Digital Profits Podcast – Episode 17: What Is PPC and How Does It Work?

Are you an entrepreneur or business owner looking to increase your online exposure? Have you heard about pay-per-click (PPC) but don’t know what it is or how it’s used? Don’t worry – we’ve got the answer! PPC is a powerful marketing tool, and it can make a huge impact on how successful your business is. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into understanding exactly what PPC is, why it works so well for businesses, and some of the key ways you can get started using this important advertising medium. Now grab a hot cup of coffee and let’s learn all there is to know about Pay Per Click!

Introducing PPC – What is it and why should you care about it

Have you heard of PPC? It stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising. Essentially, it’s a way to drive traffic to your website rather than trying to attract it organically. You may be thinking, “Why even bother?” Well, let me tell you why you should care about PPC. First off, it’s a powerful tool for driving targeted traffic to your website. With PPC, you have control over the targeting, so you can show your ads to people who are truly interested in your product or service. 

Secondly, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, hence the name Pay-Per-Click. This means that you’re not wasting your budget on uninterested or unqualified viewers. So, if you’re looking to increase traffic, conversions, and ultimately sales, give PPC a shot.

Understanding the Fundamentals of PPC – Terms & Definitions

Are you feeling lost in a sea of PPC jargon? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Understanding the fundamentals of PPC can be a game-changer for your business. But first, we need to break down the terms and definitions that you need to know. It’s like learning a new language, but we promise it’s not as hard as it seems! 

With our energetic and friendly approach, we’ll guide you through the world of PPC and help you dominate your digital advertising game. So, why wait? We’re here to guide you!

Crafting your PPC Campaign – Preparing the necessary elements

Crafting a successful PPC campaign may seem intimidating, but don’t worry! We’re here to help you prepare all the necessary elements to ensure a profitable outcome. Trust us, the effort put into setting up a well-organized and targeted campaign will pay off in the long run. From conducting keyword research to creating compelling ad copy, we’ll guide you through each step of the process. 

By preparing your campaign thoroughly, you’ll be well on your way to driving valuable traffic to your website and achieving your business goals. So, let’s get started and craft an effective PPC campaign that delivers results!

Launching your PPC Campaign – Choosing the right platform to advertise on

Launching a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign can be a game-changer for your business! But, with so many advertising platforms available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. That’s why I’m here to help! Let’s work together to find the perfect platform to reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals. 

We’ll take a look at factors like audience demographics, budget, and competition to determine the best fit for your business. Let’s get started and watch your business soar to new heights with the right PPC campaign!

Measuring & Optimizing your Campaign – Tracking & Adjusting for better results 

Are you tired of pouring resources into marketing campaigns with lackluster results? It’s time to take control of your success with measuring and optimizing your campaigns. By tracking and adjusting as needed, you can achieve the results you want and maximize your ROI.

With the right tools and strategy, you can identify what’s working and what’s not, and make the necessary changes to improve your campaign performance. Don’t settle for mediocre results any longer. Let’s work together to create a winning campaign!

Tips for Boosting Your ROI with PPC Ads – Making the most of your budget 

Want to get the most bang for your buck with your PPC ads? Look no further than these tips for boosting your ROI! First and foremost, make sure you’re targeting the right keywords – those that are most relevant to your business and have high search volume. 

Next, take advantage of ad scheduling to show your ads at the times of day when your target audience is most active. And don’t forget to craft compelling ad copy that stands out from the competition. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your budget and seeing a significant boost in your ROI. Let’s get started!

Common Pitfalls to Avoid with PPC Ads – Steering clear of mistakes that could cost you money

Are you tired of spending money on PPC ads that seem to yield little results? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many businesses fall into common pitfalls when it comes to their pay-per-click advertising strategy. But with a little bit of education and guidance, you can steer clear of these mistakes and see a significant improvement in your ROI. 

From targeting the wrong audience to choosing the wrong keywords, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid. But by taking the time to research and plan your PPC campaign, you’ll be able to create ads that engage and convert your target audience. Don’t let avoidable mistakes cost you money. Take control of your PPC strategy today!

PPC offers a powerful opportunity to businesses of all sizes to reach their customers and cultivate brand interest. 

