Pay Per Click Advertising
eMarketing: The Essential Guide to
Online Marketing
Advertisers pay when their
advert is clicked on
PPC can be used for:
• Banner advertising
• Shopping comparison engines
• Search engine advertising - paid
This presentation refers to
paid search as PPC
PPC advertising on search
engines revolutionised the
online advertising industry
PPC advertising generates
99% of Google’s revenue
Google’s revenue for the
quarter ending March
$5.19 billion
(and it keeps increasing)
PPC adverts are easy to
They’re labeled as
Sponsored Links
They can appear in a box
above the natural search
They also appear on the
right hand side of the
natural search results
They can also appear on
content web sites - called
the content networks
Search targeted ads
Show on search engine results pages
(SERPS) like
Content targeted ads
Display on actual websites. For example “car
for sale” PPC adverts being displayed on a
website that contains content about cars.
How does PPC advertising
The advertiser
• Creates advert copy
• Selects keywords for which the
advert should appear
• Chooses the maximum amount
they are willing to pay for a click
on the advert (bid)
The search engine
• Checks advert copy for compliance
to editorial guidelines
• Displays the advert for relevant
search queries
• Determines the rank of the advert
based on bids and quality
Anatomy of a PPC advert
Two lines of advert copy,
Which can be displayed on one line
Roses for Valentine’s
A dozen red roses for your love
Fast, free delivery in RSA
LHR Chauffeur Service
Mercedes Bentley Airport Transfers
Call Free 0800 465 1234
Google AdWords
• Heading: 25 characters max
• Line 1: 35 characters max
• Line 2: 35 characters max
• Display URL: 35 characters max
• No repeated exclamation marks
• No word in caps only
• No nonsense words
• No claims of superlative, unless
there is 3rd party verification
• Product numbers may be used
• Display URL
– what the user sees
– domain must match destination
– can use vanity URLs
• Destination URL
– domain must exist
– one advert per domain shown
– domain must match display
Vanity URL
• Making display URLs look nice:
• Allows use of keywords in URLs
Keywords and match
Advertisers must enter
keywords for which they
would like their adverts to
Search engines use these to
determine when to display
Google estimates that 50%
of all searches are unique
In the USA, there are almost
200 million searches each
day on
How can advertisers
determine all the searches
for which they should
Keyword matching
4 types of keyword
• Broad match: keyword
• Phrase match: “keyword”
• Exact match: [keyword]
• Negative match: -keyword
broad match
• the keywords you have entered
• synonyms and misspellings
• any search term which contains
your keywords
broad match: tennis shoes
Your advert could
appear for:
tennis shoes
red tennis shoes
tennis sneaker
history of tennis
“phrase match”
• Use quotation marks around the
• Search terms containing your
• In the order you have chosen
phrase match: “tennis
Your advert could
appear for:
Your advert will not
appear for:
tennis shoes
tennis shoes red
red tennis shoes
smart shoes red
history of tennis
[exact match]
• Use square brackets around
• Your advert can only appear for
those keywords
exact match: [tennis
Your advert could
appear for:
Your advert will not
appear for:
tennis shoes
anything else!
- negative match
• use the minus sign in front of the
• adverts will not appear for any
search term containing that
negative match: red shoes
Your advert could
appear for:
Your advert would
not appear for:
red shoes
smart red shoes
red tennis shoes
tennis shoes red
Languages and locations
• Specify the languages your advert
should appear for
• Specify the areas your advert
should appear for
– country
– city
– post code!
Bidding and ranking
Advertisers only pay when
their advert is clicked on pay per click
But they must decide the
most they are willing to pay
for that click - max CPC
This is bidding, and will
determine placement of the
Every time there is a search,
there is an auction for the
adverts for that search term
Called a Generalised
Second Price Auction (GSP)
Each advertiser pays the bid
of the advertiser below them,
plus a standard increment
Ranking is not just about
Quality Score has an
• relevance of keywords to search
• relevance of advert copy to the
search term
• relevance of the landing page to
the search term
• historic performance of the advert
Advert Position is determined by:
Bidding System
Competition for Keyword
Quality Score and Relevance
Broad keyword: Hotels
Targeted keyword phrase:
“Boutique Hotel in Cape Town”
Conversion rates and
click-through rates
The higher up the advert:
• The more clicks on the advert
• The higher the cost per click
PPC Strategy: NB to define goals
Brand exposure:
• many impressions
• content matching
• targeted keywords
• high CCTR
• high conversion rate
• Long tail keywords
What is the goal of the
What do you want users to
do after they have clicked
on your advert?
Goals can be:
• Buying a product
• Booking a plane ticket
• Filling in a form
• Sending an enquiry
• Making a phone call
A user taking the action
you want them to take is a
Every time the advert is
shown is an impression
A user clicking on the
advert is called … a click
Click-through rate is
clicks / impressions %
Conversion rate is
clicks / impressions %
Click-through rate tells
you how well your copy is
Conversion rate tells you
how well your campaign is
You need to work on both
for best ROI
• Change keyword match types
• Change bids
• Change ad copy
• Improve web site conversion rate
small changes can make a
big difference to your
bottom line
• Daily and monthly budgets caps
• You’ll never overspend!
• Advanced bidding options help you
to make the most of your budget
The long tail of search
50% of searches on
Google are unique
This means that the sum
of the unique searches is
the same as the sum of
non-unique searches
Or, there are a few search
terms that are used very
And many search terms
that are used infrequently
55331 searches for “holiday”
331 for “south african holiday”
Low volume, niche search
• Are more targeted
• Have less competition
• Can have a lower CPC
• And a higher conversion rate
Setting up a PPC campaign
1. Do your homework
• Full online and offline analysis of
• Identity
• Brand
2. Define your goals
Brand exposure:
• many impressions
• content matching
• targeted keywords
• high CCTR
• high conversion rate
• Long tail keywords
3. Budget, CPA targets
• Determine how much you are
willing to spend
• Determine your target CPA
• Remember: it can take 3 months
for a campaign to stabilise
4. Keyword research
• What keywords are potential
customers using?
• What words indicate undesirable
– free
– cheap
• Similar or related keywords
5. Write the copy
• Write compelling copy
• Make your headings and display
URLs stand out
• Use keywords in your copy
• Target landing page to adverts
6. Place your bids
• Use your own CPA aims for
determining max CPC
• Check and tweak often!
7. Measure, analyse, test,
• Use conversion tracking
• Test alternate copy
• Get rid of keywords that don’t
• Expand keyword lists
Landing pages
sending your traffic to the
right place
What happens after a user
clicks on your advert?
The page that they land
on plays a large part in
the success of your
They should land on a
page that is most relevant
to their search
Tip: this is unlikely to be
the homepage
keyword: canon eos 350d
They’re bidding for the top spot.
What do they do with that
expensive click?
Their homepage …
even though that product
has its own page
They’re not the only ones
wasting their cash
Tips for your PPC
Don’t burn your budget on new
campaigns, test slowly
Attack the long tail
Track keyword conversion
Split testing
Don’t bid on broad match
Geotarget your adverts
Call to action in advert
Use keyword specific landing pages
Use analytics - Google Analytics is
Online comparison engines
Retailers supply standard
information to comparison
• Product
• Product
• Product
• Product
• etc
Comparison engine
• lists all retailers who offer a
• offer side by side price comparison
• usually favour retailers who pay
more for a click
Optimising for comparison
• ensure products are up to date
• make sure prices are competitive
• have the best customer service
• base your CPC on your CPA - don’t
overpay for clicks!
Further readings?
For further readings and case studies :

Pay Per Click Advertising