A Beginner’s Guide to PPC Advertising

online marketing

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If you’re looking to learn the effective Pay-per-Click (PPC) marketing strategies along with the basic principles of PPC, this guide is a handy resource.

What is PPC Marketing?

Pay per click (PPC) is one of the most cost effective forms of internet marketing in which advertisers pay for each click on their advertisement. Advertisers have to pay nothing unless their advertisements are clicked. In this form of marketing, marketers can control the spending limit for any any PPC campaign.

What are the Forms of PPC Marketing?

The major forms of PPC advertising are:

  1. Search engine marketing (SEM),
  2. Display network marketing (DNM),
  3. Video marketing and s
  4. Shopping advertising.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing

It is the most common form of PPC marketing. This type of marketing allows you to place your ad on a search page like that of Google or Bing. While a user enter a search term relevant to your product or service you are advertising and hit enter, search engine might show your ad to the user depending upon your settings and optimization.

DNM or Display Network Marketing

It is the second most popular and cost effective mode of PPC. In this case, your ad will be displayed on qualified and popular websites and will correspond to the users’ online activities relevant to your business. Users activities and interests are cached by program based cookies that correspond to your business interest up to 98% accuracy if your ads are set correctly. Google and other PPC/affiliate service providers verify a website’s credibility to check whether it qualify for before placing any advertising on it.

Video Marketing

It is meant for free online video viewing platforms like the YouTube. Your ad will be placed on popular video channels. Since YouTube has enormous popularity, placing automated ads based on users’ online interest on high viewing channels could lead to amazing marketing success.

Shopping Ads

These are created by the eCommerce sites or online stores and distributed by search engines like Google. If you are selling your products or services online, you should prefer shopping ads in order to reach your target customers and to get better conversion. In this form of advertising/marketing, your ads will visible to the potential customers who are looking for products/services exactly or similar to your offers. Such types of ads come with images, product name, price and offers.

The Advantages of PPC Advertising

The best thing about PPC advertising is that you are not going to pay unless your ad is clicked by a potential customer. Second, you are free to set a price that you are willing to pay for a single click. Third, you can also set your daily limit of marketing cost. These are applicable to all forms of PPC marketing.

Next to social media marketing (SMM), PPC is the single most form of digital marketing that ensures high rate of conversion and enough return on investment (ROI)

However, you need some experience and solid skill to run any PPC campaign. PPC marketing by any inexperienced or unskilled person can return you no result expect spoiling your marketing objectives and money.

Should You Hire PPC Professionals?

You may ask – whether you can handle your PPC marketing campaign yourself ? The answer is – yes, you can do it for yourself, but the result might not be as desired. If you are well trained, skilled and experienced, you’ll gain excellent result in a self executed PPC campaign. But if you are not an expert, you might pay for your experiment heavily. Alternatively, you may hire some trained, skilled and experienced professional to do the task for you. However, if your business is not large enough to afford in house experts, the salary component will be a heavy burden on you. For these reasons, it’s wise to outsource an agency.

Even if you are not going to execute PPC marketing for your business yourself, you should know the basic of an effective PPC strategy so that you can hire a right marketer for your business.

Basics of PPC Strategy

Success of a PPC campaign depends upon four main aspects:

  • Bid amount,
  • Ad quality,
  • Script quality and
  • Landing page quality.

Bid Amount

This is the amount how much you and your competitors are willing to pay for a single click if your ad will be placed (on search engine or elsewhere) for a particular key word. This is termed as keyword bidding. You might think that if you are willing to pay an higher amount for a keyword than your competitor, your ad will be placed at better position and more frequency. In fact, such proposition might not work! Your ad may get better exposer even you are paying lower amount in the condition that other three aspects are stronger, those are the qualities of your ad, script and landing page. These three are very powerful game changers.

Ad Quality

In order to minimize your marketing investment without affecting the result, your advertisement should meet the standard in full. It means, your ad should be clear, comprehensive, concise and free from grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors. Unnecessary formatting should be strictly avoided.

Script Quality

Like your ad, the script for your ad should be of high standard. Most importantly it should contain maximum possible numbers of keywords without distorting the meaning. Unnecessary adverbs, adjectives, jargons and vague words must be avoided.

