What An Earth is PPC?!

PPC – that’s something about paper clips isn’t it?! Well, according to my mum it is… but really it stands for pay-per-click (My mum had thought I’d been talking about paper clips every time I talked about pay-per-click to her!). Pay-per-click (PPC) is paid search marketing in which companies pay to receive traffic to their websites via search engines.

So How Does it Work?

You pick keywords that you want your ads to appear under then they will show on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Paid search ads on Google are shown directly under the search box and in the column on the right hand side.

PPC Search Results

In Google Adwords (or other search engine paid search interfaces) you set a maximum cost you’d like to pay for each click from a keyword, then the keywords are organized into ad groups with similar keywords which make up campaigns. You set a daily budget for each campaign.

For each ad group you write ads, which will show when someone searches for a keyword. With these ads you can select where and when you want these ads to be shown.

Some Common PPC Terms

  • Google Adwords – The most common and most used platform for paid search marketing.
  • Impressions – Every time your ad appears, it’s counted as one impression
  • Clicks – A visit to your website from a click on an ad.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) – Clicks divided by the number of impressions
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) – The maximum you’ll pay for one click onto your website
  • Conversion – A conversion is when someone completes an action on your website as a result of clicking on your ad.
  • Quality Score – A rating of between 1-10 that Google give to measure how relevant a keyword, ad and landing page are. A higher quality score means your ad and landing page are relevant to what the user is searching for, which leads to lower prices and a higher ad position
  • Ad Position – The position your ad is shown on search engine results page (SERP). A position of 1 shows your ad at the top of the first page.
  • Ad Group – PPC campaigns are organized using ad groups, which are a collection of similar keywords. One ad group consists of one or more keywords, ads, bids and targeting settings.
  • Campaign – A group of ad groups make up a campaign. Campaigns share a budget, targeting and other settings.
  • Destination URL – The URL address that visitors reach after clicking on your ads.
  • Display URL – The URL that is shown on your ad. It is generally a shorter version of the URL. Such as http://www.letsgetsearchical.com/PPC There is a 35 character limit.

So that’s PPC in a nutshell, next I’ll be writing a step-by-step beginners guide to PPC for any newbies out there and also a ‘What is SEO’ blog. So keep tuned!

As always feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts 🙂


4 thoughts on “What An Earth is PPC?!

  1. Thank you for writing this post- it is honestly incredibly helpful for me as I will be taking a Google Marketing course next semester. I think one of the most important things that you covered here is the terminology. If you don’t know how to speak the language it becomes very difficult for you to understand what you are trying to do or what you are being charged for.

    • Really glad it was helpful Ellisse. The terminology is really important, as it is sometimes taken for granted that people know the abbreviations of terms. Knowing it from the start really helps and you’ll be able to develop your skills a lot faster. Good luck with your course, I’ll be writing some more basic guides soon that may be helpful to you too. Also not sure if you’ve seen but I wrote an A-Z Guide to PPC that covers some more terminology and PPC concepts – http://letsgetsearchical.com/2012/10/28/the-a-z-of-ppc/

      Thank you very much for your kind comment 🙂

  2. Pingback: What is SEO? | Let's Get Searchical

  3. Pingback: What is SEO? | Let's Get Searchical

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