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What is PPC Advertising?

When you search for a keyword on Google you are presented with a list of websites that Google believes are relevant to your search. Within these search results you are presented with both organic listings and listings that are paid for. As a general rule the top 2/3 listings that appear at the top of the page (usually with a faint yellow background) and those search results that are displayed down the right hand side of the page have all been generated by paid advertising.

These adverts are being paid for in a system that Google calls Pay Per Click. In brief, PPC is a quick advertising means whereby successful adverts that have a high quality score (ads that are relevant) are displayed on the first page of Google, resulting in an increase in traffic directed to your website.

This is often a method of advertising and marketing that is favoured when users want to see quick results. In order to advertise your website in this means you will need to create an adwords account. You will then be able to go ahead and start creating your Ads. However in order for your Ads to appear on Google they have to go through a process called the Ad Auction. This process determines where the ad will position.

Here is a brief step by step guide of how PPC advertising works:

1. Keyword search – someone searches for a keyword / phrase on Google
2. Relevant Ads – Adwords presents a lists of Ads that it believes are most relevant to the search
3. Adwords then shortens this list of websites in order to show the user the best/ relevant ads possible, for example ads from other countries might be disregarded at this point.
4. Adwords then orders these ads using a formula called AD RANK, this incorporates factors such as your bid, your ads quality score and so on.
5. Once Ads have gone through this process they are then presented to the person who made the search.
This process takes place every time a new search is made, therefore your ad placement is only relevant to the search that you have just entered.

As a general rule the most common form of PPC advertising is that you pay a set amount each time your ad is clicked on. Therefore you are only paying for ad’s that are successful. However, there are lots of different settings that determine how you pay, when you pay and how much you pay. PPC advertising can be confusing and complicated to set up, therefore if you want your campaign to run effectively it is probably worth seeking the help of an marketer or agency that have plenty of experience with Adwords.


Sophie Angell
Sophie is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, concentrating on running your social media channels, writing blogs and writing content for your websites. You can follow Sophie on Twitter @SophieWNW or alternatively email her at

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