Pay per click (PPC) is the king of digital marketing. It helps you reach the right people at the time when they're searching for a business like yours. PPC provides cost effective ways to grow your business with measureable results.
As more people set out to learn PPC, they discover just how powerful it can be.
When you know what you’re doing.
We’ve created this incredible PPC guide to tell you all about it. This extensive resource explores everything from PPC basics to advanced pay-per-click campaign management.
Consider this your one-stop-shop for everything you need to conquer the world of paid advertising
In this section, we’ll explore the PPC basics, covering all from the basic PPC marketing definition to
creating a successful PPC campaign.
To kick things off, let’s start by answering the most obvious question:
PPC advertising, or pay-per-click marketing, is an online advertising model that has been designed to drive traffic to websites. Every time a user clicks on a PPC ad, the advertiser will get charged, hence the term pay-per-click.
Advertisers pay a set fee every time internet users click on a PPC ad. Essentially, advertisers pay for site visits instead of attracting clicks through organic traffic. This cost-per-click (CPC) can rise or fall depending on various factors in your campaign.
A PPC campaign is a well-defined advertising strategy that sets out to achieve a specific goal, known as a conversion. The most common conversion goals include generating more leads and getting customers to make a purchase. Advertisers must select keywords – user search queries - and create ads with these keywords to ensure their ads perform well in search engine results pages. Your ad can show on the search network when someone searches for terms that are similar to your products and services. You can set up a PPC campaign on advertising platforms, using these dedicated systems to create, publish, and promote your ads to a specific target audience. The main platforms for PPC marketing are Google and Bing.
As the front door to the online world, Google is the dominant force in paid advertising, owning almost 80% of the market share. You can use the Google Display or Search Network to post your PPC ads, which will reach more people on Google compared to any other platform.
While overshadowed by Google, Bing is far from dead, powering almost 60 million searches each month in
the U.S. alone.
Bing is a great choice for small and medium-sized businesses, or if your company is based in the
of East Asia, China and Japan.
Marketers can also advertise on Amazon, LinkedIn, and interestingly, Snapchat. However, if you really want to make a splash with paid advertising on social media, consider these platforms:
The Facebook Ads platform allows for a high level of targeting, enabling advertisers to target people by demographics, age, interests, and location. The immense global popularity of the social media giant makes it ripe with opportunity for marketers.
Have you heard that video marketing is kind of a big deal now? With over 1.8 billion active users, YouTube is attracting a LOT of businesses to experiment with video ads. As mobile mania continues to grow, this channel will surely become more potent for paid advertising.
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, the latter has surged north of 500 million active users. The world’s love of video content makes this a hot prospect for PPC advertising, especially if your target audience consists of young women.
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PPC advertising success depends on relevance. If your PPC ad is relevant to users, it will attract more clicks. Ergo, a fully-optimized campaign that is relevant to your target audience will have a better chance of accomplishing your goals, such as:
All over the planet, people search for information and solutions about specific topics, products, and
PPC advertising caters directly to these users by using targeted ads that satisfy their precise needs.
For that reason, you can’t cheat in PPC advertising – paying for a better ad space won’t guarantee that
you attract more
Google Ads is a sophisticated system that uses Ad auctions to determine how valid and relevant every PPC ad is to users. As advertisers, you must target specific user search queries (i.e. keywords), bid on them, and the craft ads that will resonate with your audience.
With relevance in mind, you’ll have a better chance of generating a positive return on advertising spend (ROAS).
As digital marketing has evolved and fueled more competitive markets, social media has become a tougher nut to crack. Companies are having less joy reaching audiences on free platforms, and organic traffic is slowing to a trickle as a result of the intense competition.
Now, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is taking center stage, preferred by many marketers over
tried-and-tested techniques like search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing.
There are many great benefits of PPC advertising, including:
With these benefits in mind, it’s important to keep things in perspective.
PPC advertising is by no means a ‘get rich scheme’ – in fact, many have tried and failed, much to the detriment of their finances.
To succeed in PPC advertising, you must adopt a proactive attitude, where you are committed to constant monitoring and experimentation in an ongoing effort to optimize your campaign for better results.
So, why should you opt for PPC over SEO?
Let’s consider the key differences first.
Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, is the process of optimizing a website so it attracts more organic traffic from search engines, like Google. By comparison, pay-per-click ads allow marketers to simply pay for traffic.
