Pay-Per-Click Marketing: Everything You Need to Know About PPC

December 28, 2018 By AdWords, PPC, Social Media

What is pay-per-click marketing? Is it worth the money? Does it actually produce profitable results? When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, most people have a lot of questions.

The business world is full of old wives’ tales (for example, “business isn’t personal”…really?), but a few of these clichés are actually spot on. For example, one classic business saying is pretty much dead on: you can’t make money without spending money first.

This axiom is absolutely true and it’s something we sometimes need to remind clients of when they’ll happily spend a couple grand on great equipment but don’t want to drop a dime on marketing. Building your business is an investment and you’ll never see the pay off without investments of both time and money into marketing.

For many businesses, PPC marketing is an essential part of that investment and, in this post, we’re going to go over everything you need to know to get started.

What is Pay-Per-Click Marketing?

PPC stands for “pay-per-click”. PPC advertising platforms allow you to create content, show it to relevant users and then charge you for specific actions taken on the ad. In many cases, you’ll be paying for ad clicks that take users to your site, but on some platforms you can also pay for other actions like impressions, video views and on-site engagements.

what is PPC

PPC advertising is an incredible opportunity to give your business a leg up by putting your brand and products in front of interested users who may never have found it otherwise. Unsurprisingly, it can be an irreplaceably valuable tool for building brand awareness, generating leads and driving conversions.

Why Can’t I Just Rely on Organic Search?

It doesn’t matter how incredible your business is, how optimized your site is or how much your customers love you—if you aren’t a mega corporation like Nike or Office Max or Macey’s, you’re probably going to struggle to show up at the top of the search engine results page. This is especially true if you’re trying to rank for highly competitive searches where customers are looking for specific products.

That being said, you should absolutely optimize your site for search. However, great search optimization can’t make up for the kind of sheer exposure that pay-per-click advertising can provide you. Especially since your competitors will be using the platforms, even if you aren’t. That in and of itself is worth the financial investment.

What are the Most Popular PPC Platforms?

Even if you’re still getting your head wrapped around the concept of PPC, I guarantee that you’re very familiar with plenty of PPC platforms, each of which has their own unique benefits and best uses. The two biggest PPC platforms are:

  • Google Ads, where ads are shown to customers based off their searches. Google Ads’ best value comes from showing your ad content to users who are actively looking for what you have to offer and are further along in the buying cycle.

PPC advertising

  • Facebook Ads, which has an unparalleled targeting system (and also allows you to advertise on Instagram). Facebook Ads has two main strengths: retargeting based on segmented marketing and custom audiences and the ability to introduce your brand to customers who didn’t know they wanted it. Google Ads is all about demand harvesting, while Facebook Ads is all about demand generation.

PPC marketing

There are also many other PPC platforms out there, many of which exist on social media sites. These include:

Many businesses like to stagger their ad spend between different ad platforms in order to get the most benefits possible from each. Almost all pay-per-click campaign platforms (and certainly each of the ones listed here) utilize a bidding system.

Why Does PPC Advertising Involve Bidding?

Almost all PPC platforms use a bidding system. Advertisers will choose a “bid”—the amount that they’re willing to pay for a single action (like a click)—which will factor into how many placements their ad campaigns get.

PPC advertising

The fact of the matter is, there are only so many placements to give out. Bidding evens the playing field in some ways, letting those who are willing to pay more get those spots. It doesn’t hurt that this helps the PPC platforms make as much money as possible.

Some platforms take more than just bid into consideration about how gets a placement, however.

Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads take relevance and ad engagement into consideration. Ads that perform well are given a higher relevance score and are given more impressions at a cheaper price than ads with low relevance. Similarly, Google Ads assigns ads a quality score based on factors like keyword relevance and landing page quality that can affect how much you pay for each click.

How Much Should I Spend on PPC Campaigns?

There are two big complaints that I often hear from clients about PPC marketing. The first is that it feels a little overwhelming when they first get started, though this typically goes away after they’ve set up their first campaign. The second is that it’s expensive.

No argument there. At Disruptive, we’ve audited thousands of PPC accounts and seen a lot of wasted ad spend.

