’s the most well-known platform, paid search marketing isn’t completely driven by Google—other paid search platforms like Bing are also available.. When you pay for a listing on the search engine results page, you are paying to have your advertisement put either above or to the right of the organic search listings.. Here’s how paid search marketing works: businesses bid on certain keywords that they want their advertisements to show up for.. Paid search keyword strategy is a science on its own, so for now, just know that the more closely the keywords you choose match a user’s query the easier it is for your ad to rank highly.. Paid search ads appear based on an auction .. Landing Page Experience – How relevant the page you send ad traffic to is relative to the user’s search, and also how easy the page is to use for people, which includes things like mobile-friendliness and load time.. Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR) – How likely your ad is to be clicked, estimated by Google based on your historical performance, the historical performance of similar advertisers, and the Google Ads features you are using. Because 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, and 63% of searchers say they click on paid ads.. When a company has not invested in search engine optimization (SEO) and does not appear in search results, paid search ads can be a quick fix.. Where SEO may take months to get results, paid search ads allow your advertisements to show up on the first page immediately after set-up!. Ad position – where in the search results page your ad appears Bing Ads – Bing and Yahoo’s paid search/ PPC platform Paid search campaign – the highest level in an account Click – occurs when someone clicks on an ad Click-through-rate (CTR) – the percentage of times your ad has been clicked on in relation to the number of times it appeared Conversion – happens when a customer completes a specified action.. Cost-per-mille (CPM) – cost per thousand impressions; advertisers pay a specified amount for 1,000 impressions Google Ads – Google’s paid search platform Impressions – the number of times your advertisement showed up on a page Landing p age – the website where your advertisement takes the user Keyword – a word or phrase used to display an advertisement Optimize – ways to improve something from an account.. Quality Score – a ranking system from 1 – 10 that Google uses to decide your Ad Rank Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – the results seen by typing in a search query.

PPC is an online advertising strategy that uses advertising to drive traffic to the website. Find more about PPC and how it works.

The different types of PPC ads include, search ads, local search ads, display ads and remarketing.. To get a good quality score, you must research relevant keywords to add to your campaign, organize these keywords into effective ad groups, rewrite your ad text to include the keywords and optimize your landing page.. Focus on long-tail keywords that are performing well and remove all the underperforming keywords from your campaign Keep adding negative keywords by using the keyword search term report Use the keyword research tool to find new, high-performing keywords To make the keywords eligible, change the match types or adjust the bids Ensure that your campaign and ad group is structured well.. Ensure that you highlight your value proposition, include a clear call to action and use relevant terms that will make users want to click your ad Constantly test and optimize your landing pages, ads and anything else to improve conversion rate Use Ad extensions such as address, phone number, product types, services available etc.. While this may result in your ad position dropping a bit, you could afford more clicks with the same budget and also be able to show more ads during that time Find new keyword variations, ideally long-tail keywords that have low competition and moderate to high search volumes Change your match types.. To improve the CTR of your ads, you can try putting in special offers in your headline such as “Hurry for 60% Off + Free Shipping” Add the main keyword in your headline and display URL Use ad extensions such as third-party reviews and rankings to increase visibility Use special symbols to help your ad stand out Add a clear call-to-action in your ad copy

PPC is one of the most popular forms of digital marketing here is. Learn how pay-per-click is important for traffic, revenue, faster-success, and more!

However, it’s important to note that PPC campaigns can get better results once they offer enough feedback data on campaign performance – this data can be used to finetune campaign scope, improve keyword targeting, focus on high-value audiences, and use bid strategies more efficiently.. Data from Statista shows that out of all forms of online marketing, search PPC ranks highly with as much as 20% claiming it offers them the highest ROI out of any digital marketing strategy.. And with traffic through PPC advertising yielding 50% more conversions than organic, it’s really easy to see why PPC is important for any internet business.. Search engines and social media platforms are a defining part of internet use – almost every web user regularly interacts with one or both of these parts of the internet.. Pay-per-click advertising is built entirely around budget, for this reason it offers a much greater level of control than traditional paid advertising strategies.. Plus, for common paid ads styles like search engine PPC, you only pay for the clicks!. One reason why PPC is so important for many businesses, is that few other advertising models allow for such specific control.. For the Google ad network PPC marketers can control which ads are displayed where – to a very precise level.. For PPC across social media platforms, the control over target ad demographics can be even more specific.. The importance of PPC and SEO together lies in the fact that businesses will be targeting the same keywords, on the same platforms, for the same audiences.. There are some indirect reasons for this that can make using PPC advertising an important additional strategy:. There’s also another reason why PPC is important, which is data.. Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising offer ad platforms that provide lots of feedback on ad campaigns.. For specific keywords, target audiences, platforms, devices, demographics, and more – marketers can measure a wide range of metrics and use the data to improve their PPC campaign.