Both of these strategies involve the use of keyword search terms. SEO requires people to create content
around popular keywords, while PPC involves ads and landing pages that target specific keywords.
While they are somewhat linked in this way, SEO and PPC are very different, and both provide their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.
SEO has been around for years, and it’s still a highly effective strategy. It takes a lot of time,
but when done right, it will bring results.
PPC is much faster and requires less effort upfront; however, it’s also more expensive.
Both SEO and PPC are great avenues for the modern marketer, but if you don’t have the skills and time to dedicate, then you may want to consider hiring a PPC agency.
You could run an infinite number of different PPC campaigns, each with their own strategy. However, for the vast majority of PPC ads, there are three main objectives in mind:
PPC can be costly. Therefore, you should watch your budget to ensure you aren’t blowing it. If you want to keep your CPC and wasted spend to a minimum, think about this:
Why bother investing in PPC if you aren’t going to get anything back? Everyone wants to turn a profit with paid advertising. Here are couple of considerations when you want to increase your returns:
Ultimately, a positive ROI is vital for PPC success. Unlike ROAS, ROI goes beyond pure financials. For
example, you may
deem improvements in Quality Score and ad performance as a good ROI for your efforts.
Quality Score has a direct relationship with Google Ads ROI. When your score is 7 or higher, Google Ads will offer discounted rates for clicks. Therefore, by taking action to improve your Quality Score, you can create better ads, which convert more, and you can also save money on campaign costs.
With that in mind, a focus on maximizing ROI will invariably involve significant work on your Quality Score.
To succeed in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising you must have a solid strategy that will help you reduce waste, and maximize profits. Furthermore, you need to invest considerable time and effort to execute the strategy.
There are three key phases in any great PPC advertising plan:
This is the work you must do before spending a single cent on ads. It includes:
In this phase, you must consider how to execute your strategy. Will it be you, an in-house PPC expert,
agency that does the work?
Regardless of whose duty it is, it’s imperative that you consider:
No PPC campaign will succeed without regular optimization. By keeping your finger on the pulse, you can
insights to make informed decisions about your ads. Minor changes to keyword lists, bids, and ad copy
To truly succeed with this approach to your PPC advertising campaign, you must consider the value of data.
For many years, PPC managers attributed conversions to the last ad that a customer clicked on. Since Big Data has become a dominant force in modern business, marketers have been able to dig deeper with data analytics to find out much more about the customer journey.
PPC data analytics is a holistic view and evaluation of the key data points in pay-per-click advertising campaigns, considering metrics like Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, and Cost-per-Acquisition.
By embracing this data-driven approach to PPC campaign analysis, you can benefit in several ways:
It’s not easy to predict the changes in your market. A data-driven attribution model can provide a clearer picture of your PPC campaigns, at every level. This will offer actionable insights that you can use to make the most out of your budget.
Sometimes, Google may block your ads or simply refuse to display them on their search or display
This can be a
frustrating time for any advertiser, especially if you don’t know why it’s happening.
This can happen for a number of reasons, such as:
Google Ads has a list of policies and disclaimers that you should abide by if you want your ads to be approved. For example:
Once you submit your ad, it will undergo a review process, and will then receive one of the following statuses:
By building your knowledge of PPC advertising with Google Ads, you can avoid any hitches when it comes time to launch your pay-per-click campaign. An effective way to do this is by talking to a PPC marketing expert.
As powerful as PPC marketing can be, your success is limited by the knowledge on hand. Sometimes, if you really want to tap into its true potential, you’ll need an expert. By asking some important questions, you can develop a much better understanding of how PPC advertising works.
Before you pick the brain of a PPC marketing expert, you must define your goals. This will help guide
your questions, and enable you to work together to determine whether or not your PPC budget is being put
to good use.
Here are some questions you could ask:
You must strike a balance between financial control and opportunity for growth. Consider your goals and your daily budget, and figure out if your goals are viable with the current balance.
Once again, this depends on your goals. True success should deliver a positive ROI, either in clicks, conversions, or profits. This involves tracking key metrics.
PPC advertising success is all about tracking and optimization. Evaluate the search terms your audience uses, then adjust your bids to target valuable keywords that are more likely to generate conversions.
Your ad’s Quality Score is an instrumental factor in performance. The score ranges from 1 to 10 (1 being worst and 10 being best) and it is influenced by:
A PPC marketing expert will be able to help you improve your quality score, which in turn will benefit your ad performance and cost-per-click rate.
