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The Ultimate Guide to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing

Get better results from your pay-per-click campaigns.

The Ultimate Guide to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing Featured Image

Unlike other forms of marketing, pay-per-click advertising can deliver instant results. When used correctly, it can help you rapidly scale your business and put you firmly in the driving seat of your customer acquisition.

What is PPC?

PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a type of internet advertising where advertisers pay only when the target audience clicks on one of the ads. Advertisers bid a set amount that they are willing to pay for each click by taking into account the keyword(s) being bid on, the platform the ads are being run on, who the target audience is and the expected and/or intended results of the campaign.

SourcesGoogleWikipedia

PPC campaigns are used by advertisers and businesses for a number of different reasons. This includes to build brand awareness, generate new leads, acquire new customers and increase sales.

PPC campaigns can be so effective, in part, because they can be extremely targeted. They allow you to present your business at the exact time that someone is searching for specific information and/or a particular product or service. When set up properly, they can deliver exceptional results including high click-through-rates, conversion rates and a profitable return on investment (ROI).

The Benefits of PPC Marketing

PPC campaigns are not only targeted but relevant, reliable and scalable too. Below are some of the key benefits of a PPC campaign:TargetedRelevantReliableScalableTransferable

Top PPC Platforms

Google Ads (often referred to/previously known as Google AdWords) are pay-per-click ads run on Google, search partner websites and/or display network sites. Google Ads is one of the largest and most well-known PPC platform. Since the platforms inception in 2000, it has gone through several updates and changes. Everyone from small companies, freelance marketers and start up businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies use Google Ads to promote their business. You can read more about Google Ads here.

Microsoft Advertising

At the time of writing (September 2020), the Microsoft Search Network (including Bing Ads) allows advertisers to connect with more than 395 million searchers a month. Like Google Ads, you can also run PPC campaigns on partner websites. Find out more about Microsoft ads here.

Facebook Ads

Facebooks Ads is one of the largest social advertising platforms available. Facebook and the other social networks/websites that they own generates an immense number of monthly visits which makes it the perfect platform for marketers operating in almost any industry. Whilst you are testing out the PPC campaigns on the platform, you might want to try the pay-per-impression ones also. They can be also be incredibly effective when set up correctly. Find out more about the platform here.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is potentially a business-to-business (B2B) marketers ideal platform and you can run pay-per-click ads to generate leads and sales from the professional audience that use it each and every month. You might find that you need to take a slightly different approach to your advertising when using LinkedIn ads because of the different nature of the platform and what it is used for. LinkedIn has a page offering more details here.

Twitter Ads

Twitter could be considered a hybrid between traditional (initially consumer based) social platforms and a more B2B one like LinkedIn. Many people use it for lighthearted posts and everyday social interactions but it is also a popular business networking medium. You can get more details on getting started with Twitter Ads here.

Amazon Advertising

The potential benefits of being able to run a PPC campaign on Amazon are clear and do not need explaining. The transactional nature of their website and entire business as well as their logistical and operational advantages means consumers trust them through and through when it comes to shopping online. Countless businesses are also already set up and selling on Amazon so they can have their campaign up and running in no time. Learn more about Amazon Advertising.

AdRoll

AdRoll is a key retargeting tool used by marketers to maximise conversions whilst securing lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs). With remarketing being one of the best ways to recover wasted ad spend, this is a platform that you will want to use to generate an even better ROI from your campaigns. More details on AdRoll can be found here.

Many Others

Given the scope and size of internet marketing, we won’t list every single PPC platform available online. Basically, no matter what industry you operate in, you will find a platform the suits you and your business goals.

Account Structure

Every PPC platform has its own dashboard where you can launch new campaigns, analyse your results, update and edit existing campaigns and test new features and creatives. Although each one will be unique in its own way, you will find some common themes across them all.

The structure of most PPC dashboards will be broken into several distinct features and elements. The examples below relate most strongly to the AdWords dashboard but you will be able to recognise each element across other popular PPC dashboards and platforms (albeit sometimes under different labels and names).

