PPC Marketing


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Frequently asked questions

1What is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising?

Pay per click is a form of online advertising that only charges the advertiser once their advert has been clicked on, so if people do not like the advert and do not click on it there will be no charge. In Google for example these Ads are the search results you see at the top and bottom of the page with the ‘Ad’ note, or in Facebook these are the ‘Sponsored Posts’.

The different platforms run auction systems where you set bids for your adverts. If you are aggressively targeting a market you can place higher bids than your competitors to ‘get to the top’.

This is not always necessary, as Google AdWords for example also have metrics called Ad Rank and Quality Score. If you have done a good job in setting up the advert you may be able to ‘get to the top’ with cost per clicks lower than your competitors.

2What are the advantages?

There are many advantages of pay per click advertising over traditional marketing, the primary one being you only pay when someone takes action. Compare that to a newspaper advert, where you pay up front for an adverts inclusion irrespective of whether there is a response or not. This can mean your advertising budget is much more efficiently spent. There are numerous other advantages:

  • Speed - ads can be written and live within minutes (depending on the platform)
  • Control – you have full control:
    • When the ads are run – time and days, plus turn off at any time
    • The budget – set your daily / monthly budget
    • Changes – change the adverts being displayed at any time
  • Targeting – you have the opportunity to very tightly control the market you are targeting with an advert, so the advert is not shown to people who are unlikely to want your products or services.
  • Feedback – very rich statistics are provided on the types of people who clicked on your ad, times of day, location, keywords they used and much more. This enables you to improve the adverts you are running to get better results.
3What are the disadvantages?

Pay per click is a technical discipline which requires planning, time and expertise to set up and manage. Typically, the campaigns that do not work have not been set up or managed correctly.

Many business owners tell stories of PPC campaigns that cost a great deal of money with poor returns. Though Jacob Baadsgaard in his blog post 4 Things I’ve Learned from 2,000+ AdWords Audits [7], cites the main reason for poor performance as inadequate tracking and lack of attention. Effective PPC campaign management will ensure this does not happen.

4Do I have to pay more than my competitors to get above them?

There is a misconception that to get your advert shown you need to pay more. Whilst the various platforms do have auction systems where you can ‘get to the top’ if you pay more, this is not a cost-effective way of advertising; instead you should focus on creating high-quality adverts that people click on.

In Google AdWords [1] you get rewarded for adverts and landing pages that are effective, the reward is lower cost per clicks. Google wants to promote good quality adverts, so if you do this, you can feasibly pay lowers costs than your direct competitors.

5Are there different types of PPC marketing?

There are many types of pay-per-click advertising:

  • Paid search advertising
    In the search results of Google and Bing, there are adverts at the top, bottom, and sometimes on the right-hand side of the page, above, below, and to the side of the natural search results. This is paid search advertising and is the primary reason Google is today one of the largest companies in the world.
  • Product listing Ads (shopping)
    When you search for products in the search engines, the results displayed are now adverts where the advertiser only pays when the searcher clicks on the ad.
  • Display Advertising
    Many of the banner, image and text adverts you see on other websites are served up by services such as Google AdWords Display Network. Typically, the ads are targeted using audience demographics. So, for example if you are visiting a website about ‘football’, it may show relevant adverts on ‘football boots’, or ‘sports betting’. Whilst the visitor may not have specifically visited that page to purchase a product, relevant adverts are places to catch their eye.
  • Re-marketing
    Have you ever been browsing products or services on the web; then every site you visit displays adverts for the products you have just been searching for? Well this is re-targeting or re-marketing, where your advert can ‘follow’ the web browser around the web.
  • Social Media Advertising
    Social media adverts have really taken off in the past few years, and are the ‘sponsored posts’ you see in Facebook or Twitter feeds. Facebook has become particularly good at allowing you to closely target specific groups of people.
    Let’s say you are a children’s nursery based in Surrey, Facebook Ads allow you target young Surrey based mums. In their Facebook feeds, young mums only in your area will see the adverts and no-one else.

The type of advertising most suitable for your business will very much depend on your products and services and target market.

6What audience targeting can be done?

The different PPC platforms allow you to target very specific audiences.

  • Paid search advertising (Google AdWords and Bing Ads)
    You can target:
    1. Search queries (plumber in London, mens orange jumper etc.)
    2. Locations (UK, England, Surrey, Croydon, etc.)
    3. Devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, mobiles etc.)

    If you are a plumber in Croydon you can target search queries such as: ‘Plumber’, ‘emergency plumber’, ‘plumber in Croydon’ etc. - and only appear to people searching in the Croydon area only.

    This can be extremely effective if you chose the right buying keywords. For example, if you target ‘jumper’, this may not be nearly as effective as ‘buy mens orange jumper’.

  • Display and social media advertising
    You are targeting audience demographics rather than specific search keywords, such as:
    1. Age, from say 25 to 55.
    2. Gender
    3. Location
    4. Detailed targeting - demographics, interests and behaviours, for example: Tenants, who like sports, and are single.

Within certain markets if you target your advert well this can be very effective.

Why PPC is so powerful


Never before has the advertiser been so in control


Better than your competitors


Pay up to half that your competitors are paying and get more customers!

Diagram of contacing us by location


Ad Rank
A value that's used to determine your ad position (where ads are shown on a page) [9]
Average Cost Per Click
The average amount that you've been charged for a click on your ad. Average cost per click (avg. CPC) is calculated by dividing the total cost of your clicks by the total number of clicks. [11]
Bing Ads
Bing’s advertising platform where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings, and video content within the Bing search results and ad network to web users. [17]
Facebook Ads
Facebook’s advertising platform that provides adverts via their network to web users. [16]
Google AdWords
Google’s advertising platform where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings and video content within Google’s search results and ad network, to web users. [12]
Google Display Network
Google AdWords is split into two networks, the Search Network and the Display Network. When advertising on the Search Network, businesses place text ads in the search engine results. On the Display Network, businesses instead place display ads on a huge network of sites across the internet. [13] [14]
Quality Score
Estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions. [10]
Relevance Score
Relevance score aggregates various ad quality and relevance factors to give an idea of how relevant ads are to the people in your target audience compared to other ads targeting that same audience.
Retargeting (also known as remarketing, or behavioural retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions. Retargeting tags online users by including a pixel within the target webpage or email, which sets a cookie in the user's browser. Once the cookie is set, the advertiser is able to show display ads to that user elsewhere on the internet via an ad exchange. [15]


  1. Google AdWords – Get your ad on Google today.
  2. Bing Ads - Millions are searching. Make sure they find you.
  3. Facebook Adverts - Advertising on Facebook makes it easy to find the right people, capture their attention and get results.
  4. Twitter Ads - Create ads focused on the objectives most important to your business
  5. LinkedIn Ads - Reach your ideal customers on the world's largest professional network
  6. YouTube Ads - Start advertising on YouTube
  7. 4 Things I’ve Learned from 2,000+ AdWords Audits“ kissmetrics.com
  8. John Wanamaker. wikipedia.org
  9. Ad Rank Definition. Google.com
  10. Quality Score Definition. Google.com
  11. Average Cost Per Click Definition. Google.com
  12. AdWords. wikipedia.org
  13. About the Google Display Network. Google.com. wikipedia.org
  14. 7 Tips to Master the Google Display Network”. wordstream.com. 2017.03.07
  15. Behavioural retargeting. wikipedia.org
  16. What are Facebook Ads?. facebook.com
  17. Bing Ads. wikipedia.org
  18. About relevance score. facebook.com