What is PPC & How Paid Search Works

PPC & How Paid Search Works
88 / 100

I know you might have heard of the term PPC a couple of times but,

What is PPC?

How does it work?

How can you make it work in your favor?

This article is here to answer just that and much more.

What is PPC?


PPC is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads.

The main aim is to lead the user who clicks to the advertiser’s website or app, where the user can complete a valuable action such as purchasing a product.

There are various types of PPC ads but the commonly used is the paid search ad. These ads appear on search engines when users search for things online(most especially when performing commercial searches, meaning that they’re looking for something to buy).

Search engines are the most popular host platforms as they allow advertisers to display ads relevant to what users are searching for.

In pay-per-click advertising, businesses running ads are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad, hence the name “pay-per-click.”

How does paid search work?

For ads to appear alongside the results on a search engine(SERP),  an auction takes place for the keyword instantaneously.

Some Ads don’t appear prominently than others just because the advertiser paid more than their competitors. Rather, Ad auction an entirely automated process is used to determine the relevance and validity of advertisements that appear on their SERPs.

These auctions are what keeps the gears of PPC moving. They immediately begin when a user searches for something on a search engine.

Ads that win the auction then appear on the search engine results page.

Keywords in paid search

Keywords lie at the heart of PPC, they connect advertisers to users’ search queries.

What are these keywords?

As its name implies, the Ad Auction is a bidding system. This means that advertisers must bid on the terms they want to “trigger,” or display, their ads. These terms are known as keywords.

  • Queries are the actual words that users type into the search box of a search engine to find results.
  • Keywords, on the other hand, are what marketers use to target these users by matching their search queries.

Depending on the keyword match types they use, advertisers can match search queries with more or less precision.


Accompanying keywords, advertisers need to prepare ads in their campaigns. These settle together within ad groups that target shared sets of keywords and are organized by common themes.

Ads are what users see after an auction has been won. On a SERP, they can show up on top of the results or at the bottom of the page.

You need to test different types of ads versions to see which best performs.

Services like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads provide features called ad extensions that enhance the appearance of ads.

Budgets & Bids

In order to participate in an auction, as an advertiser, you’ll need to make a decision on how much you’re willing to spend on a particular keyword.

Budgets are set at the campaign level and can be exceeded daily, but will not be overspent monthly.

Budgets should be set according to the overall account strategy, but bids are a more precise way of controlling spending.

Most advertisers tend to use automated bidding strategies.

Ad rank

Search engines have their own way of factoring in other elements to determine ad rank.

Google, for example, considers:

  • Bid amount.
  • Ad relevance and quality.
  • The context of the search (such as the user’s device and time of day).
  • Format impact (e.g., whether it includes extensions that enhance the format of the ad).

Search engines penalize keywords with low-Quality Scores by rarely showing these ads, even if they have high bids.


Appropriate choice of keywords is what will make you as an advertiser show ads to a suitable audience.

There are other targeting options available to optimize campaigns:

  • Device targeting.
  • Location targeting.
  • Day and time targeting.
  • Demographic targeting

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

side hustle

Online Side Hustles In Kenya That Pay Up To $50 Per Hour.

Kenyans are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, so it’s no surprise that there are many online side hustles you can consider. There’s no time like the present to start making some extra money. Whether you need to pay down debt, save for a rainy day, or just want to have a little more spending money, there are plenty of side hustles that can help you reach your financial goals.

affiliate programs

Should Freelancers Join Affiliate Programs?

As a freelancer, you may be wondering if you should join affiliate programs. The answer is: it depends. Affiliate programs can offer great benefits, but they may or may not be the best option for you.