What Is PPC?

What Is PPC?

PPC marketing is an important advertising tool for any brand.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a way to advertise your product or service online. You place an ad on an advertising platform, but do not pay until an online user clicks on this ad.

This model of online advertising is also called PPC marketing. And to make it easier to understand it, here are some of its commonly-used terms:

Glossary of terms used in PPC marketing

Ad group

In Google Ads (Google’s online advertising platform), an ad group is made up of ads and keywords that are related to each other. Each ad group has a common theme to make it easier to organise an ad campaign.

Ad rank
Search engines have a way to determine which ads will appear at the top of a search engine results page (and consequently, be seen by more users). This is decided by a score called ad rank.

For platforms like Google, ad rank is influenced by:
– your bid amount
– the ad’s relevance and quality
– the context of the online user’s search, like search terms and user location, time, and device type
– ad extensions and ad format, including useful information about your business like phone numbers and location

Ad spend
Your ad spend is the amount you spend on your ads.

Conversion rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of people who completed a desired action, like purchasing a product or booking a service.

Cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you pay for each click on your ad in a search engine results page. CPC is your ‘bid’ for an online ‘auction’ that will work with another value called the quality score. The combination will determine your ad’s position in the search engine results page, or the ad rank.

To put it simply: ad rank = CPC x quality score

The higher your ‘bid’ (or CPC) and your quality score, the higher your ad will appear in relation to the other ads. And hence, increases the chances of it being clicked on by online users.

Cost-per-mille (CPM) is the amount you pay for every 1,000 impressions an ad receives. And an impression is whenever your ad is viewed by an online user. Unlike CPC, CPM does not involve clicks on your ad, and is best suited for brand awareness rather than generating sales.

A call-to-action (CTA) is a text, image, or a combination of both that encourages an online user to do something. Its examples include ‘Buy Now’, ‘Learn More’, and ‘Call Us’.

Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it.

Display ad
A display ad appears in article pages, YouTube videos, and mobile apps. They’re text-based, image-based, or both.

Google Ads
Google Ads is Google’s online advertising platform. Formerly known as Google AdWords, it’s a way to advertise on sites like Google’s search engine and other Google-owned platforms like YouTube and Gmail.

Keywords are words or phrases that describe your product or service and will trigger when and where your ad will appear. If you want your ad to be seen in a specific place, for example in Google’s search engine results pages, you have to bid on that keyword to advertise there.

Landing page
A landing page is the first page an online user sees after they click on your ad. It’s called a landing page because it’s the first page they land on when they reach your website. An effective landing page should be used to convert a website visit into a sale or lead.

Maximum bid
The maximum amount that you’re willing to pay on your ad.

Quality score
The quality score is how an advertising platform, like Google, rates the quality of your ads. It determines how much you will pay for your ad (your cost-per-click (CPC)) and where your ad will appear in relation to other ads (your ad rank).

Your quality score is determined by:
– the relevance of the text in your ad
– the relevance of each keyword to the search query
– your landing page’s quality and relevance
– your click-through rate (CTR)
– your past performance on the advertising platform

Search ad
A search ad appears in the results page of a search engine, like Google. They appear when an online user conducts a search.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a way to advertise your product or services on search engines, like Google. When you use SEM, you pay to have your ad appear on their search engine results pages. PPC falls under this type of marketing.

Get started on PPC marketing with Pandan Social.

How does PPC marketing work?

When you first begin your PPC marketing journey, you start by:
1. Signing up or creating an account with the advertising platform of your choice.
2. Then, draft your ad for your product or service; this may be in text form only or in combination with images.
3. Next, decide on the maximum bid that you want to spend on the ad.
4. Your ad then enters an ‘auction’ with other ads that target the same keywords.
5. This auction is triggered when an online user looks for a product or service on a search engine that relates to your keywords.
6. The outcome of the auction will determine where your ad will appear in the results page; the higher on the list, the better.
7. When an online user clicks on your ad, you pay for the ‘click’

The advantages of PPC marketing include increased traffic, sales, and control over your ads.

What PPC marketing can do for your company
When applied effectively, PPC marketing can help your brand stand out online. Its advantages include:

1. PPC marketing increases traffic to your website
As your ad rank improves and pushes your ad further up the search engine results page, your brand visibility will also be enhanced. More online users will see your ad and this increases the chances of them visiting your website.

2. PPC marketing helps to increase sales
PPC marketing brings benefits beyond a site visit or product sale. It also includes your brand in online product research that happens before a purchase. And when an online user sees your brand appear often enough, it improves the chances of completing a purchase.

3. PPC marketing is easy to track, analyze, and adjust
Getting started with your PPC marketing is easy. Your first ad can be ready within minutes of signing up with the advertising platform. In addition, you can also track how well your ad is doing in real-time. You can adjust keywords, ad text, or the promo value to enhance its performance.

4. PPC marketing helps manage your ad spend
Apart from letting you set a maximum bid so that your ad campaign does not go over budget, PPC marketing also lets you stop campaigns that are not performing. There are no strict long-term obligations to run your ads, and you can decide to keep it going for as long as your marketing budget allows.

Important Takeaways

PPC marketing is a smart way to get your product or service in front of online users while being able to control your ad spend. As you only pay per click, you are only charged when an interested user clicks on your ad and visits your website.

In addition, knowing the right strategy to consistently appear at the top of search engine results pages is essential. Enhanced visibility on these pages may turn into purchases and even return customers.

Get started on your digital marketing campaign now. Contact us at or visit our Facebook page.

Debbie Amboi-Payne