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What are PPC Bids?

The business world is changing all the time, and there are always new things to get to grips with. Indeed, this is what entrepreneurs really thrive on. In the era of remote work, we’re facing new challenges every day, from working out how to start a conference to getting to grips with how to brainstorm at a distance. There’s always new terminology to get to grips with, too.

One term you might have encountered before is pay per click (PPC). This is a type of online marketing where - as the name might suggest - advertisers pay a fee for each click their ads receive. 

This contrasts with organic forms of marketing, where the focus is on ‘earning’ visits. Instead, advertisers can ‘bid’ on a particular keyword and move it to the top of Google results pages. This makes it one of the most popular kinds of online advertising, but one that requires careful budgeting.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to PPC bidding and explain why it matters. Read on to find out more.

What are PPC Bids - and Why do They Matter?

PPC bidding, as we’ve just alluded to, involves advertisers bidding for a certain keyword with the intention of making their own pages more visible in Google results. This means that whenever users search for that keyword, they should find the relevant link among the sponsored links at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

There are a number of factors that affect the PPC bidding process, and influence how much advertisers are willing to pay for prime positions. These include:

  • The prominence of the link in SERPs. The more prominent and visible the link is, the more advertisers are likely to be prepared to pay for it.

  • Budgeting. Some advertisers may have only a limited digital marketing budget at their disposal. If their services are fairly niche (and hence not conducive to targeting high-volume keywords), they may, therefore, be reluctant to put in large bids.

  • The bidding process tends to favor high bids. This can lead to considerable controversy among advertisers, as some find themselves outbid by other companies for prime sponsored SERPs places.

PPC advertising, then, is well established as a method of customer engagement, drawing consumers in by paying for a guaranteed prominent place in Google results. Now we need to look in closer detail at how PPC bidding actually works.

A Brief Introduction to PPC Bidding

As with any other kind of auction, PPC bidding involves ongoing competition with other buyers. In this case for sponsored positions in Google SERPs. The various bidders in the room (so to speak) compete with one another until the last one is left standing. The highest bidder wins. 

We’ve noted already how this can prove quite competitive as advertisers do battle with one another, leading to some high—arguably over-inflated—bids. So, when you begin a new PPC campaign, you’ll be asked by Google Ads what the maximum is that you want to pay each time a user clicks on your ad. 

You may subsequently find, however, that your ad is appearing in SERPs less and less frequently. This is most likely because you’ve been outbid by a rival advertiser. Look at it from Google’s perspective; there’s no room for sentimentality and the advertiser who’s prepared to pay more will have the advantage.

There’s inevitably a degree of trial and error about this, so the more PPC bidding you do, the more accustomed to it you’ll become. Over time, you’ll start to understand how much you’ll need to pay in order to reach the people you need to reach. 

You should, however, monitor your PPC analytics very closely. This will help you determine the effectiveness, or otherwise, of your PPC campaign as one aspect of your wider marketing stack.

Getting More Bang for Your PPC Buck

Few businesses can afford to simply splurge money on PPC. You, therefore, need to take care to ensure that you’re getting genuine value for money from your PPC budget. PPC budgets are often quite stretched, but thorough research and a sound understanding can help you make yours go further.

Say you’re selling a phone conference solution and you want to use PPC to get an edge over your competitors. You’ll need to identify the right keyword themes. If they’re too broad, you could end up racking up hits from people who have no real interest in what you’re offering, and therefore won’t buy it.

You should also keep a watchful eye on your PPC performance. Your campaign analytics will provide valuable insights, so you should check them regularly - perhaps even daily. If you’re bringing in a lot of excess clicks with low conversions, you’ll probably need to recalibrate your campaign.


There’s a lot to learn when creating a new online store. There’s much more to establishing a successful online presence than just building your brand on social media, important though that is. 

PPC can help your company steal a march on its rivals and introduce it to consumers who otherwise might never have heard of it. A thoroughly researched, strategic approach to PPC bidding can reap real rewards, and your business should soon see the benefit.

BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

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