Pay-Per-Click Advertising & Management

PPC: What It Is, How It Works, and How We Manage It

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an internet advertising model used to drive targeted online traffic to websites. A fee is paid when an online advertisement is clicked.

The process involves advertisers (typically website owners) bidding on particular keywords and phrases relevant to their target audience. An advertisers text ad (or image ad) may be displayed when an online search is performed for their bid upon keywords. The placement of the ad is determined by multiple factors including bid amount, ad relevance and landing page content — high relevance between the keywords, ads and landing page are crucial to the placement and performance of an advertisement.

Search was $24.6 billion of digital ad spend in 2014 — 50% of all digital ad spend in the United States. Search spend is even higher when mobile search spend is added into the “search” total.

Hanapin Marketing‘s 2014 State of Paid Search report reveals that 88% of respondents feel successful in the PPC market. Further, 72% of respondents say their overall PPC budget will be higher than last year.

The numbers above are a clear indication that plenty companies/websites are greatly benefiting from the leads their PPC campaigns are generating. In fact, the demand for Shimmer’s pay-per-click management services has nearly tripled in just the last two years.

PPC gears by Shimmer.

PPC GEARS: How The Machine Works

As many small business owners (and enthusiastic marketers) have discovered, the pay-per-click machine is far more complex than they originally anticipated. We’re way past the days of: write an ad, bid on a keyword, and they will come.

A modern Google AdWords (or Bing/Yahoo) PPC campaign can involve in-depth competitive analysis, thousands of keywords, hundreds of ads, complex bid strategies, ad scheduling, automated rules, an ever growing list of ad extensions, mobile bid adjustments, and much, much more. To top it off, the pay-per-click landscape has become fiercely competitive in the last few years.

Pay-Per-Click management is not a side project or part-time job.

To ensure your PPC campaign’s success, it is vital that you, or your PPC campaign manager, understand exactly how the search advertising platform works, how to get the most from the system, and are dedicated to the hours required for achieving exceptional results.


All PPC campaigns begin with keyword research. Utilizing tools like AdWords Keyword Planner helps you find keyword ideas as well as estimate how the keywords might perform.

Other tools, like SEMrush, give you insight to the competitive landscape. Approximate cost-per-click, top advertisers for a particular keyword, and organic search results are some of the great data provided here.


The PPC campaign settings tab (see AdWords campaign settings below) is where you set foundational elements of your pay-per-click campaign. Here are some typical elements to manage on a Google AdWords campaign settings tab:

  • Type – The campaign type determines the places where your ads can appear on Google (Search Network, Display Network), and the different settings and options available (bidding, location targeting, ad scheduling, etc.)
  • Locations – Campaign locations allow you to target your ads to customers in a geographic location. Alternately, geographic locations can be excluded from your campaign as well. For instance, you can include the United States as a targeted location for your ads, then refine the target by excluding a particular city and/or state.
  • Languages – Campaign languages is where you set the language of the sites that your ads can appear on.
  • Bid Strategy – The bid type determines whether you pay for ad clicks (CPC), impressions (CPM), or conversions (CPA). The bid amount ($) is the most you want to pay. Also, it influences how your ad is ranked.
  • Budget – The daily budget is the average amount you are willing to spend each day on this particular campaign.
  • Ad SchedulingScheduling lets you set the days and hours that your campaign ads will appear on the Google advertising networks.

Google AdWords campaign settings page.


Nearly 95 percent of Shimmer’s PPC clients are business owners, CEOs and marketing managers for businesses that were once performing pay-per-click management duties in house.

The fact is, pay-per-click advertising has become very competitive and the PPC platforms have become very complex. Simply, it has become imperative that a business PPC campaign has a dedicated and well qualified manager in order to achieve maximum return on investment.

Shimmer is a conversion focused PPC agency. We believe in tracking hard leads and sales as true indicators of a PPC campaign’s performance. We continually strive to improve ROI for our clients, and we are proud to be nationally ranked by major PPC authority websites.

If you choose to keep PPC in-house, we get it. We hope that you find plenty of helpful articles here on the Shimmer website. But, if your PPC campaigns are not producing the kind of results you had hoped for, get in touch — we’ll be happy to answer questions, offer advice, or get you started with a Shimmer PPC campaign management solution.