How Does PPC Search Work?

It was estimated that $92.4billion will be spent on ‘paid search’ or ‘PPC search’ globally in 2017. This figure has risen year on year, showing its efficacy as a medium in which advertisers are increasingly keen to invest.

What is Paid Search?

Paid search, also known as PPC advertising, is a type of digital marketing where search engines such as Google and Bing permit advertisers to display advertisements on the results pages of their search engine (SERPs).

Paid search operates on a pay-per-click basis, which ensures you are doing just this – you don’t pay until anyone clicks on your ad. It makes it a tangible and controllable marketing tool over more conventional promotional types.

Content types include text advertisements that run at the top or bottom of the pages of the organic search, or shopping ads seen above the search results.

Paid Search

How Does Paid Search Work?

With PPC, you are paying Google to show your ads at the top or bottom of the conventional organic search results. Ads can also be shown via Google’s display network across other pages.

You pay whatever the actual Cost Per Click (CPC) is when a user clicks on any of your advertisements, and that amount is taken from your daily budget.

The cost per click depends on a variety of factors.

The largest contributors are the frequency and competition for whatever keyword is given. For example, if you want your ad to be shown when a user searches for “sporting goods store,” you’ll pay a lot more per click than when a user searches for “sporting goods store in LOCATIONXXX.” This is because “sporting goods store” is a keyword much more widely searched than a keyword targeted to.

Google will continue to run its advertisements until your advertisements have been clicked by enough people to deplete your daily budget. Google will then avoid showing your advertising until the next day, or until the time you give them more budget to use.

Paid search ads cost the advertiser a given amount each time anyone clicks on the result. Cost per click starts from less than a dollar to several dollars per click, subject to the various factors and the algorithms of the search engine. You will be asked to specify the maximum amount you want to pay per click (bid) when setting up your paid search ad campaign, and the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on the campaign (budget).

To order for advertisements to appear on a search engine alongside the results (commonly referred to as a Search Engine Results Page, or SERP), advertisers can not actually pay extra to ensure that their ads appear extra prominently compared to ads from their rivals. Alternatively, advertisements are subject to what’s known as the Ad Auction, a completely automated method that Google and other major search engines use to assess the importance and legitimacy of advertisements that appear on their SERPs.

What are the Benefits of Paid Search Advertising ?

The greatest advantage of paid search advertising is the presence of your business at the top of the results list on the search engine.

Many studies have also shown that many search users are unable to discern the difference between paid and organic search results (2016 statistics, released by OFCOM, showed that only 49% of adults could accurately classify paid search results as ads), suggesting that there is indeed little difference in the ability of searchers to choose organic search results over paid results.

Pay-Per-Click is the best way to get to the top of the search results, provided you have enough money. When you understand the platform, you can set up a PPC campaign in under an hour and show up in the results automatically.

PPC ads also make monitoring even faster. You no longer have to take a chance on ads that you pay for in advance in other media, with no indication of how good they are. Each ad, keyword and money spent can be tracked with paid search, thereby making for a more accurate ROI.

That also means that monitoring ads is much safer for an advertiser.

How to Use Paid Search

Far too often, companies — particularly small companies — believe that if they just pay for being on a search engine, they don’t need to spend time and money in search engine optimisation to rank organically higher.

It’s important to make it clear that paid search is not a replacement for something, but should be used to complement other inbound marketing strategies instead.

Paid web advertisement takes a lot of time and energy, a lot of money and a lot of management and you just need to invest in it.

One of the easiest ways to think about it when you think about how you can use paid search is to use it as a supplement to your inbound marketing activities. On the results page of the search engine (SERP) you can use paid search to improve your coverage.

Key Takeaway

If you’re looking to take your company to the next stage, then PPC could be very useful for you. Getting your name out there and linking your target audience to your website is an easy way to do so. It is done by moving the advertising to the top of the results of the search.


General Google Search Statistics

  •     Thirty-five billion Google searches are conducted daily.
  •     Google’s search volume increases by about 10% annually.
  •     Somewhere between 16% and 20% of Google searches are new every year — they were never searched before.
  •     90% of mobile searches are performed by Google.
  •     Paid search ads lift awareness of the brand by 80%.
  •     Mobile apps make up 53% of paying clicks.
  •     46% of users on the search results page can not recognise paying ads.
  •     In 2019, 40% of brands were preparing to increase their PPC budget.
  •     Pay per click figures have raised brand recognition by 80% thanks to paid search ads.
  •     Of the total clicks, 46% go to the top three paying advertisement spots.


AdWords may or may not work for your business, depending on the quality of the keywords you are bidding for and the importance of that keyword to actual sales for your product. Google AdWords has been found to be very successful for many types of businesses as long as they don’t waste their money on the wrong keywords, or write bad, low CTR ads.

The average cost per AdWords click varies by keyword and sector, but is roughly $2.32 in the search network and $0.58 in the display network.

Your overall bid, your Quality Score and your keyword’s attractiveness decide the costs

PPC or Pay-Per-Click refers to the most common fee system for paid search. With PPC, advertisers don’t pay for views, but only for clicks on their ads. PPC was an early concept that is still widely used today for paid search.

PPC ads, when used correctly, can be an extremely powerful way to reach a wider market and pull in new customers. In reality, visitors to PPC are 50% more likely than organic visitors to buy something from a site.

As soon as the first ads go live you will start seeing your ads live.

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