What is PPC? An Explanation of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

By Matt Umbro | @Matt_Umbro | Associate Director of Search

PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a form of online advertising in which advertisers accrue costs only when users click their ads. Advertisers bid on keywords, which a search engine matches to user search queries, and then displays ads. The primary PPC platforms are Google AdWords and Bing Ads.


Advertisers begin by choosing keyword themes and creating individual campaigns. For example, a PPC professional may create a campaign with the theme of “Coffee Tables”. Within this campaign are themed subcategories, called ad groups. These ad groups may include:


Oval Coffee Tables
Long Coffee Tables
Round Coffee Tables


Each ad group then contains themed keyword variations. For example, the “Oval Coffee Tables” ad group may contain these keywords:


Oval coffee tables
Coffee tables oval
Oval coffee tables on sale


Once the ad groups are created and the keywords chosen, ads can be written. Ads should include the targeted keyword theme, any value ads, and a call to action. Every ad group should contain at least two ads for testing purposes. Here is an example of an “oval coffee tables” ad:


Image of PPC text ad






Upon clicking this ad, visitors should be taken to the most applicable landing page.


Advertisers have the ability to create conversion goals in order to gauge account performance. Both platforms provide code snippets that can be placed on key pages— generally order confirmation or thank you pages. Advertisers are able to determine whether ad clicks are turning into conversions.


The success of a PPC campaign ultimately depends on relevance. A user search query should trigger the keyword being bid on and subsequently show an ad centered on that term. When clicked, the landing page should deliver on the ad’s messaging in an attempt to convert the visitor.


To learn more about running successful PPC campaigns check out PPC Hero. Also, please contact us if you are interested in learning about our PPC Management services!

Smart Ways to Get More Marketing Budget and Better Tools

In this new live webinar, Kristin Vick from Hanapin Marketing and Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics discuss how marketers can ensure they have the budget they need to be effective with online advertising and get the right tools to make that argument.

The Hero Conf Difference

Of the 50+ search and social conferences you can choose from, we're here to show you why Hero Conf is a can't miss event for busy digital marketers like you.

A 180 of Google Analytics 360

The enterprise version of Google Analytics offers several paid search perks including, advanced data integrity, integrations and reporting.