How Do PPC Ads Work?

Are you wondering how PPC ads work? PPC stands for pay per click. You might see those banner ads when you’re perusing the web, but do you know how they work? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about how PPC ad can help your business. To begin, let’s look at some PPC statistics.

  • 90% of internet users see Google ads
  • 75% of users click on ads to find authentic and relevant information
  • Only 1% of consumers actually have a negative appreciation of PPC advertisement
  • 63% of individuals said they would click on a Google ad
  • Google Ads is currently the biggest provider of search advertising on the market
  • 90% of mobile owners conduct mobile searches
  • 95% of paid search ad clicks on mobile are driven by Google
  • The US retail industry spent $27.58 billion on digital advertising in 2019 

use ppc ads

The Importance of Pay Per Click

If you want to reach your user base and target audience, you might want to try pay-per-click ads.

What is pay-per-click (PPC)? To clarify, PPC is an advertising model used to draw website traffic, leads and sales. This will help grow a new business or create brand awareness and grow an established company’s online presence. Advertisers run ads on search engines like Google and Bing. The advertiser pays a fee every time someone clicks on their ad. PPC ads are displayed when someone types in a keyword or phrase in a search engine. The ads are found at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), above the organic search and will say “ad” to the left of the advertisement. Search engines are the number one way people look for products and services.

Similarly, advertisers create ad campaigns by using keyword themes, keyword variations or phrases searched in search engines.

There are several types of PPC ads and campaigns:

  • Search network
  • Display network
  • Search network with display opt-in
  • Shopping: Product listing ads

PPC Advertising

There are several different types of PPC ads, all of which can be useful to you and your business.

Search Ads

Search ads are the most common PPC ads. Advertisers choose keywords that they want their ads to display when the word is searched in a search engine. An auction system is used on PPC ads. First, an advertiser needs to determine how much they are willing to pay each time someone clicks on the ad and set a maximum bid for what they are willing to pay. Advertisers can bid on a single keyword or a group of keywords.

Display Ads

Display ads are made up of images, text or video advertisements. This type encourages the user to click on the ad and then usually takes them to a landing page where they can take specific action (i.e. make a purchase or sign up for a service). Display ads are shown to people already searching for or interested in a specific product or service searched for in the past. These ads have a lower conversion rate, and lower click prices than PPC search advertising. Advertisers use Google Display Network (GDN) to create display ads because they can be created straight from Google ads.

Re-marketing Ads

Remarketing ads are ads sent to people who already visited your website or showed interest in your product or service. These ads also target people who almost purchased your product. Google Ads includes an image to remarketing ads.

Video Ads

Not all advertisements are just text ads. Video ads are a great way to reach people who are not currently aware of your business or brand, and they are one great way to gain followers. 85% of businesses use video ads. There are 2 billion monthly active users on YouTube so that is a good place to start. You can use Google Ads to show paid video ads on YouTube.

ppc ads

Shopping Ads

Shopping ads include a picture with the advertised product, the price, title and description of the product. A shopping campaign is more profitable than PPC advertising because the conversion rate is higher. The consumer knows more about the product before clicking on it.

Paid Social Ads

Paid social ads are easy to find on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok. These paid platforms offer PPC advertising. Instagram PPC is easy to manage via Facebook PPC because Facebook owns Instagram. You can create several campaigns on paid social platforms. The platforms offer a variety of ad types with various size options. Many social platforms allow you to create both PPC video and image ads.

Gmail Sponsored Ads

Gmail sponsored ads are a way to advertise on Gmail. You can manage or create these ads within Google Ads. Google campaigns such as Search, Shopping, and Display can easily branch out to Gmail sponsored ads. Gmail ads are a good way to create brand awareness and get extra traffic. Advertisers can add 3 metrics to their Google Ads to see how well their Gmail sponsored ads are doing.

