The Ultimate Guide to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Understanding Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing can be tricky, especially when you are first diving into this type of advertising. Whether you are using it to market your business or you’re simply curious about what this strategy is all about, this article will explain everything you need to know.

What is PPC Advertising?

Pay-Per-Click advertising is a form of inbound marketing that offers advertisers the flexibility to choose their budgets while honing in on target demographics online. Marketers bid on the perceived value of keywords, and from there, ads are placed in front of optimal audiences based on buyer behavior, search history, and other audience-related information.

This strategy is used to enhance many marketing campaigns by:

  • Increasing sales.
  • Generating leads.
  • Promoting brand awareness.

PPC falls under the umbrella of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Its goal is to produce qualified leads while helping brands create seamless buyer journeys and positive returns on investment. Pay-Per-Click advertising is all about staying relevant. People are always searching for specific products, services, and information, so it’s up to marketers to speak to those needs and pain points each time they are looked for. 

A proper PPC campaign is embodied by five main foundational points:

  • Tailoring the PPC strategies to the customers’ needs.
  • Constructing unique consumer messages based on which part of the buyer’s journey they’re in.
  • Visualizing the different phases consumers are in based on real-time, relevant data.
  • Analyzing metrics and observing what’s working and what’s not.
  • Pivoting campaigns to optimize success when there are opportunities to do better.

Benefits of PPC

Why would you want to fork over money for advertisements when you can reach your audience organically by awesome content and well-thought-out keywords?

Well, because the internet is a competitive place and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is increasingly difficult to nail down. If your site doesn’t have domain authority, it’s even harder to attract traffic organically. PPC is a perfect complement to SEO because it works quickly and can help you rise to the top in a competitive marketplace. PPC generally promotes marketing initiatives, increases brand awareness, and ranks companies for challenging or niche keyword terms. When done correctly, this strategy can be an integral part of your inbound marketing plan.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Terms You Should Know

As with most industries, the marketing world has its own language. While PPC may seem like a one-off term, there’s a whole dictionary of vocabulary you should understand if you’re going to explore Pay-Per-Click advertising. Here are a few of the basics:

  • SEM. This is an umbrella term under which PPC falls. The objective of all digital marketing is to rank for specific keywords. Search Engine Marketing comes into play when you’re paying a search engine platform to help you rank and be viewed by as many target consumers as possible. 
  • Cost-per-click (CPC). CPC is the amount you’ll pay for each person who clicks on your advertisement. It acts as a bid in an auction and determines where your brand’s advertising will be placed. The higher the offer, the better the placement. With that said, you set the max budget, so you don’t have to worry about your return on investment (ROI) taking a negative turn.
  • Ad rank. Ad rank is the position in which your ad appears on search engines.
  • PPC Automation. PPC automation combines AI, machine learning, and logic-based automation to streamline the management of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

Best Platforms for PPC Investments

There are a number of platforms on which you can advertise your PPC marketing materials. The following are some of the most popular:

Google Ads

Google Ads is by far the most popular advertising platform, mainly because of the number of searches done on the search engine each day. This is where highly relevant display network campaigns can drive the most bang for the buck.

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Bing Ads

A close runner up to Google Ads is their competitor, Bing. This option gives you tools to help import from Google Ads, so it’s reasonably easy to get started if you’re already working on Google’s network. 

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is a popular and effective platform for paid advertisements, mostly because it offers specific targeting options. With this platform, you can target your audience based on interests, demographics, geographic areas, and behaviors. Facebook also allows native ads, which means they’re blended right into users’ threads. Of course, since Facebook and Instagram are under the same umbrella, you can advertise on Instagram with your Facebook ads, too.


AdRoll is a retargeting platform that gives marketers the ability to talk to those who have already visited their websites. For example, let’s say someone read your article on the best bathing suit styles this year. You can retarget them on other sites with display ads that tout your awesome swimsuits. While retargeting is possible with Google Ads, AdRoll gives you the ability to showcase ads on Google and your social media platforms, so you have the opportunity to capture clicks or impressions.

The world of PPC is an ever-growing and ever-changing one. If you feel as though you’re not caught up on everything, it might be best to reach out to a CT PPC agency specializing in Pay-Per-Click advertising. With the help of a few marketing and analytics gurus by your side, you’ll soon be reaching out to new audiences and targeting consumers in ways you didn’t realize were possible.

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