What is PPC in Digital Marketing & How to use it?

With over 80% of consumers flocking to the Internet to read reviews, to find information and ultimately purchase something, it is important, more than ever before, that your business is easily found online. Your business may become defunct with little or no exposure on any other search engine for that matter. 

The good news is that there are techniques that can be implemented which will help your business dominate the online landscape. The most frequently used strategies are SEO or search engine optimization and PPC or pay per click advertising. 

The goal of this article is to ensure that you have an understanding of how a continuous investment in PPC in digital marketing, will have a sizeable impact on leveraging long term organic growth.

What is PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising in Digital Marketing?

PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising has now become the cornerstone for every digital marketer in the domain of internet marketing. A report by Hubspot mentions that approximately 39% of internet users have an inclination to click on a sponsored ad. The reason for doing this is either they have an existing interest in the product or because the ad has helped spark an interest in a product that they were not even aware of.

Digital marketers are of the opinion that PPC is one of the most complicated advertising channels within the domain of digital marketing. Multiple tools and reports together determine how and where ad budgets should be allocated, and this is an exercise that is not to be taken lightly.

When a PPC specialist has access to real money, even the smallest of miscalculations can impact the campaign adversely. Not monitoring how the funds are being spent can eat up the marketing budget entirely. 

The proper way to ensure that your funds are optimised in the best manner for paid search marketing is to start out with small test budgets before moving on to astronomical six to eight figure marketing funds. If the pilot campaign outcomes help the brand to attain the desired position, you can allocate more funds to the campaign, increasing it gradually over a period of time. 

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The most successful PPC platform is Google AdWords. A platform operated by Google, PPC ads here enable brands and businesses to make their products and services more visible to their target audience. The simple way is to advertise the website link at predesignated screen positions that come up during relevant searches. 

Google Ads will get the word out, boost traffic and make sure that your ads show up for competitive keywords. Ads that feature in the coveted top spots and on the sides typically have higher conversion rates. 

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How To Design PPC Campaigns on Google?

Step 1:

Keyword List Creation: 

Whether you end up using specific or general keywords or a combination of both will largely depend on your company’s goals. You may also choose to use long tail keywords that are customised to suit the needs of your target market. 

Pay per click advertising for Google AdWords allows you to select keywords based on your geographic location. Therefore, geo-targeting may be used if your business is operational during specific hours. This can be applicable to businesses operating from specific locations too. 

If you fall short on coming up with keyword ideas, simply use the Google Keyword Planner tool that help generate the most relevant search terms for your brand. This is a free tool where you just need to type a list of terms that you want to be featured in the keywords. 

Click on ‘Search’ and Google comes up with a list of keywords that you can go through. Along with that, you will also be able to see the competition level of the keywords. Parameters available are global monthly searches, local monthly searches and approximate CPC. 

Inclusion of Negative Keywords:

You do not want your ads showing up on irrelevant search results. Therefore, you need to constantly update your negative keywords list. 

Keep pruning specific keywords from your campaigns to ensure that there is no wasted budget.  This will ensure that your ad is not shown in search results for these words. 

Traffic Estimator Tool:

After selecting the keywords, use the traffic estimator tool to determine the budget and CPC so that you get the best results from your PPC campaign. 

In the traffic estimator, you have to type your chosen keywords and get estimates. 

The estimator will show you the estimated number of clicks at different price points in the form of a graph. You will also get to see daily estimates for impressions and clicks, and the average position of your ad. The average position will tell you where your ad will appear on the SERPs. 

Generally, positions 1 to 8 are on the first page. You can improve your position by increasing your ad’s quality score or your bid. 

That’s not all. 

You will get an idea of the CTR or click through rate of your ad, which refers to the number of people who viewed your ad on a search engine and also clicked on it. 

Step 2: 

Creating An Ad Campaign: 

As you land on the Google Ads platform, the first task is to create a campaign for your brand. To do that, you must select the type of campaign that you wish to run. The various types of campaign that is available under Google’s PPC in digital marketing are: 

  • Default: If your objective is to increase CTR quickly and make the ads more visible to a larger potential audience network, then it is best to go with the Default type. Here the ads are shown on the Google Search and Display network that enhances your brand’s visibility manifold. 
  • Display Network Only: If your intention is to reach out to a more targeted audience to create awareness, then opting to showcase the on Google Network Display’s websites including partnering websites such as Gmail and YouTube are the best strategy. 
  • Search Network Only: If you want to have more control over your ad positions, then it is best to opt for the Search Network under Google’s pay per click advertising. Explore Google Images, Maps, AOL and Shopping if you have a keywords list that ensures that your business ads appear on search results in Google and relevant websites Google’s search network. 
  • Display Network Only (Remarketing): If your ads are slow in converting then you can combine your PPC efforts with Remarketing campaigns on Google’s Display Network. This enables the brand to follow those customers who have visited the brand’s website but have not hit the business goal. 
  • Ads are shown on the display network to potential consumers who have visited your website 
  • Search and Display Networks (Mobile Devices): Businesses need to focus a lot more on paid search marketing that is specific to reach out to the target market on smart devices. This can be done by running campaigns on Search and Display Networks (Mobile Devices) on the AdWords platform. 

Location and Language:

Once you have decided on the type of campaign that you intend to run, the next task is to choose the language in which your ad will feature. Along with that, select the geographic locations that your business services. 

These are two integral steps when it comes to optimising your ad, making them highly targeted to your prospective customers and audience. 

Networks and Devices:

The next step is to tailor your campaigns to the types of devices that you wish to target. Google’s PPC in digital marketing allows you to customise your campaigns for laptops, desktops, tablet devices or mobile devices enabling your brand to reach out to a more niche set of customers.

You can also target the different networks such as Search Partners, Google Search, Display Network and so on where you want your ads to feature. This will not happen if you choose Default campaigns settings. However, you can keep personalising your settings as per the requirements and preferences of your business. 

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Bidding & Budget: 

The last task before your campaign goes like to select the bidding option. Generally, the basis for bidding depends on the following parameters: 

  • You need to set bids for every click
  • Enable Google to set bids in order to ensure that clicks are optimised within the outlined budget

Furthermore, you also need to choose the type of bidding strategy that includes: 

  • Cost per Click or CPC where you only pay Google if a user actually clicks on the featured link
  • Cost per Thousand Impressions or CPS helps increase the visibility of your ad to a larger target market
  • Cost per Acquisition or CPA involves paying Google only when a user clicked on your ad and completed the assigned conversion criteria 

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How can you analyse your Google Ad campaigns?

You can easily analyse your Google Ad campaigns from the data dashboard available on the platform. To derive more meaningly insights, you have the option to link it with Google Analytics that will help you to analyse all your Ads data and run custom reports. You can also run comparisons of the collected PPC data with organic and referral traffic. You can easily link your AdWords with Analytics through the ‘Set Up’ tab. Simply click on link accounts and you are good to go.

What Is the difference between organic growth and Google Ads?

Organic growth is popularly known as search engine optimisation. This is a long term process where you optimise a set of keywords, implementing a number of strategies and techniques targeted towards achieving the best search rankings under organic search results across various search engines. That said, the results are not instantaneous. Generally, experts agree that the business can see impact anywhere between 8 months to a year. Google Ads, on the other hand, can help feature your brand on the first search results page under paid search marketing if you get your strategies right.

Do you need to do any hygiene checks prior to making your PPC campaigns live?

It is absolutely mandatory to run hygiene checks before your PPC campaigns go live. This ensures that your ads run smoothly. Not focussing on these checks may result in your ads bleeding unnecessary funds minus any tangible results.

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