PPC FAQ: Your Top PPC Questions Answered

These are the most common questions our clients Ask us

General PPC Questions

  • What is PPC Advertising and how does it work?
    PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s similar to most advertising in that you’re trying to show ads to people you think will benefit from your product or service. It’s different from most advertising in that you do not pay for visibility or placement. Instead, you pay for actions. In this case, you’re charged when someone clicks on your ad.

    Also, instead of setting a fixed budget for a campaign (e.g. $10,000 for one month of ads during the morning news), you’re determining a maximum daily budget as well as a maximum you’re willing to spend on each click. These numbers put you in an auction against other advertisers, where your” bid” influences whether your ad appears and where it appears relative to other ads on the page.


  • Why is PPC important?
    PPC is important because it is the only way advertisers can appear in Google or Bing search results. There are no minimum budgets or campaign durations, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.


  • What are the limitations of PPC?
    PPC is ultimately geared towards direct response. You can do a lot of awareness-building, but most of the campaigns are optimized toward clicks and conversions (purchase, form submissions, etc.). If your goal is eyeballs, you may need to couple PPC with other types of advertising.


  • Where will my PPC ads appear?

When using Google Ads, your ads can appear across the entire Google Ad Network. This includes:

    • Search results on Google.com
    • Shopping results on Google.com
    • Search results on search engines partnered with Google (e.g. Ask.com)
    • Banner ads across millions of websites using Google AdSense
    • In-video and in search results on YouTube (and on YouTube videos embedded elsewhere)
    • Ads in Gmail
    • Ads in apps

Which campaign type you select determines the specific network your ads will run on.


New Client Questions

  • How do I know if PPC is right for my business?
    If you use your website to drive awareness and sales or leads, chances are PPC could help accelerate those efforts. The biggest factor comes down to whether your marketing budget allows enough traffic to be driven via PPC in order to make an impact.


  • How do I know what budget I need?
    We can build some projections based on your industry and how competitive the market is. Our approach to budgeting is usually based on ensuring you’re visible for at least half of searches for your core keywords as well as dedicating budget for other relevant initiatives like retargeting, shopping ads, etc.


  • How long does it take to see results?
    At a basic level, you can launch a simple campaign or two in a day and start driving traffic within hours. But to understand what’s working, why, and what you can do to further improve – it can take weeks or even months of work.

Reporting & Other Questions

  • How do I define “success” in a PPC campaign?
    PPC is generally all about return on investment. If you’re generating enough new business/revenue to be profitable after deducting your operating expenses and advertising costs, it’s a win. But we also have to consider things like life-time value of new customers and the value of taking market share away from competitors.
  • How can I measure the ROI of my PPC campaign?
    Most PPC platforms, including Google Ads, have a system of conversion tracking. These systems report not just when a purchase or form submission happened, but can report the value of those actions. You can easily compare these conversion numbers and the associated conversion value to what you spent on ads in order to understand the return on investment.
  • Does PPC affect my SEO?
    Nope. If you advertise aggressively, more people may be familiar with your brand and that may cause them to search for your name more often and/or click on organic results for your site even if competitors out-rank you. But simply spending money on ads will not directly improve your SEO results.
  • How Often Should I Check My PPC Campaigns?
    For a small account with only a handful of campaigns, you may be able to check in once a week and not miss anything important. Larger accounts generally require daily check-ins. The largest accounts have teams of people working within the account full time.
  • Should I bid on my brand name?
    Maybe! Do competitors bid on your brand name? Is it reasonable for someone familiar with your brand to be convinced to substitute you with a competitor? Are you trying to aggressively push a message or reach a particular audience that is already familiar with you? These are some of the reasons you may want to bid on your brand name.
  • Should I automate campaign performance?
    Automation can allow more effective campaign management and improved results. There are countless variables in a campaign when you consider all the targeting options and reporting segments available. It’s nearly impossible to review them all at any degree of scale. But automation does not mean autopilot. Campaigns still need adjustments, testing, improvement in order to be successful and remain that way.


  • What are negative keywords?
    Search ads function by providing a list of keywords that you’d like to trigger your ads to run when a user searches with those terms on Google or Bing. But there are occasions when you want your ad to show for some searches but not others. E.g. you might want your ads to show for any search that includes “running shoes.” This could include “best running shoes” or “running shoes for dirt trails.” But you might not want them to show when someone searches a phrase like “worst running shoes.” You would use negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing for these searches.



Want to learn how Transistor can help?

Talk to Lindsie.

Lindsie Nelson | Co-Founder
Vice-President – Head of SEO