What is Google Ads Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing and How It Can Help Your Business Reach Target Customers

What is Google Ads PPC Marketing?

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

Google Ads enables businesses to run paid search and display ads on Google’s search results pages and on partner websites that are part of the Google advertising network.

Google Ads was formerly called Google AdWords. Google re-branded the name to Google Ads in 2018.

Google Ads 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. This helps you reach targeted customers who are interested in your products and services and increases leads and conversions.

Other search engines, like Bing, also offer pay-per-click advertising services.

The Anatomy of a Google Search Results Page

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

You will see the Google Ads Pay-Per-Click or PPC ads on the top and bottom of the search results page. They are marked “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 Google search results page.

google ads ppc marketing

How Does Google Ads PPC Marketing Work?

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

Here are the steps you/your digital marketing consultant would use to set up a Google Ads marketing campaign:

  • To run Google Ads PPC advertisements, you have to open an Ads account with Google.
  • You will then set up your advertising campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ads in your Ads account.
  • Effective Google Ads 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 “opticians near me”, the Google search index will comb through its 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 your Ad Rank and 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’s 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 Google Ads.
  • 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 Google Ads Pay-Per-Click Marketing?

Google Ads 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 Google Ads PPC marketing:

  1. Google Ads PPC ads are faster to show on the top Google search results pages than search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
  2. Google Ads PPC ads use targeted keywords that are relevant to your business.
  3. Google Ads are shown to targeted customers at the time they are searching online.
  4. A Google Ads advertising campaign can be run on any size budget and stopped and started at any time.
  5. Google Ads PPC ads can be shown in a specific geographic region and to a specific customer demographic.
  6. Google Ads PPC ads can be used to reach customers on all devices – mobile, tablets, desktops and laptops.
  7. You can run the Google Ads PPC ads at specific times of the day or days of the week.
  8. Google Ads PPC campaign performance can be easily measured. Your Google Ads 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 Google Ads advertising, read our article on: 8 Benefits of Google Ads Advertising.

What is the Difference between Google Ads PPC Marketing and SEO?

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

Google Ads 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 a few 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. It will take a few months for your website to rank in the Google search results. While SEO rankings take longer to show on Google search results, the results are long-term.


A Google Ads 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.

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

A Google Ads 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 a Google Ads search marketing campaign for your business, you can contact a digital marketing company. My company Gold Mango Design provides Google Ads PPC marketing services.

Article First Published: April 3, 2018, Updated: June 24, 2019


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Gold Mango Design LLC. helps small and medium businesses build a strong online brand with professional websites and digital marketing strategies. Our digital marketing services include Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Websites, WordPress Web Development, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Google Ads PPC marketing and Digital Marketing Consulting services. We are located in Plano, TX right outside Dallas. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com