But, PPC advertising doesn’t have to be a waste of money. Yes, it will always cost money, but if you do it right, you can invest a little money and reap huge dividends! (remember that business axiom we were talking about at the beginning?).

Essentially pay-per-click ad spend can be broken down into two areas: how much you can afford to spend on a single campaign (total ad budget) and how much you can afford to spend for individual results (your bid).

Your total ad budget will be defined by your marketing budget, so that’s simple enough. If you can afford to spend $500, great, go for it. If you can afford $50, that’s great, too.

How much you can spend per bid can be a little tricker to calculate, but consider your acquisition costs carefully. For product sales, this is pretty straightforward—you probably afford to spend $1 per click on a product that’s $70, even if only 25% of clicks end up turning into sales ($4 per sale).

Sometimes, though, it’s a bit more difficult to calculate—what about leads, or on-platform engagement?

If the value of a lead or engagement is a bit unclear, I recommend you take a close look at the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers. Don’t just think about how much profit they’ll bring in on the first sale, consider how much your average customer spends over the lifetime of their relationship with you. Compare this against your conversion rate and you’ll be able to better assess how much you can afford to bid.

Final Thoughts

Pay per click advertising can be intimidating at first, but PPC marketing is an incredible way to attract traffic, leads and sales. PPC can put you in front of audiences who are actively trying to find products and services just like yours, as well as audiences who had no idea that products like yours existed.

No matter how overwhelmed you feel, remember that even PPC experts don’t get things right the first time. They are constantly testing and trying new things. If you’re willing to test out different ideas, regardless of which platform you choose, you’ll eventually figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Want to skip the trial and error part of the equation? You can always hire PPC experts to make sure that your campaigns are running smooth as butter. Get in touch with us here at Disruptive Advertising to learn more about how we can help you with your PPC campaigns.

What do you think? Which PPC platforms do you use most often? What percentage of your ad spend to you invest in PPC advertising? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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Ana Gotter

Ana Gotter is a freelance writer specializing in social media and content marketing, though she writes on a variety of other niches and subjects. She can be contacted at anagotter.com.

42 Comments

  • Oleksii says:

    You forgot about Bing Ads. I think it’s in the top 3 PPC platforms after Adwords & Facebook. Maybe even second after Adwords.

  • Vishal says:

    Thanks for the sharing valuable post it has all thing which is necessary to understand for new person

  • chetan chauhan says:

    Hi, Google AdWords is the one and only platform where you can add your business for advertisement. But now its change into google ads which is easier to understand for new persons that what is it. To become master of advertising you need to know the basics of it and in this post, both things are included basic and advance…Thanks for sharing this post with us…

    • Chetan,

      Thanks for your comment and for your additional information! We appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us!

      We are happy to know this was a helpful article to you and that it gave you varying levels of information!
      Keep reading and thanks for stopping by the blog!

  • pay per click marketing is a great way to get leads from site and it can drive huge traffic to the site.

  • Nice write up..
    As bidding is important in ppc. but there are a lot of factors on which ppc depends like keyword research, how we put our ads in ad copy.
    Because its a paid compaign you have to analyize users prospective so that we get a desired convesion.

  • Than you for PPC tips. It is helping me a lot.

  • Nice post!

    This is so informative and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this article. Every ppc beginner and professional must read this.

  • I believe ppc is one of the shortest ways to make money, but is a tricky process ..thanks to your post, we can now avoid many mistakes that consume ad spend, and focus on what brings best results..thank you

    • There will always be a bit of trial and error when it comes to PPC but it does produce great results when you find the right combinations!
      Thanks for your comment and for reading along! 🙂

  • PPC Services Company in Dubai says:

    Nice website. AdWords assigns ads a quality score based on factors like keyword relevance and landing page quality that can affect how much you pay for each click.

  • Vidhan says:

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. PPC needs relevancy to achieve a good result. If we choose relevant keywords according to our topic for our content then we get more quality score for our campaign which is necessary for a good result in PPC.

  • Elaine E says:

    Adwords is like pay to win for Organic search in a way, but still not at all easy. Takes skill and experience to profit from it.