Learning the fundamentals and understanding the elements needed for a successful PPC campaign could be time consuming and expensive if you’re doing it on your own, so having sales, marketing, and other experts that are familiar with the ins and outs of PPC campaigns will help get you get started quickly. 

With proper preparation of audience segments, properly segmented keywords, perfect ad copy, interesting visuals, ideal campaign bid strategies, well planned budgeting processes and continuous tracking of results, soon enough you’ll begin seeing ROI from your investment. 

So, why not get started today? Take the plunge into paid advertising – leverage your insights correctly and begin increasing conversions. Remember: Plan accordingly, track regularly, and optimize often for success! 

Ready to supercharge your marketing strategy? Don’t miss the latest episode of The Digital Profit Podcast where we demystify PPC advertising and guide you through the process of creating effective, high-performance campaigns. Discover the power of PPC and learn how you can leverage it to outperform even your biggest competitors. There’s a whole world of digital marketing potential out there, just waiting for you to tap into. Tune in now and start your journey to explosive business growth today.

Welcome to the Digital Profits podcast, where you’ll learn how to grow your business faster using paid traffic and SEO. Each episode will feature a breakdown of digital marketing trends and answers to your burning questions that will provide actionable takeaways to make your marketing better. So join us, Ben Page, Ray Sawvell, and Blake John, as we guide you on your journey to higher profits. Remember to join the Profit and get ready to profit in 3,2,1.

Ben Page: Hey, squad. I’m here today with another special episode, joined by Ray Sawvell.

Ray Sawvell: Hello.

Ben Page: Hello, and I’m Ben Page, and we’re going to talk about what is PPC? What is it? How does it work? So let’s start and define terms. Ray?

Ray Sawvell: Yeah.

Ben Page: What is PPC? What does it stand for?

Ray Sawvell: Yeah, PPC is pay per Click stands for pay-per-click, and we tend to use it for pay-per-click advertising. But in a sense, somebody places an ad on a page when somebody clicks it, you then pay for that click and the advertiser is charged. So that’s exactly what PPC stands for. It’s a common term in the space where you pay for every click that occurs.

Ben Page: Yeah. And it started I think the term originated in the early 2000s, when this was the first and kind of predominant way to do advertising on the Internet, on the emergent commercialized Internet that we have today. But now it’s a little bit of a misnomer in the sense that people use, especially professionals in our space, use the word PPC to refer to all kinds of digital advertising, including social media advertising.

Ray Sawvell: There’s a lot there.

Ben Page: Amazon Video, native programmatic. Sometimes these all get bucketed into the discipline of PPC. Or sometimes people call it paid traffic, paid media, digital advertising, all kinds of synonyms for that. And ads nowadays can take all different forms, right? Not just text, but also image-based shopping ads, banner ads, and Gmail ads everywhere.

Ray Sawvell: Ads everywhere.

Ben Page: It’s true. Yeah. More ads with time. So why does pay-per-click know? Why, Ray, should someone who is busy running their business or they’re a CEO, or they’re just in a different discipline entirely, why does this matter?

Ray Sawvell: Yeah, I mean, for me, the biggest reason why it matters is the speed at which you can deliver results. So, like in traditional advertising, you may have to put together a message, you’d have to get it out, you’d have to get the billboard, put up the yellow page done, all that kind of stuff. But with pay-per-click advertising, you can make an ad today and really start seeing results the same day, if not the next. So based on how effective you are at setting up campaigns, and if traditional marketing concepts, if you’re hitting the right person with the right message at the right time, you can start seeing results instantly. So, for me, the reason why it matters is the speed in which you can see results.

Ben Page: Yeah, that’s awesome. In our last episode, we talked about SEO and the reasons why it is important. And we talked about the idea that for the keywords that are important to your business, that could potentially lead to new customers, new sales and new leads, your goal should be to maximize your visibility in the search engine results for that page. And we also talked about how the higher up you appear on that page and the number of times you appear will lead to giving you more share, more click, share in that search engine result, which is your goal. You want to get more traffic and more leads or sales from those kinds of keywords. And so the simple fact is that kind of like we mentioned earlier, there are more ads with time. In many search engine results pages, ads are shown at the very top. In the top results ads also appear in the maps section on the shopping tab. They’re pretty universal in that regard. And so you have to focus on this discipline as well, at least to some level, I think, if you want to get better than average results from search engines specifically.

