An Introduction to Paid Search
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is an auction model of online advertising. It lets advertisers bid on keywords to have their ads shown, with the best placement often going to the highest bidder.
How are PPC ads ranked?
An advertiser’s budget, alone, isn’t the only factor in ad placement. In addition to bids, PPC platforms like Google Ads consider the following when ranking one paid ad above another:
- Advertiser’s click-through rate (CTR)
- Landing page quality (content, mobile-friendliness, accessibility, etc.)
- Relevance of the ad text
- Relevance of each keyword to its ad group
- Historical performance of the Google Ads account
When should you use PPC advertising?
Successful digital marketing begins with a well-designed website that communicates clearly and compels users to take action. But sometimes a great website and strategic SEO aren’t enough for a brand to meet its digital marketing goals.
Both organic and paid search are important to a brand’s ability to grow its reach, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. While working to rank organically is foundational, it requires more planning, content development, and time. Pay-per-click also requires planning and specialized content, but it reduces the amount of time to see increased traffic.
Is my PPC advertising working?
For most first-time campaigns, the initial results should be viewed as an experiment—no one can estimate what your ROI will be without some account history to use for reference. But once you’ve settled into your campaign, you can use industry benchmarks to see how you compare.
The average conversion rate across Google Ads, for example, is about 3.5%. And the average click-through rate among paid search ads is around 2%. If you’re doing better than that, you’re already ahead of the curve.
But you can start by looking at the leads you’re already receiving from your PPC campaign. Are they relevant to your product or service? Are your leads’ budgets and values a good fit for what you’re offering? The best way to know if your campaign is working is by analyzing the quantity—and quality—of conversions you’re getting today.
Learn more about related tools, methods, and best practices in the Marketing Toolkit: