52 PPC Questions Answered

Have any questions about how PPC works?

If you’re new to digital marketing, there can be a lot of options to consider. For businesses wanting to achieve a quick impact on leads and sales, there is no better method than pay-per-click advertising.

With 50% of people arriving on a website via paid search more likely to make a purchase than those who came from an organic link (Unbounce), PPC can drive phenomenal results for businesses.

That is, when your PPC strategy has been created with the right expertise!

Before investing in PPC, it’s good to understand how it works, along with the specific benefits it can bring to your business.

Distribute Digital is a leading PPC agency in Birmingham.

Allow us to shed light on anything you want to know about pay-per-click as we answer the top 52 questions below.

Table of Contents

Have any questions about how PPC works?

If you’re new to digital marketing, there can be a lot of options to consider. For businesses wanting to achieve a quick impact on leads and sales, there is no better method than pay-per-click advertising.

With 50% of people arriving on a website via paid search more likely to make a purchase than those who came from an organic link (Unbounce), PPC can drive phenomenal results for businesses.

That is, when your PPC strategy has been created with the right expertise!

Before investing in PPC, it’s good to understand how it works, along with the specific benefits it can bring to your business.

Distribute Digital is a leading PPC agency in Birmingham.

Allow us to shed light on anything you want to know about pay-per-click as we answer the top 52 questions below.

What Is PPC?

PPC (pay-per-click) is a type of paid advertising within digital marketing.

As the name suggests, advertisers only pay for their campaign when someone clicks on it.

The amount each click will cost is referred to as cost per click (CPC) and is also viewable before the campaign is launched. The goal is to score as many clicks as possible for the lowest cost per click.

Various PPC platforms exist, and everything needed to set up, launch and monitor any PPC campaign can be found within the platform itself.

What Does PPC Stand For?

PPC stands for pay-per-click.

There are lots of additional acronyms which relate to the central term of PPC, so it’s good to be aware of what these are and how they impact the success of any campaigns.

We’ll cover these throughout this page!

What Are Some Key PPC Terms & Definitions?

Ad Campaign – The specific campaign that has been set up and launched. Advertisers may run single or multiple PPC campaigns at any one time. 

Ad Text – PPC campaigns usually include heading text, link text and a line of copy which forms the advert itself. All text entries should be relevant to the user’s search query and the link. It is essential to work within the character limit when entering any text. 

Ad Rank – A value that’s used to determine the ad position. 

Advertising Policies – PPC campaigns found to be in breach of any advertising policies may be disapproved or suspended. That’s why advertisers must research the advertising policies applicable to the platform before launching a campaign. 

Audiences – The select groups of people who the PPC campaign should target and generate a specific action from. 

Average Cost-Per-Click – How much a particular keyword costs on average per click. Working out the average CPC is a key aspect of managing paid search budgets. 

B2B PPC – PPC that has been set up specifically to target professionals or those in a related industry or niche. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of users who clicked on a PPC campaign. This is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. 

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) – How much will be deducted from the search budget each time someone clicks on a PPC advertisement. Usually, this figure is given in USD. 

Call-To-Action (CTA) – The images, words or phrases used within an advertising campaign intended to drive a particular action, such as ‘buy now’. 

Conversion Rate – The number of sales achieved in response to an advertising campaign. 

Daily Budget – How much money is allocated on a daily basis to a PPC campaign. 

Exact Match – A type of keyword matching that allows you to see similar keywords which have the same meaning or intent as the original keyword. Exact matches provide more control over who the ad gets served to, although will reach fewer people due to being more specific. Though, this can actually be an advantage if wanting to eliminate irrelevant traffic. 

Geotargeting – Settings found in a PPC platform which allow advertisers to select the exact locations where their ads will be served. 

Invalid Clicks – Any clicks on a PPC campaign which aren’t deemed to be genuine. This could be due to bot traffic or accidental clicks. 

Keywords – Purposeful words or phrases which are needed to create relevance within a PPC campaign. Keywords often relate to the business, product, service or user needs. 

Landing Page – The page where your PPC links to either in the hyperlink or clickable image. It’s important that the landing page matches the search intent of those who will come across your PPC ad. Otherwise, people who click through to your page will bounce and conversions will be lower as a result. 

Manual Bidding – A PPC bidding method which allows users to specify how much they are willing to pay for their campaigns. 

Maximum Bid – The maximum monetary figure that a user is willing to spend on their campaign. 

Quality Score – Quality scores are measured on a scale of 1-10 and help determine how well an advertisement compares to its competitors. How quality scores are determined is through the expected CTR, ad relevance and the landing page experience.

The above terms are far from exhaustive, so don’t worry if you’re new to PPC! As a paid search agency, we’ll take care of the above considerations and more on your behalf. 

What Are The Different Types Of PPC Ads?

Display Ads – Combines text, images and a URL. The content can be a static image, video or rich media ad. Display ads will appear in front of users who have shown interest in related products or services. This can result in lower CPC prices. 

Paid Social Ads – PPC campaigns can appear on various social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok and Twitter. Most social networks have their own advertising platforms and will allow for image or video ads. 

Remarketing Ads – Remarketing ads show an advert to someone who has already visited your website but did not complete a sale. 

Search Ads – Search ads are the most common type of PPC ads, and consist of conversional text along with a hyperlink to your website. PPC search ads appear above organic search listings. 

Shopping Ads – Displays a product image, price and a link where to purchase an item. Shopping ads work similarly to Google images but with the ability to directly buy the item being viewed. 

Video Ads – Platforms such as YouTube allow for PPC campaigns that are in video format. As video can be extremely engaging, video ads can build brand awareness as well as encourage clicks through to your website.

Why Is PPC Important?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is important because it offers businesses another string to their marketing bow.

Google receives 8.5 billion searches every day, and is one of the main drivers of traffic for websites around the world.

While SEO is traditionally used to gain search engine visibility, sometimes PPC offers a more effective strategy for a campaign.

With PPC, advertisers can instantly get their adverts shown on search engine results pages.

While PPC is no replacement for SEO (or other forms of digital marketing), it offers the clear advantages of instant SERP or social media visibility for as long as the campaign continues to run.

Experimenting with different techniques such as PPC ensures businesses are doing all they can to build brand awareness. Given the level of customisation available with PPC, leads are more likely to be qualified which is another reason why pay-per-click is such a popular form of digital marketing.

What Are The Benefits Of PPC?

Highly targeted campaigns – PPC allows businesses to get incredibly specific about who they target with their campaigns. This helps ensure money isn’t being spent on advertising to irrelevant audiences who aren’t likely to lead to a conversion.

Age of business no barrier to launching a campaign – So long as a Google Ads (or similar platform) is linked to an account, businesses don’t have to wait to be established to start advertising online. 

No need to source creative assets for PPC – Text-based PPC ads also exist removing the need for costly video or photography shoots. 

Lots of platforms to choose from – Target wherever your customers are most likely to be found. 

Spend can be controlled – The CPC and total ad spend will be available to view, meaning advertisers can remain within any advertising budgets. 

PPC ads can be paused or adjusted at any time – If a campaign isn’t reaching its objectives, advertisers can make manual adjustments or decide to stop running the ad. In other forms of advertising (i.e. print advertising), advertisers don’t always get this same level of flexibility.

What Is A PPC Campaign?

A PPC campaign allows for an advertisement to be shown above organic search results, or on some social media platforms. Advertisers pay not only for the advert positioning, but also to reach a specific audience based on the criteria that have been set.

What Is A PPC Platform?

A PPC platform is where pay-per-click advertisements are set up, launched and monitored.

The most notable PPC platform is Google Ads, although social media networks including Facebook and LinkedIn also have dedicated platforms for paid search.

How Do I Create A PPC Ad?

Anyone wanting to create a PPC ad will need a business, along with a website where the PPC campaigns will link to.

Once someone has signed up to their chosen PPC platform, they can select from the type of PPC campaign they would like to run. Instructions will be given on what is needed to create the advert, along with how much the advert will cost to run.

