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PPC 101: A Beginners Guide to PPC Marketing

Are you new to PPC? Are you a business who has hired someone to do PPC and not exactly sure what it is? When you’re starting out, PPC can sometimes be overwhelming. 

First, it helps to understand exactly what PPC is and how it works. 

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. As the name suggests, it is a type of online advertising where the user is charged each time a customer clicks on the ad. Instead of trying to use SEO to organically rank on search engine results, you can use paid ads to direct people to your website.

Rather than paying a set amount to advertise your business on a website banner, PPC focuses on bidding on keywords. The aim of a PPC keyword is to have your ad place on the top of search engine results for keywords which will drive the most traffic to your website. One of the most popular PPC services is Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords.

How exactly does PPC work?

When you type in a phrase on a search engine, you will notice a search engine results page, otherwise known as SERPs. There are organic search results which are not paid for. Above these organic results are PPC ads. 

For example, when you search ‘pet wholesale’, you will notice the first three results are paid ads. Each time someone clicks on one of these results, the business will be charged a certain amount. This amount varies depending on the industry and the popularity of the keyword. 

There are numerous factors which determine which ad appears at number one, or whether your ads are shown at all. The number one position is determined by what is known as an Ad Rank. A business’ Ad Rank is determined by various factors, including:

  • Your bid amount
  • Your auction-time ad quality
  • Ad Rank thresholds
  • Competitiveness
  • Context of the person’s search, such as location, time and date of search
  • Expected impact of extensions and other ad formats 

So what do you need to do to make sure your PPC ad campaign is set up properly and performs well?


One of the most important factors of a PPC campaign is the keywords. You need to know what terms queries are searching when they are looking for your website. You can then use keywords from these queries to target potential customers. 

You can also notice queries which are irrelevant to your business. If your ad appears for an irrelevant keyword and people click on the ad, it’s going to cost you money without making a sale. When you see an irrelevant query, you can make it a negative keyword. This means the ad will be prevented from being shown when someone searches this term.

It is worth spending time undertaking keyword research so you can understand what terms people search to find your website. These terms can then be used within your website content, as well as in your ad copy.

Optimise your ads

Once you have undertaken your keyword research, it is time to prepare and optimise your ads. This is when you’ll have to get creative and think of copy your audience wants to see. 

You’ll need to think of a headline and description; the URL for your website will also be displayed. 

Certain ads will also include extensions, which work to enhance the ad and make it more engaging for the customer. Extensions can include site links, which include more links to various pages of your website, or call extensions, which adds your phone number to the ad.

Each ad belongs in a campaign; there should be a minimum of three ads within each campaign. 


Before your ad is published and live on search engines, you’ll need to decide on your budget. 

You can set a budget per day for each of the campaigns you are running. The less you spend, the less likely your ads will display. The amount you’ll need to spend will vary depending on what industry your business is in; some are more expensive than others. 

You can also set a maximum cost per click. If you have a limited budget you can keep this at a low amount and be rest assured you won’t blow the budget. 

These costs can be adjusted at any time – if you notice you are spending too much or not achieving the results you want, you can raise or lower the budget. 

Define the audience

You can further define who is going to see your ad by navigating to the audiences tab. Here, you will be able to select groups of people who will see or be excluded from seeing your ads. 

You may also wish to add a specific location for where your ads will appear. This is particularly helpful for local companies who do not have an online store. You do not want someone in another city or country being able to see your ad when they will never be able to purchase your product.  

You can also choose specific times the ad will be shown. This is helpful for those who have a limited budget and know the times their customers are online. However, if you don’t want to miss out on potential customers who may be online outside these hours, do not set specific times. 

Once these steps have been taken, you will be able to start running your PPC campaign. For the best results, continue to monitor the campaign while it is running, and make adjustments when needed for optimal results. 

Do you need PPC help? Contact Patch Agency’s PPC specialists today.

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