Ray Sawvell: Yeah, and people aren’t really scrolling when they get to the page. Like I think we have a stat here where 46% of the clicks go to the top three paid ads on the search result page. So if you want to show up for these commercial intent keywords, the ones that are generating revenue, leads, conversions, being in those top spots is really important and we’ll talk more about that here in a few minutes. But it’s just crucial to have that visibility when it comes to your paid ads.

Ben Page: Yeah, that’s great. And there’s also in the last episode we talked about how users frequently begin their journey in trying to solve a problem or answer a question they have with search in search engines. And so another stat is that search ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. The idea is this halo effect that just by advertising on some important keywords, some relevant keywords, you can increase the number of times, the frequency, the ranking, I guess is probably the best way to describe it of your website, your brand, which can lead to that user as they continue their journey of searching and browsing and scrolling and comparing different information to remember. That’s right. That brand was there. I remembered it. And now maybe they’ll navigate to your site directly or click an organic result and so on. So there’s a lot of value in doing this undertaking, this investing in this. One stat is that businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. And I do, I view it as an investment, as SEO is. So we talked already a little bit about where do PPC ads appear and specifically in the search engine results. But Ray, like, where else can ads appear and we’ll stick mainly to Google Ads type of advertising today. So what are the different ways, formats, locations that as a user, I might see ads that are actually placed by an advertiser using Google Ads?

Ray Sawvell: Yep. Yeah, I mean, we talked about those text ads already that show up on the top of the search engine result page. So we went through that a little bit. But pretty much anywhere on Google and Google Properties ads can show up and they will show up. So shopping ads, they’ll show map ads. YouTube is another really big one. It’s a video format, obviously, so you can show even text ads pre roll. They’re called Instream ads on YouTube. So pretty much any Google Property ads can and will show, including Gmail on your Android phone if you’re an Android user, on the Discover tab. So if you have an Android phone and you swipe over to the left hand side, I think it’s your Discover tab, and you start to see ads there as well. So all of these ads are bought and delivered via Google Ads and you can buy them again, Google, YouTube, Gmail, and then all of the network sites that they partner with as well, through their display network as well.

Ben Page: Yeah. And that includes the stats are crazy about how much of the Internet, like.

Ray Sawvell: At least 80 or 90%. It’s like everywhere.

Ben Page: Right. And this would include things like news sites, blogs, entertainment sites, even within apps that appear in the Google Play Store are all examples of places where ads you place on Google Ads can actually appear for users. So ultimately, it’s like basically almost anywhere there are people online, you can usually expect there to be some form of advertising present there.

Ray Sawvell: Yeah, I mean, that’s how Google makes all well, not all, but 90% of their revenue via Google Ads.

Ben Page: Right. Because in fact, well, this is a whole separate discussion, but we could talk about the moat that they’ve built around Google Ads. They have multiple services with 1 billion-plus users like Android, Believe, Maps, Gmail, Search, certainly, et cetera. Right. YouTube, where a lot of these are free services that are built around the moat of the advertising engine that feeds the whole empire. Right. So, Ray, how does pay-per-click work? And we could talk about it from different perspectives. So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the business owner listening, aka the advertiser. How does it work for them? On a very, very high level. Yep.

Ray Sawvell: At a really high level. You essentially it’s a self-serve type of platform. So you go and create an account on Google Ads. You make the account, you set up your targeting, you create an ad, and then you say exactly what keywords or audiences do you want to serve to? And then those ads start to deliver. And there’s a lot more that is behind that, like in the sauce, as to how they can effectively deliver. But at a super high level, it’s just, again, it’s basic marketing concepts. You create an ad account. It’s all self-serve. You get your message in front of the right person, and then you start to deliver that ad to your audience based on the keywords or audiences you want to target.