Technically, anyone can create a pay-per-click campaign. However, expertise is needed to segment the content and overall direction of the campaign so that it achieves the right results for businesses.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Work?

Pay-per-click campaigns are designed to only cost the advertiser once someone clicks on their ad. By paying attention to how PPC campaigns are set up, this helps ensure that those who do click on the advert are those most likely to convert.

What Is The Best Platform For PPC?

The best platform for PPC will actually depend on the objectives of the advertiser, along with where their target audience is most likely to be found.

For instance, Google Ads offers an incredible reach. However, LinkedIn Ads is better for reaching professionals, and also boasts higher quality leads.

When you work with us here at Distribute Digital, working out the most suitable platform for your PPC campaigns is all part of the service.

What Is Paid Search?

Paid search is classed as any type of advertisement that appears on search engines that is not organic. Often, paid search campaigns can be identified due to being labelled as an ad.

PPC is the most popular form of paid search, as it allows businesses to display their advertisements above organic results on search engines. 

Why Paid Search?

Lots of digital marketing techniques exist for a reason. This includes the need to target the audience in different ways, depending on the campaign objectives, along with any hurdles that need to be overcome.

In terms of paid search, it allows businesses to have full control over who sees their campaigns, how much campaigns cost and even how long they run for.

Another major advantage is that with PPC, you can bypass organic traffic which may take too long to rank for, or could also be too competitive. PPC is also great for time-sensitive campaigns for this same reason.

How To Do Paid Search On Google?

Google has a dedicated paid search platform known as Google Ads. By registering with Google Ads, it’s possible to create a variety of campaigns which will appear on search engine results above any organic results.

How To Improve Your Ad Rank Without Increasing Your Bids

Some strategies can include using search terms as keywords, optimising ad relevance, reviewing the keyword planner and improving the landing page experience once users click on your campaign.

Does Amazon Use PPC?

Yes! Amazon has its own PPC platform known as Amazon Ads which is geared towards ecommerce businesses. For those who sell products online, Amazon Ads can be a good option to explore. The benefits include the ability to start small, full control over your ad budget along with no upfront fees.

How Much Should I Spend On Google PPC?

Realistically, every business is going to have a different answer to this question. As PPC specialists, we can advise on a suitable budget based on what you’re trying to achieve with your campaigns. 

Is PPC Just Google?

Nope! Lots of PPC platforms exist including Amazon Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads and many more.

PPC Vs SEO: What’s The Difference?

The easiest way to describe the differences between both PPC and SEO is that PPC involves paid search, whereas SEO focuses on organic search.

SEO involves on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO. The websites which rank highly for terms are those which consider each of these three aspects. It’s also key to provide a quality experience for users.

PPC campaigns allow for advertisers to pay to get ahead on search engines, though any campaigns will only run for as long as the advert is funded. This is in contrast to SEO, whereby results will continue to be shown on search engines so long as the content remains updated and relevant.

Is PPC Better Than SEO?

Both PPC and SEO have their advantages and considerations, meaning neither is strictly ‘better’. Rather, the option to focus will depend on what you’re looking to achieve.

SEO can be likened to a savings account, in that by making regular deposits, the aim is to one day have lots of money in that account. This of course takes a lot of time and energy, even if the end results will be worth it.

In comparison, PPC is like a quick cash injection, in that it will give you money for the meantime, although that cash isn’t designed to last beyond a certain point.

When choosing which option is right for your campaign, consider whether long term results is the aim (SEO) or if a quick way to generate leads over a temporary period (PPC) is more suitable.

How Do PPC And SEO Work Together?

When done right, PPC and SEO should support each other to deliver relevant leads for businesses.

As both PPC and SEO have different advantages and limitations, it’s important to consider these when looking to create a multifaceted approach to a digital marketing strategy. 

Distribute Digital offers both PPC and SEO services, meaning we can handle all of your paid and organic search requirements under one roof.

How Can PPC Help SEO?

Where PPC is particularly good at helping SEO is for time-sensitive campaigns, where there isn’t time for organic content to index and start ranking.

For instance, if a business is running a sale online, then a PPC campaign can help drive traffic quickly while it’s needed. This is also the case if that business is new, and so doesn’t have much domain authority.

Also, if any SEO keywords are very competitive, PPC can allow advertisers to tap into search traffic they are struggling to reach organically.

What Is CPC?

CPC stands for cost per click. The CPC is a way of determining how much will be deducted from the search budget every time someone clicks on a PPC campaign.

It is important to research the CPC in advance, to ensure that the campaign can generate a healthy ROI based on the value of the potential sale. Also, the CPC indicates how far the search budget will stretch, depending on the aims of the campaign.

How Much Does A Click Cost?

The cost of a click will entirely depend on the competition surrounding the keywords being targeted. Some niches have extremely high costs per clicks, whereas others have very minimal costs.

When setting up a PPC campaign, it’s possible to view the CPC for all keywords so that advertisers can control their overall spend.

How Can I Calculate Cost Per Click?

When using Google Ads, the cost per click will be displayed under ‘Avg. CPC’. However, the CPC can also be calculated by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the number of clicks it received.

What Is The Average Cost Per Click In Google Ads?

Research suggests that the average cost per click is between $2-$4. Though, average costs can be as high as $50 per click for ultra competitive niches.

How Much Should You Spend On CPC?

It’s easy to throw out figures such as $5, $10 or even $50 for a CPC. However, the true answer depends on the potential value that a click can bring to your website based on the searches you are wanting to target.

How To Lower CPC

Some of the best ways to lower the cost per click include improving the quality score, expanding the reach and also refining the reach (i.e. by identifying negative keywords).

What Is CPC And CPM?

As we’ve established above, the CPC refers to the cost per click. 

CPM stands for cost per mille (thousand), and refers to the cost of receiving 1,000 impressions.

Both CPC and CPM are important terms to know when determining the success of any PPC campaign.

What Is Click-Through Rate In PPC?

A click-through rate (CTR) in PPC is an essential metric which measures the percentage of users who clicked the link taking them to your website after viewing your campaign.

The CTR can be calculated by working out: total clicks on the ad / total impressions. 

Why the CTR matters is because we want users to be engaging with your PPC campaign. If users are actively clicking on the ad, this suggests a successful PPC strategy – especially if conversions increase as a result.

What Is A Good Click-Through Rate?

What is considered a ‘good’ click-through rate depends on many factors, including the industry you are looking to target. 

For Google Search Ads, the ‘Industry Benchmarks’ range from 1.35% for legal services up to 2.65% for finance and insurance. So it’s safe to say that figures well above the average CTRs is what to aim for.

The more a PPC campaign is carefully refined, the more likely it is that the CTR will soar. Likewise, it’s essential to set up any paid search campaign properly, so that the right people are targeted with the right messaging in the right place at the right time.

How CTR Impacts Ad Rank

The ad rank of your PPC campaign will determine its positioning on Google. Just like when organic search results get lots of clicks and this signals to search engines it is a helpful result, the same is true for a PPC campaign. 

In contrast, PPC campaigns with poor click-through rates suggest that the advertisement is not relevant or helpful. The placement (aka ad rank) of the campaign will be lower compared with PPC campaigns which have a higher CTR.

How CTR Impacts Quality Score

Having a good click-through rate (CTR) will help you earn higher-quality scores. The reason for this is that quality scores directly correlate with relevance. If lots of people are clicking on your PPC campaign, this suggests you have targeted them with a relevant advertisement. Therefore, the reward for a high CTR is also a better quality score making relevance a win-win for any PPC campaign.

What Are PPC Keywords?

Keywords are a fundamental term for any PPC campaign, since keywords control the entire narrative of the advert. Keywords can be considered branded, generic, informational, locational or long-tail. They consist of ‘key’ words or phrases relevant to the campaign as well as the linked landing page.

How Do I Find PPC Keywords?

There are lots of PPC keyword research tools which exist, including Google’s Keyword Planner. As a free tool, Keyword Planner can be used to filter searches based on keywords with high search volumes along with location-specific searches and much more. 

