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What is PPC?

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What is PPC?

PPC stands for Pay Per Click – it’s a way of advertising your business within search engines and third-party websites while targeting audiences based on their internet activity, demographics and interests. As suggested in the name, with PPC you only pay when your ad is clicked on; this is also sometimes referred to as CPC – cost per click

Types of PPC

PPC can come in various ad formats, here we have listed the most common types:

What is PPC

  • Paid Search Advertising – These are the sponsored ads which will usually appear above organic results on search engine results pages (SERPS).
  • Display Ads – These are the banner and video ads that you’ll see on third-party websites.
  • Shopping Ads – A tool often used to market retail brands with a large inventory – you’ll find these auto-generated ads on search results promoting products with live prices and pictures
  • YouTube Ads – These are most commonly the video ads you see before or during a YouTube video, often used to generate brand awareness.
  • Mobile App Ads – The visual ads you are shown when using an app on your smartphone or tablet.


The thing that sets PPC aside from traditional channels is the control you have when it comes to how and when you pay. How you pay will depend on your business goals. For example, if you’re aiming for brand awareness, you might choose to pay per thousand impressions. PPC lets you gather data and place your ad in front of users who fit your customer profile. Therefore, it can ensure your ad is seen by the right people, and at the right time. 


What is Paid Search?

Paid search is the process of generating relevant traffic to your website through ads listed within a search engine’s sponsored results. It works by using an advertising platform (Google, Bing) and carefully selecting keywords relevant to your brand that users are likely to search. When someone searches for your term, your ad will be listed in the results (depending on where you come in the auction).

Paid search is a popular marketing tool.  It works by bidding on relevant keywords, in competition with other advertisers. Your success can depend on how much money you’re willing to spend on your clicks & your quality score. So, to ensure your ad will be ranked higher, you’ll need a suitable bid as well as factors such as ad copy and landing page.

Paid search is a quick route to page 1 of the search results. So, it’s beneficial for new websites or those with poor organic visibility in search results – as it will boost visibility and drive traffic. However, many brands still paid search ads even when their organic presence is strong as it can often drive a stronger ROI, avoid leakage to competition and drive incremental sales.

Find out more about paid search.

What is PPC Shopping Ads?

Google Shopping Ads allow you to promote your product within paid results. It is ideal for retailers who want to showcase their product to an audience of potential customers –  as it displays up to date ads featuring the latest information.

This information is pulled directly from Google Merchant Center, linking to your Google Ads account to auto-generate the ads. All you need to do is apply bids and set your campaign budgets. The great thing about shopping ads is that they appear alongside a relevant image, a title and a live price.

If a user’s search matches your description, your ad should provide a quick and clear answer to what they’re looking for, meaning they’re likely to convert. Using Google shopping ads in the right way can make your product stand out amongst competitors and deliver an overall stronger ROI. Having a fully optimised feed, including as many attributes as possible, will ensure that Google will show your ads to the right audience.

Learn more about Google shopping ads.

What is Display Marketing?

Display marketing is responsible for the ads you’ll find on third-party websites. They come in various formats and dimensions and can appear as banners or boxes.

To get your brand advertised on other websites at scale, you’ll need to use a display network. There are hundreds of display networks to choose from, but Google’s display network (GDN) is one of the major platforms used by advertisers due to the ease of access through Google Ads. Beyond GDN, other networks can be accessed using programmatic platforms, with one of the most popular being DV360.

Another benefit of display and in particular programmatic is the many available targeting options. For example, the ability to choose specific sites, apps and publications to display your ads. You can also use 3rd party data to target people based on demographics such as their gender, age, income, parental/marital status and interests. Display advertising can reach a huge variety of publishers and make sure your ads get shown in the right place – with the potential to reach an impressive 90% of internet users worldwide.

Find out more about display marketing.

What is PPC Remarketing?

Retargeting, often referred to as remarketing, is a way of reconnecting with those who visited your site. We know how frustrating it can be when people visit your pages but don’t convert. This is why you will benefit from using retargeting. It works by tracking the actions of your visitors and building specific audience lists.

We can find out what your potential customers are interested in and then target them with an ad. Through features such as animated images, videos and responsive ads, you can re-engage your audience and encourage them to complete the desired action.

Retargeting ads are not only a way of keeping any potential customers engaged, but it’s also one of the most cost-effective advertising methods. The specific audience lists, engaging creative with tailored messaging means the people targeted are very likely to convert.  

Learn more about remarketing.

What are Youtube Ads?

It might surprise you, but YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. It has over 1 billion users and 100 hours of video footage uploaded each minute. You’ll be aware of the ads that appear before or during a YouTube clip. These are a result of TrueView Ads. TrueView advertising offers two marketing methods, ‘in-stream’ and ‘in-display.  

In-stream ads are the videos shown before or during YouTube clips. They come with a skippable format, meaning the user has the choice to end the ad after 5 seconds. You’ll only pay if a user clicks on any interactive element of your ad or continues to watch for over 30 seconds. This will also be a helpful indication of who is interested in your brand. You’ll see In-display or discovery ads alongside listed YouTube videos; this could be within the search results, on the homepage or within the sidebar. Unlike In-Stream ads, you will only pay if a user chooses to click and view your ad. 

Find out more about YouTube ads.

What is Mobile App Advertising?

It’s more than likely you’ve come across advertisements while using your smartphone or tablet. In the UK alone, we have around 60 million mobile phones and also 15 billion apps downloaded. Users rely on apps daily for entertainment, directions, messaging, and so on. As a result, people spend more and more time on their devices, away from more traditional media. Therefore, in-app advertising is one of the fastest-growing marketing methods.


Learn more about mobile ads.



What Next?

We hope this guide has helped you understand the basics of PPC marketing and how it can benefit your business. If you want to find out how you could benefit from any of the methods mentioned or have any questions, please get in touch!