Beginner’s Guide to Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

If your website isn’t attracting a lot of visitors, you might want to think about how to get people there. After all, why would you have a site if you didn’t want people to come and visit you?

Search engine optimisation is still a great idea to get search engines to list you highly in their results. But it’s a big investment of time and effort, and it can take a long time for results to show. And even if you do well, your competitors are all trying to do the same thing.

Sometimes, you just need a way to get seen.

What is PPC?

Pay per click (PPC) is a type of advertising where you pay each time a person clicks on your advert. You don’t pay for how many times it’s displayed.

PPC makes it easy to track how well your adverts are doing, and control your spending – you can set limits on how much you pay.

To get started, you bid on one or more keyword phrases with a PPC provider – the best known is Google’s AdWords service.

The phrase needs to be really relevant to your business, to make sure searchers are going to be interested in what you do. As you’re paying for each person that clicks, you want the clicks to be as targeted as possible -there’s no point in attracting people who aren’t likely to become customers.

When people search for that phrase, your advert may show up in the ‘sponsored adverts’ section of the results pages – above, to the right or below the ‘natural’ listings.

Your ad’s position, and whether it is displayed at all, depends on how high your bid is. It is also affected by how relevant your ad and the webpage it links to are to the keyword phrase.

PPC ads can also be displayed on the ‘display network’ – other websites where your potential customers might be found.

You can decide when you start your PPC campaign whether you want your adverts to be on search engine results, on the display network, or both.

Remarketing and search retargeting

Remarketing and search retargeting are ways of refining which people are shown your ads.

Remarketing lets you show your ads only to people who have visited your website before. This means that your ads are being targeted at people who have already shown an interest in your business. More advanced remarketing can display ads based on which particular pages on your website were visited.

Search retargeting works in a similar way, but by looking at the words people put into search engines. Rather than showing your ad on the search results page itself, search retargeting displays your ads later, when someone who searched for your chosen keywords is browsing elsewhere.

The advantages of search retargeting and remarketing are obvious. You know that your ads are being seen by people who are interested in the sort of thing you offer, but might have missed your site among all the options on offer. Or they might even have visited your site, but left before converting.

By ‘following them around’ to remind them about your business, you’ve got a great chance of catching their eye and encouraging them to check you out again.

Top tips

Good PPC adverts should attract attention and have a really clear ‘call to action’ – for example, ‘Click here for 50% savings on wedding flowers’. Be persuasive, professional, and don’t be misleading – it’ll just annoy people.

Also, it’s easy to overlook, but when people click on your advert they’ll be taken to your website – to what’s called your ‘landing page’. This is a really important part of persuading people to convert.

Your landing page needs to be a seamless continuation from the advert. For example, if your ad mentioned a special offer, that should be front and centre when they arrive. Don’t expect people to waste time searching around – they won’t.

Also make it easy for visitors to convert – whether that’s signing up for info, or making a purchase – and explain the benefits for them.


This article is provided only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on the subject matter in question. You should not act or rely on information contained in this website without first seeking professional advice on the subject matter in question.