Beginners Guide To Paid Ads Made Easy

On this beginners guide to paid ads we’ll cover what are paid ads, what are the types of paid ads you can find in the market, which ones are more effective and how you can do paid ads.

Beginners guide to paid ads – What are paid ads?

Online paid ads or paid advertising is the action of purchasing spots on the internet to promote your content or products and attract traffic to your website, landing page or even to your affiliate link depending on your strategy.

Imagine online paid advertising as traditional advertising in billboards/outdoors, but instead of physical billboards you would have places within a website or app where your ads can be shown to people who uses those platforms.

Unlike SEO (search engine optimization) that bring is organic traffic to your webpages, paid traffic as the term suggests, is a way to bring traffic to your website even if it is not yet ranking on search engines or if you simply want to boos the traffic as a complementary resource of your SEO results.

Paid ads pricing model

Unlike the traditional advertising model, the online paid ads present you with a great variety of biding options and strategies that you can adopt for your marketing campaigns, so we’ll list them out here so you can get a brief explanation of each one of them.

Cost per mille (CPM)

CPM or Cost per mille, where mille is a thousand in Latin, represents the cost you’ll have to display your ads for a thousand impressions. In other words is the price you’ll pay for your ad to be shown to a thousand people, not meaning they’ll all click on your links or even access your website, it is simply that the ad will be displayed in the advertising platform and seen by users.

Pay per click (PPC) / Cost per click (CPC)

The PPC or CPC as mentioned above, are ads that you’ll only pay for them if someone actually clicks on it, this means it does not matter how many impressions or people it has reached, it will only count if someone actually clicks on the ad.

This is a bidding strategy where the cost of the add will be related as the name says to the click. The price of the click will vary according to the keyword and platform you choose to promote your content or product.

Cost per action (CPA)

CPA is an advertising method where the advertiser agree to pay the advertising company a pre established amount for each lead brought in from the ad that turns into a sale.

Targeting paid ads

Rather than just showing up the ads for random people like traditional ads in billboards, tv and radio, online ads give you the option to target a specific audience to display the ads to.

For example, if you create ads in Facebook for example, they will give you an option to choose your targeted audience, so you can choose the age range, the gender, the country or city, the language and other options to target to your ideal audience.

Retargeting paid ads

Retargeting is a function to provide tailored ads for people who have already visited your website or landing page, and this way it could be easier to sell them something having in mind they have already being in touch with your content or products recently.

The way you’re able to do retargeting paid ads is by using tools available from the advertising networks, so for example, if you want to run ads in Facebook and do retargeting, you’ll need to install the Facebook Pixel in your website, so it tracks the people who have visited your website, for Google you’ll need to install the Google Analytics, and so on.

Different types of paid ads and networks

Advertising online gives us a great variety of platforms to work with, so we’ll list you some of the best options for you to learn and get started.

Search engine ads

Search engines are a great way to advertise your content and product, and that is because you’ll focus your ads on a specific keyword. That keyword will be the link with your ad and your potential customer, and the great part of that is that your potential customers are already looking up for that on the internet, so in theory that will be easier to market them.

As an example, let’s say you’re looking for Whey Protein Isolate in Google, just like the image down below. Check out how it is displayed the ads and the organic results.

Beginners guide to paid ads - google search showing paid ads and organic results

For Search engines, the major players are Google and Bing, and for this reason we’ll just give you a brief explanation on both of these platforms that you can advertise.

Google Ads

Google is by far the most popular search engine in the market, so promoting your content within the first pages of a specific keyword you’re working with is a great deal and you could reach a lot of people.

Google Ads is a great platform to advertise, however it could be not so user friendly for beginners, because it provides the users with a great variety of settings and options for your campaigns, which are a good thing, but could be overwhelming if you just got started and is not familiar with some terms.

Bing Ads

Bing is one of the most popular search engines after Google, and it probably is responsible for 1/3 of the web search traffic in the US. The good part about Bing is because great part of its users is 35 or plus years old, meaning that its audience have potentially a higher income than other platforms.

Although Bing has lots of functionalities as well, it is way more simple to set up an ad campaign with Bing Ads than it is to set up a campaign with Google, also having cheaper bidding prices than Google. If you’re getting started, those could be great advantages points for you to look at.

Social Media Ads

Beginners guide to paid ads - illustration to social media ads

The great majority of people spend many hours daily just browsing and scrolling their phones on social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, and guess what? You can advertise to those people, and if you learn how to retarget people that already visit your website and products pages on social media, that could be a powerful tool for your business.

Let’s talk about some of the most popular social medias out there that you can advertise to your audience.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is the main platform of social media you can find for paid advertising, and it is one of the best and most cost effective platforms for you to run retargeting paid ads to increase your brand awareness and consequently your sales.

