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Digital Marketing
PPC (Pay Per Click)

Digital Marketing is nothing without Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. Search engine marketing (SEO) is about getting web traffic towards an advertiser’s website through paid ads, as opposed to search engine optimization, which is emphasized upon acquiring, monitoring, and analyzing organic (unpaid) traffic patterns.

What is PPC (Pay-Per-Click)?

The PPC (pay-per-click) is also termed as an inorganic method of advertising. This advertising model allows advertisers to place ads on a platform and pay the host of the platform when their ads are clicked. The advertiser has to pay the host on a price-per-click basis. A website or mobile app advertisement is meant to direct users to the advertiser's website or mobile app, where they can complete a valuable action like buying a product or subscribing to a website.

How Does Paid Search Marketing Work?

Advertisers often use search engines to display relevant ads as they allow them to display ads relevant to what users are searching for. In real-time bidding advertising services such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, advertising inventory is sold in an automated auction-based on real-time data.

How Does SEM or Paid Search Work?

When an inquiry appears on a search engine results page (SERP), an immediate auction is held for the keyword for the ad placement and ranking. Many factors influence the winner, including the bid amount and the quality of the ad. PPC relies on these auctions to keep the wheels turning. These auctions begin when someone performs a search. An auction is triggered based on keywords if advertisers are interested in showing ads related to a user's search query. The search engine results page displays the ads that win the auction.

Search Engine Marketing

There are some essential elements that play an important role in Search Engine Marketing or Paid Search Advertising when creating a marketing campaign. These components include keywords, copywriting for advertisements, budgets, bids, CTR (Click Through Rate), PPC (Pay per Click cost, CPC (Cost Per Conversion), Ad ranking, Targeting and Conversion Rate, etc. A short description of these elements are given below:

Keywords: PPC relies on keywords to connect advertisers with users’ search queries.

  • Queries: A search engine’s actual queries are the words that users type into the search box to find results.
  • Keywords: The keywords match the search queries of the users, allowing marketers to target them.

The Essentials

As a generalized abstraction, keywords accommodate a wide range of search queries, including misspellings that can occur. Advertisers can use more or less precision in matching search queries based on the keyword match type they use. Advertisers can, for instance, choose whether to match keywords with search queries exactly or to allow for variations such as the order of words, the spelling, or the inclusion of other words.

To avoid irrelevant traffic, it is also possible to use negative keywords to prevent ads from being displayed when search queries containing those words are entered.

As part of these auctions, advertisers set up their ads on platforms such as Google Ads and determine where and when they would like them to appear.

The account is split into campaigns so that the different locations, products, or other categories can easily be managed. A campaign is further divided into ad groups that contain keywords and relevant ads. 

Ads (Advertisements) and Copywriting

In addition to keywords, advertisers must prepare ads for their campaigns. 

The ads are organized by themes and are nestled within ad groups that target similar keywords. Users will see the ads if the auction is won, so getting them right is crucial. Typically, they contain headlines, descriptions, and a URL. They might appear at the top or bottom of a SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). Testing different versions of ad copy to see what works is a good idea. Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, for example, offer a feature called ad extensions that enhance the appearance of ads. A site link extension, for example, would include more links to pages on a site, and a call extension would add a phone number to an ad during business hours. In addition to making ads more engaging for users, ad extensions convey more information and increase their visibility.

Budgets and Bids

Advertisers must decide how much they can spend on each keyword before entering the auction. Campaign budgets and ad group or keyword bids are used to do this. Campaign budgets are set at the campaign level and maybe exceeded per day, but not per month. Budgets should be established in accordance with the account strategy, but bids are a more precise way to control spending. The keyword-level bid overrides the ad group-level bid for all ad groups. Automated bidding strategies are widely used by advertisers. Advertisers can set specific campaign goals and then let the advertising platform select the most suitable bid for each auction.

Campaign strategies can be applied to single campaigns as well as portfolios of multiple campaigns. Due to the RTB system, the actual amount paid by the advertiser is dependent on competitor activity and ad rank, not just the maximum bid.

Ad Rank

It’s not enough to be the highest bidder to win the auction. Search engines consider other factors when determining which ads should appear at the top and in the most valuable position on the SERP. Ad rank is determined by factors other than keywords, which each search engine weighs differently. Google, for example, considers:

  • Bid amount.
  • Ad relevance and quality.
  • The context of the search (i.e user’s device, time & day).
  • Format impact (e.g., whether it includes extensions that enhance the format of the ad).

Ad relevance is determined by Quality Score. Quality Score consists of the following components:

  • Click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance of the keyword to the ad.
  • Relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query.
  • Landing page quality.

A higher Quality Score means a lower CPC; the more relevant the advertisements, the lower they will be.

In spite of high bids, search engines rarely show ads for advertisers who bid on keywords with low-Quality Scores. Therefore, it is extremely important to have engaging and relevant ad copy that includes high-volume keywords. It is also important to pay attention to landing page quality; ads will appear less frequently when they point to sites with poor user experiences. An effective web page must be relevant to the user, load quickly, and provide a smooth user experience.


Advertisers display relevant ads by choosing the right keywords. However, there are other options that can help optimize campaigns, such as:

  • Device targeting.
  • Location targeting.
  • Day and time targeting.
  • Demographic targeting.

Advertisers can target mobile users in the evening or within a certain radius of specific locations in order to optimize their ads’ performance. The rationale is that different variations of ads might perform differently for different groups of users, for example.   

It is also possible to target or exclude past visitors to a website who do follow-up searches through remarketing tools that allow for more specific ad copy messaging and adjusted budgets.

Advertisers can automatically adjust bids for keywords based on targeting options, allowing them to take control over traffic and spending by bidding when customers are more valuable to them.


It’s not just about getting clicks that makes all this work worthwhile. The real goal is to get conversions. After clicking on an ad, advertisers want users to take action based on the type of business being advertised.

General examples of conversions are:

  • Purchasing a service.
  • Signing up for a newsletter.
  • Placing a phone call.

To determine whether a PPC campaign is successful and how many conversions are attributed to paid search versus other marketing channels, tracking conversions is essential.

Several platforms, including Google Ads, allow users to track conversions by placing code into the source code of the conversion page (which is reached after converting, like a thank you page) to collect conversion data. It is challenging to track conversions because conversion paths tend to be more complex than a simple click on an ad and a direct purchase. These often involve multiple searches and website visits, or they can lead to an email, phone call, or in-store visit. The credit for conversions can be assigned to conversion paths by using an analytics service like Google Analytics.