Beginners Guide to PPC

Pay-Per-Click montage

You’ve been told to setup a pay-per-click campaign but are at a complete loss as to what that means, this guide will give you a quick rundown on key terminology and setting up a basic campaign. Let’s get started.


Google AdWords:
The largest pay-per-click platform around offering ad spots directly on their search engine, affiliate sites, and YouTube.

Microsoft AdCenter:
Google’s top competitor for both the organic search market and the PPC market. While it may be an afterthought to some people, the decreased competition may lead to lower cost-per-clicks and possibly higher conversion rates. They also offer advertising on Yahoo and Bing which can give you added value.


Pay-Per-Click (PPC): A method by which you advertise in an auction style bidding method to appear on search rankings and pay only when your ad is clicked.

Pay-Per-Impression (PPI): A similar model as PPC but cost is accrued for every 1,000 impressions

Impressions (IMPR): The total number of times your ad(s) were visible.

Clicks: The total number of times your ad(s) were clicked.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR): The percentage of how many times your ads were clicked compared to the number of impressions. CTR = CLICKS / IMPRESSIONS

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The total cost charged for one single click, typically you will see this value as the average CPC, which is of course the average amount you are paying per click on your campaign

Conversion (CONV): The successful achievement of a goal, such as a form being submitted or a sale being completed.

Cost-Per-Acquisition or Cost-Per-Lead (CPA or CPL): The total cost per lead or sales conversion. CPA or CPL = TOTAL COST / TOTAL CONVERSIONS

Daily Budget: The max amount you are willing to spend in a day. Google and Bing may overspend on this amount by upwards of 20% so that should be factored in if you are working with a set monthly budget for the PPC Campaign.

Search Network: This refers to advertisements placed directly above or beside organic search engine rankings.

Display Network: A network of websites that have accepted to show advertisements on their websites.

Remarketing: A type of campaign that installs a cookie on a visitor’s website, which then shows your ads repeatedly to them when they visit other websites that are part of the platform’s Display Network.


Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before setting up a new campaign or you can quickly find yourself in over your head.

– Know what you are trying to achieve with your campaign. Is it to build brand awareness, increase traffic, or sales conversions
– Start with a moderate budget and test different ads and bidding structures
– Make manual payments rather than automatic until you get familiar with it, you will have to call in to have this change made usually
– Work with your web developer to ensure conversion tracking is setup
– Measure results so you can know what your return on investment is

At the end of the day, a pay-per-click campaign can be an incredibly useful marketing tool but if you don’t have the systems in place to properly track results you will never understand it’s true potential. NetGain is a Google Partner and has AdWords certified staff on hand to help answer your PPC related questions. As well, we have an offer to help get you started with your AdWords campaign that includes $300 in AdWords credit for FREE!