Guide to PPC Advertising for Beginners

July 14, 2017
Guide to PPC Advertising for Beginners

What is PPC?

PPC often referred to as Pay Per Click, Paid search, or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Using PPC, advertisers can reach their target audience, at a given moment, and on the desired budget. It is one of the most powerful forms of digital marketing, and this guide will help you deeply understand this fantastic channel.

The one thing that distinguishes PPC from other digital marketing methods is that is an auction-based system, where advertisers bid on specific keywords their target users search online.

Businesses of all sizes can use paid search or display advertisements to find interested prospects. This guide will help you understand that process so that you can better serve your customers and avoid wasting advertising spend. However, if you are not planning to learn everything about PPC (It’s not something you learn overnight, trust me), it might be better to hire a Pay Per Click Marketing Firm

You will learn:

  • The definition of paid search advertising.
  • The difference between paid search results and organic search results.
  • The relationship between paid search advertising and display advertising.
  • The benefits of PPC to your digital marketing strategy.
  • The PPC Cycle.

    Auction-based System

    Paid search is an auction-based system, so whenever a search happens then an auction is in motion to decide where your ads will be displayed. It is called paid search because you do pay for the traffic but you only pay for the traffic that comes to your website.

    Targeting Capabilities

    You can utilize many targeting capabilities to ensure you are only putting your message in front of relevant users.

    • Geography: You can have your ad shown in a specific city, state, or even multiple countries.
    • Time of day/Days of the week: You can pick the time you want your ad displayed.
    • Mobile/Desktop computers: You can choose to have different ads on mobile devices.
    • Individual websites: You can even pick individual websites or ad slots where you want your ads displayed.

      Search Engines and Traffic

      Mostly, PPC involves buying traffic on search engines such as Google, Bing,, Yahoo, AOL, etc. For many companies, PPC is the primary method of customer acquisition.

      When you make a search on Google or Bing, sometimes, you see ads or sponsored results at the top of the pages, these are the “search ads.” In addition, they are often at the very top of the search engine results page.

      Often advertisers use Yahoo, Google, and Bing since they are the largest search engines with 6 billion search queries every single day. Your goal is to take some of the search queries that are relevant to your business and bring traffic to your website so you can get customers.

      Display Networks

      Other ads show on display networks. Display networks are other sites that are partnered with Google or Bing to display advertisements. They are commonly news sites or social sites such as Facebook. These websites are places where you can show your ads that are not search but are more similar to banner type ads.

      They could be text ads, images, or even video ads and you can choose to have them displayed based on keywords, user interests, contextual targeting, and even remarketing. Remarketing entails someone doing a particular behavior on your website, and then you show ads back across display networks to them.

      For example, you might search for “vacation getaway packages,” but then you leave the site and visit another website looking for a computer, but because you did specific actions on the previous website, they might show you ads on that third-party website about getaway packages.

      When you look at the display network, you will find many non-search ways you can reach users. While search is a relevant-based industry, display networks come close when you combine all the options.

      By examining both search and display in the context paid search, you can be amazingly precise of when you want users to see your ad, where they are based, and what conditions are involved that make an ad displayed to any one user.

      Search ads and Business Types

      How do search ads work with various business types?

      E-commercecompanies: You often see the ads focused more on pricing and shipping that is what users in an e-commerce eco system are looking for when they are searching for products to buy online.

      Lead Generationcompanies: Often your focus, from your ads standpoint, is direct response advertising or getting an actual lead from each click. Therefore, you will often see the description line at the bottom part of an ad is focused on calls to action. “Call us for a free consultation,”or “fill out a form to get a quote for your business.”

      Local Businesses: In local businesses, your ads are focused on the fact that you are local, and that users can easily get to your business. You can even do things with search ads such as put your phone number directly into the ads so users can call you on a mobile phone. Start the conversion process without even leaving the search results page.

      You can choose and combine many different paid search forms to maximum results. Informational Queries are great to reach users early in their buyer journey. With paid search, you have many different ways to approach this medium of advertising, depending on your business type.

      PPC Goals

      You can use paid search in many different ways. One way is direct response, where your goal is to acquire customers directly from each ad click. That is a common form of advertising. Another way is using it for branding to increase your visibility and awareness for your company.

      Many studies have shown that when ads are commonly in the top results for keywords itincrease aided and unaided brand awareness for a company.

      The PPC Cycle

      It first starts by you:

      1. Choosing keywords.
      2. Writing ads for those words.
      3. Set bids, how much you are willing to payper click?
      4. Ad is displayed when someone does a search.
      5. User clicks on ad and goes to your site.
      6. You pay the search engine.
      7. Measure return.

      PPC Advantages

      One of the tangible benefits of paid search is the inventory resource. You can show up on Google’s search results, YouTube, Gmail, both Google and Bing Maps, and across more than 2 million websites.

      You can also choose where in the buyer funnel you want to reach users. You may want to reach the people who are aware of your company and increase interest level in your products. You might want to reach just the users who are in the consideration stage. Of course, if you are in direct response you might want to reach users who are in their buying stage.

      If your focus is on lifetime visitor value, you can use other techniques such as remarketing to increase lifetime visitor values. When you look at your business and when you look at your whole buying funnel you can use paid search to direct users based on where they are in that buying funnel and what your goals are for advertising.

      The Three “Rs” of PPC

      These three factors make PPC a level playing field across a variety of company sizes.

      1.      Reach: You might be a small business targeting a few zip codes. You might be an international business who is targeting multiple countries.
                Advertise on search results which have more than 6 billion daily search queries
                Advertise across display networks, more than 1 trillion impressions/month.
                Show ads across multiple devices.
                Choose the geography where to show your ads.
      2.       Relevance: People are already looking for you they are typing in keywords. Ads and your website offers are how they are relevant to users.
                Choose keywords that describe your business.
                Can choose exactly when to show an ad.
                Show ads only when someone is looking for your business.
      3.       ROI: Because it is measurable, you can make sure that you are getting good returns from your paid search.
                PPC is an auction based bid system.
                Pay only when someone comes to your site.
                Use analytics to determine what a visitor is worth so your bids are profitable.
      It does not matter if you are a small business, a mid-size business, an enterprise company or if you are involved in direct response or branding. Paid search has options, which can help you reach those goals and play with big companies or small companies regardless of your budget.

      Before you start, you should answer these questions…

      • What does your company or division do?
      • Do you have different product lines?
      • What are your product lines?
      • Do each of these product lines have different goals to them?
      • Who is your primary audience?
      • Who is your target market for your products and services?
      • Do you need to reach different audiences with different sets of ads or keywords?
      • What are you trying to sell or promote?
      • How do you want people to react to your ads?
      • Do you want them to buy something? Watch a video? Subscribe to your email list? Download a free eBook?
      • What results would you like to see? What would you consider a successful advertising campaign?

      By first understanding these basics of your business then as you look at all the paid search options that any PPC Marketing Agency can offer, you can see which one is most appropriate or how you might use them differently than others based upon your business metrics.

      Where to Start?

      Honestly answering the above questions should set you on the path to PPC success. Armed with the knowledge in this guide will help you move forward with your business.
      Now is the time to spread your wings, and make paid search work for you to get the results you want.

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