PPC Marketing: Your Ultimate Guide to PPC Advertising

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Did you know that for every $1 spent on Google Ads, you could earn up to $8 in return?

If you’re not investing in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing for your business, you’re missing a prime opportunity to obtain qualified leads that turn into conversions for your business.

Luckily, we’ve got all the information you need about PPC to get started with this results-driven strategy. In this guide to PPC, we’ll answer your burning questions like:

  • What is PPC marketing?
  • How does PPC advertising work?
  • Should I use paid search advertising?
  • How do I launch a pay-per-click marketing campaign?
  • What are some tips for doing PPC advertising successfully?

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PPC marketing definition

PPC marketing is a strategy that uses paid advertisements to help your business appear at the top of search results. This advertising option is structured so that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It’s a valuable strategy for driving more qualified leads and boosting revenue for your business.

How does PPC advertising work?

Now that you have the PPC marketing definition, let’s look at how PPC marketing works.

When you launch a paid search advertising campaign, what can you expect?

We’ll use Google’s model, Google Ads, as an example.

When someone searches on their search engine, Google analyzes its pool of advertisers bidding on the person’s keyword. Google analyzes numerous factors of each company’s ad, but the two most significant factors are:

Google will deliver the most relevant ads based on those two factors, among others. This whole process happens in milliseconds — the searcher doesn’t even know it’s happening.

Once the auction finishes, the searcher will see ads in the search results based on what Google believes are the most relevant ads to the search query.

How to launch a pay-per-click marketing campaign

Now that you know the PPC marketing definition and how PPC advertising works, you’re ready to learn about how you can launch your own campaign.

Here are four critical components to launching a paid search advertising campaign:

1. Conduct keyword research

One of the most important things we’ll cover in this guide to PPC is conducting keyword research. When users search, it triggers your ad to appear in search results. If you want relevant leads to be on the receiving end of your ad, you must bid on the right keywords.

To help you find relevant terms, you can use keyword research tools, like KeywordsFX, to find applicable terms for your ad.

When you search for keywords for your PPC ads, you want to focus on long-tail keywords — these keywords contain three or more words. Long-tail keywords are best for your PPC advertising campaigns for two reasons:

  • Long-tail keywords drive more qualified traffic: Long-tail keywords drive more qualified traffic because they’re specific — you can easily identify the intent behind the search. If someone searches using specific terms related to your company, you know they’re interested in your business.
  • Long-tail keywords have a lower cost per click: Since these keywords are more specific, they have less competition. Since fewer companies bid on these keywords, you have a lower cost per click (CPC) for your business. It enables you to maximize your budget to obtain more leads.

Once you have a list of keywords to target, you can focus on the next important aspect: Setting your bid.

2. Choose your bid amount

Once you choose your keywords, you’ll bid on them. But how do you determine how much to bid for each click?

Some keyword research tools, like LSIGraph and Google Keyword Planner, will provide you with an average CPC for some keywords. It can help you get an idea of how much you should bid on the keyword.

 

If you’re using a keyword research tool that doesn’t have CPC information, you’ll have to do some experimentation with your bidding process. You may have to decide how much you want to pay and then monitor your ad to adjust as necessary.

For example, if you want to pay 30 cents per click, you can set that bid amount and monitor your ads. You may find that, after some time, searchers don’t see your ads — this behavior indicates a competitor is outbidding you with a more relevant ad.

As a result, you can go back into your ad and up your bid amount until your ad shows at a frequency your business likes.

Keep in mind, though, that you never want to overbid as you set your bid amount. Don’t choose a high amount for the sake of trying to grab the top spot uncontested. It’s best to start with a smaller amount and gradually increase your bid until your ad performs where you’d like.

With the previous example, you may find that adjusting your bid from 30 cents to 50 cents per click is enough to get qualified leads through your ads and rank higher. If you started by bidding $2 per click out the gate, you’d never know that a lower amount could drive the same results at a lower cost.

3. Craft compelling ad copy

Next, in this guide to PPC ad creation, let’s look at ad copy. Your ad copy is what users see in search results when your ad appears.When you craft your ad, you want to ensure you’re creating engaging and compelling ad copy that entices leads to click on your ad. Without engaging ad copy, you risk leads clicking on a competitor’s ad instead.

To help you create high-quality ad copy, follow these best practices:

  • Highlight the benefits of your product, service, or company to help your audience see why they should choose you
  • Use emotions to compel a response from your audience and get them to click
  • Integrate power words to make your offer more compelling and stand out to your audience
  • Provide vital information upfront so your audience is informed

4. Create a custom landing page

A critical component to a successful paid search advertising strategy is a custom landing page. Half of the battle is getting leads to click on your ads through your engaging ad copy. Once they click, you can’t drop the ball — you need to deliver a remarkable landing page experience.

