Pay Per Click Advertising

tablet with charts

What is ppc?

PPC or “Pay-Per-Click” is a model of internet marketing where the advertiser/business pays a fee for each time one of their ads are clicked. Essentially you, the advertiser, are buying traffic to your website rather than relying solely on organic or direct traffic.

What are google and bing ads and where do they show?

Google and Bing are two platforms utilizing the pay per click advertising method.

This means that you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad, the result of that click will lead that potential client to a predetermined space based on the specific ad they clicked on. 

  • Open your home page on your website
  • Open a product listing on your shopping catalog
  • Pull up the dialer on a mobile phone, pre-loaded with YOUR number
  • Bring the visitor to your mobile app in the marketplace
  • Open up the site to your online videos

What are the different types of ads?

There are several different types, here are some Google and Bing share

bing search paid ads

Search Ads

With search ads, you use keywords that are related and explain your product or service. These keywords then get picked by Google or Bing (depending on where your advertising campaign is active) if someone searches with a phrase that matches your keyword. You then get put into the auction to determine the position of each ad based on bids and other variables.

Once the bids are sorted out, your ad will be placed in its position on the search results page. Google and Bing typically have 1-4 ad spots available on the top of the results page. There are a few ads below the organic listings as well bringing the total number of ads on the first page for Google and Bing to around 6 or 7.

The right side column is now mainly used for Shopping ads and Information panels for both Google and Bing keeping it clear of all text-based ads.

Click on the image to take a closer look.

multiple phones with different ppc ad types

Mobile Ads

Mobile ads are shown everywhere on a mobile device, in the browser (similar to desktop search, and display ads), in the app marketplaces, and in the apps themselves. These are both a mix of text, image and video ads, some are small ads that fit in within the lists others are full-screen ads.

Most of these ads are advertising another app or mobile game, but anybody can have their ads run on mobile devices. Google has added a new type of interactive mobile ad where you can have the user play a mini-game.

The market reach for mobile device ads are Googles 2 billion monthly active Android phones [source], and Bing after having eliminated its mobile phone production and support [source], has the ability to reach the same amount of phones as Google but only within the browser or a search app utilizing Bing.

mobile phone gmail ads

Email Ads

These are a newer type of ad that both Google and Bing have added to their arsenal.

You can add images and text-based ads that will appear within Gmail and Outlook. These can appear on all platforms the apps run on.

google display ads on website

Display Ads

Display ads are image-based ads that show up on websites that are in the Google, Bing, Yahoo, and partner networks. These ads can vary in size as well as be just text with no image. These will be shown wherever the website owner has placed their ad sections. The Google display network includes over 2 million websites worldwide [source], the Bing display network is going to be smaller but an estimated number couldn't be found.

These ads don't just utilize keywords as their main targeting method, instead, they use a combination of keywords and attributes of people to target a select group that you know will be interested in your product or service. These attributes range from demographics, topics of interest, and re-marketing.

Re-marketing allows you to only show your ads to people who visited your website, visited a specific page, or completed a specific action on your website. You can also target similar to the people who visited your website to expand your reach.

Here is one only Google utilizes

Youtube in-stream vs discovery ads

Youtube Video Ads

Youtube ads are what separates Google from Bing Ads. This one area may not seem like a big deal with all the other similarities, but with the audience size of Youtube, it has grown into the second largest search network.

The two types of ads you can use in youtube are In-stream and Discovery. In-stream ads are the ones that play for about 30-seconds before and during a Youtube video. Discovery ads are on the right sidebar with suggested related videos and labeled sponsored.

The size of Youtube is what makes this a popular choice for advertising as they have over 30 million daily active users, 5 billion videos watched daily, and an average viewing session of 40-minutes. [source]

How Do my Ads Get Picked In Searches?

Although there are a multitude of processes going on simultaneously in order to choose the order and winner of the ad search results, at it’s most basic level, Google auctions are performed on a per search basis. Every search someone makes sparks a new auction to run. Every advertiser who has a keyword the matches the search term or parts of the search term are entered into the auction. 

Google picks the winner based on Quality score (A Google metric they made to determine how relevant your keyword is to your landing page), and your bid (if you use manual or enhanced CPC, your bid is the dollar amount you set next to the keyword), there are most likely other factors involved but Google keeps the exact bidding equation a secret.

During the auction every advertiser in the auction will get a final score called Ad Rank, this is the final number after the equation of quality score and bid are calculated. The top score gets position 1 which is typically at the very top of the search results and typically above the organic search results. The 2nd highest number gets position 2 and so on. 

On most searches, there will be 3 spots available above the organic results and 3 – 4 positions available below the organic results, there are also some searches with only 1 above the organic results and some searches with only 1 ad total on the page below all the organic results. The reasoning or how to know which searches have how many spots is another guarded secret by Google.

can't i just do my own ppc advertising?

There’s a reason small businesses pay agencies or freelancers to manage their PPC campaigns, even though most people can learn it. This is because with most PPC platforms (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.) it’s very easy to miss a setting or option that could end up costing you hundreds to thousands of dollars if not caught in time and most small business owners who run their ads themselves typically won’t be reviewing their account daily or even weekly.

The opposite effect can also happen, instead of overspending on your ads you could enable options or over filter your account and not see any searches for your ads and with basic knowledge it could be a long painful couple of days trying to trace your steps to find what’s causing the issue. 

This is why most companies pay the small fee to have an expert set up their account and manage it throughout the month, to eliminate the chance of massive overspending as well as having an in-depth knowledge of a majority of the options available to not over filter and to be able to troubleshoot any potential issues that arise a lot quicker than a small business owner. 

Most agency fees for smaller ad budgets are about the cost of a specialty cup of coffee daily, which is very reasonable compared to hiring a full-time marketing employee.