Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising 101

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising 101

You see multiple pay per click (PPC) ads every day, whether you notice them or not. They are listed first and last on Google’s search engine results page, they’re listed on local searches, and they show up as product listing ads.

Wondering if what you’re looking at is a PPC ad or an organic search result? Look for a little label that says, “Ad” or “Sponsored”.

Once you start looking for PPC ads, you’ll see them everywhere!

That’s because they work. They allow businesses to increase sales, generate leads, and promote brand awareness by setting a budget and paying every time a user clicks on the ad.

Interested in creating a PPC ad campaign for your company?

It sounds simple enough on the surface, but take a deeper dive, and you’ll discover a lot of pieces need to fall in place in order for a pay per click advertising campaign to work.

The Importance of Using the Right Keywords

Getting the keywords right is absolutely vital to the success of your PPC ad campaign, but there’s a lot more to it than choosing the word that matches your product or service the best.

The process starts with a simple keyword or phrase. For example, you might choose “TV stands” as your main keyword. When a user searches “TV stands”, your ad will be in the running to be displayed.

However, a TV stand isn’t just a TV stand. So, you’ll also want to create ad groups to further differentiate your ad. A few examples might be:

  • Wall mount TV stands
  • Wood TV stands
  • Glass TV stands
  • Floating TV stands

You’ll want to catch other types of searches that mean the same thing too. So, you’ll want to come up with themed keyword variations. For “Wood TV stands”, you might want to include keyword phrases like:

  • TV stands wood
  • Wood TV stands on sale
  • Modern wood TV stands

We’re not done yet! Each keyword you choose will be assigned a match type, which determines how the ad will be shown. Just a few examples include:

  • Exact: The query must be typed in exactly
  • Exact (close variant): It must be typed exactly, but misspellings and errors can be included
  • Broad: The words in the query can be included in any order
  • Broad (session-based): Other queries in the search session are taken into account

If that wasn’t enough, you also have the option to use negative keywords, as well as the ability to segment your audience into groups according to specific pageviews, those who have abandoned their shopping carts, and more.

Custom Ad Settings

Ad settings help you decide when to show your ads. For example, you can include a modifier for displaying your ad on computers or mobile devices. You can target a specific location based on a state, zip code, or other geographic modifiers. You can even set your ads to be shown on certain days, like the weekend, or hours, like evenings.

Ad Extensions

The ad copy on PPC advertisements is fairly simple. It includes a few short headlines, a description line, and the path of the ad. If that’s not enough, you can choose to include ad extensions.

A few ad extension options you can choose from include:

  • Sitelink: Additional links to other pages can be placed at the bottom of the ad
  • Location: The address and hours of operation can be placed at the bottom of the ad
  • Call: Click-to-call is available for mobile searchers, while the phone number is displayed on desktops
  • App: An application is promoted with an easy way for the user to click a download button
  • Seller ratings: Customer ratings are displayed as part of the advertisement

The Ad Auction

So, you’ve got the keyword situation all worked out, you know what ad settings and extensions you want, and you’ve even figured out what you want your ad to say. All that’s left is to pay and get displayed!

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple.

When you determine how much you’re willing to pay for a PPC ad, you’re actually entering an auction. It’s an automated process that determines the relevance and validity of your ad to ensure that it matches the query of the user. The algorithm decides which ads to display, in which order, and by which advertiser. When you decide how much you want to pay, you’re actually setting a maximum bid you’re willing to pay in order to be displayed.

Ad displays are based on your quality score too! Everything from the expected click through rate of your ad to the content on your landing page is all considered before Google decides which ads to display.

There’s actually a good reason for this complex process. Displaying the ad of the highest bidder isn’t a guarantee that the ad is a good match for a query. It isn’t a guarantee that clicking the ad will lead to a safe, high-quality website either. Search engines want people to keep using their search engine, which means making sure ads are as relevant to each search as possible. No one wants to use a search engine that comes up with crummy results!

Keeping an Eye on Analytics

It’s a lot of work to get a PPC ad campaign up and running. Once your ads are live, you probably want to dust your hands of the whole thing and move on, but you’re not done yet!

It’s important to keep an eye on the analytics to see how your ads are performing. You can gauge the performance of your ads by placing code snippets on key pages to see who is visiting which webpages from where and whether they clicked to call or not. Based on this information, you can tweak your ads to ensure they are providing you with a higher ROI.

Contact Sierra Productions for a Free Consultation!

PPC advertising is a lot to take on. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a strategy you should use! It just means it’s a strategy you should leave to the experts.

Sierra Productions is a data-driven agency, which means we don’t just create ads and forget about them. We continually dig into the statistics to see how they’re performing, refining the details as we go, so you can get the most out of your ads.

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can create effective PPC ads for your business!


Don’t let your competition get ahead of you – contact Sierra Productions today!

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Phone: New York (212)-359-9497 | Dallas (469)-661-1411

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