Beginner’s Guide on Paid Search Advertising

What Is Paid Search Marketing?

Paid Search Marketing or PPC (Pay-per-click) marketing is a method of advertising using search engines.

Ever notice those sponsored ads Google or Bing displays whenever you run a search through their engines? That's PPC at work. Advertisers bid for ad placement on a certain search phrase or word and pay the search engine whenever someone clicks on their ad.

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Why You Should Use It?

PPC advertising is great for people looking to promote their website. Now, you might be wondering why should I pay for advertising when there are plenty of free ways to advertise online such as social media or SEO.

Well here a few reasons:

1. Immediate Returns

Promoting your company or website through social media platforms or SEO is a long term investment. The process takes a while, and it could take months before you gain any traction through them.

PPC gives you immediate results. Your ads go up immediately after you launch your campaign and get first page exposure to your selected search keywords. Especially for new websites or companies, this could be crucial in developing consistent traffic and starting up your cash flow.

2. Targeted Advertising

You have the ability to display your ads for any kind of keyword. This is perhaps one of the best aspects of PPC. It allows you to focus specifically on people interested on buying your product or service.

For example, if you were a car dealer in London you could choose to only display your ads to people typing in "car dealership in London" or "buy car London".

With SEO, it'll be much harder and more time consuming to rank your website for those keywords.

3. Testing and Feedback

Thinking about launching a new product? Set up a small PPC campaign for it and let it run for a couple of weeks. Then take all the data and analyze it to see how well the market responds to it.

Paid search shows real life results. It's launches your ad out to thousands and you receive all that great feedback that comes with it. No one clicking on your ad? Perhaps you need to refocus your ad towards a different demographic. Getting clicks but not conversions? Maybe your landing page or call to action needs some work.

How to get started?

Now that you've decided upon using this method of advertising for your website, here's a few quick tips to get you on your way.

1. What platform to use? (Google!)

Yes, I'm going to sound biased but there's no denying that Google Adwords is the leading PPC network out there. This is the search engine that people use, and the majority of the internet's traffic goes through Google.

Its platform is easy to use and has great support. That being said, the other alternatives I can recommend checking out are: Bing, Facebook, Yahoo.

2. Research

Keyword research is incredibly important for the success of your PPC campaign.

You should try to figure out what phrases and words to target with your ads. Try to place yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what words they would type in to a search engine to find your website.

For example, you own a website selling toys. So a potential keyword someone would type into search for a website selling shoes could be "online toy store" or "toys for sale"

***Google has a great research tool called keyword planner, which will tell you the volume of people searching for a specific phrase.***

Now, the goal with keywords is to try to get them as relevant as possible so that you're mostly targeting people that would actually click on the ads and buy your product.

So while a keyword phrase like "toy review site" is somewhat relevant to your product, you probably shouldn't bid on it since people typing that into a search engine aren't necessarily looking to buy toys right now.

3. Ad Copy

Now that you've figured out what keywords you want to target, it's time to start creating your ads and landing pages.

Here are a few simple tips towards writing an effective ad:

• Make sure to include your keyword in it

Now this doesn't mean to spam it all over your ad, but using it once in your title will help highlight to people that your ad is relevant to what your searching for.

• Provide a call to action along with value or credibility

A call to action is a line of text that will prompt someone reading it to quite literally, take an action. In the case of your advertisements, that usually means something along the lines of "Hey! Buy This Product NOW!" The key to having a successful CTA is making sure it has a clear value proposition. Why should you buy this product now? Try to tell them what they're getting in exchange for this click.

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• Look at your competitor ads and break down their successful elements

This is my favourite advice to give out to people who are stuck on what to write for their ads. Go check out what your competitors are using! Type out one of your targeted keywords and take a look at their ads. See what parts you like or you think is working and modify it for your own ads.

4. Launch! And Test...

Great, you've got your keywords and your ads for your campaign. Now it's time to actually launch the thing and start getting traffic to your site.

Time to sit back and relax right? Nope.

No PPC campaign is made perfect. It requires management and adjustments constantly to figure out what ads are losing you money or how to better optimize keywords or how to increase conversions on this page.

That's the key to running a successful campaign. It's all based on trial and error. Try out different ad copy versions to see which gets the most clicks, or try increasing bids to see how ad placement affects your results.

Just keep on testing out small adjustments you can make, and eventually you'll have a good sense of what works well and what doesn't.


PPC advertising is a great way to promote your website and your product. It can give your website immediate and consistent traffic that are also qualified leads. It's simple to use and you can see results immediately.

I hope you guys enjoyed this beginner's guide and have found it helpful.

Let me know if you have any questions about this topic or if you would want to see further posts on it!

Jason Yang is currently an employee at Powered by Search, a SEO and PPC agency in Toronto. In his spare time he loves travelling, playing tennis and ...
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  • November 19th, 2013
This is a well-written article about PPC. I never get this one but this time I think I do. I received a message from Google in the mail saying I can try Google Adwords but they gave me a limited budget. Will that be helpful or should I really invest on it?

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