Ben Page: So on a very high level, imagine it’s a flower shop, a local business, a brick and mortar, and they want to start advertising because they’ve noticed that if they Google their city name plus know or flower delivery plus city or flowers near me, something like that, they’re nowhere to be found. And they’re like, this is a problem. We want to get some sales from Google. What they could do is go to Ads, They could create a new account if they have one. I’d recommend linking your Google business profile to your Google Ads account. And then you could create, in this very basic example, say, a performance max campaign type, which is a type of campaign where you tell it the geographic parameters. Hey, I want to target a radius that’s 3 miles around my brick and mortar store. I’m going to provide some images, some ad headlines and descriptions, maybe a YouTube video if you’re feeling crazy, and also a website, URL,, whatever it is. So you build that ad creative, that ad unit like that. And then you also give Google some details about the kinds of people you want to reach based on their demographics, based on the kinds of ways they’ve searched before, if they’ve been to your website previously or not. And then basically, you set up a daily budget, say $5, and you hit Go. Now, like you said, I mean, there’s so much more, right, from a tracking measurement, the strategy of how to do that, targeting, and the writing, great ads that convert and high quality imagery and all these things, but on a very base level, that’s what we’re talking about.

Ray Sawvell: Yeah. And I mean, one thing I will say about the Google Ads platform is it does do a pretty good job at taking you through all the steps, Ben, that you just went through. It kind of sets you up, and it says, what is your main objective, what is the main geographic area you want to go through? So it does a pretty good job at holding your hands. What I will say is my recommendation would be for you to start small and figure out, is this actually working for me? Because if you start out too big from a budget standpoint, let’s say I’ve got a $10,000 budget, and I want to spend $300 a day, and you put that in there right away, and one of the settings is set up incorrectly, it’s going to lead to a lot of wasted spend. So if you’re new to this and if you’re doing this yourself, I would really recommend that you start off small and then scale over time.

Ben Page: Love that. Yeah. De. Risk it, don’t waste dollars unnecessarily.

Ray Sawvell: Yeah. Because while Google does do a good job at holding your hand, they do also make it easy for you to dump budget to somewhere that may not be relevant for your business.

Ben Page: Right. And in this performance max example, your ads will be shown on different networks, they’re called or different ad placements across all the inventory that Google has access to. So they’ll show up in the search engine results, in the maps, on Gmail, display sites everywhere, YouTube Discover tab everywhere, the billboard, so there’s some breadth in that campaign type. So your goal as the advertiser though too is to be as relevant as possible to the user, which you can express through both the way you target people, the way you message to them and what’s present on your website and your offer essentially.

Ray Sawvell: Yeah, I mean, back to the flower shop example really quick, without belaboring the point here. If you don’t sell lilies and you start serving ads on lilies and your ad copy talks about lilies and your landing page then goes to like roses, for example, it’s not going to be relevant to that user. So make sure that whatever you’re delivering to the end user, it matches up everywhere.

Ben Page: Love it. Consistency, relevance, and wherever possible, actually exclude the things that you can’t help with that will improve your results drastically. So then we talked about this from an advertiser’s perspective. What about for know, I’m typing in flower shops near me into Google, some results are loaded there. How does that work, Ray, from that user perspective? Yep.

Ray Sawvell: I mean, depending on the search that you do, the search engine result page is going to look different. So in the flower shop example, if you do a near me, you’re likely going to see a map at the top of the page versus if you do something like buy flowers or buy a bouquet or something like that, you might get like a shopping listing at the top of the page. So from like a user standpoint, based on what you actually search, the SERP is going to look different, the search engine result page is going to look different. But I’m assuming a majority of the audience has done this. Where you see the ad, it’ll say Sponsored somewhere, and you then click on it. That’s where the pay-per-click comes from. The advertiser is then charged and then you, the user are then sent to wherever the advertiser wants you to go, which is most likely their website.

Ben Page: Right. And if it’s relevant, you make a purchase. And then from that advertiser standpoint, they get that data and they say, oh, great, someone clicked on my ad for the keyword of flower store near me. And then they filled out my form, or they called me. And then, oh, I found out that person ended up purchasing flowers for $100. And I paid $5 for the click on that. And I made this kind of money. They’re great. That’s how it works. And from Google’s standpoint, every time one of these searches happens on Google that returns sponsored results, that returns advertisements, there’s an auction taking place behind the scenes, because in most cases, there’s not just one advertiser who wants their ads to show up for that keyword. Right. And then there’s the concept of Ad Rank. And Ad Rank is really about how relevant and quality your ads and landing page are, and also your bid. And you could argue now how well the advertiser is making use of all the tools that Google’s providing to enrich their ad. So it’s kind of a mix. Ad Rank is a mix of quality and the historical results you’ve been getting and how much you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. And then these factors get crunched into a calculation behind the scenes in milliseconds, and that leads to a rank order of advertisers if they get to show at all. And if they do, who wins the top spot, who wins the second and the third spot, and so on and so forth.

