PPC 101: The Ultimate PPC Crash Course for Beginners

With billions of search queries made every day on Google, the internet is the most cost-effective venue to advertise your business. However, with so much scope for companies to reach their target audience, there’s fierce competition too. In order to cut through the noise and stand out from competitors, many choose to employ digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC).

Digital marketing has become so prevalent over traditional advertising that the government has even published how-to articles for small to medium-sized businesses. It has simply changed the advertising game but if you don’t know how to play, you’ll never beat the competition.

If you’re new to the world of paid search, here’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide to PPC.

What is paid search marketing or pay per click?

Paid search is a digital marketing strategy where search engines such as Google allow businesses to show ads on their search engine results pages or SERPs. Paid search works on a pay per click model — you don’t pay until someone clicks on your ad. This makes it a more controllable and measurable marketing channel compared to traditional forms of advertising.

Shopping ads are shown above the organic search results.

What about Google Ads?

One of the PPC fundamentals that beginners are often confused about is Google Ads. Simply put, Google Ads drive search traffic, whereas other forms of paid advertising occur on other platforms, such as social media and e-mail.

Google is still the most widely used search engine, garnering more than 90 percent of all internet searches in 2018. With its massive search market share, it’s only wise to invest in paid ads for Google, although other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo, also have their PPC platforms.

Google Ads is an extremely cost-effective way of driving relevant and qualified traffic to a website. Paid for by businesses, it’s a clever way of targeting ads to customers who are already searching for the type of products or services that a company offers. Advertisers bid on specific keywords so that their ads appear on the front page of Google’s SERP, eliminating the need for a website to organically work its way up the rankings.

Of course, you won’t be the only company using particular search terms and targeting adverts to a certain market. Your competitors can bid for the same keywords, which is why you have to outbid other businesses on the amount you’re willing to pay per click.

However, Google doesn’t automatically reward the highest bidders with the top ranking. The search engine also uses other factors to calculate your ad’s rank and determine how high your ad appears on the SERP. These factors include:

  1. Search context
  2. Quality of your ads and landing page
  3. Ad Rank thresholds (topic and nature of a search, device type and location)
  4. Ad extension and other ad formats (contact information or links to other pages on your website)

Why invest in paid search?

Using phoneIt may seem counter-intuitive to pay for search ads when you can organically improve your website’s ranking. However, PPC has several advantages over SEO.
  1. PPC ads are more effective in generating qualified leads

PPC offers a more accurate targeting approach. For instance, dynamic search ads use your website’s content to match user queries instead of a list of keywords. This form of targeting fills in the gaps in your keyword-based campaigns. Plus, you can be sure that the users who visit your site are interested in your content, products or services.

  1. PPC ads are budget-friendly

You can set budget caps for your ad spend, making paid search marketing an ideal tactic even for small businesses. And since you’re able to target specific types of consumers, you can get a higher ROI with your qualified lead generation.

PPC ads also provide measurable results, showing you the number of clicks and the cost per click of each ad. This kind of insight helps you use your budget better and find ways to improve your results over time.

  1. PPC ads help you optimise for local searches

The accurate targeting feature of PPC ads is also useful for local search optimisation. You can organise your PPC campaign per location, creating separate ad groups for different sets of keywords. This means you have ads and copies dedicated to a specific city.

An added benefit to this strategy is you can adjust the budget for each local campaign depending on how big or small the market is in that location.

If you’re interested in launching a PPC campaign but would want to start with a small budget, try these free tools to guide your strategy.

Free PPC Tools

  1. Google Auction Insights: This competitive analysis tool lets you compare your performance with other advertisers who participate in the same auctions. The insight you’ll get will help you plan your budgeting and bidding, and reveal opportunities to improve your campaign.
  2. Google Automated Rules: This tool makes bidding and campaign management easier through automation. It automatically adjusts your budget, bids, ad status and other metrics based on set conditions. For instance, you can increase your keyword bid when your ad falls off the first page of SERP.
  3. Keyword Planner: The tool provides a list of broad matches of keywords, giving you ideas of which terms to target. It also offers fairly accurate volume estimates per keyword, which is helpful for your bidding strategy.
  4. Google Data Studio: This reporting tool shows the performance of your campaign in a clean, easy-to-read dashboard. You can choose which metrics you want to include, but a standard report would include cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion, clicks and click-through rate, among others. The dashboard is customisable, so you can design the interface in a way that feels the most comfortable for your use.

PPC advertising can help catapult your business when done strategically. With proper guidance and management, your paid search campaign can boost your brand recall and online visibility, helping you generate qualified leads that are likely to convert.

Explore the Benefits of PPC with Media Crew

Your digital marketing campaign should be an investment, not an expense. Now that you know the basics of paid search, it’s time to ensure you receive the best ROI on your advertising spend.

At Media Crew, we specialise in creating lead generating PPC management campaigns for small to medium businesses. We focus on highly targeted and qualified visitors, delivering quick and measurable results. We’ll keep an eye on developing campaigns to keep you at the top. As one of Australia’s leading full-service ad agencies, we are committed to helping your business thrive with strategies that work. We’ve done it for others, we can do it for you.

For more information and enquiries, contact us today.

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