Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising technology used on some websites, advertising networks and an increasing number of search engines.

Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search & Microsoft AdCenter PPC Marketing

Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search and Microsoft AdCenter Marketing are probably the best known of the Pay per Click search engines taking the lion’s share of the ppc market spend.

Keyword auction

Advertisers using the PPC model bid on ‘keywords’ or ‘keyword phrases’ and can contain any text including product names or model numbers.

Advertisers bid on the ‘keywords’ they believe their target market (potential users, buyers of the product or targeted visitors to their websites with an interest in their offer) would use in their searches. These are the ‘keywords’ searchers would use when they are looking for products or services.

For example, if an advertiser sells widgets, and in particular red widgets, they would bid on the keyword “red widgets” in the belief that a user would use the term for their search, see their advertisement and click on it.

PPC sponsored links/ads listed by bid value

When a user searches for a particular word or phrase, the list of ads appears in rank order of the maximum amount bid and a number of other factors.

These advertisements are named “sponsored links” or “sponsored ads” and are listed next to, generally on the right, and sometimes above the natural or organic search results on the search engine results pages (SERP’s).

Advertisers pay-per-click

Pay-per-click works by charging the advertiser for each click through from a paid link within these search results.

The position of the ad was, in days gone by, ranked by the amount the advertiser bid for the phrase or keyword with the highest bid winning top position.

However, Google changed the rules and introduced the concept of Quality Score (QS)

Quality Score is a measure of your keyword’s effectiveness and each keyword/phrase has a calculated score assigned in real-time each and every time a searcher enters a phrase that matches one of the keywords you are bidding for.

When calculating ‘Quality Score’ for each of your keywords Google says, “It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query”.

It impacts:-

  • the estimated first page bids displayed in account
  • whether your ad will be shown
  • the position in the rankings it will appear
  • the amount you get charged when your ad is clicked

Although Google keeps how it is calculated and assigned during each search a close secret they do provide feedback within the Adwords user interface showing a score for each keyword in each ad group.

Google gives an explanation of why Quality Score was introduced:-

Quality Score helps ensure that only the most relevant ads appear to users on Google and the Google Network. The AdWords system works best for everybody – advertisers, users, publishers, and Google too – when the ads we display match our users’ needs as closely as possible. Relevant ads tend to earn more clicks, appear in a higher position, and bring you the most success.

The last sentence emphasises the importance Google places on the relevance and the reward to be gained by properly optimising ad groups and campaigns.

Effective keyword research and campaign management

WebMedia can help you build an effective PPC campaign and identify search terms and keyword/phrases as the focus of your advertising effort regardless of your budget.

Using software analysis tools both your competition and these highly valued keywords can be researched to ensure the success of your pay-per-click campaigns.

And, of course, full reporting of CTR (click through rates), ad conversion success allowing you to fully exploit and control your campaigns.

Example Adwords Advertising

ppc ads

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