Digital Marketing – South Africa


Google Ads & Pay Per Click Advertising

Google Ads PPC Advertising
Google Ads PPC Advertising

Before the internet and Google Ads & Pay Per Click Advertising took over the world, the surest way to get your business noticed was to make sure it was always visible.

This was achieved primarily through aggressive advertising strategies in the form of giant billboards on the side of the highway, front page advertising and big banners in the yellow pages.

However, times have changed dramatically and so has marketing. The question is, has your business adapted to these changes, or are you still hoping someone notices your (super expensive) flyer at the bottom of their post box?

Google Ads in a Nutshell

In October 2000, Google came to the rescue all dressed up as Google Adwords – an advertising tool that would help businesses get the most out of their advertising budget and efforts.

Now known as Google Ads, this tool allows business owners to put their business in front of customers who are already looking for their products or services.

However, this forms part of the paid advertising world of marketing, so it comes at a cost. The good news is that it still doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg if you craft high quality ads.

What is Google Advertising All About?

Google Ads falls under the “pay-per-click” marketing channel where the advertiser pays per click or per impression on an advert.

The Google Ads platform allows you to create an advert that is well-timed and that will show up among your target audience.

In other words, when an ideal customer initiates a search on Google, looking for a product or service that you are offering, your business will show up on the search engine’s results page (SERP).

However, there is a bit of science behind this marketing method that you should be aware of, making it less straight forward than it sounds, and that’s where we come in.

Principles of Google Ads

Keywords and Phrases

All searches are based on specific keywords that are most relevant to a business and its offerings. Therefore, when using Google Ads, you will select a number of keywords that a searcher is most likely to use in their search, then create an advert that appears on the SERP based on those keywords or phrases.

Finding these keywords requires research and in-depth analysis of competitors and user insights. But don’t worry, we’ve got all of that covered for you.


However, your business won’t be the only one serving adverts to prospective customers using those keywords or phrases. Your competitors can bid for the same search term.

Therefore, you have to bid against other businesses on how much you are willing to pay Google Ads (cost-per click or CPC) every time a searcher clicks on your advert. This is, of course, if you want your advert to appear on the SERP at all.

Logically speaking, the more you pay per click, the more likely your advert will appear in the results. But there’s more.

Ad Rank

Unfortunately, Google Advertising bidding methods don’t work in the same way as normal bidding models; it’s not only the highest bid that wins.

In order to determine how high up on the SERP your advert will appear, Google assigns it an Ad Rank.

Google uses this metric to determine the order in which paid adverts will be displayed on the results page.

The advert with the highest Ad Rank will most likely show at the top of the page, the advert with the second-highest Ad Rank will show in the second position and so on.

So, what are the 5 factors that determine an Ad Rank?

  • Your bidding amounts
  • The quality of your advert and landing page which is reflected in your Quality Score
  • The Ad Rank thresholds
  • Search context which include:
    • The query
    • The time of search
    • Other adverts and search results shown on the page
    • User signals like device type and location
  • Ad extensions and other ad formats
Cost Per Impression

This is the less common method of paid advertising. Cost per impression (CPM) means you pay Google for every 1000 times your advert appears on the SERP without the user actually clicking through.

DMSA – Google Ads and Digital Marketing Cape Town

Online advertising is an extremely cost-effective tool that offers you the ability to track and measure your efforts in real time.

At DMSA, we like to encourage business owners to look at advertising as a smart investment strategy that should not be overlooked.

We can help you integrate Google Ads into your overall marketing strategy and, in addition, we offer a full house of digital marketing services designed to get your business the attention it deserves.

If you would like to find out more about how paid advertising can be your marketing ally, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer any burning questions you may have.

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