Updated June 30 2020
With so many marketing companies in London offering digital, inbound and outbound marketing, SEO, Adwords and PPC services, it can be very confusing trying to find a trustworthy agency to work with.
Especially when you’re starting off as a fledgling business with limited capital, it’s important to put your marketing budget into an agency that knows how to get results.
One effective way to maximise your inbound marketing profits is through hiring a pay per click management company or PPC marketing agency. In this article we’ll lay out what PPC is, what an agency does with a PPC campaign, and what to look for when trying to find a good agency in London.
What is PPC and what does a PPC Campaign look like?
The concept of PPC is fairly simple: adverts are placed online and you pay the platform who hosted the ad an agreed amount for every click that ad gets m– hence the name “pay-per-click”.
Whilst you pay the advertiser for the PPC ads, you end up gaining more in the long run because the sales brought about by the advertisements will total more than the cost of the ad itself.
Setting up a PPC ad campaign is relatively straightforward. For Google Adwords (PPC), advertisers bid for space and ranking for certain keywords or related terms on Google. These will come up as sponsored links when you search for the keywords or related terms on the search engine. So if you search for “inbound marketing” on Google you’ll see PPC ads related to that search term.
Your pay per click ads will bring more traffic to your website and increase the number of views of your content based on their specific search queries. Although the initial task of creating your own website and content is often costly and requires many licenses and a competent server to maintain, it costs far less than what traditional outbound marketing will cost you in the long run.
The number of clicks per ad are also an effective statistical tool to measure your return of investment (ROI). As the number of clicks across a certain period of time will be recorded, you can see just how much you are earning from it and how effective your marketing strategy has become. Most, if not all, outbound marketing campaigns do not have that advantage, which makes PPC a more effective strategy.
Both onsite and offsite blogs can utilise pay-per-click advertising to generate profit. As it’s cost-effective and easily tracked, it’s a great way to get your content out there without a huge capital. It's also not something that has to contradict your inbound marketing efforts, it can be complementary. Any good inbound marketing agency will be able to help you run both types of campaign effectively.
One of the main advantages of using PPC for your business is its measurable ROI, or return on investment. As you count the pay per click, you can easily track the volume of traffic your ad gets on a daily, monthly, or even yearly business.
Over time, you can use this data to determine highs and lows of your ads. You can track the times in a day where your ad gets the most clicks, or when in a month your ads get more revenue.
This is especially important if your product or service is seasonal. This data is also useful when it comes to improving and innovating your business plans and inbound marketing methodologies, as it's tailored to your business.
How PPC Works
Let’s say you earn £1 for every click your ad receives. If every click resulted in a profit margin of £100, then you’ve made a large profit. The pay-per-click is often paid to the search engine in exchange for a higher ranking, so you both benefit from the arrangement.
Keyword research and selection is critical at this stage. Investing in keyword backlink research and customer feedback will always benefit any business, but it is especially helpful in PPC as these keywords are what lead customers to find and click on your links. The more keyword variations you bid for, the more profit you get. This will depend on continuous customer feedback, industry integration, and internal innovation of your business.
Frequent updates from your business – be it industry news or community events - make for more relevant keyword search terms. For example, if there is a new kind of software available for smartphones and you are a retailer planning to stock it, publishing updates about this development will definitely benefit your business.
Two Models of PPC
Most marketing campaigns follow either Flat-rate PPC or Bid-raised PPC. Both factor into the cost of ads clicked over a given period of time, but with different ways of making a profit.
Flat Rate PPC
In flat-rate PPC, there is a fixed price that can be negotiated between the publisher and the advertiser, usually including the search engine and other places for placement. This is often adjusted in terms of where you plan to advertise. Google and Bing will have higher rates compared with other search engines due to the number of users.