Not sure whether your business would benefit more from PPC or SEO? Columnist Marcus Miller breaks them both down, providing insight into where they fit within your larger marketing plan.

Where both organic and paid are suitable, we will take a look at how to integrate SEO and PPC for improved results from your search marketing efforts.. The second is that traffic from organic via SEO is free, whereas traffic from PPC has a cost for each click.. What are the pros and cons of organic traffic from search engines?. Visibility in search engines for your targeted keywords puts your business in front of potential customers in much the same way as if you were to advertise, and it drives brand awareness.. PPC ads are just that: advertisements.. Additionally, over time, accounts can be further optimized to drive down costs and increase return.. As with organic search, there are many benefits to paid search advertising or PPC.. What is the cost per click in paid search?

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, marketing can deliver effective results for a business, but it can also seem overwhelming when you're just getting started. How can you use it to increase ROI?

Whether you’re targeting an existing audience or a new one, PPC campaigns can increase conversions, provided that they’re crafted properly.. If you’re just getting started with PPC ads, then it may be a good idea to test a small campaign first.. It’s useful to set a goal when planning a PPC campaign.. Did you manage to reach your set goal with your PPC campaign?. The success of your PPC campaign depends on the relevance of the audience you choose to target.. Once you get the perfect understanding of the demographics you want to target, you can maximize the chances of developing a successful PPC campaign.. A/B testing can occur in all stages of your PPC campaign.. A/B testing allows you to understand what makes an effective PPC campaign and it may even offer you insights you didn’t expect.. A bigger budget doesn’t necessarily increase the chances of success for your PPC campaign.. Start with a small budget and test the performance of your campaign.. The landing page for your PPC campaign should be as optimized as possible.. If you want to ensure that your campaign is effective enough to increase conversions, then you need to ensure that your landing page reflects your goals.. Approaching your campaigns with a “test and learn” mindset will offer you valuable insights, turning you into a PPC expert before too long.. Start with a small campaign Focus on the audience that you know Keep the budget low to begin with A/B test your campaign Pay attention to your copy Optimize your landing page

PPC professionals, we’re often asked by clients to do PPC forecasting. Working in paid search, we are used to having the data tell us what to do. But when the data doesn't exist yet, we essentially have to predict the future which makes your feel uncomfortable. If you follow this guide, you'll be fine.

PPC forecasting is an uncomfortable task, I don’t know anyone that actually enjoys doing this.. Working in paid search, we are used to having the data tell us what to do next.. Where do you start and what are the best process to follow?. You use as much quality data you can get, and make an educated guess as to what can be delivered.. When you start forecasting in Paid Search, there’s no doubt that it can be a stressful process all in all.. It is difficult if I am new to an account / haven’t worked on it for a full year Again the process should help with this. Don’t over promise and under deliver.. Forecasting is the same!. Quality data ensures that your forecast has a strong enough foundation to work with.. There is no point moving onto the next steps if you haven’t followed the map above and gathered enough quality data to make accurate enough decisions.. Go back each month and actualize the numbers to see how far off your forecast was from the actual numbers you delivered.. Check with members of your team to understand any unknown peaks & troughs Be conservative with uplift figures (UPOD) Use uplifts similar to those seen in previous years unless you are confident of otherwise Check final forecast against last years figures to ensure no crazy jumps in performance Be as granular as you can with your initial data set Forecast, actualize and reforecast if needed.. PPC forecasting refers to the way that you use data to help make predictions on the future.

Learn the main differences between SEO & PPC, and how you can combine them to BOOST your marketing.

