Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Program

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Introduction to PPC Advertising Tutorial

1.2 Introduction

Hi, I'm Brad Geddes, the Author of Advanced Google AdWords, the Founder of Certified Knowledge, and the PPC Faculty Chair for Market Motive. In this lesson, we're going to give a brief overview of paid search advertising.

1.3 What is Pay Per Click?

The paid search advertising is also called pay per click advertising or abbreviated as PPC advertising. Sometimes you'll also hear it called CPC or cost per click advertising as well. Now at a high level, the way this works is that you choose who can see your ad. This could be based upon geographic characteristics, a keyword chosen, a topic selection, so forth. Next, you set a bid for what you're willing to pay for a click. Paid search advertising is an auction based system so you can set a bid based upon what you're willing to pay for a click. Next, when someone meets your targeting criteria, your ad can be displayed. And if that user clicks on your ad, then you pay up to your bid price, you may pay lower than your bid price as well. Finally, when someone clicks on your ad, the searcher is taken to your website. So if you've ever seen ads on Google or Bing, these are paid search ads.

1.4 Efficient Advertising: No Wasted Impressions

Now one of the true advantages of paid search advertising is that there is no wasted impressions. When you look at radio advertising, television advertising and other mediums, they're known as interruptive marketing. You stop someone from watching a television commercial, you show an ad copy. After commercial is over, someone can return to the content. Because you're displaying this ad to everyone who can see the content, there's a lot of people who are not interested in your ad, they don't care about your message. These remote control, they switch stations during commercials with paid search advertising, since you're targeting someone based upon user criteria. Whether it's a search query they've conducted, whether it's a specific site they're on and so forth. There's no waste of ad impressions, your ads are always relevant.

1.5 The Three R's of Pay Per Click

This leads us to the 3Rs of pay per click advertising. First is Reach. This is where can the ad be seen? Second is Relevance. How useful is the ad to the user? And finally, return on investment. How can you measure advertising effectiveness. So we're going to look at the three components of paid search.

1.5 The Three R's of Pay Per Click

This leads us to the 3Rs of pay per click advertising. First is Reach. This is where can the ad be seen? Second is Relevance. How useful is the ad to the user? And finally, return on investment. How can you measure advertising effectiveness. So we're going to look at the three components of paid search.

1.6 PPC Account

First reach. Where are these ads seen? Well, they can be seen on Bing, Yahoo, Ask, Google, AOL, many other places. Advertising on search engines gives you a huge amount of reach. Google processes about 34,000 searches a second. The number of potential impressions is staggering when that's just one search engine. When you add Bing, Yahoo and other engines to the possibilities of reach, the reach is an impressive number of how many people can potentially see your ad. However, these paid search ads go beyond just search sites. There's more than a million partners just on Google's display network. So even on content based sites,, New York Times, How Stuff Works, The food Network. These ads can also be seen. And you can choose which of these sites you want to be on, and how your ads are displayed on display sites, as well. In fact, beyond search engines, there's also other types of paid advertising you can do. YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook. So the reach of paid search is impressive reach. What's important is to understand how to control the reach, so you can target your specific user base, give an ideal customer profile. You can look to see what your customer does online and target the customers based upon their behavior. Now reach goes beyond just the desktop. You have ads on tablets, ads on mobile devices, in-app ads. So regardless of how someone's accessing the internet, you can serve ads to those users based upon their behavior.