Bid Based PPC
Bid-based PPC on the other hand requires the advertiser to bid for the highest ranking area in their service provider. Ads that appear at the top of a particular page will naturally get more clicks, which will lead to more revenue and profit in the long run. Those that are at the bottom, however, will not gain as much. The top spots are highly valuable online real estate, and therefore they're not permanent. Bidding is often a continuous process.
Keywords in PPC
What are keywords? They are snippets of information that contain the main topic, and usually the term that you input into the search engine. As there are many possible variations of a possible keyword, it can be very time-consuming to conduct research on them. Often the investment will be costly as it requires combing through similar links on the internet, usually with help from back-linking software and search engine optimised websites.
PPC depends on keywords. It's therefore important to conduct effective research to generate the most useful keywords for your business. If your ad does not generate the kind of clicks that the search engine requires, they may lower your ranking. If you profit, however, the pay-per-click will often cost less as you have gained the search engine more revenue.
Finding PPC keywords
In order to find appropriate keywords, brainstorm with your business partners and associates for words and phrases that define your business. A restaurant may be interested in “fine dining London” or “upscale restaurant London”. Once you have produced a list you can come up with word groupings to function as keywords.
Next, use software like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or Google Search Console that lets you sift through posts and websites which rank highly for that keyword. Take note of the similarities between them: can these be applied to your current inbound marketing strategies? If applicable, you may then be able to incorporate them into your website and blog posts.
If you're just starting out stick to one keyword, as you want to establish a higher ranking first. If you’re already applying keyword research then you may be able to include more to suit your needs.
Include the keyword organically in your content - make your blog posts sound as natural as possible. Don’t ‘keyword stuff’ by overusing the terms as you may be penalised.
The meta tags in your images, videos, and descriptions must also contain the keyword. This increases your credibility with your customers and the search engines you utilise. Visibility is everything. Marketing good content is just as important as creating it.
Continue to add your chosen keyword into subsequent posts to increase your rankings. This will further your visibility to website traffic, as you will be higher up the SERPs, and make for more effective PPC.
Localisation and personalisation
Building closer relationships and ties with potential customers has become important in making PPC work.
Advertising continues to create ads that appear more personalised and produce a deeper connection to individuals. For example, PPC ads will relate to particular communities within a location. If you’re searching for “local pharmacists London” and your location settings are set in West Ruislip, the search engine will generate ads that correspond to that.
If your search is more general, you may receive PPC ads that refer to a particular product or service. "Makeup products" may generate products that are made or manufactured in the United Kingdom, and usually feature those with high website traffic and quality feedback.
Search engines rank ads according to their website traffic and cost per click. PPC therefore acts as an indication of quality businesses.
As businesses become more adept at online marketing, PPC continues to play a large role in creating website traffic and providing revenue for both the business and search engines.
So, whether you’re a blogger looking to reach a wider audience or a business that is branching out to social media for the first time, PPC can be an avenue to provide your business with steady profits and a measurable, attainable return of investment.
Finding a trusted UK PPC agency
Now we've discussed what a PPC management company can do for your business, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? As when engaging any type of agency for the first time, there are some important factors to consider when browsing marketing agency websites:
If you’re going to be relying on an agency to work on your website and your online ads, it doesn’t bode well if their own web presence is underwhelming. A good digital marketing agency should practise what they preach, have an attractive website with smooth, reliable user experience, and a blog or resources with helpful information on their area of expertise.
When you contact them, is their customer service attentive and flexible? And do they try to get to know your concerns and answer your questions rather than bombard you with their own ideas? Even if most of your contact with them is going to be over the internet, a strong first impression will tell you if they know what they’re talking about and whether it’s likely to be a good relationship.
Does the PPC management company have any certifications like HubSpot partnership status, Adwords or the Google Partners Programme? If they’re affiliated with a reputable marketing or advertising body that’s a good sign that they have expertise in the field.
