Pay-Per-Click Marketing: What is PPC Marketing and How It Can Help Your Business Reach Target Customers

Pay-Per-Click or PPC Marketing is a method of paid search marketing that can help you attract targeted customers to your website and increase traffic, leads, conversions and sales.

Google offers a pay-per-click advertising service called Google AdWords. It enables businesses to run paid search and display ads on Google’s search results pages and on websites that are part of the Google search and display advertising network.

AdWords PPC advertising enables you to reach customers online at the exact time that they are searching online for the types of products or services you offer.

The Anatomy of a Google Search Results Page

When you do an online search on Google, you are presented with a search results page (SERP) which has different sections.

You will see 2 or 3 Pay-Per-Click or PPC ads on the top and bottom of the search results page. This is marked as “ad”. This is followed by the business listings from Google maps and Google My Business. Below this are the SEO or organic search results.

View the image below of a search results page.

ppc marketing

How Does AdWords PPC Marketing Work?

Google AdWords is the most popular method of PPC marketing since Google is the largest search engine.

This is how you or your digital marketing consultant would set up an AdWords marketing campaign:

  • To run Google AdWords PPC advertisements, you have to open an AdWords account with Google.
  • You will then set up your advertising campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ads in your AdWords account.
  • Effective AdWords marketing is based on selecting the right keywords. You will need to select keywords that a customer might use to search for your products or services online.
  • When a customer performs an online search for one of these keywords, your PPC ad will be shown on the Google search results page (SERP) provided it meets certain ad rank thresholds set by Google.
  • When the customer selects your ad and clicks on it, he will be taken directly to your website to view product or service details.
  • Since this is pay-per-click marketing, Google will charge you each time a customer clicks on your ad. You are not charged for the number of times the ads are displayed on the network.

How Does Google Select Which PPC Ads to Display?

Google’s search algorithms are very complex and constantly changing. To provide their customers with the best user experience and most relevant information for their search, Google uses an Ad auction to pick relevant ads to show on a search results page.

When a customer searches for a keyword like “restaurants in Plano”, the Google search index will comb through is vast directory of websites to identify all the websites that are relevant to this search term.

If there are 10 websites with corresponding PPC ads that are all relevant to the customer’s search term, Google will have to determine which ads to show on the first page of the search results.

To select the top ads, Google puts all the qualified ads in an Ad auction and grades them on Ad Rank and Quality Score. The ads with the highest Ad Rank get shown on the top of all the other PPC ads for that search term.

The factors that influence Ad Rank include the bid value, the Quality Score and the ad formats (or extensions). The Quality score is influenced by ad relevancy, landing page experience and expected Click-through-rate.

The exact ad selection process can get pretty complicated, but factors that will influence if your ad is selected to be shown on the search results pages include:

  • Your bid – the maximum amount you are willing to pay for someone to click on your ad and go to your website.
  • Ad relevancy – how relevant your ad is to the customer search term.
  • Landing page experience – the experience provided by your website landing page when the customer clicks through to your website.
  • Expected CTR (click-through-rate)- this is based on historical information for your account collected by AdWords.
  • Ad formats- the use of ad extensions in your PPC ads and how many ad extensions you use.

The winning ads in the ad auction are shown above and below the organic search rankings on the search results pages(SERP). When the customer views and clicks on your PPC ads, they will be directed to your website.

What are the Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Marketing?

AdWords PPC marketing enables you to run very targeted advertising campaigns to reach the right customers at the time they are searching online for products and services like yours.

Here are some of the benefits of AdWords:

  1. AdWords PPC ads are faster to show on the top Google search results pages than search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
  2. AdWords PPC ads use targeted keywords that are relevant to your business.
  3. AdWords ads are shown to targeted customers at the time they are searching online.
  4. An AdWords advertising campaign can be run on any size budget and stopped and started at any time.
  5. AdWords PPC ads can be shown in a specific geographic region and to a specific customer demographic.
  6. AdWords PPC ads can be used to reach customers on all devices – mobile, tablets, desktops and laptops.
  7. You can run the AdWords PPC ads at specific times of the day or days of the week.
  8. AdWords PPC campaign performance can be easily measured. Your AdWords account will provide detailed information about the number of times the ads were run, the number of clicks they got and which ads and keywords are performing well.

For more information on the benefits of AdWords advertising, read our article on: 8 Benefits of Google AdWords Advertising.

What is the Difference between PPC Marketing and SEO?

AdWords PPC (Pay-per-click) marketing and SEO or Search Engine Optimization are two different methods of search marketing (SEM) using the search engines.

AdWords PPC is paid search marketing because you have to pay Google every time a customer clicks on your ad. It is also much quicker to run PPC ads that show on the top Google pages than to wait for SEO rankings. This is because you do not have to wait for many months for your website to be indexed by Google and ranked.

SEO or search engine optimization is free or “organic” search rankings on Google search results pages. With SEO, you optimize your website for the search engines using specific SEO optimization techniques. After many months, if your site satisfies Google’s complex search algorithms, you will rank in their search results pages.


An AdWords PPC marketing campaign can be beneficial to a small or medium business. It can help you use paid search marketing to reach targeted customers who are searching on Google for your products and services.

AdWords can enable you to reach targeted customers at the right time and in the right geographic areas.

An AdWords marketing campaign should be used as an addition to your existing Search Engine Optimization strategy. SEO will help you rank organically on Google but it takes a longer time to rank and is very competitive.

To set up an AdWords marketing campaign for your business, you can contact a digital marketing company. My company Gold Mango Design provides AdWords PPC marketing services. We are Google AdWords certified to promote your business using Google AdWords.


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Gold Mango Design LLC. helps businesses reach more customers with web development and digital marketing strategies. Our digital marketing services include Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Web Design, WordPress Web Development, SEO or Search Engine Optimization and AdWords Pay-Per-Click marketing. We are Google AdWords certified to promote your business using Google AdWords. Contact us at