Paid Search Fundamentals

When users search on Google, it will generate natural and Paid Search results. Both results are ranked with the most prestigious position at the top. If a user clicks on a Paid Search result, they are taken to the advertiser’s website, and the advertiser is charged. As the advertiser is only charged when an advert is clicked, this system is known as Cost Per Click (CPC). Advertisers will set a maximum CPC, which they are willing to pay to drive a customer to their website.

Benefits of Paid Search

Google Ads enables advertisers to reach customers all over the world when they are searching for products and services.  Before Paid Search, national advertising was out of the reach of most small businesses. However, Paid Search has levelled the playing field, allowing small businesses to advertise on the same platform as larger businesses. Benefits include:


There is no minimum spend on Paid Search networks, and you only pay when users click on your ads.

Fast and Easy to Use

Unlike Search Engine Optimisation, Paid Search can start generating sales and traffic within hours. Simple campaigns can be set up in a matter of minutes.


Google Ads is a self-service platform and is simple enough for most advertisers to manage their campaign internally, without the need for external agencies.


Adverts can be changed at any time to focus your message and optimise performance.

Worldwide Reach

Google has a worldwide reach, and advertisers can create adverts targeting multiple locations and languages from the same account.


Paid Search adverts are contextual to each search, targeting users as they research products or are looking to buy. Advertisers can also target by (amongst other things) location, device, demographics and time of day.

Range of Formats and Wide Distribution

Google Ads has a diverse range of ad formats, including search ads, shopping ads and retargeting to suit every business type. Alongside Google search, they can also serve your ad across the broader Internet via their wider network, which includes:

  • Search network. This includes the Google search results page, Google properties like Google Maps and Google Shopping and partner search sites that show text ads.
  • Display network. This focuses on platforms and advertising methods that are not text-based. Display network sites include platforms like YouTube, Gmail and thousands of partner sites.


As seen in the example above, Paid Search often takes up most of the page ‘above the fold’ (i.e., the screen’s content without scrolling). Sometimes Paid Search is the only way to get noticed as the natural search results are pushed down the page.



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