What Is Google PPC Advertising?

December 26, 2022

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The world of online advertising can be very difficult to grasp if you’re only now starting. It’s quite an intricate ecosystem with a vast range of tools available that can confuse even expert advertisers. Yes, even knowing a few things about pay per click advertising won’t guarantee incredible results if you don’t also understand the principle behind everything.

But when it comes to Google AdWords, the confusion is, quite frankly, understandable, particularly if you’re not spending all of your time trying to figure it out. That’s because these type of PPC ads have a lot of components that go into them.

In this post, we’ll try to offer an easy to understand guide into the world of Google Ads (also known as AdWords, though it’s been officially rebranded) that can help you understand the processes, and hopefully improve your PPC campaign using these tools.


The PPC Principle

PPC stands for “pay-per-click” and it’s a model where advertisers essentially have to pay for their websites to be listed either in search queries or on the Google display network. The name comes from the fact that you only pay for each click and not every time your ad is shown for your searched terms.

Google’s PPC service was first called AdWords, but now it’s known simply as Google Ads. Through it, advertisers pay for their ads to appear on the Google search engine result page (SERP). The ads are displayed at the top or bottom of the page and are clearly marked as sponsored advertisements.


Google Ads: The Basics

One of the first things you need to do when you want to create an ad is to think about the keywords your target audience might use to search for products or services similar to yours. For instance, if you have a bakery and want to use Google ads to promote it, you’ll need to think of keywords that may describe it, like “gluten-free muffins Sydney.”

If a user is looking for a place to buy gluten-free muffins in Sydney, that’s the thing they’re most likely to type in the Google search bar. If you’ve chosen this keyword, then your ad can show up whenever the user searches for it, or something similar (Google’s pretty good at recognizing synonyms as well).

Unfortunately, chances are you are not the only bakery selling gluten-free cupcakes in Sydney, meaning that other bakeries are also using this keyword for their ads. This can affect the final price you may end up paying for each click.

That’s where the bidding system comes into play. The higher you go, the more likely it is to make it to the top of the page. Some keywords can cost more than others because a lot of advertisers bid on them.

However, the amount you’re willing to pay for each click isn’t the only thing Google takes into account when deciding the ad placement.


Google looks at five different things when prioritizing ads:

  • Quality of the ad and landing pages;
  • Ad Rank threshold;
  • Search context;
  • Ad extension and ad format;
  • Google Ads conversion linker.

Essentially, you can’t exactly pay your way to the top of the search engine results. Even if you outbid all you other competitors, if your landing page isn’t optimized, the website isn’t mobile-friendly, or even the copy isn’t that great, Google will take these as reasons to place your ad at the bottom of SERPs.

How It Works

First, you have to set up a Google Ads account if you don’t already have one. It’s best to break down your products or services into different categories and organize your entire account based on them.

For instance, if your online clothing store has two big categories like “for men” and “for women,” you can reflect that into your Google ads account to keep a better overview of your ads.

You’ll see two big components of Google ads in your account: the campaigns, and the ad groups. The ad groups will have multiple ads, and the campaign will contain multiple ad groups. So, your PPC campaign could reflect your two big categories (for men and for women, ) and in the ad groups. You can go into more details by mentioning the different types of products you offer.


Here are other things that go into the process.


  1. Setting a Budget

Google Ads allows you to control how much money you spend on advertising. The budget is the entire amount you want to spend on each campaign every day. The bid is the amount you spend every time your prospects click on your ads.


For instance, if you set a $10 budget on a campaign, and have a $1 bid, it means you’re essentially paying for your ads to be clicked on 10 times. Once that budget is up, the ads are no longer shown on the SERP.


  1. Choosing a Keyword

The trick is to choose keywords relevant enough to the ad and your business. If you’re new at this, Google has a Keyword Planner tool that can generate a list of keywords for the campaign. It’s not perfect, but it can definitely be a good place to start.


  1. Keyword Match Type

You can also choose when the ad should be active, or when it should appear in SERPs.

There are five options to choose from:

  • Broad match – activating when the keywords are searched in any order, or through related terms;
  • Broad match modifier – one word must be searched in a broad match for an ad to show up;
  • Phrase match – only activates when the exact keyword is matched plus other terms alongside it;
  • Exact match – specifically targets those searching your exact keywords;
  • Negative match – excluding undesirable terms. For instance, if you want to target people looking for ‘online clothes, then you may not want those also searching for “cheap, ” so you can negative match this keyword.


  1. Landing Page Set up

The landing page is the place where a user ends up after clicking on your ad. If you want to convert a user into a buyer, then you’ll need to choose a page relevant to the ad, and the keywords. For instance, if you target “leather jacket for women, ” your ad copy reads “Buy the best leather jackets for women,” then the landing page needs to contain this product.


The user was looking for this product and, decided to check your offers when they saw the ad. If they visit your website and see a different product, this may frustrate them.


  1. Choosing the Ad Format

The text and link you see on the SERP page are only one of the ad formats available. Google also lets you promote products and services using image ads, video ads, and more.


Here are the ad formats you can choose from:


  • Text – are the easiest to set up;
  • Responsive – made to fit into several different ad spaces;
  • Image ads – made to appear on Google partner sites;
  • App promotion – drives users to download your app;
  • In-stream video – video ads that appear during a video on Youtube or other Google partner sites.


You can choose the format that will have the most impact on your business, as well as the best placement for it. For instance, some advertising services might have a better impact using in-stream video ads, as they can create short ads that can show them in action.


  1. Choosing the Campaign Type

You can also choose a specific goal for your overall ad campaign:


  • Search Network with Display Select;
  • Display Network only;
  • Search Network only;
  • Shopping;
  • Video;
  • Universal app.


Campaign subtypes also determine what settings are available, such as the ad formats. These can be:


  • Standard;
  • All features;
  • Marketing objectives.


  1. Targeting

Lastly, we need to talk about targeting, a very critical component of this entire process. You’ll need to think of those users you are addressing when setting up the ads to get a high quality score and maximize the success of your campaigns.

You have two options here: targeting based on audiences, and on content.

Here’s what you need to think of if you are targeting based on content:

  • Demographics;
  • Affinity;
  • In-market – users who’ve been looking for products or services like yours;
  • Custom intent – people likely to engage with you;
  • Similar audience – expanding an already existing audience;
  • Remarketing – targeting users who’ve already visited your website.


Options for content:

  • Topics;
  • Placement;
  • Content keywords;
  • Display expansion for search.

Choosing the right audiences to show your ads is essential to reaching your marketing goals. It’s not enough to simply show the ads to the people looking for your keywords. Targeting lets you speak directly to those most likely to be interested in your business.


Signing off

As we said earlier, PPC advertising is a fairly intricate system, one that’s also changing almost every day. Because of this, we now have a lot of different features within this tool, from scheduling for the ads to only be active during a specific timeframe to targeting only those users located in a certain geographical location.

But the overall success of your Google Ads efforts ultimately depends on making the right choices for all the different stages described in this article. If one is out of place, it can create a domino effect that will ultimately harm the overall performance of your ads.

But if you’re looking for some of the best Google Ads solutions on the market, we can certainly help with that. Our Google Ads team can design and implement ads that generate amazing ROI, increase your sales and get some buzz around your brand. All you have to do is call Australian Internet Advertising right now!






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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