Now that you have a handle on the fundamentals of PPC marketing, it’s time to go deeper. This section
impact of data on paid advertising. Here, you’ll discover a treasure trove of practical information
advertising and analysis, which will help you improve your campaign optimization and marketing
You can do a lot with data.
In PPC advertising, data can offer you valuable insights about your campaign, your customers, your competitors, and your current strategies. When it’s done right, data-driven analysis has the potential to boost your ROI in a big way.
Before getting started, you need to do two things:
Now that you’re ready, here are some strategies you can use:
It’s easy to be overwhelmed here, as Google Ads has a wide array of metrics to consider. The key is to
focus on the metrics and information that matter to your goals. Start small, succeed, then
Another tip is to consider the tools you will use for PPC analysis. Data can be a dry topic at times, so you may find it is easier to perform this in-depth evaluation of your campaigns when there is a visual element.
With that in mind, let’s consider the next section…
For many years, PDF documents have been a reliable format in the business world. However, they are not without their flaws. Some find them flat and dull, while others lament the ability to edit the documents directly.
But change is afoot, as the rise of interactive PDF documents (iPDF) is already making big improvements
to the user experience (UX).
This change is all made possible by Tooltips.
Tooltips are user-friendly pop-up windows that allow programmers to label objects in PDF documents, such
as controls and command buttons. Once done, users can hover their mouse cursor over these objects to
Tooltips can help users get a better understanding of the functions of different controls, and they also act as a memo to remind people about features if they haven’t used the document in a while.
Overall, this provides a much better UX. Here are a few pointers to optimize your use of Tooltips in iPDF documents:
The world is waking up to the wonders of iPDF technology. PPCexpo is taking it next level by enabling tooltips on these docs. This enhances visualizations, making iPDF documents more user-friendly, and more engaging. This makes it much easier to get valuable insights from your analysis.
PPC advertising will never work if you have a ‘set and forget’ attitude.
Instead, you must be ready and willing to continually monitor and optimize your campaigns by constantly experimenting with new strategies and ideas.
By doing this, you can gain actionable insights that guide your decision-making in PPC campaigns. You can apply these insights into several key areas:
When you explore these metrics in great depth, you’ll understand three things about PPC advertising:
Ultimately, data-driven analysis has the power to shape your advertising strategy from the top to the bottom of your campaign. Soon enough, this will reap results worthy of all the time, money, and effort you have invested.
Associative analysis is the process of collecting information and evaluating to find related data points and patterns, as to generate a clear picture of the perfect solution. When consumers search for products and services, all their searches culminate in this way, as they piece together information from different searches to hone in on the specific product or service they need.
Many marketers make the mistake of choosing keywords that aren’t aligned with user intent, which ends up attracting unqualified traffic. You can use associative analysis to change your fortunes, tackling several common issues along the way:
When you’re working with online data, it’s possible to collate large data sets and analyze important data points in relation to one another. You can use associative analysis in this way to build context and identify key relationships. This will give you a clear picture of your audience, and help you understand them at a deeper level.
The world is obsessed with visual content nowadays.
In PPC advertising, visual storytelling is a highly effective method of engaging people as it brings your brand message to life.
Data visualizations can be used to great effect at several stages in the PPC process:
Today, data visualization is a powerful tool for any PPC marketer. By embracing this type of analysis, you will soon develop an advanced understanding of your PPC campaigns.
Campaign optimization is crucial if you’re going to succeed with paid advertising. Here are five key areas to always be thinking about improving:
You don’t get a lot of space for your ad text – make it count. It should be punchy, value-driven, and completely irresistible. Think about how you can use these aspects to entice people to click:
The click is just the beginning. Next, people will arrive on your landing page. A well-optimized landing page is crucial if you are to convert visitors. This requires a few things:
If you don’t know your audience, you’re going to struggle with PPC advertising. Here are several techniques to forge stronger connections with the people you want to serve:
Keywords make or break PPC advertising success. Consider the following strategies to optimize your keyword list:
If you want to make your monitoring and data analysis worthwhile, you must make the necessary adjustments. Here are a few ideas:
Sooner or later, your Google Ads account is going to need an audit. A PPC audit is a well-structured and in-depth evaluation of your entire account that aims to determine how effective your PPC efforts are.
When you know how to do a PPC audit the right way, it can completely transform your PPC fortunes in the
short-term and give you a wealth of knowledge to improve performance and ROI in the long-term.
