Optimizing PPC: A Quick Guide

February 24, 2022

When done right, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows businesses to reach new markets, enhance brand awareness, improve conversion rates, generate more sales, and increase profits.

Of course, running an effective PPC campaign on your own is easier said than done. Most companies often have to acquire the services of a PPC specialist to manage or improve their Google Adwords campaign performance.

If you’re new to PPC advertising and willing to give it a try, here’s a quick guide on what PPC is, plus some tips on optimizing your PPC ads. First, let’s tackle the basics.

PPC: What Is It?

PPC is an online advertising model in which an advertiser pays a certain fee for each click on their ad. 

Today, various search engines and social media brands have their own online advertising platforms that offer PPC advertising. Examples are Google Ads and Bing Ads, while social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads, respectively.

Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just ads and clicks. But before we take a deep dive into how to optimize your PPC campaign’s performance, let’s familiarize ourselves with the common terms related to PPC. 

Glossary of PPC Terms

  • Ad Extensions – In your PPC ad, you can display additional information known as Ad Extensions. It could be your business email address, contact information, pricing information, or reviews. 
  • Ad Group – A collection of keywords used for your PPC ad. Ad groups consist of around five to ten keywords. If you have multiple ad groups, you now have an ad campaign.
  • Ad Impressions – The total number of users who noticed your PPC ad. You can use Google Analytics to determine your ad impressions.
  • Ad Rank – The position of your PPC ad or where it is displayed on a web page compared to other PPC ads. Your Ad Rank changes depending on the level of competition and the exact keywords searched by users.
  • Bid – The amount you need to pay for every click on your PPC ad. You are allowed to place a maximum bid for your keywords. However, what you spend on each click will be decided in real-time by the online advertising platform. Take advantage of automatic bids for keyword optimization to get the most clicks.
  • Bounce Rate – Usually represented as a percentage, it tells you how many users visited your website and left after opening only a single web page. Reduce bounce rates by ensuring your visitors stay and remain engaged, mostly through creating relevant and engaging content.
  • Budget – The total money you allocate for your PPC campaign. If you’re new to the game, it’s best to consult a PPC specialist.
  • Call to Action (CTA) – The move you want the user to take after reading your PPC ad. The most common examples of CTAs include “call now,” “buy now,” “book your reservation today,” “add to cart,” and “sign up today.”
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of clicks on your PPC ad out of the ad impressions. A high CTR means your ad is doing well for your chosen keywords.
  • Cost per Click (CPC) – The total money you pay for a single click of your PPC ad. CPC is usually dictated by the platform.
  • Engagement Rate – Tells you how well the user is engaging with your PPC ad after seeing it. The formula for engagement rate is the number of engagements multiplied by the number of times the ad is displayed.
  • Google Ads or Google AdWords – Google’s popular online advertising platform. You pay Google Ads to run your PPC ad on the platform.
  • Google Analytics – Google’s website analytics platform. It is capable of monitoring your ad campaign’s performance and is available to anybody with an active Google account.
  • Interaction Rate – In Google Ads, this is computed as the percentage of users that click on your PPC ad when they see it. It is computed by dividing the number of interactions with your PPC ad by the number of times your ad is displayed.
  • Keyword Planner – A keyword research tool within Google Ads. You can use it to search for keywords or keyword combinations (phrases).
  • Landing Page – The web page you want your users to reach after clicking your PPC ad. Most landing pages are designed to boost conversions.
  • Quality Score – A rating created by Google to determine the quality and relevance of the PPC ad and the keywords you’re using. A high-quality score means your PPC ad and landing page are helpful to a person using your search keyword compared to those of other advertisers.
  • Remarketing or Retargeting – A strategy to re-engage potential customers. These customers have already shown interest in your product before, and now you can retarget them via your PPC ad and increase your conversions. 

You’re bound to encounter these words as you learn more about optimizing PPC campaigns. Let’s get to it.

How to Optimize PPC Campaigns

As an entrepreneur, your goal would be to make the most out of any advertising campaign. The same applies to PPC campaigns. Through PPC optimization, you’re putting your ads in a better position to perform their mission generate leads and help bring in traffic and conversions to your website, Amazon, or another e-commerce listing.

Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is crucial to PPC because it tells you which keywords to use to attract more clicks and generate more conversions for your website. Popular examples of keyword research tools used for PPC advertising include Google’s Keyword Planner, Übersuggest, and WordStream.

Develop High-Converting Landing Pages

When users click on your PPC ad, they will be directed to your landing page, whose main purpose is to generate conversions for your brand. It is essential to make it engaging to keep visitors from leaving and then persuade them to take action. Your CTAs play an important role in your PPC ad to attract clicks and your landing page to increase conversions.

Fine-Tune Your Targeting Settings

Google Ads allows you to streamline your targeting settings according to criteria such as age, sex, location, and more. Of course, you have to know in advance which segment of the target audience to aim for. Some market research should do the trick.

Track Your PPC Ad Conversions

Why is it important to track your PPC ad conversions? For one, it helps determine whether or not your ad is attracting any attention or clicks. Another reason is that PPC conversion tracking allows you to determine which areas in your campaign are doing well and which aren’t.

Using Google Ads, you can track conversions from web pages (online purchases, sign-ups), calls on-site (calls from a mobile device to the phone number on your website), and app downloads.

PPC Tip: Be Careful With Negative Keywords

Being aware of negative keywords can help you avoid attention from users using a keyword associated with your product but looking for something else. For instance, if you’re in the business of selling audio or sound mixers, you wouldn’t want attention from people searching for mixers used in the kitchen. So you might want to add “hand mixers” or “stand mixers” to your list of negative keywords in Google Ads.

Optimize Your Search Campaigns

A search campaign is a type of campaign made available by Google Ads to advertisers. It enables advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search network, specifically:

  • Google’s Search Sites – These sites include search results from Google’s main search engine website, as well as search results on Google Images, Google Maps, and Google Play.
  • Google’s Search Partners – The tech giant’s list of search partners is exhaustive. The most popular examples include YouTube, Amazon, The Guardian, The New York Times, and pretty much every website that utilizes Google Custom Search.

PPC Tip: Add Ad Extensions

Ad extensions can be handy, especially if you want to display additional information such as a  CTA, an email address, or extra product info. Go for variety by adding no fewer than three or four different extension types to optimize your search campaign

How to Optimize PPC Campaigns on Amazon

If you’re an Amazon seller, you might be wondering how PPC optimization works for products sold on Amazon.

Amazon PPC refers to the sponsored ads you see on Amazon’s web pages. The setup is similar to other PPC models—you pay Amazon for every click on your sponsored ad.

But why is optimizing PPC campaigns on Amazon important?

By following the best PPC optimization practices, you are boosting your Amazon product’s visibility, leading to increased sales for your brand. How do you go about optimizing your Amazon PPC campaign?

Optimize Your Amazon Listing First

Before anything else, ensure you optimize your Amazon product page or listing. This involves optimizing your keywords and your product listing.

Before optimizing your keywords, don’t forget to do keyword research on Amazon. Most keyword research tools (Google’s Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, Sonar) have their variants dedicated to Amazon.

Developing engaging copy and incorporating relevant, high-quality images can also help optimize your product listings.

Do a Reverse ASIN Search

A reverse ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) search allows you to examine the keywords used by competing products. This gives you an idea of keywords already popular among Amazon shoppers. To perform reverse ASIN searches, you can use Helium 10’s Cerebro, Sellzone’s Amazon Traffic Insights, and Jungle Scout’s Keyword Inspector.

Take Advantage of Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are those consisting of more than two words. They are often underused because their search volume is not as high as that of broad search terms. But the great thing about long-tail keywords is that customers who use them when searching on Amazon are more likely to make a purchase compared to those using broad keywords.

So, again, do your Amazon keyword research well and carefully pick which long-tail keywords to use for your Amazon PPC campaign strategy


Optimizing PPC campaigns gives your paid search ads better visibility. The more noticeable your ads, the higher the traffic that will be directed to your website or landing pages.

To be effective, PPC optimization needs to be executed right. This involves performing keyword research, adjusting your targeting, tracking your ad conversions, and optimizing your search campaigns. Another tip is to review negative keywords and make full use of ad extensions. For successful Amazon PPC campaigns, optimize product listings, reverse ASIN searches, and utilization of long-tail keywords to your advantage. 

You can use this guide as your PPC optimization checklist. If you want even better results, it’s always a good idea to work with a PPC expert. Contact Us!

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