SEO determines how many clicks PPC ads receive, and paid search can boost the results of organic search campaigns.. Building a good SEO strategy does take time and resources, but there are no ‘click’ costs like there are with PPC campaigns.. A Google study shows when paid ads for a keyword are paused, the organic rankings did not recover 89% of traffic generated by these ads – even if the site naturally ranked #1!. As you start to get results from your long-term organic strategy, you can test the conversion rate of the words you’d like to rank for with PPC ads.. Increase your search engine presence Gain insights from keyword data Recover lost search engine clicks Retarget customers gained from organic traffic Test new keywords for SEO Make smarter marketing decisions Improve your content marketing strategy Boost your social visibility. Organic and paid search is necessary for making a good marketing strategy.

With so many consumers flocking to the Internet to find information, read reviews and to ultimately buy something, it is more important than ever that your business is easy to find online. Poor exposure, or worse, no exposure can make your business become obsolete very quickly. You could have the most amazing product or service […]

Paid Search Marketing (also known as Pay Per Click marketing, PPC marketing, Cost Per Click marketing, or Sponsored Advertising) is one of the best ways to help a business get consistent traffic from relevant search results and other websites.. Without further ado, here are our Top 10 reasons why every advertiser needs to incorporate Paid Search Marketing into their marketing arsenal:. Pay Per Click Marketing is the fastest way to get an advertisement for your business to show in the top 5 results (in the sponsored advertisements) on Google, Yahoo and Bing.. One of the most overlooked advantages of paid search marketing is the ability to test online marketing campaigns through the vast amount of features and data that the available platforms provide to marketers.. Besides Google being the #1 search engine with a market share of over 65%-70% over other search engines, Google has also done an amazing job of amassing a network of publishers (other websites) to display Google’s sponsored ads for them.. Next time you are reading the New York Times notice the ads displayed throughout the site – those are Google’s sponsored ads and they provide advertisers with yet another way to reach their prospects on other relevant places on the web.. A couple great features that the top paid search marketing platforms provide advertisers with are geo-targeting and ad scheduling.. The main example (Google AdWords) used in most of the reasons above is the most popular form of paid search marketing; however, it is just one way that paid search marketing works.. Those ads are powered by Google’s ad network that allows publishers (website owners) to display Google AdWords ads from advertisers.. There are many different platforms to run display ads from, but a recent announcement from Google now allows Google AdWords advertisers to setup and manage display ads right from their AdWords interface .. Very similar to Google contextual ads via Google AdWords, advertisers have the ability to strategically place advertisements into videos provided by willing video publishers.. Another form of video advertising is click to play video ads, which allow advertisers to create video ads that can be placed on publishers’ websites for even more branding, exposure and marketing.. We have been involved in countless paid search marketing campaigns and are very familiar with online marketing agencies that specialize in paid search alone.

Making your business more visible on the internet can take a lot of effort as you will need to increase your search engine rankings on your targeted keywords which is why many businesses turn to paid search engine advertising to get their business to the top of the search lists. Paid search is a...

Making your business more visible on the internet can take a lot of effort as you will need to increase your search engine rankings on your targeted keywords which is why many businesses turn to paid search engine advertising to get their business to the top of the search lists.. When you search for a keyword on search engines you get a list that starts with ads followed by the organic searches.. Because your ad will only feature when a user searches on your selected keywords it is very focused marketing and it should pay for itself if your ad links to the right page on your website to convert the visit into a sale.. Ad auctions are held by the search engines on specific search terms and the ad will be automatically assessed for its relevance to the search term and its’s Ad Rank.. Google Ads which is the most popular search engine for ads due to the large volume of searches conducted through the search engine.. Firstly, you need to do your research to work out what search terms or keywords your customers are searching for and where you currently rank on those searches to whether you want to pay to increase your visibility on the search engine’s rankings.. Google Ads has a keyword planner that can help you with this research and find the keywords your target audience is searching for if you want to do this yourself or a paid search marketing agency will do all this for you and more.. A paid search marketing agency will also create the ads for you so that they are distinctive and appealing to your target audience so that searchers click through on your ad.. They will create compelling ads that will encourage users to click on your ad opposed your competitors’ ads or listings and to increase the chances of your ads of being included in the search ads.