Many companies make the mistake of using a page from their site as a landing page.

The problem with this approach is that these pages are often generic and contain numerous distractions. On the other hand, a custom landing page provides a tailored and focused experience for your audience.

When your audience stays focused on why they clicked on your ad, they’re more likely to convert.

You can create a compelling custom landing page by:

  • Integrating your brand’s unique style
  • Using visuals relevant to your ads, like photos and videos
  • Adding directional cues, like arrows, to guide people on your page
  • Having one specific call to action (CTA) button that stands out on the page

Should I use PPC advertising?

After learning how to launch your own PPC advertising campaign, you may wonder if paid search advertising is right for your business.

Answer these questions to find out:

  • Do you want to increase brand exposure for your business?
  • Do you want to generate more qualified leads for your company?
  • Do you want to boost conversions and revenue?
  • Do you want to have control over your budget?
  • Do you want to be able to target people most interested in your business?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then PPC marketing is the strategy for you!

4 tips for launching PPC marketing ads successfully

In the last part of our guide to PPC, let’s look at four tips for creating PPC ads that drive better results for your business!

1. Use ad extensions

If you want to be successful with your PPC marketing, use ad extensions. Ad extensions enable you to include additional information in your ad that compels people to click.

There are numerous ad extensions you can use to generate more clicks for your ads, including:

  • Structured snippet: With the structured snippet extension, you can call attention to your products and services to get your audience interested in what you offer.
  • Callout: Callout extensions enable you to highlight aspects that make your business stand out from your competition, like being customer-focused.
  • Call: The call extension enables you to add a phone number to your listing so that leads can contact your business.
  • Sitelink: Sitelink extensions enable you to add links to different pages on your site to entice people to click.
  • Message: Like the call extension, the message extension enables people to send you a text message from the ad.
  • Price: With the price extension, you can highlight your products’ or services’ prices to entice people to click.
  • Location: The location extension enables you to add an address to your PPC ad so that people can visit your location.

You can use any combination of these extensions to entice people to click on your ads.

2. Add negative keywords

Next, in this guide to PPC, let’s talk about negative keywords. Negative keywords are keywords you don’t want your ads to appear for in search results.

Let’s say you want to appear in search results for terms like “women’s black hiking boots” and “black hiking boots.” After running your ad, you find that you’re appearing in search results for the term “children’s black hiking boots.”

The problem? You don’t carry children’s black hiking boots.

Your ad continues to appear in search results for this term, though, which means you’re wasting money driving traffic that won’t be able to find the product they need from you.

So, to prevent this scenario from happening, you can set “children’s” as a negative keyword for your ad. That way, your ad will appear for “black hiking boots” but not “children’s black hiking boots.”

Using negative keywords will help ensure your ads only appear in front of relevant leads so that you can drive qualified traffic to your site.

3. Monitor your PPC marketing campaign performance

To get the best results and avoid issues with your PPC campaigns, you need to monitor your ad performance. You don’t want to launch ads and never look at them again. By monitoring your ad performance, you can see what’s working and make changes to improve your campaign.

To effectively monitor your campaigns, start by establishing your key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics will indicate if you’re succeeding with your campaigns. You can track numerous metrics, including:

By tracking these KPIs, you’ll gain insight into how your audience engages with your ads. If you see a low performance from some of these metrics, you can improve your ads.

4. Test your ads

One of the best ways to improve your ads is to conduct A/B testing. A/B testing enables you to test different elements on your site to see which will perform best for your business. You can test components like your:

  • Ad copy
  • Landing page design
  • Visual elements on your landing page
  • Directional cues
  • CTA color, text, size, and placement

So, for example, let’s say you’re monitoring your PPC ads and notice that people click on your ads, but they don’t convert. You use heatmaps to analyze your landing page and find that people aren’t seeing your CTA button.

As a result, you conduct some testing with your CTA to find one that generates more conversions.

Launch your paid advertising campaign with PPC marketing

PPC marketing is an excellent way for your business to reach more qualified leads looking for your products or services. So, if you’re ready to launch your campaign after reading this guide to PPC, WebFX is here to help.

We have a team of over 300 marketing experts that can help you craft a custom PPC campaign built to help your company thrive online.

We know how to craft campaigns that drive results. In the past five years alone, we’ve driven over $2.4 billion in sales and over 6.3 million leads for our clients.

Are you ready to boost revenue for your business? Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our PPC services!