Beginner’s Guide to Internet Pay-Per-Click Advertising

December 26, 2023
By Magee Clegg

Are you considering stepping into online advertising to boost your business, but you’re not sure where to begin? Digital marketing can seem overwhelming, with jargons like SEO, SEM, retargeting, display ads, CPC and more! But, one of the most crucial pillars you should know about is internet pay-per-click advertising.

Internet pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is a cost-effective advertising model that can deliver quick results, helping your business reach its potential customers more effectively. It harnesses the power of search engines like Google and Bing, enabling small and medium-sized businesses like yours to compete in the vast digital marketplace.

In just a few steps, you can have your ads displayed to potential customers who are actively searching for what you’ve got to offer. Gone are the days when advertising success was solely based on huge budgets. With PPC, it’s all about relevance and targeting.

This guide aims to walk you through the very basics of PPC, helping you understand what it is, how it works, and how you can leverage it to drive traffic to your site and grow your business. Here at Cleartail Marketing, we believe that powerful advertising should be accessible to everyone, no matter the size of your business or advertising budget.

In a Nutshell – The Basics of PPC
What: Pay-Per-Click advertising is an online marketing model where advertisers only pay when a user clicks on their ad.
Why: To increase visibility, drive traffic to your website, and boost sales.
Where: Advertisements are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) and websites in the display network.
Who: Any business, regardless of size or industry, can benefit from the targeted approach of PPC advertising.

PPC infographic - internet pay per click advertising infographic pillar-4-steps

Read on to dive deeper into PPC and gain the knowledge that can help your business thrive in this digital age.

Understanding the Basics of PPC

As we delve deeper into internet pay-per-click advertising, it’s crucial to understand its basic concepts, how it works, and its significance in digital marketing.

What is Online Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Online Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a digital marketing model where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site rather than attempting to earn those visits organically.

PPC is most commonly associated with search engines such as Google Ads or Bing Ads, where advertisers bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. However, it also extends to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, where businesses pay to display their promotional content to a specific audience.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?

In a PPC campaign, advertisers set a budget for their ads and only pay when a user actively clicks on their ad, hence the term ‘pay-per-click’. When a search is performed using a keyword related to the advertiser’s keyword list, the advertiser’s ad may appear in the search engine results page (SERP). This placement is determined by a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their keyword bids.

At Cleartail Marketing, we guide our clients through the process of creating effective PPC campaigns. This involves targeting specific demographics, interests, and locations, and setting a maximum bid for the desired keywords. Search engines then use a complex algorithm to decide which ads to display and in what order based on factors like the advertiser’s bid amount, the relevance and quality of the ad, and the advertiser’s strategy and campaign planning.

The Importance of PPC in Digital Marketing

PPC advertising holds significant value in digital marketing. In 2022, every $1 spent on PPC is estimated to bring an average of $2 in return, with an average cost per click (CPC) of $1.16.

As a cornerstone of any successful online marketing campaign, PPC offers several advantages. It contributes to business goals ranging from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale. Moreover, it provides a wealth of useful data and insights that can be used to refine marketing strategies.

At Cleartail Marketing, we view PPC not as a marketing expense, but as a valuable asset that can bring substantial returns when effectively managed. As Magee Clegg, our resident expert in internet pay-per-click advertising, often says, “PPC is a powerful tool that can drive significant traffic, improve visibility, and ultimately boost sales when used correctly.”

In the next section, we will explore the different types of PPC advertising and how they can be utilized to reach your target audience more effectively.

Different Types of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

When it comes to internet pay-per-click advertising, one size doesn’t fit all. Various platforms offer diverse types of PPC ads, each with unique benefits and best suited for specific goals. Let’s delve into the four primary types of PPC ads: Search Engine Advertising, Display Advertising, Social Media Advertising, and Video Advertising.

Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising is the most common and popular type of PPC advertising. When users enter specific queries, also known as keywords or phrases, into a search engine like Google or Bing, search ads appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). These ads are text-based and crafted to be highly relevant to the user’s search.

Typically, advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their ads in a model known as cost-per-click (CPC). This mode of advertising is an excellent way for businesses to promote their products or services and drive traffic to their websites, making it the most popular way to use PPC.

Display Advertising

Display ads are a visually appealing type of PPC advertising. These ads, often in the form of banners or other graphical formats, appear on websites, apps, and other digital platforms. They can include a variety of media such as images, videos, and interactive elements and are usually acquired on a cost-per-impression (CPI) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis.

Display ads are an excellent way to raise brand awareness, promote products or services, or drive traffic to a website. They make it possible to target a broad audience across various online platforms, making your brand more visible and memorable.

Social Media Advertising

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter offer unique PPC advertising opportunities. LinkedIn ads, for instance, can target audiences based on demographics, job title, company size, industry, skills, and behaviors. They can be purchased on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis, making them a flexible option for businesses of all sizes.