Ray Sawvell: Yeah, and I think one important call out there is a lot of business owners that I’ve spoken with is like, well, how do I compete with the big box stores? So if I’m the flower shop, how do I compete with 1800 Flowers, for example? They’ve got hundreds of thousands of ad budgets. They got all these locations. This is exactly where this Ad Rank piece comes into play, because they may have coverage in Wisconsin and they may deliver to Menominee Falls. But if I’m a local flower shop in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, and if a user is doing a search for the best flowers in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, an ad for 1800 flowers might show up. But my site has Menominey Falls all over it. It has the location on it. The ad is going to have Menominey Falls in it. So it’s kind of like the relevancy piece where back in the day, whoever had the biggest budget would likely dominate that space. But now this is how you can really compete with those big box stores is by having more relevancy and including those types of things. Because when things go out to auction and this Ad Rank shows up ben, that you’re mentioning, that is how you truly compete with those big box stores.

Ben Page: Yeah, it’s a great point. So you can carve out your niche if you have certain advantages or if you make yourself more relevant, more helpful, and faster for that user than the large competitor could do, that’s great. So it’s all about being relevant. And Ray, you already mentioned how to succeed at PPC. Ultimately, you want to start small and expand other principles. What about tracking and measurement or anything else come to mind, Ray, that would help someone who’s thinking about doing this? I guess you could say start out with keyword research through the keyword planner.

Ray Sawvell: I mean, depending on your business, you may have a really good idea of exactly what keywords you want to go after. But Google has tools like a keyword planner where you can go there and you can do some research as to what’s getting the highest volume or what are different iterations of keywords that I can go after. I think the biggest thing for me, outside of starting small when it comes to how to succeed at PPC is I know some people may think of it as a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing, where it’s like, hey, I set my budget great. Now I’m good. The first couple times that you go in there, you probably want to have some regular cadence of checking in, and maybe it’s monthly or it’s weekly or whatever, hourly, every minute. But what you’re really looking for is this campaign type that you set up. Google has, like, an insights tab, especially for these Pmax areas. It’ll give you an idea of the types of searches that it’s going after and if there’s some disconnect there, again, back to the Lilies example where it’s like and this probably isn’t real, but Google’s like, delivering all of the traffic towards Lilies. Like, oh, they think you’re selling just lilies all day. And it’s like, well, heck, I don’t sell this type of product. That’s where you’re going to want to pivot in some way. So just it’s very important that you go in there and you don’t have to spend all day. But it’s like, what are the key insights from this campaign? What is it telling me? And if it’s not what I want, how do I pivot as quickly as I can or find somebody who can help me pivot?

Ben Page: Yeah, that’s a great point. And we talked about the importance of an ongoing mindset of monitoring, running experiments, improving as your goals change, changing strategy and targeting, learning about who your best customer is over time, and then better trying to serve them, and as your products and services change, reflecting that in your advertising and so on. So it is this ongoing, evolving process. But I do think, right, like, nailing the setup, doing the research, like, actually starting with typing a few sample keywords you think could be relevant into Google, what kind of results are shown? What are the ads saying for those? What are the organic results saying? What are the websites? If you click on those, the websites that you get led to, what are those? How are they laid out? How fast are they? What do they say? Doing that research and then bringing that into this keyword planner tool on Google. So after you sign up for your account, you can go to the Tools section and Keyword Planner. And in this tool, you can enter in a few sample phrases or keywords and like, ray said it will give you suggestions of other keywords like it. And you can also find the search volume on a monthly basis for those keywords in the geography that you specify. So you think it defaults to your country, Ray? But then you could edit it and say, I want to know how many of these are happening in the state of Wisconsin. Fantastic. Well, hey, Ray, there are 90 searches per month for lily shops in Wisconsin. Great. And also, here’s how much the average cost per click on one of those ads will be. And with that, you can sort of build your plan, build your roadmap for how to best use your budget and then right build it out. Start small and expand. But if you need guidance or you have questions on this process, you can reach out to us. We’re happy to chat about it or give you the help you need. So you can find us at 2100 Digital 2100 and hit Contact us. Thanks for listening. See you, squad.

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