However, on a basic level, PPC keywords can also be identified by considering what types of words or phrases are relevant to the audience, while also being relevant to the content that’s being linked to.

As with SEO, high-volume keywords with a low search difficulty are what to aim for. Although, as noted, relevancy should always be a focal point of any keyword selections.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords can cause your PPC campaigns to be shown to an irrelevant audience. Therefore, by identifying and eliminating negative keywords, advertisers can improve ad relevance, increase the click-through rate and reduce their overall campaign spend. 

For example, if running a PPC campaign for a gourmet restaurant in Birmingham, negative keywords we’d want to eliminate include ‘budget’ or ‘cheap eats’.

As we know a luxury restaurant doesn’t cater for this market, we’d want to focus on keywords which suggest a premium dining experience. 

Negative keywords in PPC can also include homonyms which is when two words are spelled the same but mean different things. For example, glasses (meaning tableware) versus glasses (meaning spectacles). 

How Do You Identify Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords can be found by analysing user search query data. Our PPC specialists use tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner for this task.

In addition, thinking logically about the types of searches we want to eliminate can also identify negative keywords.

As a user, you may have come across PPC campaigns on Google that aren’t relevant to the keywords you typed in. The aim is to ensure the same outcome doesn’t apply to your campaigns, because specific terms have been used while negative keywords have been excluded.

What Are Keyword Modifiers?

Keyword modifiers help to make any keyword searches more specific. 

The reason why keyword modifiers are used is to help attract more relevant traffic, ensuring those who view and click on your PPC campaign are more likely to convert. The technique works because the vagueness of the initial short-tail keyword has been removed.

For example:

If you’re looking for help with your PPC, you might type ‘PPC agency’ into Google. But what if you want a local PPC agency? You would need to add a keyword modifier for the location. 

The modified search term would be: PPC agency Birmingham.

What Is A Broad Match Modifier?

Broad match modifier (BMM) was a type of keyword customisation in Google Ads. It allowed marketers to select certain keywords to trigger their ad being shown. 

Since 2021, Google has adopted an updated phrase match system for Google Ads search queries. For any businesses unaware of the change, or even how to complete more advanced PPC techniques, our PPC specialists would be more than happy to advise.

How To Improve PPC Campaigns

It sounds simple enough, but the key to improving any digital marketing technique (including PPC) is to identify the problems holding the campaign back.

For PPC, these might be negative keywords causing irrelevant clicks. On the other end of the scale, the text used might be too vague to target the right audience.

Whatever the issues, these need to be identified so that a plan of action can be put in place to fix them.

The need to improve PPC campaigns is also why many businesses outsource their paid search to experts instead. 

After all, every click that doesn’t lead to a conversion is lost potential for a business. It’s also not a win if nobody clicks your campaigns (so your ad budget remains in-tact) either, because this means those advertisements aren’t engaging or relevant enough to drive traffic to your website. 

Over time, all PPC campaigns require close monitoring, to ensure that every click is truly connecting with those most likely to convert.

What Is PPC On LinkedIn?

PPC on LinkedIn is known as LinkedIn Ads, which is a dedicated paid search platform on LinkedIn. By running pay-per-click campaigns on LinkedIn, it’s possible to target better quality leads including those with a professional background, which is why LinkedIn is especially great for B2B PPC. 

What Ads Are Available On LinkedIn?

The four main categories available for LinkedIn Ads include dynamic ads, message ads, text ads and sponsored content. Advertisers can opt for one type or a mixture of all four types. 

Also, further options exist within each advertising type relating to the visual aspects of the advert, along with the ad placement.

Once again, the emphasis is on the ability to be incredibly specific with your paid search campaign, ensuring your budget is put to the best use by only targeting relevant audiences. Out of all the PPC platforms available, LinkedIn offers an incredible amount of targeting especially within the B2B space. 

Are LinkedIn Ads Worth It?