1.7 Remove the Guessing Game

The second component of paid search is relevance. If an ad isn't relevant to the user, the users don't care about the ad very much. In fact, when people are surveyed and asked a simple question, do you mind advertising if it's relevant to you? Many more say no, they're okay with advertising if it's relevant. What we don't like to see is non-relevant advertising. Now to give an example of how relevant you can be just using Google. You can serve an ad to a user based upon these behaviors. First, they search for online advertising. Next they're sitting in New York City. They're using an iPad. It's a Monday morning. It's between 10 and noon. Now that's a very targeted ad copy. You may not use every potential behavior. However, you can also consider paid search as restrictive advertising. Overall, Google processes 100 billion queries a month, that's a lot. So maybe you just want to advertise for the word online advertising, lowers your query total 100 million a month. Then you say, just the United States, your query total's now 20 million a month. And say, while they're in New York City. You create total about 500,000 a month. They're using an iPad, that about 8,000 a month. On a Monday morning, got 1,000 searches a month between 10 and 12, about 100 searches a month. So paid search has a high relevance on search pages. But even on content sites, also known as displayed advertising, you can be just as specific about the user behavior. You can target an ad for display advertising, assuming someone is on the New York Times. They are in the travel section of the New York Times. They're reading about Caribbean vacations while in the Travel section on the New York Times. They're located in Minneapolis, using a computer, and it's a weekend between 12 and 6 o'clock. So targeting options with paid search exceed every other advertising medium out there. Now often people talk about paid search. You think of text ads. You think of the ads on the top of Google's search page or Bing's search page. There are other ad formats. There are video ads, image ads, app based ads, so it's not just text ads that can be used. There's a lot of other ad formats based upon how you wish to portray your message to the consumer. Now finally with paid search, you choose where the customer goes after the click. So often when someone gets to your site, they arrive at your homepage. The first thing they have to do is look around, search, find your navigation to find the relevant information on your site to whatever their question is, why they did a search. With paid search you can choose what page you're sending the traffic to. So now you can have a page dedicated to that user behavior, whether it's their search query, the site they're on, so forth and make custom messages on your website that connect back to your ad.

1.8 PPC Gives You Valuable Insight

Now the final R in the three Rs of paid search is Return on Investment. You have accessed the powerful metrics. If you do not have access to data, your blind to how your ads are performing. When you buy ads on TV, it's really hard to measure how many sales you got from that ad. However, online it's very transparent. You can see your goal types, your conversion types, whether it's a phone call, any commerce transaction, a form fill, so forth. So you have access to the data. Determine who is converting, what's making them convert? So you can continue to refine your ad serving and increase your online advertising efficiencies. Now, paid search is often an auction-based system. You'll set a bid up to how much you're willing to pay for any one click. Now, what you'll find is that different targeting behaviors, we did different overall conversion metrics. Therefore you can set bids by every keyword your targeting or topic you're targeting, site your ad is placed on based upon having access to the data to understand the true value of what a visitor is worth to you, so that as you're advertising, every click is profitable, that you're not wasting ad spends.

1.9 PPC Gives You...

Now every company should have a paid search account. What are you trying to accomplish with marketing? Drive customers to your store. Sell products online. Generate more product demand. Increase brand recognition. Just get more visitors to your website. Receive leads for the sales force. Increase newsletter subscriptions. Have prospects call you, instead of outbound calling. If any one of these looks attractive to you, then you should have a paid search account. Because a paid search account will help you meet these goals.

1.10 Level Playing Field

So essentially, we're moving the guessing game. When you buy ads in a newspaper, you have to wait at least a week before we can change your ad copy. If you buy ads in the Yellow Pages, you have to wait a year to see if it works. Paid search gives you quick access to data to determine what marketing and messages, what ads, what webpages are leading to revenue and customer actions on your site.

1.11 Conclusion

PPC also gives you other valuable insights. You can use keyword metrics to direct your search engine optimization efforts. Often with SEO you choose some words, you spend a few months attempting to rank for those words. And the worst case scenario is you finally rank for them and they don't lead the cost of action and sales on your site. Since you get such quick access to conversion data, you can use your paid search information to help direct your SEO efforts. You can test display ads for print media, since there are display ads, image based ads across paid search. If you're going to do print media and you don't want to wait a year to see how your ad did, test out display ads on paid search, use that information to help determine what your ads look like for print media. Even if you just want to data mine for customer insights. What's most important to your customers? What benefits? What features? What messages? Most important, paid search will help you get the data so you can mine your information to get better insight in your customer base. Find something for new marketing messages, because with paid search you can quickly get feedback about what ad copies are working. You can try a few different types of marketing messages and see what actually works and leads to revenue. If you just want to see how people interact with your video, online video usage is staggering. Most people online are watching several hours of video every single month. Well, you don't want to produce a video and spend a lot of money making one, if it's not going to lead to interaction and ultimately more sales. So you can even test a video ad to see what images within the video. What messages within the video also lead to interaction on your site, even if you just want to name books. I know publishers, before they name a book, they run paid search ads. So essentially, the ad with the highest click through rate. How people are viewing an ad versus clicking on it, often corresponds to the best pull rate off a shelf inside a bookstore. So whenever you want insight, you want rapid feedback, paid search is useful for getting that information.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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