  • Great article ,every PPC beginner must read this article, thanks for posting .

  • Well written. But I would like to advise you that you should use simple words. e.g. instead of dime, you can use penny or coin

  • Rich Degen says:

    PPC is one of the most popular digital marketing technique which gives a better result. Thanks to sharing more information about PPC. Wonderful blog. Very informative.

  • Sonu Singh says:

    Very excellent blog, I read this have fruitful content and helpful for me. Thanks for publishing this blog.

  • Sonu Singh says:

    Thank you for sharing this information! I must visit their website!!!

  • It was a nice article! Covered the most common areas. PPC is good if you have short-term business goals and need quick results. You can buy customers from the online space to sell your products to. Everything is transparent, you can measure results using real-time performance graphs. Increasing your site’s quality score is a great way to reduce the PPC costs and talking to an expert like FWA Marketing can help you maximize clicks on your ads utilizing your money properly.

  • manisha says:

    Hello,
    Nice article very informative and interesting also helpful for me

  • Thanks for sharing nice information with us. I bookmarked your this page for future use.

  • Thanks for this useful information. Well, informative blog and all the blogs here mention is very useful for every business for Pay Per Click purpose. Keep it up!

  • Gin says:

    Hi,

    I don’t understand your calculations – “For product sales, this is pretty straightforward—you probably afford to spend $1 per click on a product that’s $70, even if only 25% of clicks end up turning into sales ($4 per sale)” – how did you get to $4 per sale?

  • Alex says:

    Thank you so much for the informative post, I had some queries about PPC marketing but after reading this article, I have clear thoughts now. Keep sharing the helpful information.

  • manisha says:

    Hello,
    The article is very nice and informative keep up the good work

  • Hey nice Article,
    Thanks a lot for sharing the same.

    I really liked the insights you have presented in this article and it would be very helpful for most of them want to learn PPC.

  • Very nice article …

  • Hey !
    You have post really nice article about PPC which solve my all queries about it . These helps me lot to drive huge traffic on my site.

  • jerry john says:

    Such an informative and great article, every PPC beginner must read this article this is very helpful for me and peoples who want to become PPC expert. I believe that PPC is one of the shortest ways to make money in digital marketing it gives you quick results of your investment, but is a tricky process you need to be very careful while doing PPC.

  • I love the new THRU LINES! Great job!!
    Amazing Tech update was given by you. Thanks for sharing such a great blog.

  • Great article. A better idea to boost sales is to hire agency like Hashage – A Digital Marketing Agency .
    These guys are just amazing and best rated social media marketin agency in Pakistan.

  • Thanks for posting such excellent content about PPC. it helps me a lot to understand about PPC marketing Thanks for the informative post.

  • Informative article as a pay per click expert I really like your way to explain such a difficult topic but after reading your Guide the user can easily handle the PPC campaign and they help to improve and drive quality traffic on the website.

  • Very well explained mate!

  • Brand campaaign is really important in this competitive world. I have noticed competitors’ playing with client’s brand keywords in some cases. This is where you gotta be tricky. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful article, Ana

  • thanks for the information

  • Junaid says:

    Thanks Ana. Definitely a great article. PPC is one of the best marketing tool, but you have to be very careful as it involves direct spending of money.

  • Codereborn says:

    Amazing article
    PPC is really important to understand before starting an ad. This article cleared the concept properly and additionally examples given along and the information related Compaigns are useful as well.

  • Adsandurl says:

    I availed the services of this company for the first time in April. I was looking for some best ppc services in Delhi and then came across its website. The website really attracted me and I decided to give it a chance. This ppc services company in Delhi delivered much beyond my expectations. I decided to become a regular customer of this Google adwords company in Delhi and never have they ever disappointed me since then. My company sales really boomed by the courtesy of Ads and Url and it is undoubtedly one of the best ppc services company in Delhi.

  • Zemash says:

    I have spent over £60k on PPC for a single campaign i have few issues that you wrote in last final thoughts.

  • Arooba says:

    PPC will be a good step for doing SEO of a website which demands some investment but will take it to the next level like increase your traffic and leads.

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