LinkedIn Ads are most certainly worth it, if like any other form of PPC campaigns they are set up correctly. Since LinkedIn Ads can be more costly than Google Ads or other social platforms, the campaign objectives need to match the audience which can be found on LinkedIn. For instance, professionals in a related industry or niche.

How Much Do LinkedIn Ads Cost (CPC)?

At the time of writing, the average CPC (cost-per-click) on LinkedIn is $5.39 (£4.22). 

The aspects which will impact your actual CPC on LinkedIn include (but are not limited to) the campaign objective, target audience and the ad relevance score.

Why Are LinkedIn Ads Expensive?

It’s no secret that LinkedIn ads such as carousel ads, conversation ads, event ads, lead gen forms, message ads, single image ads, spotlight ads, text ads and video ads come at a premium.

However, rather than seeing this as negative, there’s actually a lot of advantages to using LinkedIn Ads, especially if you’re looking to do B2B PPC. That’s because LinkedIn is considered to offer better quality leads, meaning any money you do spend on LinkedIn Ads will reach a more relevant audience. 

Furthermore, research by LinkedIn found that 4 out of 5 LinkedIn users drive business decisions. 

What Is PPC Management?

In a nutshell, PPC management is all about maximising campaign effectiveness for advertisers. 

As with any kind of digital marketing technique (i.e. SEO or social media marketing), it’s easy to go about things in the wrong way. Ultimately, poor techniques are costly for any business, since any potential customers will head elsewhere to your competitors.

PPC management can help fix so many of these errors and much more. For instance, it can help you to stop wasting money on ads that underperform, plus nail effective location targeting when setting up PPC campaigns. 

In addition, PPC management considers the average lifetime value of the customer (or potential customer) to ensure that PPC campaigns are the right strategy for your business. All while doing the legwork when it comes to keyword research and other aspects needed for a successful paid search strategy.

What Does A PPC Agency Or Specialist Do?

We can’t speak on behalf of other PPC agencies, but here at Distribute Digital, our PPC specialists oversee all aspects of paid search campaigns for our clients. This includes tasks such as A/B testing, audits, campaign implementation, competitor analysis and keyword analysis.

As pay-per-click specialists, we also like to keep up with the latest trends and techniques to ensure our skills remain sharp.

Who Should Hire A PPC Management Company?

Any business which wants to secure more leads and ultimately sales through paid search, yet lacks the insights or even the time to achieve this in-house. Likewise, any business which has experimented with PPC, but found that their conversions didn’t meet expectations. 

As Distribute Digital offers PPC audits, we can identify potential errors within your current strategy to help fix this for you. Our PPC specialists can also create a PPC strategy from scratch for startups or those new to paid search as a digital marketing technique.

What Are The Different Types Of PPC?

PPC can be B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-customer). 

In addition, PPC can have different types in terms of the format used such as display ads, search ads, remarketing and video ads.

What Is B2B PPC?

B2B PPC stands for business-to-business pay-per-click. It aims to capture leads from those relevant to your customer base such as those who work in the same industry, along with businesses most likely to purchase your products. The pool of people tends to be smaller with B2B PPC, though this form of segmentation is actually an advantage when it comes to spending your campaign budgets wisely.

Why Use PPC For B2B Marketing?

If we consider the concept of B2B in the first place, it means we’re excluding the B2C audiences. As PPC gives us digital marketers the ability to get super specific about how campaigns are set up and who they target, this is perfect for B2B marketing. In particular, B2B PPC can be extremely effective at finding customers who may not have otherwise found your business, products or services through organic search. 

Does PPC Work For B2B?

Absolutely. PPCExpo found that B2B PPC can increase brand awareness by 140%. 

The key to B2B PPC is ensuring the campaigns are correctly set up to reach fellow professionals rather than the whole internet. Ads should also be tailored to the platform they appear on, and the copy should also work to prequalify leads to boost the conversion rate.

Distribute Digital - PPC Agency Birmingham

Still have more questions about PPC, or are you ready to get started with your own campaigns? 

As we’ve established, there’s a fair bit of clicking involved with PPC. But before we can get to potential leads clicking on your campaigns, we need you to click on our contact form!