What Is PPC? Unraveling the Mystery of Online Ads

Even if you’ve never heard the term pay-per-click, or PPC, you’ve almost certainly seen PPC ads. These ads show up at the tops of search engine results pages, on websites, and in social media feeds.

PPC ads can be an excellent tool for quickly increasing your site traffic and conversions. There’s a reason companies spent nearly $107 billion on search advertising alone in 2019. A well-designed PCC campaign gets results, and it gets them fast.

But how do you know whether PPC is right for your business? Learning about PPC can help.

Keep reading — or contact our PPC experts — to discover how PPC works and how it can grow your business.

What is PPC?

PPC refers to a paid advertising strategy that involves placing ads in search engine results, websites, and social media networks. Under the PPC process, you only pay when a user clicks on your ad, and you can choose how much you want to bid on ad space.

To help you put the term PPC ad in context, here are a few examples of what they look like around the web.

Here’s an example of PPC ads on Google:

And here’s a display ad on Entrepeneur.com:

Why create a PPC strategy?

So, why should you consider PPC ads? They can be a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website and increase your conversions. Some specific benefits of PPC on Google and other sites include:

  • Fast results: PPC enables you to get your site in front of people quickly. As soon as you launch your campaign, your ads will start appearing and driving results.
  • High conversion rates: People who click on PPC ads are often close to a purchase decision. Users that arrive on your site via ads are 50% more likely to buy than those that make their way there organically.
  • Precise targeting: The PPC process allow you to target specific groups of users so that you can reach those who are most likely to become customers.
  • Easy campaign monitoring: With PPC, it’s also easy to track your results and adjust your campaigns accordingly, helping you to maximize your success.

How does pay-per-click work?

How does the PPC process work?

At the most basic level, advertisers bid for ad space and pay every time a user clicks their ad. While the specifics of how the process works differ across platforms, the basic concept is the same no matter where you advertise.

To give you a better idea of how PPC works, we’ll take a look at the most popular PPC platform, Google Ads.

First, advertisers bid on keywords that are relevant to their business.

Then, every time a user searches something, Google chooses which ads it will show on the results page. It selects these ads by evaluating each advertiser’s maximum bid and each ad’s quality score, which takes into account the ad’s relevance to the keyword, its click-through rate (CTR), and the quality of the landing page.

Multiplying your maximum bid by your quality score gives you your ad rank. When the auction is complete, Google displays the ads with the highest ad rank.

Google then determines how much each advertiser pays per click using the following formula:

  • The ad rank of the advertiser below you / quality score + $0.01

Working with a PPC company

While you can manage your own PPC campaigns, it’s often helpful to partner with a professional PPC management company.

If you’re not already a PPC expert, it will take time to learn how to create an effective PPC strategy. A PPC management company can handle your campaigns for you, giving you more time to focus on your core business.


Some of the services that are included in professional PPC management include:

  • Creating a custom PPC strategy
  • Researching keywords to determine the best ones to bid on
  • Researching competitor PPC strategies
  • Developing and testing custom ad copy
  • Strategically managing bids
  • Monitoring performance and updating campaigns to maximize results

Get started with a custom PPC strategy!

At Keystroke Marketing, we bring more than 20 years of experience to your PPC campaigns. We’re a Google Premier Partner, and we have more than 500 client testimonials across numerous industries.

To learn more about PPC, contact us to speak with a strategist!

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