EDU SERIES – PPC: Part 1 of 6 – What is PPC?

This is the first in our series of articles that will teach you everything you need to know about PPC.

What is PPC?

PPC is a model of internet marketing in which you pay a fee every time one of your ads are clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than organically growing your traffic. PPC via search engines allows advertisers to bid for ad placement when a keyword that is related to their offering is searched. A small fee is deducted per click. When PPC is executed correctly, the fee should be trivial, a visit is worth more than what you paid for it. If you pay £2 for a click, but the click results in a £200 sale, then you’ve made profit.

Building a winning PPC campaign requires good planning and a sizeable amount of thought. From researching and selecting the right keywords, to organizing those keywords into well-organized campaigns and ad groups, to setting up PPC landing pages that are optimized for conversions. Search engines reward advertisers who can create relevant, intelligently targeted campaigns by charging them less for ad clicks. If your ads and landing pages are useful and satisfying to users, Google charges you less per click, leading to higher margins for your business. So, if you want to start using PPC, it’s important to learn how to do it right.

What is AdWords?

Google AdWords is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. The AdWords platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties. AdWords operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their ads. When a search is initiated, Google chooses a set of best pages to appear. The “winners” are chosen based on the quality and relevance of their keywords, ads and 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). It’s essentially a kind of auction.

PPC Via AdWords

Conducting PPC marketing through AdWords is particularly valuable because, as the most popular search engine, Google gets massive amounts of traffic. How often your PPC ads appear depends on which keywords and match types you select. While a number of factors determine how successful your PPC advertising campaign will be, you can achieve a lot by focusing on:

Keyword Relevance – Crafting relevant PPC keyword lists, tight keyword groups, and proper ad text.
Landing Page – Creating optimized landing pages with persuasive, relevant content and a clear call-to-action, tailored to specific search queries.
Quality Score – Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with better Quality Scores get more ad clicks at lower costs.

Keyword Research

Keyword research can be incredibly time-consuming, but it is also incredibly important and rewarding. Your entire PPC campaign is built around keywords. The most successful AdWords advertisers continuously grow and refine their keyword list. If you only do keyword research once, when you create your first campaign, you are missing out on hundreds relevant keywords that would drive traffic to your site.

An effective PPC keyword list should be:

• Relevant –  Find targeted keywords that will lead to a higher click-through rate/effective costs per click. That means the keywords you bid on should be closely related to the offerings you sell.
• Exhaustive – Keyword research should include the most frequently searched terms in your niche, and also the long tail of search. Long-tail keywords are much more specific and a lot less common, but they add up to account for the majority of search-driven traffic.
• Expansive – Constantly refine and expand your campaigns, and create an environment in which your keyword list is growing and adapting.

Managing Your 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 success. You should be continuously analysing the performance of your ads and making the following adjustments to optimize your campaigns:

Add Keywords: Expand the reach of your PPC campaigns by adding keywords that are relevant to your business.

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.

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. Never send all your traffic to the same page.


Come back next week as we take you step by step through each and every aspect of PPC campaigns!

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