Campaigns

The foundation of the PPC ad account is the campaign. The campaign is the top level element under which all other account structure elements sit. Each ad account will likely have a number of different campaigns targeting different audiences, goals and products or services. For example, a sporting goods store looking to increase sales might create one campaign to sell more hockey sticks titled ‘Hockey Sticks PPC’ and another to sell more football shirts titled ‘Football Shirts PPC’.

Ad Groups

Ad Groups can be considered subcategories of the campaign that they are created under. If, for example, a campaign is categorized as a sofas campaign, the ad groups within it would be themed as different types of sofa. You would have an ad group for corner sofas and another one for sofa beds. Each one would then target completely different keywords that all happen to be about the broader topic of sofas.

Keywords

When it comes to PPC campaigns, keywords are what initially comes to mind for most people. These are the individual search terms that you want to target and trigger your ads. When they are searched, your ad will be triggered and, depending on a number of different factors, show up somewhere on the page. When using keywords to target a PPC campaign, you will come across a number of different “match types” (the different match types help further control, narrow and filter which keywords will trigger your ads). The different match types are:

Broad Match

A broad match keyword is one of the most generic and furthest reaching keyword targeting options. When used, your ad will be triggered anytime a query broadly related to your target keyword is searched. A broad match keyword can target and include variations, misspellings, synonyms, singular/plural forms and can include keywords not specified directly in your keyword list. An example would be if your broad match keyword was ‘hats’, your ad would be triggered when someone searches ‘men’s hats’, ‘green hats’, ‘women’s hats’, ‘scarves’ and any other potentially relevant keyword. This match type is generally used when advertisers either don’t want to spend significant amounts of time building keyword lists and/or want to collect a larger amount of data in a shorter period of time. You can read more about broad match keywords here.

Broad Match Modifier

The broad match modifier gives you a greater level of control over the keywords that will trigger you ads without you having to spend significant amounts of time creating dedicated keyword lists. Your ad will still be triggered by broadly relevant search terms however, only when those searches include the keywords marked with a plus (+) sign (or close variations of those terms). Other keywords not specified might be included before or after the specified keyword(s).

For example, an ad group using the broad match modifier keyword ‘+mens +shoes’ would show for:

  • shoes sale for men
  • footwear in style for men
  • shoes for guys
  • men’s socks and shoes

but would not show up for:

  • men’s socks
  • kids trainers

You can find more information about broad match modifier keywords here.

Phrase Match

The phrase match modifier allows you to target people searching an exact phrase or close variations of it. As long as the complete phrase is in the search, other words can be included before or after and the ad will still show. These kinds of keywords are significantly more targeted than the broad match and broad modified ones without completely limiting the number of searches your ad will show up for. Phrase match keywords are targeted by placing the keyword(s) in-between quotation/speech marks. For example, the keyword “polo shirt” would be triggered for the searches:

  • green polo shirt
  • blue medium polo shirt
  • buy polo shirts online
  • sell polo shirt

but not:

  • buy t shirt
  • golf shirt for sale
  • polo jumper
  • polo tees

Find more details on the phrase match modifier here.

Exact Match

Exact match keywords are the most targeted option you have when running a pay-per-click campaign. In the AdWords platform, they are identified by square brackets either side of the keyword. Your ad will only be triggered when someone searches your exact keyword/phrase or very close variations of it. Close variations could include:

  • Misspellings
  • Singular/plural searches of your keyword
  • Stemmings (e.g. floor and flooring)
  • Abbreviations
  • Accents
  • Reordered search terms (e.g. [tennis shoes] and [shoes tennis])
  • Added or removed function words (i.e. “in” or “to”), conjunctions (i.e. “for” or “but”), articles (i.e. “a” or “the”) and other small changes that don’t effect the intent behind the search. For example, the keywords [tennis shoes] and [shoes for tennis] are essentially the same so your ad would be triggered for both.
  • Implied words
  • Synonyms
  • Keywords with the same search intent.