Paid search vs. Organic search: What’s the Difference and Which Works Best? If you run a business and are looking to understand ways you can increase visibility, you will probably have come across terms like paid search and organic search. So what do these mean, how do they work, and which is right for you?   1. Organic Search

Influencing search engines by taking steps to persuade their algorithms of the relevance of your content to search enquiries and of the general importance of your website is a process known in digital marketing as search engine optimisation, or SEO.. The main advantages of organic search - appearing in the natural listings - include:. While there is some room for error, and no search engine algorithm is perfect in its assessments of the relative strengths of competing websites and pages or of the intent of the user’s query, most search engines produce a fairly well-ordered list most of the time.. Organic search remains free of charge (there is no cost per click).. Content of comparable quality on a younger site is likely to be ranked lower than equivalent content on a well-established, prominent site.. The idea of paid search is that anyone can pay to have an advertisement for a web-page appear in a results page for a relevant query, irrespective of search engines’ assessment of the importance of the web-page being advertised.. Instant visibility to website owners – no matter how new your website is, how little content is on it yet, or how competitive your field is, with a pay-per-click paid search campaign you can put your business out there in front of web users straight away.. Charging model based on cost per click, not per lead – each click through to one of your advertisements costs you money, and whether or not it leads to enquiries or sales, the bills will mount up.. Expensive for competitive queries – in fields which are profitable and for which there is strong competition from other businesses in your target area using PPC, you may find that you need to pay upwards of £10 per click to get your advertisement to appear on the first page of search results.. Some web users distrust paid ads and prefer the organic listings even if they appear further down the page.. If PPC is something you’d like to trial for your business but you’re not sure where to start, we offer PPC Services that you can take advantage of.

Google Adwords PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is the best way to get your product in front of potential customers searching for similar products. This blog will help you understand what PPC is and…

Some keywords are searched more than others.. There are many different types of PPC ads that are all great ways to increase traffic to your online shop.. Search ads Display ads Social ads Gmail sponsored promotions Remarketing ads Google shopping Instream ads Local service ads. Google Shopping ads are a great way to advertise your products or services directly on Google search pages.. Even the Google search results page can give a good indication of other keywords customers are searching for.

This key difference between SEO and PPC has important implications for keyword intent. Let’s take a look at how PPC and SEO keyword research differs.

Let’s take a look at how PPC keywords and SEO keyword research differs and how to create an effective keyword strategy for both marketing channels.. In an SEO keyword strategy, the ultimate goal is looking for keywords that users will use in their search query to ultimately find your content.. You’re probably reading this article because you wanted to learn more about how PPC and SEO keyword research differ and you searched for something like “ppc vs seo keyword research”.. With PPC keywords, it’s important to be paying for keywords that have high search volume in traffic towards your website.. As you can probably imagine, this sort of search is worth a lot more to an SEO agency than “ppc vs seo keyword research”.. Even if an SEO agency has to pay for the clicks, someone who searches for that keyword has a good chance of buying, so it’s worth paying to make sure that their business shows up for such a high-intent search.. This volume can come through a single keyword—like the “banner ad sizes” article we discussed earlier—or as an aggregate volume from many keywords with small search volume—like this “ppc vs seo keyword research” focused article.. Fortunately, if you understand the intent behind a keyword, it’s easier for you to identify great SEO and paid search keywords to implement and try.

Start driving paid traffic.

Search ads are the most common ad format in PPC marketing:. For us marketers, PPC ads are a great way to drive traffic and conversions.. You usually only want to pay for clicks from people who are likely to buy from you, and all PPC platforms allow you to do exactly that.. I’ll mainly focus on search ads and throw in some information about display ads as well as these two campaign types are relevant for everyone interested in PPC.. The auction system Campaign - ad group - ad hierarchy Keyword match types for search ads Targeting in Google Display Network Excluding specific keywords and websites from targeting. Here’s what you can set up and where in Google Ads:. Keyword match types for search ads Search ads show up when the user’s search query matches with keywords that advertisers bid on.. Start small and on your own If you don’t have a Google Ads account yet, Google will likely try to nudge you into creating the Smart campaigns—where you hand over most of the control and settings to Google’s algorithms—right away.. You first need to know what people search for and then how much you’ll be paying for clicks on average.. You can set up search campaigns where you don’t target keywords but instead provide a list of URLs and let Google decide when a search query is relevant to your landing pages and bid for you.. You can basically tell Google to show your ads to people who searched for certain things or visited websites related to your business.

