PPC is an abbreviation of “pay per click” which quite literally means that when someone clicks your ad on the search engine results page, you pay a cost per click. It is known as PPC because when Google Ads began (or Google Adwords, as it was originally known) this was the main way that you paid for advertising on the platform, which was revolutionary for advertisers as it meant for the first time that they only paid for actual results. Historically in marketing you paid for a placement - whether that was in print, a billboard, on TV or elsewhere - and that was the cost you paid even if you saw no results from your activity. To be able to only pay for actual results was a game-changer, and is one of the reasons that digital marketing and paid search is so popular.
Put simply, PPC and paid media works very much like an auction. Every time a user searches for your chosen keywords, an auction happens in a split second in the background to determine which ads appear in the listings and in what order. How high you appear in the auction is based on two main factors: the amount you’re willing to pay for a click, and your quality score.
Once you have your products or services, the next step is to consider how to market those to your target audience. PPC marketing is an invaluable tool for this as it allows you to choose targeting options and keywords that match your audience, and it is also highly measurable. As well as only paying for results, you can see the results of all your activity and put an accurate ROI to your spend.
Once you have created your PPC account, the next step is to create your first PPC campaign. You can use the Google tool “keyword planner” to help find relevant keywords, then you need to choose your PPC budget, campaign settings and targeting options. Next you will create your text ads which will show in the search engine results page, encouraging people to click through to your chosen landing page.
You can see in almost real-time how well your campaign is performing, and evaluate key metrics such as click through rate (the percentage of people who saw your ad and decided to click on it) as well as quality score, which is a rating out of 10 which Google (or Bing Ads) will give to your keywords. This score is based on their algorithms which determine the relevance and performance of the keywords chosen, how well they relate to your ad copy and the quality of your landing page. Optimising for a high quality score is paramount, as the amount you pay for a click is largely influenced by your quality score - the higher the quality score, the lower you pay for a click.
The overview above should hopefully have given you a basic insight into how paid search marketing works, but ultimately it’s a lot more complicated than that. Creating a basic PPC account is easy but making it work effectively is a challenge and a real expertise in itself, which is why many companies employ large teams to run their paid media. Biddable media is typically one of the most cost effective marketing channels you can run, but it’s extremely easy to make a very costly mistake. One wrong keyword choice or a missed PPC campaign setting can result in a huge amount of wasted spend, which is a cost that most businesses simply cannot afford to make. A highly efficient PPC campaign also requires daily analysis and optimisations from an expert, so without a specialist in-house it’s unlikely that you will have the time or knowledge to invest the time required. You may not have the budget or confidence to commit to employing someone full-time, but done correctly you can quickly reap the rewards of a good PPC campaign.
The first thing we do is make sure we understand your business, your products and services and what your goals are. Once we have established that, we can offer the following services:
We also provide extensive, transparent post-campaign reporting using both Google Ads and Google Analytics to give you full insights into everything we’ve done, with key learnings and actions to take forward.
We are a PPC agency in Bristol with nearly a decade of experience working with budgets ranging from £1,000 up to £5m. By choosing to work with us you will gain the expertise of specialists who can hit the ground running, without the commitment of a full-time salary.
We can run your PPC account ongoing as a management service, or equally we can run short-term campaigns during peak periods of activity. Get in touch today to see how we can help you!