Landing Page Quality

Landing page is that page of your website that will open when some one will click on your ad. This is the destination of your ad as well it’s the most important aspect of your PPC marketing campaign. If your landing page is not of good quality, you have to pay a much for little or no gain. Since quality of your landing page is determined by a number of complex aspects and overall quality of your website, you should have a complete audit of your website by an efficient and experienced professional. The audit report must contain:

  • How good is the overall speed of your website as well the destined landing page?
  • Is your website well optimized for all device and screen types, such as, desktop PC, tablets and most importantly for smart phones?
  • Is your website is free from bug problems and coding issues?
  • Is the landing page is well structured and able to return good user experiences?
  • Does the destination page has rich content?
  • Does the page meet the requirement of what is advertised?
  • Are the keywords used in the ad scripts have relevance with the page content?

If answers to these questions will be found mostly positive, you should be thankful to your website designer and proceed further. But if unfortunately, you’ll get more than 30% negative answers, you need to take care in error fixing and redesigning your website. Only after that you should proceed for PPC marketing in order to get good result in your campaign.

How to Run an Effective of a PPC Campaign

Though the above four aspects are primary elements that determine budgetary side, those are not all in deciding the effectiveness and success of your campaign. There are numbers of factors those affect PPC marketing. More five facets, those should be well focused on are:

  • Overall situation assessment
  • Developing a strong policy
  • Creating an action plan
  • Adequate keyword research and planning
  • A/B testing
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per conversion (CPC) management

Situation Assessment

Before executing a PPC campaign, your marketer should have sufficient knowledge about your business, your products or services, your buying persona and most importantly, your competitive landscape. You need to provide as much as information you can. However, your information may not meet the need. The next task for your market is tedious and time consuming, but he/she can’t avoid the task. It’s all about going through a thorough research to get complete handy data and statistics in order to help you in your goal. Some golden research practice such as SWOC and KPY analysis may helpful in finding all other aspects except competition analysis. In online marketing practice, it’s not always easy to find, how much your competitor is stronger or weaker than you. However, a techno savvy marketers can find out the real scenario with careful study.

Policy Development

If the situation assessment has been handled with strong skill and competency, policy development for a marketing camping will be no more difficult. But it doesn’t mean that your marketer will work with a loose policy. He/she need to look all sides of how to handle your PPC account and write a strong policy statement. In fact, the policy statement is the key that will lead to overall marketing success.

Developing Action Plan

Policies and action plans go together. Actions plans get direct insights from the policies formulated in advance. It tell – when, how and how long the campaign will be executed? What’ll be the next? Is there any necessity of remarketing? What will about the testing phase and how the keywords will be selected.

Keyword Research and Planning

A keyword is a search phrase that an user put in a search box, such as that of Google Search, to find something on the internet. For example, if you are looking to hire a PPC marketer and Googling for the same, you may type different phrases for your search criteria. Like –

  • PPC marketer in (xyz city or xyz country or xyz state) or
  • Google paid marketing professional in … or
  • Search engine marketing consultant … or
  • Digital marketer … or
  • Digital marketing expert … or
  • or something other like XYZ

I can’t say, even no one except you can say that what terms or phase you are going to type. The possible phrases people may use to find something on the internet are keywords. But it’s always difficult to tell what the keywords people using for Googling something. However, Google knows. Google’s Keyword Research Tool help marketers in finding out the proper keywords for a marketing campaign. But, a novice can’t use the tool wisely.

Keywords are the real keys and the game changers in a PPC marketing campaign. Selecting proper keywords is not everyone’s cup of tea. It demand well knowledgeable, highly competent and adequately experienced professionals. A professional only know the skill and techniques of finding right keywords and using them in a marketing campaign with balance. Deciding ‘which key word consisting which terms and words and up to how much long’ mostly depends upon the marketer’s experience.

Whatever it may be, keyword research and planning depend upon a number of factors, such as –

  • keyword not accurately relevant to your product or service will eat your marketing budget trough non-qualified clicks
  • Biding for short tail keywords (phrase consisting two or three words) cost more in comparison to long tail key words (phrase consisting more than three words).
  • Accurately or approximately matching long tail keyword might not get more search appearance.
  • Open keywords (phrases with approximate match) can lead to more unqualified clicks in comparison to closed keywords (phrases with accurate match).
  • Selecting negative keywords (instructing search engine to not show the ad for particular words) is though sometime a wise decision, it may lead to less visibility of your ad.