While they share some similarities, SEO and PPC keyword lists are usually quite different. Find out how with Direct Online Marketing.

To enable a PPC ad to be shown for the same SEO keyword searches we listed above, PPC keywords in your Google Ads account will often look something like this:. Using the accounting software scenario from above which illustrates the difference between these keywords, let’s pretend the word “accountant” appeared in both lists.. For your SEO keyword list: “no”. If you search for “accountant” on Google, what are you going to be looking for?. Accounting software Accounting software list Top 10 accounting software Desktop accounting software SaaS accounting software. While the content of the page you are sending traffic to is important, the page itself doesn’t have to mention the phrase accounting software anywhere to be shown in a PPC campaign to start generating clicks.. Accounting software Accounting software list Top 10 accounting software Desktop accounting software SaaS accounting software

What is PPC? Is it useful for small businesses? Where do you start? Read our introductory guide to PPC Ads to help market your small business.

In this article, we will cover what exactly PPC marketing entails, why PPC marketing is a beneficial tool for small businesses, and some PPC basics and best practices to get you started.. PPC stands for “pay-per-click advertising.” It is often used interchangeably with SEM, or “Search Engine Marketing.” It refers to a type of online advertising where the advertiser (you) pays a fee every time your ad is clicked by a user to go to your website.. Text ads on search engine result pages such as Google and Bing Text or image ads on YouTube Image ads on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn Image ads on various websites referred to as partner sites, or Google’s Display Network.. The general goal with PPC advertising is to target the right keywords and organize them into effective campaigns and ad groups to make the cost of clicks trivial.. The most notable difference between PPC advertising and organic digital advertising efforts such as SEO (search engine optimization) or organic social media marketing is how the cost is determined.. Most PPC marketing platforms such as Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, or Facebook Ads allow anyone to set up an account and begin building out campaigns in a matter of minutes.. The most notable PPC advertising channels are Google Ads , Microsoft Ads , and Facebook Ads , which also includes Instagram.. Typically a small business will start by investing in Google Ads or Facebook Ads.. Sticking with our example, now that we’ve chosen Google Ads as our platform of choice and we know we want to reach people on Google typing in keywords — we’ll log in to our Google Ads account to create a new ‘Search Campaign’.. For my “burger” ad group I’ll add the keywords: “best local burger”, “burger places in boulder”, and “local burger restaurant.. The maximum bid you set The quality of your ads (or quality score), The expected performance of your ad (based on additional information you include in your ad, such as our location and call extensions above).. Google Ads takes the keyword “local burger restaurant” and looks for all advertisers bidding on that keyword within your targeted location.. While this article doesn’t cover all the common mistakes small businesses make when it comes to PPC advertising, one common mistake small businesses make when initially starting PPC advertising is “setting and forgetting.” This means creating a campaign, setting a daily budget and bids, turning your campaign on, and letting your cost skyrocket before you’ve remembered to check back in.

What you need to know to hire a PPC pro, not a PPC poser, to manage your business' paid search strategy.

Hiring a great paid search manager is not.. Do you think paid search management is monotonous?. I've been amazed time and time again during interviews with search managers with 5+ years’ experience who didn't know how a pivot table or VLOOKUP worked.. What things do you look for when optimizing a paid search account?. So there it is, the 5 qualities to look for when hiring a paid search manager.. The person managing your account is going to be responsible for your brand name in the spotlight of Google paid search , so make sure you're comfortable handing over the reins.

Combining a PPC campaign with social media promotion can be amazingly effective. Learn how you can strategically combine your efforts on multiple channels to reach your audience where they are.

But why do we have to choose between PPC and social media?. Don’t steal your headlines, but do ask yourself what trends and insights they’re using to boost both PPC success and enhance their social media followings.. Between the different headlines you choose, the difference in tone from blog post to sponsored ads, and even visual changes between link and landing pages, you’d be surprised at how quickly branding inconsistencies can sneak up on you .. Using the tool Answer the Public , we demonstrated how you can find the trends and topics to target with both your content’s direction and the key phrases you aim for in your sponsored search efforts.. You can further build on this brand familiarity by driving prospects who found you via PPC to your social media accounts.

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