Twitter also provides a range of ad types, including promoted tweets, promoted accounts, promoted trends, website cards, and app install cards. These ads can target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, and can be purchased on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis.

Video Advertising

Video ads use video content to promote your product, service, or brand. These ads can appear on various platforms, including social media, YouTube, and websites. They often include clickable elements such as calls-to-action, links, or forms, and are usually purchased on a cost-per-view (CPV) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis, where you pay each time the ad is viewed or clicked on.

Video ads can be a powerful tool for engaging your audience, as they provide an interactive and engaging way to present your message. Whether they are skippable or non-skippable, they can significantly boost your brand’s visibility and engagement levels.

As you can see, each type of PPC ad has its unique strengths and is best suited to different goals and audiences. Whether you want to boost your brand’s visibility, promote a product, or drive traffic to your website, there’s a PPC ad type that’s right for you. At Cleartail Marketing, we can help you navigate these options and develop a PPC strategy that’s tailored to your business’s needs.

Setting Up a Successful PPC Campaign

Now that you have a solid understanding of the different types of internet pay per click advertising, it’s time to set up your own campaign. The process involves several steps, which we will walk through below.

Choosing the Right Keywords

Keyword selection is the cornerstone of any successful PPC campaign. Essentially, you want to identify the words or phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for your products or services online. Tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner can help you find related keywords, their search volume, and competition levels. The aim is not just to find high-volume keywords, but also those with low competition that will be easier to rank for.

Organizing Keywords into Campaigns and Ad Groups

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to organize them into campaigns and ad groups. This allows for more targeted messaging and can help improve the performance of your ads. As discussed on SEMrush, you may want to split your keywords into groups or “clusters” based on common themes like the products or services you offer.

Optimizing Landing Pages for Conversions

The landing page is where you direct users after they click on your ad. To maximize conversions, your landing page should be relevant to the ad and offer a clear, compelling call-to-action. Think about what action you want users to take – whether it’s purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form – and make sure the landing page facilitates this.

Setting Up Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are terms that you don’t want your ads to show up for. By setting up negative keywords, you can prevent your ads from appearing in irrelevant searches and save your budget for the searches that matter. For example, if you sell adult-sized shoes, you might add “children’s sneakers” as a negative keyword.

Trying Different Bidding Strategies

Your bidding strategy will depend on your campaign goals. For example, if your aim is to generate conversions, you might use a Smart Bidding strategy to get as many conversions as possible within your budget. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies to see what works best for your business.

Optimizing Ad Copy

Your ad copy should be compelling and relevant. It should grab users’ attention and encourage them to click on your ad. Consider creating multiple versions of your ads with different headlines and descriptions to see which performs best.

Using Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling allows you to specify when you want your ads to appear. This is particularly useful if you know that your audience is more likely to see and click on your ads at certain times of the day or days of the week.

Using Additional Ad Assets

Additional ad assets such as ad extensions can provide more information about your business and make your ads more appealing. Examples include location extensions (which show your business’s location), call extensions (which add a phone number to your ads), and site link extensions (which allow you to add additional links to your ads).

Using Bid Adjustments

Bid adjustments allow you to increase or decrease your bids for specific devices, locations, times of day, and more. By making smart bid adjustments, you can spend more of your budget on high-performing ads and less on those that aren’t performing as well.

At Cleartail Marketing, we understand that setting up a successful PPC campaign can be complex. That’s why we’re here to help you every step of the way, from keyword selection to ad creation and optimization. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make the most of your PPC advertising efforts.

Cost and Earnings in Pay-Per-Click Advertising

One of the most common questions we hear from clients is about the financial aspect of internet pay per click advertising. How much does it cost? And more importantly, how much can you earn from it? Let’s break it down.

How Much Do You Get Paid Per Click Advertising?

The cost-per-click (CPC) in pay-per-click advertising varies greatly, depending on the network and industry. On Google Ads, the most widely used PPC platform, the average CPC ranges between $2 and $4 on the Search Network. On the other hand, the average CPC on the Display Network, which includes websites, apps, and videos, is usually under $1. However, keep in mind that these are averages, and the actual cost can be significantly more or less, depending on several factors that we’ll discuss later in this section.

How Much Do You Earn Per Click on Ads?

As a business, your earning potential from PPC advertising depends on the conversion rate and the value of your conversions. When a user clicks on your ad and completes a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter, that’s a conversion. The value of these conversions varies greatly depending on your business model and profit margins. For example, an online clothing store might earn $50 from a conversion, while a B2B software company might earn thousands of dollars from a single conversion.

