How Does Google PPC Work? | Checkatrade
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How does Google PPC work?

We’ve recently launched our series on how to perform an SEO audit for your website. Now we’re back with Checkatrade's SEO Manager, Jon, to cover the basics of running PPC campaigns. So how does Google PPC work?

Before we can jump in and start our Google PPC campaign, it’s essential to know how the system works. This is so that we know how to manage our budgets best, and what we’re actually paying for.

PPC stands for Pay Per Click, that is, when somebody clicks on your ad, you get charged.

The Cost Per Click (CPC) will vary depending on a wide range of factors:

How Google PPC works is relatively simple

You pick a keyword, continuing with our Window Experts company, the keyword example we’ll use is Window Fitting Portsmouth.

We want our ad to show up first for this result. Thanks to our SEO efforts, we also come first organically for this listing.

Why do we need to pay for this ad as well?

By seeing your ad & organic listing in the results, you build trust and authority with searchers. You can also increase your potential traffic from that search term.

The average cost per click for the keyword ‘Window Fitting Portsmouth’ is currently £1, with the ‘top of page’ bid costing £1.50. Ideally, we want to be the very first ad that appears, so we’re going to put our ‘bid’ for £1.51.

When somebody searches for the keyword, all the advertisers bidding for it go into an auction. Several different factors are taken into consideration when choosing the winners:

  • The CPC bid
  • The quality scores
  • Relevance
  • Ad copy
  • The likelihood of a conversion

The winners are then sorted into which position they will show up.

For our Window Experts company, we have the highest bid, a very relevant ad & great quality score for the landing page. We win the auction and are the very first ad to appear on the page.

Relevance is determined by the ad copy and landing page copy of the ad to the keyword. So, if you bid onWindow Fitting Portsmouth’ the ad copy and landing page copy should be about Window Fitting in Portsmouth.

If your copy is not relevant, the searcher is very likely not to press your ad. You should try, wherever possible, to include the keyword within the ad copy & landing page.

It’s not just keywords you can use; Window Fitting Portsmouth is actually a Search Term or ‘phrase.’

You can also tailor your Google PPC campaigns to include ‘broad match’ variations of the keyword. So, when people misspell the keyword like Window Fittin Portsmouth, our ad will still show up!

It also works for closely related Window Installation Portsmouth for example.

Google ppc

Broad match doesn’t always get it right

Imagine somebody has searched for ‘Windows 10 Installation.’ This searcher is looking for somebody to install an operating system on their computer. With ‘Broad Match’ variations, our PPC ads might show up for this person, and they may click it and cost you money.

How do we stop appearing for irrelevant search terms?

We use negative keywords to stop our ads from showing.

They work in several ways. We could add ‘10’ and our ads won’t show up for searches that include the number. Alternatively, you can add the entire phrase ‘Windows 10 Installation’.

The second way, however, still leaves the possibility that we will still show up for other variations such as ‘Installation of Windows 10’. It still broadly matches our keyword, but it isn’t a negative keyword. It’s vital to remember, negative keywords are NOT broad match. They are an exact match, meaning you have to add the broad match variations yourself.

The final thing we need to know is budgeting

You set a daily budget for your campaigns. This can be, however much you want, but it quickly adds up. Even a £20 a day budget is £620 a month!

Let’s say that your clicks cost £1 for that campaign and you will only get 20 clicks a day. It’s therefore really important that you’re spending that money wisely. This is why we’re writing these articles for you!

What is Quality Score and how does it work?

When it comes to getting the best Quality Score for your Google Ads, there’s one thing that is essential to your success. That is… relevancy.

What is relevancy?

Relevancy is how relevant the landing page is to the Ad and Ad copy. We’ve touched on this a little bit before in our keyword intent and PPC blog.

The importance of your Ad Copy & Landing Page

If your keyword is Expert Window Installation, your Ad Copy & Landing Page must also be relevant to perform at its best. It also helps to reduce the amount you spend on every click, and that quickly adds up.

It’s essential that you don’t just spam the keyword within the copy on the landing page but make it relevant & useful.

How to make a small business website for free

Google PPC copy ideas for your ad and landing page

Show customers your values as a business

Talk about the added value your company brings to the product/service.

For Window Experts, we might say something along the long the lines of:

At Window Experts, the quality and the finish of our window installations is why we have a 10/10 rating on Checkatrade. Going above and beyond is a big hit with our customers too. Cleanliness and minimal effect on your day-to-day life is what makes us stand out.

Mention customer experience – process and timeline to set expectations

You should also talk about your process and timelines:

Once we receive your request, we’ll be in touch within 24 hours with an initial quote based on the information you provide. We’ll arrange a home visit around your availability. Then we can provide the final free, no-obligation quote for our expert window installation.

In total, your new windows could be installed by our experts, from start to finish within 2 weeks. Ready to get your project started?

Additional information may be required based on what keywords you’re using.

Are there locations in your ad groups?

If you use locations within your ad groups, you’ll need to include location-based information within your landing page copy.

Do you have keywords with ‘cost’ or ‘price’?

Keywords that include the words cost or price, you might want to include an ‘average’ of your cost within the landing page. This might help improve conversion rates on all landing pages if it’s a good leading figure!

Mobile performance of your website is very important

One other thing that determines your Quality Score if the mobile optimisation of the landing page.

If your page is slow, clunky and doesn’t work well on mobile, you’ll be left with a low score.

You will need a lightweight design, that can load quickly and looks good on both mobile & desktop. This is incredibly important if you’re trying to get sales or enquiries from mobile users.

tradesperson preparing a quote on a laptop

Your ad’s performance over time will affect the Ad Score

Your Ad Click Through Rate (how many people see the ad and then click it) also counts towards your Quality Score.

The theory is the more people that click your PPC ad, the better it is.

How is your Ad Click Through Rate calculated?

Your CTR (Click Through Rate) is calculated by:

The number of Impressions, the people that see the ad, divided by the number of clicks you receive. 100 impressions and 10 clicks equals a 10% CTR.

The CTR of previous Ads also influences the Quality Score of future Ads. It’s vital that you try and get the best possible CTR on your Ads by testing the copy, display URL, headlines etc.

What does search volume have to do with it?

The Search Volume of keywords will also play a factor in CTR. High Search Volume keywords on broad topics such as ‘Windows’ may drive thousands of impressions.

Still, it’s likely the people seeing your ad aren’t looking for your services yet or at all, leading to a low CTR.

Alternatively, very specific keywords may have very low Search Volumes. but very ‘hot’ intent. This generally means that they are in the market and actively looking to buy. These keywords might provide a very high CTR as well as conversion rate.

Marketing across different platforms is crucial for businesses to succeed. Social media, SEO and Google PPC all tie together to help you market your small business. From the importance of having a content calendar to boosting your SEO, learn the tricks of the trade with Checkatrade.

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