Unleash PPC Basics: What Is It and How Does It Work

Meet Yazida, a Performance Marketing Specialist with 2 years of experience. Yazida has a solid customer behavior understanding and approaches her campaigns through psychological perspective. She possesses creative brief and copywriting, to sharp analytical and problem-solving skills. Experienced in App, B2C, and B2B campaigns, Yazida has been known to cut down Cost per Result by 50% in 30 days.

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If you're eager to learn more about PPC marketing or you're unsure where to begin using PPC to promote your business, you've landed in the right spot!

This article provides you with all the information you need about PPC to effectively utilize it for your business.

What is PPC?

PPC, short for pay-per-click, is a digital advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee for each click on their ads. In other words, it's a way to purchase targeted traffic to your website, landing page, or app.

When implemented effectively, the cost of a click is insignificant compared to the value it brings in. For instance, if you pay $3 for a click that ultimately results in a $300 sale, then you're on the winning side.

PPC ads come in various formats, including text, images, videos, or a combination of them. They can be found on search engines, social media platforms, websites, and other online platforms.

what is ppc

One of the most widely used forms of PPC is search engine advertising, also called paid search or search engine marketing. Advertisers can compete for ad placement in a search engine's sponsored links when someone searches for keywords related to their business offerings.

For instance, if we place a bid on the keyword "hire digital marketers," our advertisement for a complimentary Google Ads Performance Grader might show up on the search engine results page (SERP) for that or a related search term.


How does PPC work?

PPC advertising may vary in appearance across platforms, but typically, the process involves the following steps:

  1. Determine your campaign type based on your objective.
  2. Fine-tune your settings and targeting, such as audiences, devices, locations, schedule, etc.
  3. Allocate your budget and establish a bidding strategy.
  4. Enter your destination URL, such as a landing page.
  5. Create your advertisement.
budget setup sem

After launching the advertisement, the placement and timing of your ad, as well as the cost per click, are determined through an algorithm that takes into account your budget, bid, campaign settings, and the quality and relevance of your advertisement.

Since every platform that offers PPC advertising strives to ensure its users are satisfied, advertisers who design trustworthy, relevant pay-per-click campaigns are rewarded with better ad placement and lower costs.

Therefore, if you wish to optimize your earnings from PPC, it's crucial to master the art of creating effective campaigns.

About Google Ads

Google Ads is the most widely used PPC advertising system globally, offering businesses the opportunity to create ads that display on Google's search engine and other Google-owned platforms.

Whenever a search is conducted, Google sifts through the pool of advertisements and selects a group of winners to appear on the search engine results page.

The "winning" ads are selected based on a mix of factors, such as the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, along with the size of their keyword bids, and ad copies or ads themselves, and also where you direct the traffic a.k.a. the landing page. This will be further elaborated on in the upcoming section.

PPC in Google Ads

When creating an ad in Google Ads, advertisers select a set of keywords to target and submit the keywords that they want to bid on. For example, bidding on the keyword "pet adoption" tells Google that the ad should appear for searches related to pet adoption (more information on keyword match types can be found here).

Google uses a set of formulas and an auction-style process to determine which ads are eligible to appear for a given search. If an ad is entered into the auction, Google assigns a Quality Score from one to 10 based on the ad's relevance to the keyword, expected click-through rate, and landing page quality.

Google then multiplies the Quality Score by the advertiser's maximum bid (the most they are willing to pay for a click) to determine the Ad Rank. The ads with the highest Ad Rank scores are displayed.

This system allows advertisers to reach potential customers while staying within their budget. Essentially, it is an auction. The infographic below illustrates how the Google Ads auction works.

PPC Step by Step with Google Ads

Conducting PPC marketing with Google Ads is particularly effective because Google is the most popular search engine, delivering the most impressions and clicks to your ads. The frequency with which your PPC ads appear depends on the keywords and match types you choose. While many factors contribute to the success of a PPC advertising campaign, you can achieve success by doing the following:

  • Bid on relevant keywords. Create relevant PPC keyword lists, groups, and ad text.
  • Focus on landing page quality. Design optimized landing pages with compelling, relevant content and a clear call to action tailored to specific search queries.
  • Improve your Quality Score. Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with higher Quality Scores receive more ad clicks at lower costs.
  • Grab attention. Attractive ad copy is essential, as is eye-catching ad creative if running display or social ads.
what is ppc

PPC Keyword Research

Effective PPC keyword research is a critical aspect of a successful PPC campaign. Although it can be time-consuming, it is vital to continuously grow and refine your keyword list. Simply performing keyword research once when launching your first campaign is insufficient, as you may be missing out on hundreds of thousands of relevant, low-cost, and highly valuable long-tail keywords that could potentially drive traffic to your site.

To create an effective PPC keyword list, ensure that it is relevant to your offerings, exhaustive, and expansive. This means that you should bid on keywords that are closely related to your business, as well as include long-tail keywords that are less frequently searched but less competitive and less expensive. Your keyword list should be constantly growing and adapting.

Google Keyword Planner is a powerful tool that can help you perform keyword research for your PPC campaigns. It allows you to find new keyword ideas, get historical statistics on search volume, and estimate the potential performance of your keywords.

Simply enter a few keywords related to your business or product, and Google Keyword Planner will generate a list of relevant keywords along with their estimated search volume and level of competition.

You can also use the tool to find new negative keywords, which are search terms that you don’t want to target in your campaigns. With Google Keyword Planner, you can make informed decisions about which keywords to target and how to structure your campaigns for maximum impact.

PPC Campaign Management

Managing your PPC campaigns requires regular activity to ensure continued effectiveness. You should analyze your account's performance regularly and make adjustments to optimize your campaigns.

These adjustments include:

  1. Continuously adding relevant PPC keywords
  2. Adding non-converting terms as negative keywords to improve campaign relevancy and reduce wasted spend
  3. Reviewing expensive and under-performing keywords
  4. Refining landing pages to align with individual search queries and boost conversion rates
  5. Splitting up ad groups into smaller and more relevant groups to improve click-through rates and Quality Score.


In conclusion, PPC advertising is a powerful tool for businesses to drive traffic and increase conversions. While it may seem daunting to navigate the complexities of Google Ads, it is essential to have a solid understanding of how PPC works and how to conduct effective keyword research. With the right strategy and ongoing optimization, businesses can achieve a high return on investment through PPC advertising.

At TalentPort, we understand the importance of having top talent on your team to execute a successful PPC campaign. That's why we offer access to the top 3% of remote PPC experts, available for hire in just two weeks.

Our talent matching process is designed to ensure you get the right person for the job, and we stand behind our placements with a one-month match guarantee. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your PPC advertising to the next level.

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