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What Is PPC & How Does PPC Work?


What is PPC?

How does PPC work?

And how did we use PPC to drive over 13k in revenue with 4k in ad spend for this small business in a short amount of time?

what is ppc

We will be answering those three questions and more in this post.

We will also reveal a secret tool we use to spy on our competitors’:

  • PPC campaigns in less than 30 seconds,
  • see all of their ads and keywords, and
  • outperform them.

This works for any company running PPC ads so let’s go ahead and dive right in.

PPC is an acronym for Pay-Per-Click and is an advertising model where ads are placed online and advertisers pay only when their ad is clicked on.

The most common form of PPC is Google search ads.

Let’s unpack that.

Advertisers, like LYFE Marketing, pay Google to run ads on their search engine.

Almost every search on Google will be accompanied by Google ads.

Google PPC ads can be typically found right at the top of the search results, in the first 3-4 positions.

Google also displays an “Ad’ badge to make it clear that they are ads.

what is ppc

So now that we know what PPC is, at this point you might be wondering…

How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?

Here’s a simple explanation of how do Google ads work:

1. Google ads are created and managed through the Google Ads platform, formerly called Google AdWords.

what is keyword research

2. Goals for PPC ads include sales, leads, website traffic, app promotion, and more.

what is ppc

3. PPC targeting is chosen by adding keywords and/or audiences to your campaign.

4. You set the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click. This is also called your bid amount.

5. Your ad + bid enters an auction where Google decides where and when to show your ad.

7. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay.

Now, we will dive even deeper into Google ads and how they work in just a moment.

But before we do, we think it’s important that you understand something.

Why Should You Use PPC?

If you aren’t using PPC, there’s a good chance you are missing out on traffic and sales.

There are over 4 million advertisers using Google PPC ads to drive business and growth, so here are 4 reasons why it’s a good idea for you to at least consider it:

1. PPC Delivers Immediate Results

It is unlike other types of online marketing channels that require hefty upfront investments and significant time before you see results.

PPC campaigns can start generating results the moment your campaigns are turned on and approved.

The PPC ad approval process typically takes less than an hour.

And as long as you do not violate any guidelines and follow best practices for campaign setup, you will start to see impressions and clicks right away.

In addition, because PPC delivers such immediate results, you can optimize quickly to improve results.

2. PPC Offers High Purchase Intent

PPC search ads use keywords for targeting which allows you to advertise your product or service to those that actually need it and likely need it now.

Think about it.

When someone needs a lawyer or a plumber, they likely need one soon, and there’s a good chance that Google is the first place they will go to search for one.

This not only leads to sales for the advertiser but faster sales too.

Comparing this to other ad channels like Facebook where the purchase intent of a user is relatively unknown, you can start to see how powerful PPC is.

3. PPC Has A Low Barrier Of Entry

As mentioned earlier, there are types of marketing strategies that take quite a bit of work upfront before you can start to see results.

Compare pay-per-click to search engine optimization for example.

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is extremely effective but it is also labor and time-intensive.

SEO requires a large list of technical website and hosting changes.

And the average entrepreneur would likely find it hard to accomplish on their own without prior knowledge.

In contrast, PPC is much more simple.

You sign up, you create your ads, you insert your target and bids, and you launch your campaign.

Now, disclaimer: We’re not saying that creating and managing a successful PPC campaign is easy, it’s just that…

4. PPC Is Much More Simple To Launch

PPC provides amazing targeting options.

Based on your needs, you may want to optimize your campaigns for more than just keywords.

PPC also allows you to target by device, location, day of the week, the hour of the day, and demographics.

Want to only reach people in California? No problem. Set your location to be California-specific.

Don’t want to receive leads and calls after business hours? You got it. Set your ads to run between 9 am and 5 pm.

Maybe the desktop version of your site performs better than your mobile site? No issue. Set your ads to show only on desktop.

You are in complete control of what ads you run, when your ads are viewed, and who your ads target.

So now we know the benefits of PPC advertising, let’s move forward by looking at the general structure of the most popular form of PPC, Google search ads.

To help put things into perspective, we’ll peel back the curtain and show you examples from a live case study.

This case study focuses on how we helped one of our clients – Royce’.

They are a small business that sells Japanese chocolates, and we helped them generate over 14k in revenue with only 4k in ad spend from our campaigns.

You can view the entire Royce’ case study here.

Basic Structure Of A Google Search Campaign

1. Campaigns

Campaigns are like folders – they contain your ad groups, keywords, ads, budget, and settings.

Your campaigns should be based on a specific product, service, or category at a time to keep things organized.

In Royce’s account, we segmented the campaigns by product category into three campaigns- Nama chocolate, matcha chocolate, and Japanese Chocolate.

what is ppc

2. Ad Groups

Within a campaign is ad groups, ad groups contain your keywords and ads.

There are many different ways to segment your ad groups.

But the two most popular ways are to set them up by match type which we will go over in a second.

Or by single keywords where each ad group contains only one keyword at a time.

For Royce’, we decided to segment our ad groups by match type.

what is ppc

In each campaign, there is an ad group for the exact match keyword match type and the broad modified keyword match type.

You can have as many ad groups within a campaign as you like.

What is best for you will depend on your goals and how many keywords you would like to target.

3. Keywords

Keywords trigger an ad to appear on Google.

If a potential customer searches on Google using a keyword contained in one of your ad groups, your ad will appear.

You can specify how much you are willing to pay per keyword.

This is also known as your bid.

4. Keyword Match Types

When inserting keywords into your ad groups, you have the ability to use match types.

Match types “dictate how closely the keyword needs to match with the user’s search query in order for the ad to be considered for the auction,” according to Google.

Google recently removed the match type we used in Royce’s campaign – broad match modified.

Here are the current match types available within Google search ads in order of least restrictive to most restrictive:

Match Types

Ads can trigger related searches even if the search does not contain your keyword.

Broad Match

Ads can trigger searches that include the meaning of your keyword.

It can be implemented by adding quotations around your keyword.

Phrase match is more strict than a broad match but less restrictive than the last match type, exact match.

Phrase Match

Ads can trigger searches that are the same meaning or same intent as the keyword.

This is the most strict and can be implemented by adding brackets around the keyword.

Exact Match

5. Ads

Ads appear on the search results page when your keyword is triggered and your bid wins the auction for that keyword.

When a user clicks on your ad, you pay Google the bid amount for that keyword.

Here are two ads we used for Royce’s PPC campaign:

So now let’s finally discuss…

How To Spy On Your Competitors’ PPC Campaigns In Less Than 30 Seconds

With this tool, you can see every PPC ad a company is running.

You can see every keyword a company is targeting.

You can see every landing page a company is using.

There is even historical data on previous ads and budgets.

The name of the tool is called SEM Rush.

Here are the steps:

1. Head over to semrush.com.
2. Create an account if you don’t have one. If you do, head over to the next step.
3. In the sidebar, click Advertising and then Advertising Research.
4. Type in the URL of the company you want to spy on.
5. Scroll down to advertising research and click on View Details.

As promised, everything you need to research the PPC ads of another company.

Their keywords, their ads, their landing pages, and more.

Wrapping Up

Well, there you have it! A complete guide that answers the question, “what is PPC?”

If you need any help with your PPC advertising, check out our PPC management pricing here.

Or you can also get in touch with us today. We’d be happy to help!



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