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What Is Pay Per Click Advertising?

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What Is PPC? Learn About Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising – And Pay Per Click Service

So you’ve heard a little bit about PPC Advertising, and you are wondering what it is, and how it works, and whether PPC Advertising is right for your business. You’ve come to the right place. In this article we will:

  • Explain What PPC Advertising is
  • Provide A Basic Intro to Google Ads
  • Explain How To Begin Using PPC Advertising to Drive More Business

Let’s Get Started! There are over sixty million searches performed on Google each minute around the world. Some of those sixty million people are looking for what you sell, and using PPC Advertising is a great way to make sure they find your business.

What is PPC Advertising?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It works just like the name implies – each time someone clicks on your advertisement, you are charged for that click. Rather than trying to get people to your website organically using SEO – you are literally paying to get those customers to visit your website.

You accomplish this by buying (bidding for) the spot on top of the page (or near the top) when someone executes a Google Search. How Important is it to be at the top? New research indicates that people do not scroll past the first local company they find organically when doing a Google Search. They literally pick whomever is on top and go to that website first. The problem is, depending on your industry, getting on top of organic search may take a very long time, and in todays competitive market, it might never happen. But with Pay Per Click Advertising, you can still BUY the top spot.

Here is an example of PPC Ads at the top of a Google Search:

Every time your ad is clicked, sending a visitor to your website, you pay Google (or a few others) for that “click.” When PPC is done well, PPC Advertising is an investment rather than a cost – because the value of a new sale (let’s say $300) is worth far more than the cost of the click (let’s say $3.00). Most people have this idea completely backward. They look at Pay Per Click Advertising as an expense, but if it is working well, it is an investment. If you have your ads dialed in well, and they are making you more profit than you are spending to get it, the questions shouldn’t be “how can you spend less” – the question should be, “How Can I Get More Money to Invest So I Can Grow Even Faster.”  

It isn’t that difficult to make PPC Advertising work for you. You do have to do keyword research, and write compelling headlines, and make sure when someone clicks on your ad that they land on a compelling landing page, but these days, there are tons of online tutorials that will show you how to do all of that. It isn’t a mystery like it once was. There is a lot of excellent (and free) online content to help you along the way.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads used to be called Google Adwords. Chances are, it will be called something else pretty soon. Google changes the names of their products fairly often. Google is the largest search engine in the world they are also the largest seller of PPC Advertising. Businesses spent over one hundred BILLION dollars on Google Ads last year alone. This should tell you something – that Google Ads work. Otherwise business wouldn’t be spending billions on it.  

Google Ads are paid ads (PPC) that are displayed when someone performs a relevant keyword search using the Google Search Engine. There are lots of parameters Google uses to determine which ads they show the end user – and getting into how they do that is outside the scope of this article. But the essence is, they show the ad that is most relevant to the search, had the highest bid by the advertiser, and has been getting lots of traffic (they call this quality score, but the bottom line is, they don’t continue showing ads that nobody is clicking on – it doesn’t do them any good to show ads nobody will click on because they only get paid when someone clicks an ad).

If You’d Like To Read About Why Pay Per Click Advertising Is Often More Effective Than SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Click Here

How To Do PPC Advertising Keyword Research

We mentioned before that you are going to need to do Keyword Research. This sounds like a big deal, but it isn’t. Keyword Research for PPC doesn’t need to be all that time-consuming. There are so many great keyword tools now that can help you find keywords that people are searching for and most of them are free. There is Google Trends, a free service from Google. There is the free Google Keyword Planning tool that you can use directly while you are setting up your Google Ads, which allows you to figure out what people are searching for straight from Google themselves. And now there are a whole list of private keyword providers. We are particularly fond of Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest Keyword tool. We also like to help you determine what keywords are worth buying based on what other people in your industry are spending at the Google Auction. Each of these are fairly easy to use, and kind of fun. It is like being an internet detective. You get to see what is going on behind the scenes. We utilize all of these (and more) when we perform keyword research for our clients who elect to use us for Pay Per Click Management. But if you just use a couple of them, chances are, you will quickly discover what keywords people are searching, and which ones your competition is purchasing.

Setting Up Your First Pay Per Click Campaign

Setting up a PPC Advertising Campaign “can” become extremely complex if you really dive head first into it, but it doesn’t have to be. Especially in the beginning. In fact, when you first sign up for Google Ads, you can use their setup wizard to help you kick off your first campaign if you want to. It takes you step by step through how to do it. Just make sure you do your keyword research first, and use specific keywords, rather than their broad keyword terms. Remember, their goal is to get you to spend your budget. Yours is to increase your sales. So don’t let their initial “smart campaign” setup pick really broad keywords for you. Enter the precise keywords you picked up from your keyword research.