An example of an exact match keyword in action would be the keyword [shoes for men] which would be triggered for:

  • shoes men
  • men shoes
  • men shoe
  • shoes for a man

but not for:

  • red shoes for men
  • buy men shoes

Read more about all of the different match types here.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are used when you notice that your ads are being triggered by search terms/queries that you don’t want to target (or can be used proactively if you know in advance what search terms you want to avoid). You should be actively looking for and adding negative keywords to all of your PPC campaigns to reduce wasted ad spend and ensure you are only paying for clicks from potential customers and interested audiences.

You can use the modifiers mentioned above when adding negative keywords to your Ad Groups or Campaigns and you can find more details on them here.

Ad Copy

Within your ad account, you will find a number of sections dedicated to different types of ad copy. This is how your ads actually appear to searchers/potential customers and the ad copy you use will depend on a number of things including the various ad formats explored below. You will want to make sure that your ad copy highlights the key benefits of your product(s), service(s) and/or information and has a clear call to action.

Ad Formats

Across all of the PPC platforms, there are many different ad types and ad formats. Some rely more on text whereas others rely on images and/or videos. As you start creating your campaigns, you will come to know many of the various formats well and no doubt identify your favourite ones. The content below gives a brief introduction to some of the most popular ones.

Expanded Text Ads

Expanded text ads are text based advertisements that are used in both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network.

*Please note: As of June 30 2022, you will no longer be able to edit or create expanded text ads. You will still be able to run your expanded text ads in your existing campaigns and see reports for their performance as well as able to pause, resume or remove them. Going forward to you are encourage to switch to Responsive Search Ads.

They are made up of a number of elements, all of which are designed to help you get the highest click-through-rates and results possible. When used effectively, the expanded text ad allows you to clearly demonstrate why your product, service and/or company is relevant and useful to the target audience. The elements making them up include:

  • Headline 1 (required): The first headline is required and can be up to 30 characters long.
  • Headline 2 (required): The second headline is always mandatory and can be up to 30 characters long. It will appear next to the first headline and they are separated with a single drainpipe (e.g. Headline 1 | Headline 2).
  • Headline 3 (optional): The third headline is optional and will be separated with another drainpipe. Sometimes, depending on your screen, the headlines will be wrapped on to the second line.
  • Description: An expanded text ad description can be up to 90 characters long and lets you offer more details on why your product, service and/or company is useful and relevant to the target audience.
  • Display URL: The display URL consists of at least your domain and then two optional paths after a trailing slash. This helps users get a better idea of where on your website they will land on after clicking the ad. The final URL (if both optional paths have been used) will look something like www.domain.com/path1/path2.

When writing your ads, you will see a mobile and desktop preview showing how your audience will see them after the ad is triggered. You can also use ad extensions (more details in next chapter) on your expanded text ads to further increase their relevancy, quality and performance. Find out more about Google’s Expanded Text Ads here.

Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

Product Listings Ads make up the e-commerce section of the AdWords account. They are part of Google Shopping (also known as Google Product Search, Google Products and/or Froogle) and use data generated in your Google Merchant Center account. The ads are square and consist of a product title, product images and pricing information. Bing/Microsoft also has a similar feature called Product Ads which use data generated in your Bing Merchant Center account.

You are most likely to recognise PLAs from the shopping tab in Google search and might also see them next to the regular search results, on Google Search Partner websites and/or as part of the Google Display Network (which places ads on a huge range of websites including YouTube and Gmail).

PLAs have many benefits including:

  • Potentially reduced/cheaper cost-per-clicks (CPCs).
  • The ability to set up and run ads quickly across a large inventory/number of products.
  • Automatically generated ads which use data found in your Google Merchant Center account (including product titles, images and prices).
  • Better suited for e-commerce brands and online marketplaces with large inventories.

Google has provided more details about Google Shopping ads/PLAs here.

