What Is Google Pay-per-Click?

March 30, 2024

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The world of internet marketing can be a bit confusing to someone who is just getting started. All those acronyms, such as SEO, PPC, CPM, CPC, RTB, and CR can get pretty annoying pretty fast, especially if you’re not used to the jargon and want things explained in plain English.

But, if you want to get your site to rank high in Google search results and drive qualified traffic to your website that you can then nurture and turn into leads, then you better get used with the ridiculous number of marketing acronyms.

Today, we’ll focus our attention on pay-per-click marketing.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a type of online advertising where you pay a fee each time your ad is clicked on by searchers. For example, if your PPC ads appear in search results 50 times but prospects click on them only 20 times, then you will pay only for those clicks and not for the impressions.

While PPC is a comprehensive concept that applies to social media channels like Facebook or Twitter as well, today we’ll focus on Google’s PPC platform – AdWords.

Here’s why: you may think that organic results are more valuable than paid ones, but reports show that 65% of prospects will click on an ad when they are ready to purchase. Moreover, consumers that landed on a page after clicking on an ad are 50% more likely to purchase than organic visitors. Of course, your ad’s position plays a crucial role in this equation too. While most PPC ads get an average return of 2:1, those ranked at the top of search results get an average click-through-rate of 8%.

The question you may be asking yourself now is how can you leverage the full potential of pay-per-click campaigns and get your ads displayed in position one for your searched terms.

Here’s everything you need to know about Google PPC advertising.

 What Is Google AdWords?

 Google AdWords is perhaps one of the most profitable ways of putting your business in front of the right audience. It lets you create compelling advertising campaigns on any budget and customize them according to your audience’s needs.

As mentioned already, with a Google PPC campaign, you will pay for each click that drives a searcher to your landing pages and not for the number of impressions.

  Another Blog you may be interested in is:  What Is Google AdWords

How Does Google PPC Work?

Every time a user searches for your targeted keywords, an auction will start. Google will look at two significant metrics to decide if your ad is relevant to those search queries and where to place it: the Quality Score and Ad Rank.

Google calculates your Quality Score based on how relevant your keywords are to the query, the quality of your ad text and landing page, and how likely are prospects to click on your ad. The Ad Rank is the result of your Quality Score times your maximum bid on keywords. Simply put, the advertiser with the highest Ad Rank will get the coveted number one position.

Here’s an example to help you understand how an auction works. Let’s imagine that you’ve entered an auction for the keyword “apartments for rent in Sydney” along with four other advertisers. Let’s say you’re bidding $4, and the other advertisers pay $6, $8 and $10 per click.

Now, your first guess might be that the $10 bidder would automatically win.

Not necessarily.

If your ad copy and your URL are more relevant for that keyword, and your landing pages are educative and trustworthy, you might just have the best Quality Score. Provided your competitors have a lower score, you’ve won the Auction.

 What Keywords to Target?

One of the biggest misconception small business owners have about pay-per-click campaigns is that you have to invest a lot of money if you want to see significant results. But, as you’ve seen already, user experience weigh more than how much you are willing to pay. Targeting the right keywords, creating a compelling ad and making sure your landing page is relevant and flawless are crucial factors that can make or break the success of your PPC campaign.

The element that has the highest value in this equation is perhaps your keyword lists.

Coming up with the right keywords to target in your campaign isn’t a simple task. You can’t just write the first phrases that come to your mind and call it a day. This task requires both creativity and thoroughness.

You need to look beyond the obvious answers and identify long-tail opportunities that your competitors are ignoring. Targeting a keyword like “running shoes” is a facile solution, but one that might not generate the results you’re expecting. For starters, it has a high search volume and fierce competition, and you’ll have to defeat numerous advertisers to get your ad to rank high. That could be an investment that is not worth the return.

But, if you target a specific long-tail keyword, such as “size 10 Adidas sports running shoes,” then you have a better chance at getting qualified traffic and improving your conversion rates.

You should also pay attention to the keyword match type and choose the one that fit your PPC campaign goals best. For example, a broad match will trigger your ads for any query that resembles your keyword: synonyms, similar phrases, and so on. It may seem a great way to get traffic, but it can be hard to convert visitors into prospects. In the end, you risk paying more for prospects that aren’t necessarily interested in buying or that were looking for something else.

A phrase match will only target searches that contain a specific phrase. For example, if your target keyword is “running shoes” then your ads will appear for “cheap running shoes,” but not “why is running without clothes or shoes labeled exhibitionist.”

With an exact match, on the other hand, your ads will only show for search queries identical to your targeted keywords.

You could combine all of these options to maximize your PPC campaign. For instance, you could start with a broad match to generate some traffic and then switch to a phrase or exact match based on the keywords that bring in the highest conversion rates.


Pay-per-click advertising is all about patience – patience to learn how to use the platform, explore it, test different variables, and find the winning combination. If you don’t have the time or energy to figure out Google AdWords, at Australian Internet Advertising we’re dedicated to taking this pressure off your shoulders and providing you with the best ROI for your PPC campaigns.






Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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