5 parts of PPC Ad

The Breakdown of a PPC (Pay Per Click) Ad

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Pay per click advertising, or PPC, can be an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy, if done well. PPC is a form of advertising where you pay each time a person clicks your ad. A customer searches a query and your ad attracts their attention, generating a click through to your website. When done correctly, it’s a cost effective and targeted method of online marketing. This article will focus on the five parts that make up a PPC Ad to better understand and implement this into a successful marketing strategy.

So what makes up a PPC ad? It can be broken into five parts:

  1. Headline
  2. Description
  3. Display URL
  4. Destination URL
  5. Ad extensions



Headlines are linked text at the top of the ad. It usually uses the keyword, like in the example with ‘Backpacking Boots,’ and they are meant to grab the attention of the reader. You have 25 characters in your headline so it’s important to use it wisely. For generic keywords like boot, be descriptive. If you’re targeting a specific brand – like Oboz or Ecco – don’t forget to include the brand name in the headline.


In the description, tell your customers more about what they’re going to view with a value proposition. Both ads above say “I’ll save money”. The first specifies “Big Savings” and “Free Shipping on Qualified Orders.” That’s helpful, but leaves me wondering just how much savings and what will qualify my order. The second option is more convenient it seems. I can save “up to 70%” and items are on clearance.

Both ads will probably result in similarly priced boots, but it’s about the perceived value to the customer. For some, free shipping is a motivator. For others, clearance prices work better. Be sure to A/B test your descriptions to see which will perform best.

Descriptions are usually two lines long, each a maximum of 35 characters.

Display URL

The display URL is simply the URL customers see associated with your ad. This isn’t the exact link the ad leads to, but does give the searcher an idea of what to expect. A good example for, let’s say, PetiteClothing Co. would be:

www.PetiteClothing.com/Shirts or www.PetiteClothing.com/Shorts

Destination URL

This is the actual URL that your search ad links to. It’ll probably be long and have tracking codes. Customers don’t see it, but it directs them to the page they’re looking for.

Why the two URLs? The display URL is clean and short for the actual ad. This one helps you identify which ads are bringing traffic to specific pages on your website.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions allow you to display more information in your ad. They can increase your CTR (click-through rate) and boost your conversion rates. However, these extensions aren’t used as often as they could be. Since they literally extend the size of your ad, you’ll stand out more by taking up more real estate on the results page. Some popular ad extensions include:

Here’s an example from Walmart, who uses five of 11 available ad extensions:


Paid search ads can be tremendously beneficial to businesses both big and small but only as long as you optimise them correctly. In this case, it is with the full understanding of a PPC Ad breakdown and the incorporation of effective extensions.


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