Images Ads & Responsive Ads

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousands words. If you think image based ads are more effective, you can run Image Ad PPC campaigns! These kinds of ads aren’t going to show up in the standard search results, you will find them on Google Display Network websites instead.

You and/or your designer can mock up ads in a variety of sizes to use or create one responsive version which will be adjusted depending on the device your audience is viewing it on.

You can run image ads in the below sizes (or the single responsive option):

  • 200 x 200
  • 240 x 400
  • 250 x 250
  • 250 x 360
  • 300 x 250
  • 336 x 280
  • 580 x 400
  • 120 x 600
  • 160 x 600
  • 300 x 600
  • 300 x 1050
  • 468 x 60
  • 728 x 90
  • 930 x 180
  • 970 x 90
  • 970 x 250
  • 980 x 120
  • 320 x 50
  • 320 x 100

You can upload your image ads directly to your Google Ads account or use their online tool to create one. Click here to find out more and read Google’s documentation on Image Ads.

Video Ads

Video Ads are another common advertising format (although not the most common when it comes to PPC campaigns). However, you can run PPC video campaigns through several platforms (e.g. at the time of writing, one of the better known ones is through Twitter).

If you are a fan of image ads, you should test taking it one step further by creating a PPC video campaign. The right video ad can help build greater levels of trust and a deeper connection with your target audience.

Dynamic Search Ads

Source: Google

Dynamic search ads use your websites content to create and target your ads in your keyword based campaigns. Headlines and landing pages are put together using your existing content which saves time and helps ensure that they are relevant. These kinds of campaigns and creatives can help you save time (especially for larger websites and/or those with large inventories), target search terms you might have been missing out on and scale your PPC campaigns more rapidly. Read more from Google directly here and here.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions could be thought of as ‘add-ons’ for your adverts. They help provide additional details, make them more relevant and allow you to take up more online real estate on the search result page(s) that your ads are triggered on. They help to improve click-through-rates and can convey information that might help your target audience make a quicker purchasing decision.

Sitelinks are seen in organic and paid search results on Google and help searchers find and choose from potentially more relevant deep links (inner pages) on the advertisers website. They should be relevant to the search term that triggered the ad and are available in Google Ads and Bing Ads.

Enhanced Sitelinks are the same extension with an additional description below each link. This description will offer more details on the what users can expect to find on the page(s) being linked to.

Sitelinks are convenient to update as they can be updated across all the ads they feature on at once. They can also help you increase conversion rates and reduce wasted ad spend if you are targeting a particularly broad keyword (perhaps where users could be interested in several different products, services and/or results depending on their unique needs). Further Google documentation on this extension can be found here.

Location Extension

For certain keywords, displaying a location under your PPC ad can help click-through-rates and help establish some additional trust in the eyes of your audience. This is especially true for local and brick and mortar businesses.

People searching for a local contractor could be more likely to click on an ad displaying a local address than those that don’t clearly identify where they are based.

You can use location extensions with Google or Bing Ads (you will need a Google My Business account for the former though!). Read more about location extensions.

Click-to-Call/Call Extension

The click-to-call extension is a great feature and is often used for local PPC campaigns. They can be used either on desktop (with the whole number displayed) or on mobile (with a phone icon that can generate a call to the specified number when clicked).

Google and Microsoft/Bing supports this extension. If phone calls are not useful or relevant for your business, make sure you opt out of the extension in your Google Ads account. You can read more about call extensions from Google and from Bing.

App Extension

App extensions allow you to link your PPC ads directly to your mobile/tablet app. This extension is a good option for those looking to increase app installs.

The app extension is available on Google Ads with more details on them here.

Seller Ratings Extension

Social proof is a great way to increase your CTR and conversions which is why the seller ratings extension can be so powerful. You must have at least 100 unique reviews (across Google Customer Reviews or Google’s third party review partners) within the supported country to qualify and Google gathers them automatically (explore more rules to qualify here).

From Google’s support documentation.

