An Introductory Guide to PPC Marketing for Small Businesses

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: June 18th, 2020 | Updated: July 26th, 2022

Business owners, can we be honest with each other for a quick second? On a scale of 1-10, how much do you understand pay-per-click marketing or PPC?

Despite the fact that 45 percent of small businesses use pay-per-click ads, it continues to be a perplexing concept that eludes many business owners in the United States. However, if almost half of small businesses — which likely includes your direct competitors — are incorporating PPC into their marketing strategy, then you can’t afford to disregard this channel.

Paid ads can have a significant and positive impact on your business, including putting your business on the map and increasing your financial gains. Consequently, if you are not using PPC to your advantage, then you may be losing valuable traffic and revenue.

For all entrepreneurs managing small businesses or even Fortune 500 companies, it’s important for visionaries like you to have a basic understanding of PPC at the very least. Therefore, as a leading digital marketing company in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, our goal is to help you grasp the topic in its entirety through this comprehensive guide to PPC marketing. After all, when done right, PPC can earn you quality leads (a lead that can convert into an actual sale of your service or product) and a huge ROI (return on investment).

Pay Per Click

What is PPC and why does my business need it?

Never again will your recent Google search history include the following keywords: “What is PPC?”, “What is paid search?”, and “What is PPC in marketing?”. Today, you are finally getting the straightforward and non-highfalutin explanation you seek.

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing or paid search is an online advertising model in which advertisers — in this case, you as the business owner — pay a certain fee for each time an internet user clicks on one of your ads on search engines like Google or Bing. In simpler terms, it is a way of buying visits to your website, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits through organic traffic (refers to users who land on your website as a result of “unpaid” search results).

Search advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC, which allows you to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links. With the help of PPC advertising, you can target your ads to users searching for specific terms (keywords) related to your products and services. For example, if an internet user searches for the keywords “vintage sports cars for sale,” then your ad about “vintage sports cars for sale” might show up in the top spot of the search engine page results (SERPs). Paid ads help improve your online presence and allow people to find or rediscover your business.

Google Organic Traffic

Wait, what’s the point of PPC when organic traffic is free?

Good question. Why should you pay for ads when you can reach your audience organically?

Going back to being honest with each other, in all truthfulness, organic traffic has a tendency to be on a slow and steady downward slope, especially if your business is a startup and regardless if you offer high-quality content with strategically-placed keywords (otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO). Furthermore, due to the constant advancements in search engine algorithms, keywords have become increasingly competitive. This makes it challenging for small businesses that don’t have a good domain authority (online relevance for a specific industry or subject matter) to get into the top rankings on Google or Bing, as well as in front of their target market on social media platforms (Social PPC).

The above statement, however, doesn’t mean you should forgo your search engine optimization efforts. Rather, your paid advertising campaigns should complement your SEO strategy.

How PPC Benefits Your Business: The Highs and More Highs

From national banks looking for people in need of financial services to bakeries targeting local residents to try their new pastries, online paid advertising will help businesses rise to the top in a competitive market.

Here’s how pay-per-click marketing will help you stand out, improve your brand awareness, and overall help in achieving the success your business deserves.

  1. Easy Creation and Management

Google Ads is a leading example of a PPC advertising platform that offers an abundance of features, making the process of online advertising less intimidating. From account creation to ad management, the summarized and well-expounded steps along the way make Google Ads a relatively user-friendly platform—even for beginners. Just imagine what a trained PPC marketing professional in Phoenix, AZ can bring to the table when they use this tool to raise your brand awareness.

Saving Time And Money on your Advertising Efforts

  1. Save Time and Money on Your Advertising Efforts

PPC can help your business make money and do it quickly. Unlike billboards and other outdoor marketing strategies, which may take weeks or months to launch, PPC gives you the ability to set up your campaign and launch it on the same day. If the users who click on your ad decide to convert their site visit into sales, you can even make money within the first 24 hours.

On top of having a timely advertisement, PPC is also budget friendly. As discussed before, PPC stands for pay-per-click, which means you only pay when people interact with your ad through clicks or impressions. Google Ads, for instance, will not charge you for appearing in search engine results pages. If users don’t click, you don’t pay. Simple as that.

Moreover, if you are concerned about overspending or underspending on your PPC campaigns, there are features that will help you set daily budgets and a maximum dollar figure to spend per click. Truly, gone are the days when you had to pay thousands of dollars each month on outdoor promoting media to become visible to your customers.

  1. Stay Ahead of Your Competitors in Business

Here’s a true-to-life example of the competitive advantage of PPC for businesses: PrimeView is a full-service internet marketing and web design company. Keyword research tools suggest that “PPC specialist,” “SEO services,” and “website designer” are among the most popular Google searches of our potential clients. Using PPC advertising allows us to bid for such competitive keywords. If we win the bidding auction, Google will display our ads when users search for those particular keywords, regardless of what the intent was. And, as a result, the users looking for PPC experts, SEO professionals, or website designers are more likely to click on our ads placed strategically on top of the Google SERP, rather than our competitors at the bottom — if they’re even on the first page.

Taking your competition head on using this method is a bold move. We recommend working with digital marketing professionals when choosing to tackle this more advanced PPC technique for small businesses, as haste and heedless PPC campaigns can backfire by exceeding budgets and returning negative ROI.

Exploring Deeper Targeting Options For PPC

  1. Explore Deeper Targeting Options

Pay-per-click advertising offers deep targeting options, which means business owners can now target specific demographics, locations, and keywords. For example, if you are a dentist offering dentures and partials (your keywords) in Oregon, then you most likely wouldn’t want teenagers with perfect teeth (wrong demographic) from a different state or country (wrong location) to see your online ad.