You can either boos a post from your Facebook page to get more likes, comments, shares or clicks, as well as to create an ad from scratch that is not published in your page just to promote a specific product or webpage.

Just like Google, Facebook offers you a great variety of options and settings for your ads, so it might take you some time to get used to all the new terms and functions to improve your ads, but that is something worth learning.

Instagram Ads

Although Instagram is owned by Facebook and to run ads on it you need a Facebook account, Instagram is a complete different platform that most likely will provide you with a different type of audience, so ads that work on Facebook are not necessarily work on Instagram and vice versa.

Instagram is also a great platform to run paid ads and retarget your website visitors in their social media time. After they have already visited your product page it will be easier to grab their attention, and all of that is available at both Facebook and Instagram by using the Facebook Pixel to track the visitors of your site.

Youtube Ads

Youtube is a really popular search engine, and is another great option to run paid ads, not only because video content attract more views, but because you can target some similar videos with lots of monthly views, and program your ad to show on the beginning of that specific video or channel, being a great tool to improve your conversions.

To run ads in Youtube you’ll need an account at Google, however, setting up Ads in Youtube are fairly easier than compared with ads in Google search engine.

Beginners guide to paid ads - Illustration representing youtube paid ads

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is a professional network, and even having a smaller public than compared to the other social medias listed above, it is a great resource if you are promoting B2B (business to business) products or services.

Another advantage for advertising with LinkedIn, is that the cost per click is usually cheaper than in other platforms, so if your niche is in this social media it could be worth running ads there.

Native Ads

Native ads is the art of making ads that doesn’t look like advertisings. They were made to feel like a regular post in a website, something that matches the style of articles of an important website, but in fact are ads from smaller blogs or websites looking to improve their traffic with paid ads in larger and better ranked websites.

You’re probably wondering, if native ads look like regular content in a website, how could I tell it is an ad and not regular content? Take a look in the example down below from Forbes.

Beginners guide to paid ads - example of native ads in forbes website

Although this native ads program from Forbes integrates and blends smoothly within the website, you can usually tell that they are a native ad when taking a detailed look on them, because they usually contain text saying it is sponsored or recommended by the website, but since all the styles matches, you’ll only realize they are ads when taking a good look at them, otherwise it could pass by without you realizing they were ads.

Influencers Shout-outs

Going beyond all ad options the social medias provides for you, you could also get in contact with influencers on the niche you work with, and ask them how much they would charge you to promote your business either by sharing your content on a post, stories or on their own video content.

This is not an option you’ll find easily out there, in this alternative paid ads method, you would have to find this influencer on your own and get in touch with them to see if they provide this types of services in their accounts and ask how much they would charge you for that, but if they have a large audience and reach, that is something that could be worth the investment.

Beginners guide to paid ads - Social influencers representing shout-outs paid advertising

Should I run paid ads?

Although that is totally up to your strategy, running paid ads as a beginner could have positive and negative points, and we listed some of them down below to help you out choosing if paid ads are the right solution for you in the moment or not.

Advantages of paid ads for beginners

  • You can easily boost your website traffic
  • Good for new business and websites who still don’t have organic traffic
  • You can target and retarget your audience for optimal results
  • Online ads are more affordable than regular ads like the one in tv and radio

Disadvantages of paid ads for beginners

  • Stop with the paid ads and won’t get that traffic anymore
  • Paid ads for beginners can be overwhelming with the amount of settings and options available
  • Could easily become expensive if you don’t target the right audience
  • It might take a few trials and errors to get the right set up for conversions; that means spending money without proper returns in the beginning

Organic vs Paid Ads

Everyone loves free stuff, myself included. Driving organic traffic into your website is awesome, but putting in place all SEO you need and generating backlinks could be time consuming and most times it takes a few months for you to see results on it.

In the other hand paid ads you can see results way faster. Even though you’ll have to spend money with ads, it could be a great option for you to get your website and products a great kick start and keep on working with SEO to get more organic traffic in the future.

The deal here is that many times, the best way to face this battle is to combine the two strategies, and use paid traffic as a complement to your organic traffic.

Often when you boost a post on Facebook and Instagram, the paid ads also boosts the organic reach, because people that likes your content from paid ads can share it whit other people, so paid traffic could also boost your organic traffic results.


Now that you have read our complete beginners guide to paid ads, hopefully you have a better understanding of what are online paid ads, which platforms you could use and if it is suitable for you and your business.

My sincere opinion is that you study a little bit about all platforms available and choose one to get started. Learn how to target your audience in that platform and keep on measuring all the results and costs.

Paid ads could be a great asset in your business, it is up to you to learn how to use this asset and make the most out of it!

Post Cover Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash