An Introduction to PPC in Digital Marketing 


What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s an advertising strategy where you are only charged once someone takes an interest in your advert by ‘clicking’ on it. This means that you are only paying for people that took action to find out more about the advert you created. 

You may think that Google was the first company to launch pay-per-click advertising, but you’d be mistaken. The first documented PPC activity actually took place in 1996 by a company called Planet Oasis. Google didn’t launch its platform, Google AdWords, until 2000. Which, in the digital world, makes them pretty late to the party. 

Since its initial launch, Google has renamed the platform to Google Ads and has become the world leader in PPC advertising. Almost every business that uses search PPC advertising will do it through the Google Ads platform.

There are other companies that run PPC advertising. Social media platforms are also able to offer this service due to the huge amount of traffic they receive every day. Facebook and LinkedIn are the front runners and both offer PPC advertising. Images, videos and other creatives are used much more frequently on these platforms to grab the users attention. 

PPC terms for beginners

The world of PPC can seem a bit daunting when you first start. There are quite a lot of new terms to learn but fear not! We have collated the most common terms used in Google Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn to get you started:

  • Ad Campaign: A set of ad groups that have adverts, keywords and bids. You can have as many ad campaigns as you like depending on what you want to target.
  • Ad Group: A set of keywords, adverts, bids and targeting methods. Each ad campaign contains one or more ad groups.
  • Bid: The maximum you are willing to spend on a click for a keyword or ad group.
  • Bid Adjustments: Adjusting your bids to maximise the number of clicks you get. You can adjust bids depending on the age or gender who see the advert, for example. 
  • Conversion: When someone completes a desired action after clicking on your advert. 
  • Daily Budget: How much you want to spend each day on each Google Ads campaign.
  • Display URL: The webpage that is linked to your advert.
  • Headline: The part of your advert noticed first by customers. This is the first line of your advert and can be up to 25 characters long.
  • Impressions: Impressions are used in reference to an ad being “fetched” and counted by marketers and advertisers.
  • Keyword(s): A word or phrase that you have decided to bid on to trigger your advert to appear. 
  • Location Targeting: Choosing a specific location where people can see your advert when searching for a keyword. E.g. Barbers near me.
  • Low Search Volume: This is Google Ads telling you that not many (or any) people are searching for a keyword you are bidding on. 
  • Manual Bidding: This is where you control all the bidding for your ad groups and campaigns. 
  • Negative Keywords: Search terms that you actively exclude from a campaign, allowing you to focus on more relevant keywords that will increase your return on investment.

Why is PPC important?

The reason why PPC is so important to every business, but especially small businesses is down to one word….INTENT. Google has changed the way that people all over the world find things. Want to boil an egg? Google it. Not sure what to get someone for their birthday? Google it. Looking for a restaurant nearby? Google it. 

The success of Google means that people know to go to Google for everything they could possibly need. When an individual types into Google, they have a genuine interest in that topic and so they are more likely to take action with the results that appear.

This is especially valuable for a small business that is still building its reputation. An individual may have never heard of your restaurant but if they are in the area and search ‘restaurants near me’ your advert will appear. 

If someone knows you exist and it’s convenient for them, they will be more likely to pop in for lunch. The result is putting your business in front of people that are ready to take action and hopefully a new customer that will come back if they are in the area. 

Another reason why PPC is so important for business is how quickly you can start to see results. Within a couple of weeks from launching, you are able to receive a useful amount of information on how your ads are performing and who they have been seen by. 

Different Types Of PPC Advertising

Google Ads PPC started out as a simple text advert that was shown once if an individual typed in the search terms that you wanted to bid on. Since then, the opportunities to maximise clicks through PPC have increased considerably. Below we take you through the different ways you can use PPC for your business.

  • Search advertising: This is PPC as most people know it. You type what you’re looking for into a search engine and adverts will appear in the results to attract you to their website.
  • Display advertising: These adverts are all over the internet, not just on your favourite search engine. Display adverts are usually visual and so use images, gifs or even videos to showcase products or service.
  • Social media advertising: This is a type of advertising that solely used on social media platforms. The targeting here can be very specific as people tend to give a lot of information about themselves on these platforms.
  • Remarketing: This is where you are promoting yourself to someone that has already visited your website with the hope that they will return and complete the desired action such as subscription or purchase,
  • Google Shopping: This is an advertising platform for businesses with physical products for sale. Because more information is given than text search advertising (such as price/images), it’s thought that searcher clicking your advert has a stronger intent to purchase and so better conversion rate. 

So there you have it! An introductory guide to the world of PPC. We hope that this has helped to give a better understanding of what PPC can do for your small business. If you’d like more information on PPC and how Green Shoot Marketing can help you, feel free to contact us for a quick chat.