Factors Affecting PPC Costs

There are several factors that impact the cost of your PPC advertising campaign:

  1. Competition and industry: High competition industries tend to have higher CPCs because more advertisers are bidding for the same keywords.
  2. Keyword relevance: Keywords that are highly relevant to your business are likely to result in a lower CPC, as they are more likely to result in conversions.
  3. Quality Score: Google Ads uses a metric called Quality Score to rate the relevance and quality of your keywords and PPC ads. A higher Quality Score can result in lower costs and better ad positions.
  4. Geographic location: Depending on where your audience is located, you might pay more or less for clicks. For instance, clicks tend to be more expensive in densely populated areas.
  5. Time of day and day of the week: Some times and days may have higher competition, leading to higher CPCs.

Understanding these factors can help you optimize your PPC campaign and potentially lower your costs. The goal of PPC advertising isn’t to get the lowest CPC, but rather to get the highest return on investment (ROI). That means focusing on the quality of your clicks, not just the quantity.

At Cleartail Marketing, we are dedicated to helping you understand the intricacies of PPC advertising and developing a strategy that delivers the best possible ROI for your business. Contact us to start your journey towards PPC success today.

Utilizing PPC Tools for Insights and Planning

Pay-per-click advertising may seem complex, especially for beginners. However, various tools are available to simplify the process, provide insights, and help with planning your PPC campaigns. Utilizing these tools can help improve the effectiveness of your campaigns and your overall ROI.

Google Ads Performance Grader

One such tool is the Google Ads Performance Grader. This tool helps you understand how well your Google Ads campaigns are performing compared to others in your industry. It provides a detailed report on your campaigns, including areas where improvements can be made.

The Google Ads Performance Grader can give you insights into areas like click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page optimization. It provides actionable feedback and recommendations for improving your campaigns, making it an invaluable tool for those new to internet pay-per-click advertising.

Bidnamic’s Technology Platform

Bidnamic’s technology platform is another excellent tool for PPC advertising. It’s designed to help advertisers maximize their return on ad spend (ROAS). This platform uses machine learning and automation to optimize your Google Shopping ads, a popular form of PPC advertising.

By using Bidnamic, you can make data-driven decisions regarding your PPC campaigns. This platform simplifies the process of keyword selection, bid management, and ad optimization. It also provides insights into your campaign performance, which can guide your future advertising strategies.

At Cleartail Marketing, we understand the power of these tools and how they can help you get the most out of your PPC campaigns. These tools, combined with our expert knowledge and experience in digital marketing, can increase your chances of achieving a higher ROI and overall business growth.

In the next section, we’ll discuss the cost and earnings associated with pay-per-click advertising, providing you with a clearer picture of what to expect financially when utilizing PPC for your business.

Conclusion: The Role of PPC in Business Growth

In the digital world, internet pay per click advertising plays a critical role in driving business growth. It offers a platform for businesses to reach their target audience in a cost-effective and measurable way. Let’s summarize the key ways that PPC advertising can contribute to your business’s growth and success.

Driving Website Traffic

The immediate results of PPC advertising can significantly increase website traffic, providing a quick way to get your products or services in front of potential customers. This is especially beneficial for businesses that are new or looking to grow their customer base quickly.

Enhancing Brand Awareness

Even if users don’t click on your PPC ad, they will still see it, which helps increase your brand’s visibility and awareness. With the right ad copy and image, your PPC ads can leave a lasting impression on potential customers.

Complementing SEO Efforts

PPC advertising complements SEO by driving immediate traffic while your SEO efforts are still building. It’s a winning combination that ensures your website gets visibility both organically and through paid efforts.

Achieving Fast and Measurable Results

PPC provides measurable results. You can track clicks, conversions, and other key performance indicators, providing valuable insights that can help to improve your campaign’s effectiveness. This makes it easier to achieve your marketing goals and calculate your return on investment.

Controlling Advertising Costs

With PPC advertising, you only pay when a user clicks on your ad. This means you can set a budget for your campaign and have complete control over your advertising costs.

Gaining Competitive Advantage

By utilizing PPC advertising effectively, you can get ahead of your competitors by ensuring your ads appear in front of potential customers when they’re actively searching for your products or services.

Building Strong Client Relationships with Cleartail Marketing’s PPC Services

At Cleartail Marketing, we understand the unique needs of small to medium-sized businesses. Our team of experts is committed to helping you achieve your business goals through effective PPC advertising strategies. With our services, we aim to build strong relationships with our clients, delivering customized solutions and measurable results.

Whether you’re looking to drive more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, complement your SEO efforts, achieve fast results, control your advertising costs, or gain a competitive advantage, PPC advertising can help. And with Cleartail Marketing’s PPC services, you can be confident that you’re in the hands of experts who genuinely care about your business’s growth and success.

If you’re ready to explore the potential of PPC advertising for your business, contact us at Cleartail Marketing. Also, explore more about our PPC advertising services and read up on our blog for more insights.

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