Through keyword and audience targeting, PPC gives you the option to show your ads based on your selected keywords and only to interested individuals. At long last, you can say goodbye to mass advertising with generic options that generate less than average results.

  1. Automate Yourself to Success in Pay-Per-Click

Google and a handful of small business PPC providers have a convenient feature that allows advertisers to automate some of their most basic functions, such as setting budgets, pausing campaigns after reaching the daily spend, and even blocking certain words from showing in PPC online ads. 

Yes, there are some tasks in PPC for small businesses that necessitate a keen eye for detail and require constant monitoring to achieve the best results. However, this “set and forget” feature for some tasks can save busy and hands-on business owners plenty of time, allowing them to focus on their products and services instead.

  1. Enjoy a Significant Return on Investment

Need proof? Below is the perfect example of a small business that gained more customers and increased their revenue through paid search.

The first Roy’s Restaurant opened in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1988. Today, the successful chain has 31 locations in different U.S. states, including in Arizona, California, Florida, and Maryland. The business owners experimented with mobile-only search early on, which is an option now simple to enact with Google Ads. In 2010, Roy’s restaurants used pay-per-click ads to boost customer calls for information by 40 percent, and it resulted in an ROI of 800 percent.

If you manage your Google Ads and other PPC campaigns wisely, then yes, you can experience a healthy ROI. Done incorrectly, however, you can still lose money on PPC campaigns.

Planning To Launch A PPC Campaign

How to Launch a PPC Campaign for the First Time

Now that you understand the lucrative benefits of pay-per-click advertising for small businesses, let’s move on to the fundamentals of planning a successful PPC campaign in five steps.

Step 1: Identify Your Goals and Budget

Setting goals and determining your budget should be your first two tasks, as they can prevent you from having an untargeted and ineffective PPC campaign. Consider the context of your business objectives and how your paid campaigns will contribute to those goals. After which, think about what you want to accomplish with your paid ads — whether that be increased brand awareness, visits, sales, or perhaps all of the above — and how much money you are willing to spend to accomplish your goal.

Step 2: Choose Your Campaign Type

PrimeView offers five different types of pay-per-click advertising in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ, and the one you choose depends on where you want to reach your target market:

  • Search Ads, as previously mentioned, are the most common type of PPC. They refer to the text ads that appear on top of search engine results pages.
  • Social Ads are the advertisements you see on social media, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Depending on the platform, you can pay to display your brand in your target audience’s home tab, explore feed, or somewhere else within their profile.
  • Display Ads give you permission to place text- or image-based ads on external websites, including social. There are many ways to purchase display ads, including Google Display Network and other ad networks.
  • Remarketing is an effective means of using cookies or a list of contacts that you upload to reach people who have engaged with your business in the past, either through reading a blog post, filling out an online form, or simply visiting a page on your site.
  • Google Shopping is most efficient for ecommerce websites. Your ad — including image, price, and a brief product description — will appear on a carousel on a SERP based on your target keywords.

You have the option to advertise through various means, and you can combine campaign types as long as you are consistent with testing and revising.

Using Keyword Research For PPC

Step 3: Keyword Research

The astounding advancements in digital technology have made it possible for people to search for a product or service online, and then complete the transaction with a click of a button.

That being so, business owners need to understand which specific keywords their customers are using to search for their products and services online. Knowing which high-volume and low-competition keywords related to your business to bid on plays a crucial role in your PPC success. Thankfully, there are many keyword research tools available online, including SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Google’s own Keyword Research tool, among others. A problem with these keyword research tools, however, is that unless you upgrade to a monthly subscription plan, your ability to use their features will be limited.

Some things are better off in the hands of experts, especially since time is money and of the essence to an entrepreneur. Here at PrimeView, we want to help you focus on running your business. Using complex analytical tools to track popular search terms and changing trends in your industry, our dedicated PPC marketing team can manage and monitor your campaign on your behalf. Don’t worry, we’ll ensure to loop you in every step of the way through detailed monthly reports.

Step 4: Write Engaging Copy for Your Ads, and Ensure Your Landing Pages Are Ready

It’s essential to partner with creative copywriters and content experts to build a good reputation for your brand, and, of course, to grab the attention of potential customers. Remember, there is no such thing as uninteresting content; there are only uninterested readers.

Your content writers should understand that content is king, and thus, create ad copies and landing page content that are informative and engaging enough for readers to take the next step: respond to your expertly-written calls to action. 

Monitoring PPC Campaigns And Optimizing for Best Results

Step 5: Monitor PPC Campaigns and Optimize for Best Results

Unlike traditional forms of advertising, you can monitor your pay-per-click campaigns real-time and make instant modifications. For example, if some of your ads are underperforming, you can pause them to avoid wasting valuable ad dollars on keywords that may not be converting.


PPC can be competitive and painstaking, which is why many small businesses are struggling to break through. To make matters more difficult and challenging, small businesses and start-ups need to compete against bigger companies with sophisticated digital marketing departments and large budgets.

The good news is, if you own a small business, you CAN compete with established companies for clicks, and you CAN keep up with Google’s frequent algorithm changes and the digital age’s fast-paced advancements. If you’re ready for the sweet taste of success, the PPC specialists here at PrimeView are on your side to help you dominate the competition and roll with Google’s punches.

Choose Today to Build Your Online Presence and Grow Your Business 

Our Phoenix online marketing team understands what it takes to win this PPC war and outbid competitors in order to position your brand on top of the SERP. Whether you own a local cafe or an ecommerce business, we can help scale your brand to new heights and work with you to achieve the best results possible.

Are you ready to stand out? Call PrimeView at 480-970-4688 or contact us online to know more about our small business PPC services.