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How To Get The Most Out Of Your PPC Campaigns

It's true: more people are looking online and using Google to find things than ever before.

And PPC is just about the best way to connect with that audience. But how can you make the most of this channel without spending a fortune?

Posted Monday, February 1, 2021

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According to Google search volumes from January to April 2020 increased across almost all categories compared to the same period in 2019.”

Ofcom also reported that "UK adults are now spending more than a quarter of their waking day online – the highest on record".

This is really exciting if you're already active with Google Ads or considering venturing into the world of PPC - as you have a captive audience! However, it's not just about 'being online' (unless you have an unlimited budget). So, we've come up with 3 simple questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you're doing all you can to make your money go further in Pay Per Click advertising.

1. take time to target

One of the major benefits that PPC offers is that you can be highly targeted with your ads. But this takes a bit of thought on your part, to ensure that your ad is seen by the right people, at the right time.

A great way to start is to build up a picture of your current or ideal customer(s) by creating customer personas. Think about:

  • Demographic profile – where do they live, how old are they, are they in a relationship
  • Personality traits – e.g. extrovert, creative, loyal
  • Life goals – i.e. career, family, travel, hobbies
  • What they do online – e.g. Facebook, recipe hunting on google, Netflix

Once you have a better idea of who exactly you want to talk to, you’ll be better placed to make the right selections when using the targeting options in Google Ads:

  • Locations (incl. presence & interest)
  • Languages
  • Audiences (using Audience Manager, you can
    • retarget people who’ve already engaged with your website, your app, your videos on YouTube and more
    • custom-build an audience made up of keywords that describe “your ideal customer's interests or products and services they are actively researching to buy” OR “search terms your ideal customer is using on Google”. You can also target by entering websites, apps and physical locations your customer may have entered.

2. follow the customer journey

PPC has a role in all of the stages of the buying cycle: from awareness to consideration to purchase. Think about what your customers are searching for at each of these points, and therefore what information you can provide them that will be of use.

Then use this knowledge to structure your campaigns intelligently. Group by theme. Have ads and offers that specifically appeal to your target audience (/customer personas).

It goes without saying that using the right keywords is crucial. Take the time to research the keywords that will resonate with your potential customers. In order to boost your quality score (and therefore the chances of your ad ranking higher, pick the keywords that align directly with your ads themselves.

3. make an emotional connection

The key to a successful PPC campaign is great ad copy. But what does this actually mean? Think back to your audience personas. What are they interested in? What do they care about? What do they actually want to know?

Use that information to connect and engage with the user. Think about:

  • What can you tell your customer about your product or service that they might not know? e.g. Are they interested in the environment? Tell them how your products are eco-friendly
  • Why should a customer choose you over your competitor(s)? e.g. Cost? Opening hours? Location? Service levels? Parking?
  • What problems does your product or service solve?
  • Are you running any offers or promotions at the moment that encourage that conversion?

4. consider the user experience (UX) on your website

Another key factor in improving your quality score is a great landing page. Give your site the best chances of converting users when they visit. You can do this through CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation). The page (and your site) should:

  • Be easy to navigate
  • Be easy to read (digestible copy and good use of images)
  • Reflect your keywords.
  • Have a clear call to action.

Most importantly – give the user the information they are looking for. Make the answer easy to find. Continue to make changes (even small ones) to your page and site where necessary.

Think mobile first. Google does – and so should you. Many companies don’t even check their own site out on mobile. Follow the steps a potential customer might take once landing on your site from search.

  • Does the page layout work (particularly if the site has been resized from desktop, even responsively)
  • Is the text legible?
  • Are buttons easy to click?
  • Does the navigation work properly?

5. keep an eye on performance

One of the best ways to do this is by taking a look at the Search Terms report, which gives you an idea of what users are actually searching for when they are served your ad or click on it.

However, as of last September, “the search terms report only includes terms that a significant number of users searched for, even if a term received a click.” []

This means that you’ll see up to 20% less search terms – giving you less insights. Google state that this change is due to respecting ‘privacy’ (meeting their thresholds), though some cynics are seeing it as a way of pushing advertisers to rely further on Google’s own algorithms and machine learning processes: using auto-bids and automated ads, as opposed to more control via keyword-led campaigns.

Either way – it’s important to still pay attention to the search terms report. The popular terms should inform your future ad texts and any terms that don’t match your objectives should be added to your negative keyword list to prevent budget wastage.


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