Pay Per Click Advertising Explained – A Simple Guide

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) such as Google AdWords, Microsoft AdCentre or Bing Advertising should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. PPC advertising offers a totally transparent marketing spend, and being so easy to track conversions and calculate your Return on Investment (ROI) has helped it become the most popular form of online marketing spend.

Despite this though, many small business are not fully aware of PPC marketing and what it can do for them. If I said it can help you compete against bigger companies whilst keeping a tight control of your budget then I am sure you would want to know more.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) is quite simple

We can split PPC advertising down into 3 very simple steps:

  1. You choose keywords that you want to be associated with your advert then create the Ad.
  2. You set out how much you wish to spend per day and how much you are willing to pay for each click of your advert.
  3. The search engine will display your advert when a relevant search that matches your keywords is made.

So in a nutshell you choose some keywords, create an advert, set your preferred budget and your advert will start showing to customers who are actively searching for your product. That is the basics of PPC Advertising.

It doesn’t quite stop there though. You need to research your keywords, write your Ads and create your landing page (the page on your website where people land after clicking on your Ad), all of which need to be relevant to rank highly enough for your advert to display.

In addition, there are many ways in which you can display your Ad using Ad Extensions and if you want your campaign to be successful then you will need to setup your account as efficiently as possible.

The PPC Account Structure

Under your PPC account you have campaigns and under campaigns you have AdGroups that share a common overall theme. It sounds complicated but let’s look at an example of an educational institution who want to promote courses.

At the campaign level we may have a number of campaigns split out by subject area such as Business. At the Ad Group level we may well see more defined categories such as undergraduate business studies or postgraduate business studies.

The AdGroups contain Adverts, Keywords and Bids but share the budget and geographic targeting amongst others, which is set at the campaign level.


To recap, Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) at the basic level can be split up into 3 key steps:

  1. Choose your keywords and create your Ad.
  2. Set your budget.
  3. Your Ads are displayed when a relevant search is made.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) is an area that you or your company should be considering as part of your marketing strategy with 58% of companies increasing their paid search budget over the next 12 months and 55% of companies spending more than £50,000 on paid search per year according to e-consultancy UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2014.

If you’d like any help on your PPC, feel free to get in touch with me today.