You HAVE TO go with that Smart Campaign setup the very first time you log into Google ads. They make you do it. Just roll with it, set it up, and then you can let it run if you want and see what happens. But honestly, what I tell people to do is go to the All Campaigns Tab, and “pause” that smart campaign, and then go to the big blue button with the big Plus Sign in the middle of it, and start a new campaign. This will give you FULL ACCESS to all of the tools you will want to use (and a bunch you probably don’t understand yet).

To prepare for setting up your new campaign, make sure you have to following ready:

  • Website Domain You Want People to Go To When They Click On Your Ad
    • NOTE – You CANNOT run a google ad that says you are one kind of business, and then takes them to a web page that doesn’t match. Google will flag your ad and not run it.
  • Phone Number (if you want people to call straight from the ad)
  • Headline – I don’t recommend just putting in what kind of company you are. Try something snappy like: Your Headline is Lame – Use Us!
  • Keywords – Again, setting up this kind of ad, you can use Google’s keyword planning tool, but you can also manually put in keywords that you want to use.
  • Radius-Geo Settings. If you are a small business, who only draws customers from within a few miles, there is no reason to show you ads to the whole country. Just show them within “miles” of your address, or you can pick specific zip codes and exclude others
  • Ad Extensions – why not use Ad Extensions. You take up More room! Type in Sale – Location – Hours of Operation – We Rock! Anything you want, but don’t leave those blank.
  • Bid Strategy – Initially – Use the Maximize Clicks Strategy
    • Eventually – move to Maximize Conversions Strategy
  • Bid Amount – Google is going to tell you what to bid based on what others in your industry are bidding. Make sure you budget at least that amount per day. Just do it. Suck it up cupcake! You have to spend the money sometimes. And if you are really a fraidy cat at this point….then hire us to handle your PPC Management and we will set it up for you (email:
  • Submit – You have to get google’s approval for your ad. Once your ad is approved, your campaign will go live.

And Hey – Don’t EVER be frightened. There are NO GOOGLE RELATED EMERGENCIES. Well, o.k., if you accidentally set your bid to a million bucks and don’t have a million bucks, that might qualify, but otherwise, it’s o.k. to make mistakes, and start over.

Also, there are SO MANY good tutorials out there on how to set up your initial Pay Per Click Campaign. We are big fans of Neil Patel’s Website and Youtube channel, but there are many many more.

Are you still reading? Seriously? We Love it! Because you are a warrior and you’ve read this far, we are going to reward you.

If you really want to nerd out about Pay Per Click Management – Go Buy The Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords by Perry Marshall and when you are done, you will know more than most people ever do – including a lot of people who sell PPC Management Services for a living.

This book covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to set up a Google Ads Campaign in an easy to understand, step by step method. We use it. It is the bible of our industry. So if you want to totally nerd out about Google Ads – Get it!

No wait! There’s more!

OMG are you still here? O.K. – One more freebie for you. But that’s it. Seriously. Here goes: Connect your Google Ads Account, Google Search Console Account, Google My Business Account, and if you use it, connect your Google Tag Manager Account. Link them all up, and then you will be able to see ALL of your data coming into your Google Analytics Dashboard, and over time, you will be able to test your ads, refine keywords, and totally nerd out about how awesome your new PPC Advertising is working for you. Who knows. Maybe some day you’ll be offering PPC Service. That’s how we got started at Stay Wild Digital Marketing. We did our own. Then we did our friends. Then we started to get paid, and now it’s our business.

But if you are NOT a do-it-your-self guru, and you are not interested in trying Pay Per Click Advertising yourself, maybe you’d just like us to do all of this for you, e-mail: and let’s talk about our Pay Per Click Management Service. Or you could skip the formalities and just pay us a deposit and we’ll start working on all of this for you. We know sometimes people don’t want to talk about any of this and just want more business coming in their door. We’re cool with that.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our article. Webmasters please feel free to link to this article if is valuable to your readers. And a reminder…there are so many awesome free resources online. There is no reason to be intimidated by Pay Per Click Advertising. Dive in and start learning. That’s what we did!

Tim VanDerKamp is Co-Owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in Pay Per Click Management, Search Engine Optimization, Google My Business Optimization (formerly Google Maps), and Website Design. All of their work is centered around driving traffic for their clients from Google through PPC Advertising, SEO, and Google My Business (formerly Google Maps).

“Our Customers Want Sales – Not Clicks” – Tim VanDerKamp and Danny Lindsay Contact Stay Wild Digital Marketing: or