Fundamentals of Paid Search Advertising

Learn the fundamentals of paid search advertising with Search Hustle

Search Hustle fundamentals of paid search advertising

One of the most popular and effective forms of advertisement in the digital space is paid search advertising. This type of advertising allows you to reach people already searching for your product or service. Unlike the old-school Yellow Pages book, paid search advertising is not limited by geography. You can reach anyone worldwide using the search engine where you are placing your ads. With Google, this reach is limited only by your budget and your target reach. 

what is paid search advertising

What is Paid Search Advertising?

Paid search advertising places your ads on the search engine results page. Typically, these ads are nearly indistinguishable from the actual search results. The SERP displays your advertisement, so anyone looking up a related term will be exposed to the advertisement. This aids in reach and relevance, which are key to a successful marketing campaign.

Why Should You Use Paid Search Advertising?

Paid search advertising is one of the easiest and most effective forms. It ensures you target those who want to know about your product.  

Paid search advertising is, however, one of the most expensive ways to drive traffic to your website. It also allows us to target BOFU searchers. As you’re competing against other companies who want the same business as you, it makes sense that these leads won’t be the cheapest. 

Pay-per-click Advertising Is One of the Most Popular Methods

Pay-per-click, or PPC, is akin to purchasing visits to a website. It helps to bypass the long-term methods required to remain at the top of the search page, for instance. The popularity is tied to the scalability of PPC. You only pay for a click, which in turn is a visit, up to the amount your budget can handle.

What Is the Difference Between Organic and Paid Search Advertising?

Paid search advertising refers to advertisements that are shown at the top and bottom of search pages. Organic search traffic comes specifically from business links found by the user on the results page. As long-term SEO strategies mature, the need for paid advertising can change. However, in some industries, having consistent access to the top of the search pages is desirable. 


Organic search traffic requires a great deal of optimization and topical authority to maintain. This means you have to develop an online persona, which is not required with paid search advertising. A business that is just starting or which doesn’t have a large digital footprint can benefit immediately from paid search advertising. 

What Are Google Ads and How Do They Work?

Google Ads is an online advertising platform that enables advertisers to reach their target audience en masse. In general, Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click model. Keywords are chosen, and advertisers will bid for a certain keyword. The bids are then compared to other bids, and the war for clicks begins. 

In this way, you only pay for the ads that draw traffic or a click. Google Ads are also potent because they are naturally targeted, focusing on people already displaying certain interests. 

Google Ads Logo

Google Advertising Network

One of the best features Google gives marketers is the ability to access its two distinct networks. The first is the one everyone thinks of, the Google Search Network. The second is the Google Display Network, which is less known except in the world of online marketing. 

Google has tremendous reach across the internet and, thus, worldwide. Billions of people use Google search engines and visit Google-affiliated websites every year. Google Ads allow you to reach across both spectrums to maximize the effectiveness of every ad dollar spent. 

Google search network

The Google Search Network is a network of search-related websites where most Google ads can appear. Since the ad is related to keywords, the ad will appear in search results when one or more are used. The Google Search Network is massive, and Google search itself remains by far the most popular search engine on the internet. 

Google display network

With a reach that is simply mind-boggling, the Google Display Network contains more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps. Your ad can show in all of them. This network reaches around 90% of all internet users, meaning most of the world’s population can be reached on the Google Display Network. 

Glossary of Abbreviations

The world of online marketing and Google ads are full of abbreviations. They help to shorten the structure of a sentence and convey quick meaning. If you’ve never used these types of shortcuts, it can make the discussion seem thick and difficult to follow.


This is short for cost-per-click. Often this is used along with the concept: max CPC. This means the most you are willing to spend for a visit to your website, via a click on the advertisement that you have up. You can set bid adjustments as well, but that begins to get into enhanced CPC.


This is a payment method where you purchase advertisements based off of the cost of each one-thousand clicks. This is also often referred to as impressions. The benefit here is that CPM is a lot faster to say, and doesn’t reference how those clicks are achieved, only that they happen.


Product listing advertisements have become very popular, especially on social media. These are ads that feature what a business is selling as part of the advertisement itself. This is beneficial because customers who click on it are already often looking to make a purchase.


Pay-per-click, which is the means by which you can reach across the internet using Google. It helps you target your audience via keywords and thus have a very defined scope and impact. With PPC you pay each and every time someone clicks on your advertisement and accesses your page.


SEM, quite simply, is Search Engine Marketing. This is the overall blanket in which optimizations are made and SEO strategy is employed. SEM strategies include increasing the visibility of a website based on search engine results. This goes beyond SEO and deals with the paid placement of ads as well as contextual advertisement.

There is considerable overlap in the actual meaning of SEM and PPC. They are often used as completely interchangeable words and concepts. This is true to a certain extent, but it is important to understand the overall goal of SEM which touches on more than just a single area.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line, in digital marketing, is that Google is the most powerful and important internet marketing platform available. In the history of the world, nothing has imparted as much reach and standing as Google. Whether it is accessing their search network or their display network you’ll find just about everyone online is a potential customer.

Learn to use the Google ad system and successful marketing campaigns will become a cinch. Just remember, you pay for the traffic you get, and you bid on the keywords. Keep that in mind and there will be no limit to the success that you can achieve.

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