Pay per click ( PPC )
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.
Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword that is related to their business offering. For example, if we bid on the keyword “PPC software,” our ad might show up in the very top spot on the Google results page.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. The Ads platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.
Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Every time a search is initiated, Google digs into the pool of Ads advertisers and chooses a set of winners to appear in the valuable ad space on its search results page. The “winners” are chosen based on a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their keyword bids.
More specifically, who gets to appear on the page is based on and advertiser’s Ad Rank, a metric calculated by multiplying two key factors – CPC Bid (the highest amount an advertiser is willing to spend) and Quality Score (a value that takes into account your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality). This system allows winning advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that fits their budget. It’s essentially a kind of auction. The below infographic illustrates how this auction system works.
Google AdWords is a pay-per-click online advertising platform that allows advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search engine results page. Based on the keywords that want to target, businesses pay to get their advertisements ranked at the top of the search results page. We never sell your personal information. While advertising makes it possible for us to offer our products free of charge and help the websites and apps that partner with us fund their content, your personal information is not for sale. We keep your data private at every point in the process of showing you ads.
Managing Your PPC Campaigns
Once you’ve created your new campaigns, you’ll need to manage them regularly to make sure they continue to be effective. In fact, regular account activity is one of the best predictors of account success. You should be continuously analyzing the performance of your account and making the following adjustments to optimize your campaigns:
- Add PPC Keywords: Expand the reach of your PPC campaigns by adding keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Add Negative Keywords: Add non-converting terms as negative keywords to improve campaign relevancy and reduce wasted spend.
- Split Ad Groups: Improve click-through rate (CTR) and Quality Score by splitting up your ad groups into smaller, more relevant ad groups, which help you create more targeted ad text and landing pages.
- Review Costly PPC Keywords: Review expensive, under-performing keywords and shut them off if necessary.
- Refine Landing Pages: Modify the content and calls-to-action (CTAs) of your landing pages to align with individual search queries in order to boost conversion rates. Don’t send all your traffic to the same page.
You’ll learn more about all of these elements of PPC campaign management as you move forward through the coursework in PPC University.
If you’re ready to get started with PPC, skip ahead to learn how to set up a Google Ads account.
If you’ve already got an Ads account, we suggest you use our FREE Google Ads Performance Grader to help you zero in on areas of improvement. In 60 seconds or less, you’ll receive a customized report grading your account performance in 9 key areas, including click-through rate, Quality Score and account activity.
Now that you’ve read up on how to get started with PPC, download the complete PPC 101 guide to jumpstart your PPC success!