SEO & SEM Basics Part 3: Pay Per Click (PPC)
Basics of PPC

A lot of people are not familiar with the different online advertising channels and one of them is PPC (Pay Per Click).

Continuing with our Basics of SEO and SEM series let’s talk about the basics of Pay Per Click or better known as PPC.

SEO campaigns usually take time, unlike PPC which can give you results just a few hours after launching your campaign.

PPC Basics
PPC is an essential component of Search Engine Marketing.
Image courtesy of

You can use PPC for all types of campaign goals, including Increasing sales, Generating leads or Promoting brand awareness.

There are two main Search Engine Platforms which utilise PPC: Google Ads the largest Pay Per Click Platform and Microsoft Advertising used for Yahoo searches and the Bing Network.

How Does PPC Bidding Work?

Ever been to an auction? There are numerous bids happening for the same item and the highest bid usually gets to own the item. PPC Bidding works similar to an auction.

When you begin your PPC campaign the Ad Platform like Google Adwords will ask you a number of questions and then they will ask you how much you are willing to pay for that particular keyword.

Let’s say 0.20c per click. There’s no way of knowing whether your competitors have outbid you for any particular keyword. Let’s say they are paying 0.40c or $1. The important thing to remember is whether your ad appears or not does not only depend on how much your willing to pay but the quality of your bid, your website and add structure all play an important role as well.

Understanding Keywords

Keyword Bidding is a key part of running PPC campaigns. The first part of any campaign is picking your campaign theme, Utilising tools like Keyword Planner

Let’s say our theme is ‘digital marketing’. Within the theme will be adgroups for example:

– Digital Marketing Zimbabwe

– Digital Marketing Zambia

– Digital Marketing Harare

Each ad group then contains themed keyword variations. For example, Digital Marketing Zimbabwe could include these variations

Zimbabwe Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Courses in Zimbabwe

Cheap Digital Marketing in Zimbabwe


Each keyword is assigned a match type

  • Exact – Query must be typed in exactly

‘Digital Marketing Zimbabwe’

  • Exact (Close Variant) – You type your query in exactly, but can include misspellings or other variants

‘Digitel Marketing Zimbabwe’

  • Phrase – Query must be typed in the correct order, even if there are additional terms before or after the query

‘Digital Marketing Zimbabwe Courses’

  • Phrase (Close Variant) – Query must be typed in the correct order, even if there are additional terms before or after the query. The query can include misspellings or other variants

‘Digital Marketing Zimbabwe Course’

  • Broad – You type your query in any order and will potentially show ads for similar searches

‘Digital Branding’

  • Modified Broad – This is the same as Broad, but must include terms that contain a plus sign such as +digital +marketing +Marketing

‘Courses on Digital’

  • Broad (Session-Based) – A form of a broad match that takes into account other queries from that user’s search session

‘artificial intelligence’

Negative Keywords

Negative words in a PPC campaign are words you don’t want your Ad to pop up for. For example, Free Digital Marketing. You can include the word ‘free’ as a negative keyword to indicate which search your ad shouldn’t show up for as Free Will indicate that this isn’t likely to be a paying client.


No matter how amazing your campaign is if you are targeting the wrong people. It will not work. Trying to sell dog food to a person with a cat likely won’t work. Audiences are an essential part of each ad campaign. You can choose your audience depending on location, age, page views, time spent on site, pages per visit etc. 

Creating your intended audience will also aid in remarketing. For example, you can spend more money remarketing to cart abandoners as they are at a later stage in their buying journey as compared to home page visitors. 

If you want to learn more about PPC & SEO why not enroll in our Professional Diploma in Search Marketing that is offered at 20% discount for a limited time and payable over 3-months, interest-FREE installments.



Always get the latest News and Advice