Not everyone can use this extension and you should consult the above documentation for more details on how your ad account could qualify.

Targeting Options

With PPC campaigns you have a wide range of targeting options which (when used effectively), allows you to test and find the best settings to reach your ideal audience. You can take things into account like what people are searching for, if they have taken any action with your business previously and/or how close they are to your ideal customer profile to ensure your ads are being shown to the right people.

Display Network Keywords

When creating a display network campaign you can use display keywords to narrow down your target audience. Since April 2019, ad groups targeting audience keywords have been migrated under custom intent audience segments (read more about it here).

You could consider all display keywords as broad match ones as when used, Google will display your ads on websites relevant to that keyword topic (e.g. if you wanted to target people who like outdoor activities, you might add the keyword “hike” to your display network campaign). As display keywords aren’t as narrow as search ones, you should try and pick ones relevant to entire campaigns and ad groups instead of to individual ads.

You can think of display keywords as more of an over-arching theme you want your campaign to target and can read more about them here.

Negative Keywords

Adding negative keywords to your campaigns and ad groups should be one of your top priorities and if you aren’t using them, you could be wasting large amounts of your budget. Negative keywords allow you to prevent your ads from being triggered by keywords or on websites that they have already been triggered by that aren’t relevant. Essentially, they help you tell Google what not to target. For more details, please consult the Google documentation.

Campaign Placement Exclusions

Much in the same way that you can target placements at the campaign level, you can exclude them as well. If you know of any websites or domains that you don’t want your brand to be associated with/displayed on, you can exclude them. Find out more from Google and from Microsoft (Bing).

Device Targeting

Device targeting allows you to select which devices you want your ads to be shown on. For example, if you are trying to increase app installs, you don’t want to be targeting people on a desktop! So, make sure you check out these options whilst creating your campaigns so you don’t waste any of your valuable budget. Find out more about device targeting. You can also exclude devices from your campaigns!

Location Targeting

Similar to device targeting, location targeting allows you to specify which locations you want your ads to displayed in. This means that your ads will be triggered when the audience is in your targeted locations. You can also exclude certain locations if you know that you don’t want your ads to be displayed when the audience is in those places.

Interest Targeting

You can also target based on the interests of your audience(s). These are based on users previous search history and/or self-selected interests. This can be extremely powerful when you know your ideal customer profile well.

Demographics

Demographic targeting allows you to specify the types of people you want to reach. This can consist of a number of things including their age, gender, household income, parental status etc.

Placements

Ad placements allow advertisers to select specific sections of a website that they want their ads to be displayed on. For example, you can choose for your ads to be displayed in units created/found by Google or specific ones mentioned by publishers in advance. See more on placement targeting.

Audiences

Audience targeting allows you to target broad groups of people (or “audiences”) based on who they are, what their habits are and what their interests are. You can create audiences in your PPC dashboard(s) and explore the range of targeting options they have within their audience creation tools. Find more information on audience targeting here.

Remarketing

A remarketing campaign targets audiences who have interacted with you, your business and/or your website in some way previously. Such campaigns are known to generate exceptional return on investments (ROIs) when used effectively. They can often offer cheaper CPCs and higher conversion rates as many of those you are retargeting will already know about and be interested in your brand.

Getting a remarketing campaign up and running involves several steps including adding a remarketing tag to your website so you can start tracking who has interacted with your brand online.

You will also need to start creating remarketing lists or audiences which allow you to segement people who interact with your brand online into different groups depending on the actions that they have taken (e.g. if they have just visited your website or previously purchased something from you). Find out more about Google’s remarketing options here and Bing’s options here.

Within the concept of remarketing you have several different options/ways to start including:

  • Basic remarketing – The most common type which targets people who have interacted with your site in some way.
  • Dynamic Remarketing – If you link up your AdWords account to a Google Merchant Centre data feed you can run remarketing campaigns where the ads change dynamically with the product images and titles that the audience has viewed/expressed an interest in before.
  • Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSA) – Similar to the dynamic remarketing ads above but applied to search advertising.