  • Gmail saves: show the number of people who have saved your message for later.
  • Gmail forwards: Gmail users can forward these emails to another person who may be interested in your product. You can then see how many times your email forwards to others.
  • Gmail clicks to a website: you will be charged when someone clicks on your ad, and when someone clicks, more information will be displayed. If your ad is clicked on a second time, the person will be taken to your website. The metric within a Gmail campaign will show how many people expanded your ad and how many people clicked through to your website.

search ads

PPC Ads Networks

There are several different PPC advertising networks to choose from. Learn about the different digital advertising platforms:

Google Ads

Billions of searches happen on Google per day, which is partially why Google ads is the most popular PPC advertising network because of the amount of searches and the large number of websites in the Google Display Network. Google search and display ads allow demographic targeting. You can track age, gender, parental status, and household income. On the other hand, demographic targeting narrows the ad reach but makes targeting more relevant. Google search engine results are placed on shopping, mobile apps and YouTube. Ads are based on cost-per-click (CPC) competition and ad quality.

Microsoft Ads

Bing Ads now fall under Microsoft Ads. There are 12.2 billion PC monthly searches on the Microsoft Search Network. You can import campaigns from Google Ads to Microsoft Ads. Microsoft exclusively serves Yahoo search traffic, digital assistant voice searches and target LinkedIn profile data. This data includes company, job function and industry. Microsoft ads can be found on search engines, Microsoft Search Network, MSN,, Edge browser and LinkedIn.


Advertisers should use YouTube to advertise because the platform has over 2 billion global users per month. Campaigns can be managed through Google Ads. You can collect good analytics data via YouTube Analytics within a YouTube account. Ad formats include skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, bumper ads, video discovery ads, and masthead ads. Pricing includes cost-per-visit (CPV) and cost-per-thousand (CPM).


Facebook is the top social network. It has 2.6 billion monthly users. Facebook uses information such as demographics, interests and user activity to target consumers. Facebook uses retargeting through user activity on and off Facebook. Using Facebook pixel, advertisers can track customers actions and upload customer lists. Facebook ads can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network. Ad formats include video, single images, carousels, and slideshows. A variety of video and display ads on mobile use the Audience Network. The cost of Facebook ads is based on bid, action rates and ad quality.

pay per click


Instagram has 1 billion active users, and they are statistically much younger than Facebook users. This picture-based app has less volume then Facebook, but because Instagram is a Facebook company, ads are managed through the Facebook Ads platform. Combined with Facebook, Instagram ads can be placed in Instagram Feeds and Instagram Stories. Ad formats include single image, carousel, videos and collections. The cost of Instagram ads is based on bid, quality and action rates.


LinkedIn has 500 million professional users who you can target by job title, seniority, company and other professional criteria. These ads can be found on mobile sites and apps, ad exchanges and LinkedIn Audience Network. Ads include text/image formats. The cost of LinkedIn ads are based on a cost-per-click model and on competition, ad relevance, CPM and cost-per-send (CPS)Successful LinkedIn ads include offering valuable tips, whitepapers and other content related to users’ industry.


Twitter has 330 million active monthly users.Twitter ads are only on Twitter and not partnered with other networks. Promoted tweets can include text and other media that complies with policy. This ad format is the most flexible, and you can place ads on and the Twitter mobile app. Promoted tweets can be text and or images, GIFs, promoted trends and promoted accounts. Pricing is a cost-per-click model for promoted tweets and promoted accounts. Twitter sales representatives handle promoted trends. Tweet content should go hand in hand with Twitter advertisements.


Pinterest has 200 million active users every month. Users search for ideas, trends, and products. In addition, many users are searching to purchase a product. The majority of Pinterest users are women. Pinterest ads are found on and the Pinterest mobile app. Ad formats include promoted pins, one-tap promoted pins, promoted video pins, cinematic pins, and promoted app pins. The cost of Pinterest ads are based on cost-per-click for promoted pins, app installs, and CPM for promoted video pins.

mouse click

How to Know If PPC Ads are Working

Are you wondering if your PPC ads are working? A good click through rate on average is between 6 and 7%.

PPC Ads Are Essential

Because much of our shopping these days happens on the internet, PPC campaigns and PPC advertising are essential to businesses. To learn more about PPC advertising, please visit our website to see the PPC services we offer and contact us today. We can also help you with Google AdSense.


  • What are some PPC ad networks?
  • How do PPC ads work?
  • What is pay per click (PPC) in digital marketing?
  • How does PPC advertising benefit your business?
  • What are types of PPC campaigns?

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