Online Advertising 101: How to Get Started

On the surface, digital marketing might not seem too complex, but beneath it lies many moving parts that work together to generate a successful result. Amongst these specialized areas is paid advertisement. Given its name, you might think that alone will tell you all that you need to know about this sort of advertising. But there is far more to it than what meets the eye. Here are the fundamentals of paid advertising and how it can benefit your business.

What are Online Paid Ads?

What Are Online Paid Ads? 

At one point or another, you might’ve come across the term paid ads, or more formally known as pay-per-click advertisements. Or perhaps you’ve taken it into consideration to assist with your digital marketing endeavors. Whichever is the case, it’s important to thoroughly understand a concept before implementing it. So let’s start with the basics. 

What are “paid ads”? These types of ads consist of advertisements that are conducted at a cost per viewership or interaction. Although this might seem like a blanket term, there are several variations that fall under this umbrella that caters to varying needs. Here are a few routes you can take to incorporate paid advertisements into your campaigns.

Pay- per- click advertising (PPC)

If increasing your click-through rate organically isn’t giving the results you desire, implementing a pay-per-click campaign is a great alternative. PPC is a form of marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.  Essentially, it is a form of buying more visits to your website or landing page in order to increase conversions

Want to put your business front and center? Grab a spot on the first page of a SERP (search engine results page)! Whenever a space for advertisement becomes available on a search engine results page, an auction for the specified keyword begins. For example, if we would like an ad for our business to appear in the “sponsored links” section of Google’s results page for “digital marketing”, we would bid on the keyword “digital marketing.” Keep reading to gain insight into the auction process and the most popular site that hosts them. 

Google Ads 

Making up over 90% of the search market share in 2020, placing an ad on a Google SERP would be extremely beneficial for your business seeing as though millions are using the engine daily.

Here are a few factors that Google Ads uses to determine ad acceptance and placement: 

  • Bid Amount  –  During the auction, you will inform Google Ads of the maximum amount you are willing to spend each time your ad is clicked. Oftentimes the advertiser ends up spending less than the maximum amount they’ve entered. It is also important to note that the amount entered isn’t final, and it can be changed by the advertiser at any time.
  • Ad Quality – Google Ads will evaluate your ad to determine how relevant or useful it will be to those who it will appear to. The quality of your ad will be summarized in your “quality score”, which assesses the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Lower prices and better ad placement are given to ads with higher quality. Similar to your bid amount, your scores aren’t final and can be improved upon if necessary.
  • Estimated Impact of Ad Extensions  After creating your ad, you will be given the option to include phone numbers or additional links to specific pages on your website. This additional information is known as “ad extensions”. If included, Google Ads will estimate how well they will perform and how they’ll ultimately affect the performance of your ad.

Note: With relevant keywords, extension, and ads, your ad can earn a higher position than your competitors, even if their bid amount is larger. Quality matters!

Keyword Research 

As a major component of your campaign, it is critical that the keywords that are being included in your ad are relevant to the services you provide. During your search, you will need to tap into the mind of your target audience. Which keywords are most likely to be used during their search? Enlisting the help of tools that specialize in refined keyword research will be useful, but before you get started, it’s best to start with a list of keywords you find suitable for your ad. 

These keywords can be arranged by the following categories: 

  • Brand terms –  keywords that contain your brand/business name.
  • General termskeywords that relate to your product or service.
  • Related termskeywords that users who want your product/service might be searching for.
  • Competitor termskeywords that contain the brand/business names of your competitors. 
What is Pay per impression?

This is often referred to as PPI or CPM, cost per impression.

For further information regarding these categories and how they can assist you with your PPC campaign, please check out our search engine marketing blog!  

 Pay-Per-Impression (PPI)

Instead of paying each time your ad is clicked, you could opt for paying per every 1,000 impressions. This is often referred to as PPI or CPM, cost per impression. The “M” is derived from the Latin numeral that represents the value of 1,000. Impressions are defined as the viewing of an ad on a digital platform, like a website. This can include scrolling past, watching a few seconds of a video ad, or hovering over a drop down. Instead of placing a huge significance on an ad’s click-through rate, a flat rate fee is paid per mille (1,000) impressions. This form of advertisement is often used by larger companies to increase brand awareness.

Display Ads 

As an alternative to the text-only ads that are typically found on search engine results pages, display ads provide a far more visually engaging experience. With less restriction, you can express your creativity in the form of animation, audio, video, and more. Tools like the Google Display Network can help you find the appropriate platform to run your ad on and connect you with your target audience. Here are a few forms of displays ads that are permitted to run on the network: 

Responsive Ads: This partially automated process requires imputing text and attaching an image, along with your logo. Google will then proceed to use these elements to optimize and improve the performance of your ad. 

Uploaded Image Ads: If you’d rather have more control in the process, you can upload your completed ads in the form of images. The sizes or HTML5 can vary. 

Engagement Ads:  These engaging video or image advertisements are often run on Youtube or the Display Network. They frequently include a logo, a landing page, two high-quality images ( one to be placed at the beginning of the ad and the other will appear at the end along with a call-to-action.) Depending on the format, a video or a Google shopping catalog might be required. 

Gmail Ads: These expandable ads typically appear at the top of an individual’s inbox. 
Social Media Ads

Social Ads 

With approximately 3. 82 billion social media users, it isn’t surprising that one of the most popular forms of digital advertising is social advertisement. Trying your hand at advertising on a social media platform might seem like a sure-fire way to achieve your marketing goals, but there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. Before you begin crafting your ad, you first must decide upon a platform. When making this selection, try to choose one that your target audience frequents. This deduction can be made by analyzing the demographics of your audience. Depending on the platform, you might be able to access advanced targeting options that will present your ad to certain individuals based on the following information: 

  • Location
  • Interests
  • Demographics
  • Education
  • and Behavior 

When creating an ad, most platforms will begin by asking you to define a clear objective for your advertisement. Setting a campaign objective will help the application determine which ad format will best suit how you’d like the ad to perform. The categories for campaign objectives often include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Traffic 
  • Reach 
  • Interactions
  • App installations
  • Lead generation
  • Video views and conversions

Once you’ve set an objective, you will be able to choose from a wide range of format options. Here are a few that are popular across platforms:

Photo Ads – A high-quality image depicting your product or service that is often paired with a descriptive text and a link to your business’ website. 

Video Ads – High-quality footage that highlights your product or service. These typically demonstrate how your company can improve your customer’s situation.  

Carousel Ads – Can’t decide between which photo or video you want to include in your ad? With carousel ads, you can include multiple images or videos to string together a compelling story that’ll lead to conversions. Individual links can also be included with each piece of media. 

Story Ads – Popular on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. These ads allow you to capture the viewer’s attention with a photo for five seconds or 15 seconds with video.  

When it comes to paid advertisements, there is no shortage of ways to go about implementing them into your digital marketing strategy. But the common denominator within all of the various formats is that they require a clear understanding of how you’d like your ad to perform. Once the objective of your campaign is set, you’ll be able to establish a solid foundation that will help your ad produce effective results. Stay tuned for more helpful hints regarding paid advertisement!  

Need help identifying whether or not paid ads will benefit your business? We can help! Contact us today to gain insight into the paid formats that will work best for your business. 



Written by Bryanna Norris
Published on July 13, 2020
Filed Under: Pay-Per-Click