PPC Marketing: Quick Guide to Getting Started With Paid Search

Updated: January 18, 2021
by Cristian Morales

If you are looking to increase your online visibility, PPC marketing should be on your top list. Paid search is an excellent way of appearing on top of search engines. PPC marketing is convenient since it requires zero SEO effort to appear on top of the search results. 

But, to get the most out of PPC campaigns, it’s essential to understand what you are getting into. PPC marketing can strain your budget if done wrong and with no clear strategy. 

In this article today, I will take a close look at PPC and explain what it exactly is. I’ll also discuss the uses of PPC and how to optimize your campaigns for overall digital marketing success.

PPC Marketing: Quick Guide to Getting Started With Paid Search

What is PPC (Pay-per-Click) Advertising?

PPC is often discussed as part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM is an umbrella of digital marketing that encompasses both paid and unpaid searches. Paid searches, such as the PPC, require an amount of fee to operate. They also appear on top of unpaid, organic results.

The good thing about PPC is you don't have to pay a fee until a user takes action. This means that anyone running an ad only pays when a visitor clicks on their page. If let’s say, you appeared on the search results but the viewer scrolled past your ad, then you don’t have to pay a cent.

For a better understanding of PPC, here’s an example of how they appear on Google search results.

What is Pay-per-Click Advertising PPC

Why Use PPC?

There are many reasons why you need PPC for your digital marketing campaigns, but top on the list is to appear before the organic results. Though PPC advertising cannot replace SEO campaigns, it’s relevant for boosting the performance of poorly ranking pages. 

Here are the three ways where PPC can be used to benefit your business.

1. Better Hyper Targeting with Paid Search

PPC campaigns allow for targeting. They can let you decide the type of customers you want to reach. If, for example, you sell shoes targeting a specific age group, setting these parameters will help you gain an audience that can convert.

PPC marketing does add value to your brand. It ensures you deliver personalized ads that are relevant to customers who need your products or services. Even better is the diversity in segmentation. You can choose to set parameters based on geographies, gender, age, or interests. The more personalized your ads are, the easier it will be for you to get qualified leads.  

2. An Immediate Increase in Online Visibility

Improving your visibility through organic searches is no easy task. It could take months before you get on top of results pages, or even years if you don't closely research the niche, keywords and the competitors. But with PPC, you can place an ad today and start appearing in the top four results almost immediately.

This is particularly important when you are introducing a new product to the market. It makes it easy to create, promote, and grow your brand visibility with little SEO efforts. PPC also offers opportunities for you to get quick reviews on new products. This way, you can make changes before introducing a product to a larger audience.

3. A Clear Measurement of Results

Metrics speak a lot about business developments. It’s through metrics that you can know if current and previous digital marketing strategies are working. PPC makes it convenient for you to get advertising results. By opening your metrics tab, you can know how many people were there and their actions.

Here are the top four basic elements that PPC campaigns measures:


This is the number of times search engines served your ad after a search. For example, if your ad appeared in 400 searches for the word “car seats”, that is termed as your impressions. 


These are the people who saw your ad and took action by going to your page. Clicks are an indication of people with a little extra interest in your advertisement.


If the visitor goes the extra mile and interacts with your brand, this is known as conversion. Conversion is when a viewer downloads, purchases, or subscribes to a product or service you have advertised.


Every click costs some amount of money. If for example each click costs $1 and you’ve got 400 clicks, your spend is $400. Spend is the total amount used in a campaign.

After viewing your basic statistics, it’s essential to put them in a format relevant to your marketing campaigns. By combining the four results, you can track your performance and optimize specific aspects of success. Here are for combined metrics you should look out for and use to improve your performance:

Click-through-rate (CTR) 

It’s derived by dividing clicks by impressions. CTR is an indication of people that clicked on your ads. It’s used to measure the success of your campaigns with higher numbers indicating good results.

Conversion rate

It shows the percentage of viewers that click and convert from your ad. It’s calculated by dividing conversions by clicks. A higher conversion rate indicates success in your PPC campaigns.

Cost-per-Click (CPC)

This is the amount of money you are using per click in your campaigns. You can calculate your CPC by taking your spending and dividing by the clicks. A lower CPC indicates better efficiency in your campaigns.

Tips for Optimizing for PPC Marketing

Tips for Optimizing for PPC Marketing

Now that you know what PPC entails, it’s time to develop a strategy. A strategy will help you segment your audience and create a responsive PPC campaign. It will also optimize your PPC campaigns for the right searches.

State Your Goals

Before creating your campaign, it’s essential to know where you are going. By defining your goals, you will know the visitors you can target. Stating your goals will also inform the period you wish to run the advertisements. From the results, you can set a budget. For an effective PPC campaign, include these aspects in your plan:

  • Where you want to run your PPC campaigns. A few examples include Bing Ads, Adrolls, Facebook Ads, Google Ads.
  • Decide on the audience you want to reach by creating buyer personas.
  • Have an estimate of how much you want to spend.
  • Know how you will measure the results.
  • Include the intended theme for the campaign
  • Indicate the type of PPC campaign you want to run. For example, you can use search ads, display ads, remarketing, Google Shopping, or social ads.
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Develop a Keyword Strategy

People have unique ways of searching online. While some prefer short tail keywords, others prefer longtail terms for definitive results. It’s for this reason that keyword research is essential for responsive PPC campaigns. 

First, go to your ad group and look for the assigned keywords you can target. Next, create broad match keywords you are confident people may use in their searches. Make sure that the keyword phrase matches the theme of your ad. This is to ensure that you attract the right audience to your ad. 

A point to note with keyword strategy is that it is a continuous process. You may have to change or tweak some terms if a particular approach doesn’t work. So, keep testing and measuring until you get keywords that attract the right traffic to your page. 

Optimize for Search Engines

PPC marketing does not have to end with paying for ads. It should also involve SEO strategies that give long-term life to your business. For example, you can spread your broad-match keywords across different pages on your website to boost your organic results.

Also, ensure that you create high-quality content. Quality content will ensure that anyone clicking on your ads finds the correct information on your pages. When creating quality content make sure to have good structure, title tags, and meta descriptions that complement your ads. 

Your outreach programs should also be top-notch. It would be frustrating to attract traffic through social ads and fail to convert them on your website. For greater success in your marketing efforts, ensure that your SEO team, PPC group, and blogger outreach services collaborate in the campaigns. The collaboration will be the perfect combination for your paid and unpaid searches.

Final Thoughts

PPC marketing works. It’s a fact that marketers who have taken the time to learn and implement these strategies are succeeding in their PPC campaigns. If you are just getting started, this guide will serve as a go-to reference for your PPC marketing strategies.

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About the author 

Cristian Morales

Freelance writer and graphic designer with a can-do attitude. I became independent after spending 6 years in the hospitality industry and 5 years in banking & finance. I'm an all-rounder guy, open to working with like-minded people.

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  1. Hi, thank you for the explanation. Now I know what many people are talking about. I used Facebook without knowing all the terminology and when I asked people for advice I didn’t know what they were talking about. Now I know things like conversion and click through rate. Every new marketer should read this guide. Thank you.

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