Follow the 10 steps below to do a PPC audit:
Define your objectives by setting your main goal for conversion. Ensure conversion tracking and call tracking are both enabled and take time to set an establish CPA (Cost per Action).
In Google Ads, you can review your campaign settings in just a few minutes. But don’t just glaze over things – stay proactive and look for opportunities to optimize your campaigns.
When you’re doing a PPC audit, your settings may change. Think about how you use features like mobile bids, day-parting, and location targeting.
In any PPC campaign, conversions are the ultimate goal. You need to be sure that every aspect of your campaign is primed for maximum conversion rates. Think about your ads, landing pages, keywords, and Quality Scores.
Just as you did with the Search network, you should ask probing questions about the Display Network. Think about how your ad groups are targeting keywords, audiences, and interests. Analyze everything in detail to ensure you are honing in on the best audience for your product or service.
You should never rely on the Google algorithm to do everything for you. During a PPC audit, take the time to look for issues the autopilot system may have missed. For example:
Don’t waste your money on locations, devices, or time periods that aren’t working out. Analyze your results and adjust bids accordingly.
You must have dedicated, mobile-responsive landing pages that are optimized for conversions. They may be external to Google Ads but your landing pages impact your key metrics, so it’s vital that you test and tweak them to perfection.
Use previous period data to make key comparisons about your cost-per-acquisition.
Is a tight budget causing you to lose impression share? Think about your budget and your conversion rates over the past 90 days to identify any negative-ROI aspects that need to be culled.
Regardless of your industry, there’s no way you are operating in a vacuum. While it’s easy to only view your competitors as a threat, they can actually help you succeed – if you know how to do a competitor analysis.
Follow the five steps below to learn from your competition:
Typically, many advertisers use manual alerts in Google Ads to automate warnings that let them know when a budget limit has been hit.
Manual alerts have a few benefits:
Now, with the rise of data, PPC managers have another option – data-driven alerts. These are based on
history, which means you don’t have to configure parameters first.
These data-driven alerts have several advantages:
As data continues to become a central pillar in business and marketing, it’s inevitable that it will become more important in paid advertising. Soon enough, users may be able to make data-driven decisions during the customer journey. If advertisers embrace the change, there is a lot to gained by harnessing the power of data. From data-driven alerts to data-driven analysis, your Ads account can benefit in many ways, which gives you a huge competitive advantage in any market.
In the third and final section, we’ll focus on what the future has in store for PPC advertising. The
digital landscape is always shifting, and it’s the marketers and advertisers who stay agile that will
the greatest success.
Rapid advances in technology are certainly impacting PPC in major ways, and you’ll need to keep your ear to the ground to make the most of your budget in the years ahead.
Google research found that artificial intelligence (AI) has a positive impact on user engagement with PPC ads. While some may fear the rise of AI, it holds incredible potential for marketers.
The main benefits include:
While AI may still be developing, there’s no doubt it is a revolutionary technology. Humans are an
important part of the process, as it’s only with skilled people that you can hope to leverage data
AI and machine learning are already changing how paid advertising works. Getting on board now will help your campaigns immensely, and make it easier to adapt as the technology evolves.
Voice search is one of the hottest trends in recent years. The digital giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are vying for the market, with their voice assistants transforming customer service, search marketing, and global business as a whole.
These digital assistants are becoming more popular year-on-year, which has impacted several key areas of digital marketing, such as:
The popularity of voice assistants goes hand-in-hand with another huge trend in global digital marketing – chatbots.
Chatbots are computer programs designed to communicate with people. This form of AI-technology has quickly become a common feature of online business in recent years, typically used for customer service or marketing purposes.
There is a lot to love about chatbots, with business benefits including:
While they’re undoubtedly a revelation for marketers, chatbots are not without their shortcomings. They
need to build up data reserves to truly become exceptional in their roles, so their inability to
understand specific situations, words, phrases, or emotions may frustrate customers. Furthermore, they
are, like all technology, susceptible to hackers.
Chatbots are sure to grow in popularity as the years go by, so it is a wise move to get involved now. However, you must have the patience to allow for some challenges involved in implementing chatbot services.
Voice recognition software is changing how people search. Voice search technology is not in every smart device, from smartphones to speakers, home hubs to vehicles. We can now do a lot with voice search, such as:
The rising popularity of voice search and voice-recognition technology is changing the way digital
marketing works in many ways.
