Paid Search PPC 101 Overview

Paid Search for ROI

ppc pay per click bid for placement

What is PPC (Pay Per Click)? If you know the answer and have been using PPC/Paid Search to grow your business, then this post may be too introductory for your needs. Otherwise, read on and let the learning begin.

PPC is a purchasing model for online media in which the advertiser is charged only when Internet users click on their ad as opposed to just viewing the ad.

PPC is a very positive business model for the advertiser, who only pays when they receive the benefit of having a website visitor resulting from a user clicking on their ad. This visitor is a benefit which can be 100% attributed to the media purchased. All the “impressions” that were displayed and not clicked on arguably helped the advertiser’s business by building brand awareness for no cost (remember, PPC advertisers pay for clicks, not impressions).

By far the largest PPC advertising network in the world is the Google AdWords online ad network. Much of the advertisements on Google AdWords are purchased on a CPC (Cost Per Click) basis, though CPM and CPA options are available. AdWords is the by far the dominant PPC search marketing program as a benefit of Google being the largest, English language indexed search engine in the world. Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! also have advertising networks, but have less “inventory” in terms of ad spots. Some claim that ads displayed on Bing and Yahoo! ad networks have better conversion rates than Google AdWords. The data will vary across industries and companies within industries. Google AdWords provides a good place to start.

AdWords provides advertisers the ability to bid for online visibility in both the Google search results and websites that are part of the AdWords program. The websites, or publishers as we like to be called, who participate in the Google AdSense program, make up the network of sites where AdWords ads are displayed.

Many businesses use Google AdWords to acquire targeted visitors to their websites in order to grow their business. On the flip side, many publishers use Google AdSense to monetize the traffic and engagement on their website, with Google sharing a portion of the AdWords revenue with AdSense publishers who Google, in essence, represents.

So What is AdWords?

Google AdWords is an online advertising program that can help businesses drive interested people to their website. AdWords allows advertisers to capitalize on the tens of millions of searches conducted on Google Search each day. You create ads for your business and choose when you want them to display on Google, right next to relevant organic/natural search results.

The concept is simple. Advertisers enter words that are relevant to their products and services then AdWords shows the advertisers ads on Google Search to people searching for those words and related words.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Here is one of my favorite infographics from WordStream detailing “How Does the AdWords Auction work.” This PPC-focused infographic will provide insights to even those readers who have dipped their toes in the vast AdWords ocean!

What is Google AdWords
What is Google AdWords

So How Does AdWords Work?

Let’s look an example. For instance, a search for “Internet marketer” in Google results in Google searching its index, scanning through its index of billions of websites, blogs and other listings to find the pages that are most relevant to phase “Internet marketer. Paid search results will likely be displayed on the right and on top, labeled “sponsored links.” These are the search results we have all come to know and love and probably most all readers have experienced. Now take a step back and think about the fact that there are millions of search results for “Internet marketer“, many of them are other businesses also providing Internet marketing services, aspiring to climb to the top of the Google search results.

Obviously not all businesses may be listed among the top results. Only one can be first, one second, one third and so on. For most search results pages, there are only 10 organic results on the first page of the search results. Google has tested search results with only 7 results per page for certain searches. After that, page two is populated with “tumbleweed SERPs” since most Google users don’t look past page one of the search results.

AdWords gives your website visibility even if it’s not in the top of the organic/natural (unpaid) search results. AdWords can help your business appear on page of relevant Google searches, placing relevant ads  in front of many potential customers. They search, they find your business, they click and then, if the offer on your website is consistent with their needs and willingness to pay, some will become customers.

AdWords Overview Video

AdWords Can Help Your Business Grow

Let’s take a look at another example of how AdWords can help you grow your business. The example situation is that a business wants to attract customers in their local area. AdWords lets them pick where and when you want your ads to show. That is, you can target your ads so that whenever people in your state, region, city or neighborhood search for businesses like theirs, their ads show up next to the user’s search results. This tactic is called geotargeting.

Reach Customers from across the Web

With AdWords, an advertiser can also display their ads on thousands of websites across the web. Ads will show up when potential customers are visiting sites that are related to the products and services that being advertised. For example let’s a business sells camping equipment. Their ads might appear on sites that discuss hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and related topics. Anyone browsing the web for camping workout gear and learning about the latest outdoor and survival trends may be interested in buying from their site.

Go Mobile with AdWords

Every day over 100 million people in the US access the Internet from their mobile devices. They research products and services, search for local businesses and click on ads from their mobile phones and tablets.

With AdWords, advertisers can set up click to call ad so that those users who click on the ad can connect directly to the advertiser from their smartphone for more information at the time when they are primed to buy. Everyone’s prospects and clients are on the move today and with AdWords, its possible to put a business everywhere their customers are.

Manage Advertising Budget with AdWords

For a cost, AdWords can help you attract new customers and grow your business online. Whether or not that resulting business is profitable depends on the successful management of the PPC campaign on AdWords. If the CPA is less than the overall lifetime profit of the new client, then it’s a win.

In addition to helping advertisers create ads that target the people most likely to buy their products and services at the time they’re most ready, AdWords also helps advertisers manage control their advertising spend and track ROI when used in conjunction with Google Analytics.

With AdWords an advertiser selects the maximum amount they’re willing to spend and they only pay when somebody clicks on their ad visits their site. For the ad copy and keyword combinations that are profitable, look for opportunities to grow clicks and conversely, for those ads that are not contributing positive ROI, shut them down re-allocating budget to better performing ads. It is worth repeating that profitability, for anyone beyond Google, is going to be the result of carefully monitored, actively managed campaign execution.

So How Can AdWords Help Me Grow My Business?

PPC/search marketing is a key part to marketing and growing your business online.  Successful search marketing enables potential customers to find businesses/products/services on Google and many other websites. Advertisers only pay when potential customers click on their ad and actually visit their website. It lets potential clients know that advertisers are open for business online. It’s the smart way to attract customers on the go and if a business is national or international, AdWords provides a reliable way to quickly attract potential clients worldwide.

Take your online marketing to the next level and contact eBiz ROI to discuss how Google AdWords can grow your business today.


Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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