For the above reasons, utmost care should be taken for proper keyword research and planning.

A/B Testing

A/B testing refers to set of ads to run before the real campaign to test which one is giving better result. It’s another crucial aspect and no marketer, how much skilled or experienced he/she may be. This is where a marketer can help his/her client in saving a lot money and time by spending a little amount for two or three days’ testing.

CPA and CPC Management

This is the real marketing success. While you are paying Google or Bing for marketing purpose, you are well aware that your payment is per click only, not for customer acquisition or conversion. It’s the foremost duty of your marketer to carefully look after the issue. If your marketing cost will be more than or equal to or even little less than your profit from selling product or service through the campaign, you will either have to face heavy loss or gain no profit. Both you and your marketers need to have open eye and handy statistics to produce daily report on how much cost you are bearing for getting a customer or selling. Cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per conversion (CPC) are two main metrics in any PPC campaign.


I’ve alreay told that PPC marketing is one of the cost effective form of marketing, Besides, it’s highly target oriented, measurable and lead generating approach. However, the success of a PPC campaign depends upon the skill, competency, experience as well hard work of the marketer. Never choose a novice marketer to handle such difficult task. Always prefer a marketer who has been in love with her/his profession.

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21 Responses

  1. Mortgage Consultancy Services Singapore says:

    Major thankies for a great post on PPC marketing.Really looking forward to read more.

  2. Manisha Singh says:

    A useful post for the marketing professionals who are just beginning or about to begin. I’ll recommend this post to my friends and colleagues.

  3. Carmine Jacoby says:

    I’m a newbie to online marketing. Doing cost effective advertising through Google Ads and ensuring low CPA was really difficult to me. You made a great help by this post. I’ll needs to spend a while learning much more or understanding more.
    Thank you for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my project.

    • Prabash Sahoo says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Nice to know that this could helpful to you.
      I’m also going to update and enlarge this post with some pro tips and techniques. Please read again after few days to get most out of the PPC marketing strategies.

  4. Sikha Pilai says:

    Hi Prabash,
    This weekend is good for me, since this point in time i am reading this enormous educational post here at my home. For your kind note, I’m an under-graduate in marketing and management. Your posts are good enough to help me improving my knowledge and understanding beyond class notes and text books.
    Thank you.

  5. Salim Bhai says:

    Fantastic issues altogether, you just gained a new reader. I love the way you’re digging deep into the topic while keeping it short as much as possible. While you’re teaching marketing, you’re simultaneously looking at the universal learners. You’re really a great trainer of digital marketing.

  6. Felix Padel says:

    Its very well written; I love what you’ve got to say about the most common digital marketing strategy.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content and additional help so visitors to your sie could connect with it better. You’ve got an awful lot
    of text for for few tutorial images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Prabash Sahoo says:

      Thank you Felix for your analytical suggestions. I’m trying my best to improve the content. I hope, you’ll get ore as you’re wishing within a week.

  7. Ellis says:

    I’m going to highly recommend this post along with your other posts on different websites! Teaching marketing without doing marketing is a great thing. You deserve to be in the list of the great online marketers in the World. I love to read all your post.

    • Prabash Sahoo says:

      Hi Ellis,
      Thank you for your evaluation and reflecting comment.
      You’re really awesome.
      Thank you.

  8. Hi Prabash,
    I log on to your blogs daily. Your posts are awesome – expertise, authoritative and trustworthy. Your hard work in terms of research, analysis, presentation and story telling is really demand high credibility. While the internet is becoming more venerable to cheap marketing and about zero usefulness, you’re in continuous effort to do thing better.
    Please keep up the good work.
    Best regards,
    With solidarity,

    • Prabash Sahoo says:

      Hi Soila,
      I don’t know how to say thank you to you. Your comment is really inspiring in keeping up the activities I’m performing for long and long. You’re really awesome.

  9. Gopal Jha says:

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    I require an expert on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look forward to peer you.

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  11. Fatima Neblette says:

    Read this post thrice since morning. You’ve something to teach seriously, particularly on Google marketing. Just going to share your post with due acknowledgement.

  12. Ranjit Kumar says:

    I find it difficult to fix bidding issue for Google Ads. As ROI concern, I can’t spend more on PPC. While I’m limiting to budget, I’m not getting enough qualified lead. Can you help me?

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Comments are closed.