Basics of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing

September 13, 2020

When using any search engine, do you notice that there will always be advertisements that appear together with the search results? These are your pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements. If you are managing with businesses in any digital platform, it is highly likely that your marketing strategy will include a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. They would normally appear above the organic search results. But what exactly are these? How do they work? How are they any different from SEO?

What Is Pay-Per-Click Marketing?

PPC marketing is digital marketing model where you can create content and show them to relevant users, but only pay a certain amount when the user takes a specific action on the ad. In most cases, this user action refers to clicks on the ad. However, there may be instances where you may want to be charged on other specific actions such as impressions, video views, and on-site engagements. PPC is a fantastic way to give your business the attention it deserves from relevant and interested users. It is a powerful tool to use to boost brand awareness, generate leads and drive conversions.

How is PPC different from SEO?

The idea of using a search engine platform to place your website on top of your competitors and also in front of relevant users when they are searching for something may sound like a familiar concept to you especially if you are already utilizing search engine optimisation as part of your marketing strategy.  No matter how wonderful your business is, or how incredibly optimised your site is, or how loyal your customers are, you will find it a great challenge to outrank established mega corporations and appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is especially so if you are trying to rank for highly competitive searches.

However, do not despair. Your SEO efforts are still very important as it works hand in hand with a solid PPC campaign. In other words, a PPC campaign should be seen as a supplement to your SEO efforts. If your SEO is not optimised to begin with, you will end up heavily reliant on PPC, which will then lead you to spend more than you need to.

The difference between PPC and SEO lies in the way the website is ranked on SERP, how the traffic is obtained to the website, and also the fees incurred in both marketing strategies. Below is a table to quickly show you the key differences between SEO and PPC :

Difference between PPC and SEO 


What Are The Pay-Per-Click Platforms?

Since the basis of PPC relies on the search engine, most of the PPC platforms will include search engines that you are already familiar with and have already been using. Another type of platform that makes use of the PPC concept is the s The two biggest and most popular PPC platforms are :

Google Ads is powerful not just because of its massive user base, but also the thorough ad control that you have with your campaign. Google’s best value would be that it will show your ads to users who have shown interest in your business based off the search behaviour of the user. Google Ads also allows you to advertise on Youtube. Below shows you the ad placement for relevant ads when a user does a search.

Example of a Google Ads

Source : Google

Advertising on Facebook allows you the opportunity to also advertise on Instagram simultaneously. Two of its biggest advantages are that it:

  1. Allows retargeting based on segmented marketing and custom audience
  2. Introduces your brand to people who were not aware of it before

Example of FB Ad (Mescalon)

It is common practice for most businesses to spread their advertising budget on different ad platforms so as to get the most benefit from the different platforms. Other PPC platforms that you can explore are:

  • Twitter Ads
  • Promoted Pins
  • Linkedin Ads
  • Quora Ads


How does Bidding System work in PPC Platforms?

Almost all of the PPC platforms utilizes the bidding system as a way to determine the value to each click. You, as advertisers, will choose a bid amount that you are willing to pay for a specific user action (usually a click). This will then determine how many placements the ad campaign will get. As with any bidding strategy, the bigger the bid amount, the more placement spots that ad will be able to secure. However, do take note that for Google and Facebook, it is not just your ad budget that determines your ad placements.

Google Ads also takes into consideration your quality score (QS), which is their determination of the quality of your ads based on factors such as the relevancy of your keywords and your landing page experience. Facebook ads places importance on relevance and user engagement into consideration. For both platforms, the quality of your ads will affect the cost per click that you pay as well.


How Much to Spend on PPC Campaigns?

When you are first starting out your PPC Marketing Campaigns, thinking about costs can be quite intimidating. Besides ensuring good quality ads, the biggest stress-inducing factor is determining how to allocate the budget for your PPC Campaigns. Since both Google and Facebook allows for great customization, there is no one-size fits all answer.  In Google, you can make use of the free Keyword Planner tool that provides you with bid ranges, the search volume as well as the level of competition for each keyword.

With this information, you will be able to calculate an estimation of budget to spend on PPC.

For example,

If your keyword volume is 1000 searches per month.

And, as a rough gauge, we will take the average click-through rate for most industries to be about 1.9%.  This means that you can expect to get an average of about 19 clicks per month.  (Calculation : 1000 * 1.9% = 19)

If you have decided to place your max bid for the keyword at $2 per click, the monthly cost of this particular keyword will be $38. 

Repeat this process for all the keywords attached to this campaign.  It is always better to start off small as it gives you less room for error. As you get familiar with the workings of the platform and the bidding system, you can adjust your campaign budget from there. You can use this Google budget as a baseline for you to determine your budget for the other PPC platforms.



PPC advertising is a wonderful way to gain traffic, generate leads and drive sales. It is able to put your in front of audiences who are intentionally looking for products or services that your business offers. It also put your brand in front of people who have previously shown intentions of purchasing products or services that are similar to what your business offers.  No matter the strategy you have decided to use in your PPC Campaigns, do remember that there is no definitely formula in getting success from your PPC. In reality, there is plenty of testing and experimentation that goes on in trying to find out the best marketing game plan for you.

Have a chat with us to find out how we can help your business grow!

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