Here are some big changes to be aware of:
As mobile use continues to surge, the potential for paid advertising on mobile devices grows. One of the most interesting avenues to explore in this regard is through the use of augmented reality technology.
To see just how successful this can be, you need only to look at Snapchat. The company began as a
gimmicky short video messaging app, but it has exploded into a multi-billion dollar business that is the
platform of choice among younger generations.
Snapchat’s success with augmented reality has led to several exciting ventures, including:
This technology boasts a lot of potential for digital marketing in the future. No doubt we’ll see more companies embrace it in the years ahead.
Content is no longer king.
Video content is king.
Studies indicate that 45% of people watch more than an hour of video content every day, with 92% of mobile users sharing videos with friends.
It’s no surprise that more marketers are using video for marketing and advertising. Not only are videos
more engaging, but they promise higher conversion rates and a better ROI.
From a marketing perspective, it’s a gold mine.
Here are some of the main reasons for the meteoric rise of video:
By the year 2021, Gartner predicts that 85% of all internet traffic will be video content. It’s here to stay. If you aren’t already using video marketing or advertising, it’s time to start.
As video becomes more popular, more marketers are looking at ways to use visual search as a marketing tool. People can already use visual search engines to find information based on images. Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Amazon are leading the charge in this market, and many other companies are working on ways to get involved.
When you consider the benefits of visual search for a pay-per-click marketing strategy, it’s easy to see the appeal:
So, with so much to gain, the obvious question to ask is how can advertisers use visual search to increase their brand visibility?
In PPC advertising, you should always be thinking about the customer journey. By keeping user intent in mind, you can adjust your marketing and advertising efforts to connect with prospects at every stage of their journey.
When you get it right, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of more leads, conversions, and best of all,
The customer journey can be mapped out in relation to your marketing funnel, which has three sections – top, middle, and bottom.
In the first phase, people become aware that they have a need for a specific solution. This involves two things:
After the initial brand awareness, consumers will begin comparing options. This phase is all about
Here, they will conduct in-depth research on brands, and their products and services. Marketers can employ various tactics at this point in the effort to persuade prospects:
In the final phase, the aim is to convert leads. This is the endgame of any PPC campaign, but it’s important to realize that a conversion doesn’t always have to be about making a sales. It is whenever someone completes the action that you have defined as a conversion goal, for example whenever someone:
Traditionally, a lot of businesses have considered conversion to be the culmination of the entire
marketing or advertising cycle.
However, modern marketers know better.
The conversion is not the end – it is the start of a long-term relationship with a new customer. It is much cheaper to keep an existing customer compared to acquiring new ones.
You should seek to work on nurturing brand loyalty so that your company boosts customer retention rates. This makes each customer more valuable in the long run, helping you acquire loyal advocates that champion your brand, making it easier and cheaper to attract new customers.
The digital marketing funnel has been a reliable bedrock of digital marketing for years. However, like everything else, it has evolved over time.
Now, the funnel is rumored to be under threat from a new strategy – the marketing flywheel.
There’s no doubt that the funnel can optimize your campaign, and ensure you waste fewer resources trying to figure everything out. However, its primary purpose is to attract prospects and then drive them towards one goal – conversion.
It isn’t naturally designed with customer retention and customer lifetime value in mind. As a result, marketers have sought to create a new model.
To make the marketing flywheel work for your company, you must think about these three factors:
Both the funnel and the flywheel are excellent tools to guide your digital marketing efforts. However,
flywheel does have an advantage in that it is focused on keeping customers past the point of the initial
In the end, they both represent the core principles of PPC advertising success as you can’t win unless you are committed to continual optimization and effort.
Like a lot of things in digital marketing, paid advertising is undergoing big changes. It’s a challenge for marketers to stay on top, especially as markets and keywords become more competitive.
By focusing on data-driven analysis, you can gain a competitive edge. Rather than relying on gut
or personal bias, you should trust in the power of analytics in PPC advertising. This innovative
will allow you to drill down into your campaign data, revealing actionable insights that guide your
decision-making on all aspects of your account.
Ultimately, by trusting in analytics in PPC campaigns, you’ll become a better PPC manager. You can take a massive leap towards this prosperous future with the help of PPCexpo. We are a pioneer in using specialist analytics in PPC advertising.
Check out our extensive library of reporting tools to enhance your analytics-driven marketing today.