Most PPC platforms will have remarketing options so look to get this set up before you start running your campaigns to ensure you minimise wasted ad spend and maximise your returns!

Technical PPC

When setting up your first PPC campaign you will quickly realise just how technical they can be. Remember though that they needn’t be overly technical until you are ready! Just because you have a thousand different targeting options doesn’t mean that you need to use them all in your first few campaigns. So, get to grips with the basics below and proceed at your own pace.

Budgets

PPC budgets allow you to control the amount of money you want to commit to your traffic acquisition. Bare in mind that these are worked out as an average over longer stretches of time. As you are essentially bidding in real time for each click (see more below), some days your campaign might over or under spend slightly.

Bid Strategies

When running your PPC campaign(s), you will be met with a number of different bid strategies depending on your goals. For example, if you are looking to increase visits to your website, you would likely want to test using the maximise clicks strategy. Really you should test multiple bidding strategies to work out the one that will generate the best ROI. Some strategies hand the reins over to the PPC platform(s) to some extent and lets their automated processes look for ways to maximise conversions (whatever you decide your target conversion is that is).

Google Analytics

For most PPC platforms you will benefit from having Google Analytics set up. The platform allows you to see who has viewed your website and what actions they took on it (providing you have goal tracking set up correctly). Having Analytics set up can also help offer a deeper understanding of how your PPC campaigns are performing. You can further use this connection to create a Webmaster Tools/Search Console account which will provide details on your websites organic/SEO performance.

Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center could be considered the e-commerce hub for PPC shopping campaigns on Google. Here you import your data feed(s) which contain information about your products and inventory. From these feeds, you can create shopping campaigns to target some (or all) of the products listed in your online store. Once created, you will want to connect your merchant center account to your AdWords account to allow you to run shopping ads. Find out how to do this here.

Automated Rules

Automated rules help minimise time spent on the more mundane and repetitive tasks of PPC campaign management. They should not however completely replace manually analysing and working on your campaigns.

With automated rules, you can choose certain settings and conditions that will trigger your rules and make the desired changes without you lifting a finger. For example, you could set a rule to automatically increase your bid(s) if your ad is no longer being displayed on the first page. Learn more here.

Ad Scheduling

Some businesses will only want to show their ads at certain times in the day. Others might know customers are more likely to buy at specific times of the day so look to increase bids within a given time period. Doing this manually can be time consuming and boring. So, Google allows you to schedule your ads to turn on or off or increase/decrease bids at certain times and days of the week. Find more details on how to implement your ad schedule here.

Shared Library

Your shared library allows you to manage certain changes across multiple campaigns (any campaigns using that particular setting, audience and/or targeting). This can be useful if you know several of your campaigns use the same rules or targeting and you now want to update or change it.

Pay-Per-Click Tools

Testing new ad strategies and targeting options can be fun and interesting however, as every experienced PPC marketer will know, it can involve some repetitive and mundane tasks. Thankfully, many tools exist to help PPC advertisers carry out their tasks more quickly, effectively and accurately.

The Google Ads Editor (previously known as the AdWords Editor) tool allows you to create, update, duplicate and remove your campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords and campaign/ad settings (and more!). It can be used to create, duplicate and change campaigns much faster than you would be able to do in the standard Google Ads dashboard. You can learn more about it and download the tool here.

Change History

When running multiple campaigns and implementing countless changes every time you log in to your Google Ads account, you are bound to make a mistake every now and then. It is in these situations that the Change History tool/section of Google Ads really comes in handy. Through this, you can see what changes have been made, at what date/time and which user initiated it (amongst other things). Read more about it here.

Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner tool allows you to carry out keyword research on their intuitive and useful dashboard. You can use the tool to gather information surrounding the monthly search volumes, levels of competition, estimated cost-per-clicks and more of your target keyword(s). Find out more here.

Display Planner

The Display Planner tool helps you build your display network campaigns by showing you websites, interests, topics and keywords that your target audience(s) are likely to use/visit. It can help you create better targeted and relevant campaigns. Learn more about the tool here.

Ad Preview & Diagnosis

The Ad Preview & Diagnosis tool allows you to see what your ad would look like on the search engine results page (SERP) before you made it live and (if you sign in) test to see if any of your ads are being shown for any given keyword. The preview tool will also be available when you are writing your ad in the Google Ads dashboard. Read more about it here.

Labels

Labels in your PPC account allow you to organise and categories different elements in your ad account to make it quicker and easier to analyse, filter and report on the data you need/use most often. They are extremely useful when multiple ad managers use the same account. Learn more about Google Ad Labels here.

Opportunities

Google has a wealth of data available about searchers and how ads should/could be performing. They provide them to advertisers in the form of recommendations, opportunities and/or notifications. Opinions on how useful and effective these recommendations are differ depending on the advertiser you are speaking to and, of course, the idea being presented. As with most things in the world of PPC marketing, you should test yourself and form your own opinion on how useful and effective they can be.

Reporting

Besides being quite far down in this article (we wanted it to flow intuitively), reporting will be one of the most important parts of your campaign and can make or break it. Effective reporting allows you to increase ad spend on campaigns that are generating the best ROI and turn off or pause the campaigns that are wasting your budget. There are many ways to set up campaign reporting and we will go into more detail on some of the most popular, common and useful ways below.

Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is a way to report on actions taken once users click on your ads. The conversion(s) being reported on will depend on what goals you used when initially creating the campaigns and what type of conversion tracking you have set up. Common conversion types include: purchases, enquiry form submissions, app downloads and quotation downloads.

Search Query Reports (SQRs)

Search Query Reports (SQRs) are great for finding out what search terms are triggering your ads and identifying ones which aren’t relevant to your brand and goals. You should run these reports regularly and add any irrelevant search terms as negative keywords to your campaign.

Placement Reports

A placement report shows you which websites your display and search network ads have appeared. Knowing this, you can adjust bids for certain placements and exclude any that you don’t want your brand associated with.

Auction Insights Report

The auction insights report allows you to see how your ads are performing when compared to your competitors. With this data, you can adjust your campaign targeting or strategy and/or switch gears to compete more effectively. The key measurement offered will be impression share which gives you an overall idea on your PPC visibility compared to your competitors.

Segmentation Options

Google Ads and many other PPC platforms allow you to run reports on certain segments of your campaigns and results. You can see things like how your ads are performing on certain devices, at certain times and on certain networks.

Filters

Filters (which you can create and save in your Google Ads or Bing Ads account) allow you to quickly breakdown your account and campaign data into more digestible points and data. This is especially useful when managing larger ad accounts and multiple campaigns.

Columns

The columns option in your PPC dashboard(s) allows you to customise which information and data you are and aren’t interested in and allows you to hide the data and information that you don’t want to see. You should explore the columns available in your ad account and make sure that you fully understand all of the data available to you.

Conclusion

This guide is an in-depth introduction to PPC and all the various elements, ideas and concepts that you will come across when launching your first few campaigns. As is the case with all types of marketing, you should always be testing new strategies, ideas and features to find the ones that work the best for you. What will work best for you and your business could be vastly different than what works for others which is why you need a firm grasp on why a new strategy might have potential, how to go about testing it and/or why you might not want to use it on your campaigns.

Written by Kyle Garcia

Hi, I'm Kyle.

For the last 9 years I have been studying, researching and perfecting everything marketing related.

I specialise in SEO, and also have a lot of experience in PPC, digital PR and content marketing. At times I dabble in web development and design, but find it is usually best I leave this stuff to the real experts.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to work closely with many household name brands, helping them see growth in the millions of $, and also managed to create and grow my own Amazon affiliate site before it was acquired in early 2022.

Now I'm sharing my learnings with the readers of this site.

One Comment

  1. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your articles.

    Thanks a ton!

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