If other companies have given the agency good reviews for their PPC campaigns that’s another good sign. And if you’re skeptical, don’t take the word of their testimonials page – give their reviewers’ businesses a call or email and ask how they found the agency. Word of mouth is important and a reliable indicator of quality service.
Is the Adwords management company talking about tracking simple metrics like clickthrough rates and overall impressions, and not much else? Analytics like these are easily available with free software and won’t be adding much value to your PPC campaigns by themselves.
A good PPC agency should focus a campaign on your business’s ROI and profits. There are several ways (as discussed) to achieve this, but these should be the main objectives, not stats for stats’ sake. Do they ask about your business goals, budget and previous experience with PPC?
Read the contract
An obvious point to make, but once you’ve discussed a campaign with your chosen agency, check the fine print of any contract to make sure you know what you’ll be paying and getting for your PPC strategy.
A Professional PPC Agency Will Protect You From PPC Mistakes
These days UK businesses must have a good website to establish an online foothold and stay competitive. Using Google AdWords UK is an effective way to launch a pay-per-click strategy. You bid for keywords relating to your products and services and in return, Google will display sponsored ads to users who enter those keywords, thus boosting your site’s visibility.
As with any business endeavour, however, there are some pitfalls you need to be aware of. BusinessBee senior writer Lisa Poulsen discusses what to watch out for when embarking on a pay per click services project. For example:
Let’s say you run a bakery in Cardiff that specialises in cottage loaves and pork pies. Bidding for the keywords “cottage loaf” and “pork pie” won’t do simply because the terms are too general (and other bakeries before yours will undoubtedly have claimed them already). However, bidding for “cottage loaf Cardiff” and “pork pie Cardiff” will work better.
Lack of keyword focus
Running a PPC search ad campaign using broad search terms and keywords will never produce the results you need to be successful. This is because there is such stiff competition for general keywords that your ads can never hope to rank highly in search results. Instead, narrow your PPC keywords down to the searches your prospects are using to find you. Use your website analytics and a good SEO keyword tool to design your PPC ads around niche keywords.
The more specific your keywords, the greater your chances of being found.
Poulsen also cautions against poor landing pages – the web page that appears every time a user clicks a hyperlink from another site (usually your homepage). A bad ‘lander’ can discourage visitors, and that could mean potential lost business.
To counter this, you can spice up your lander with pictures and videos (especially of your product or service in use), testimonials from past customers, and compelling calls-to-action.
As helpful as these tips will be for your PPC campaign, remember that the journey starts by hiring professionals. A reliable PPC agency will steer you away from these pitfalls and bring you towards success.
PPC + SEO
PPC is rewarding, but it can also be tough. Start by consulting your PPC specialist on the campaign objectives, which may dovetail into SEO protocols to ensure your ads appear more in results.
Seek your PPC agent’s guidance on which AdWorks UK slots you should bid on. The keyword research can tell you which slots will work for a better conversion. You can also vary campaigns for duration – for example, taking down your PPC blitz ads for a 24 hour sale as soon as midnight ticks in.
Mixing PPC with SEO works in a number of ways. For instance: if your PPC ads are meant for attracting customers within a few kilometres of your branch, tune the keywords to target users from say your town, city or county. The positioning of PPC ads will be essential if your store is slightly behind the competition in search results.
PPC Case Study: Whitehat SEO's PPC Strategy for Sarah Chapman Online Shop
Whitehat SEO in London, was appointed as the official Pay Per Click agency for the online shop of Sarah Chapman of London. As the designated PPC service UK provider for this prestigious skincare specialist, Whitehat utilised their vast knowledge and experience to improve and strengthen Sarah Chapman's online marketing strategies and all PPC re-marketing projects.
Through the service, Sarah Chapman's online shop (www.sarahchapman.net) got an added boost in promoting their products, services and other marketing initiatives.
Before implementing the services, the seasoned staff of Whitehat first conducted an in-depth consultation with the client to understand the latter's business goals and create a PPC campaign that is aligned with their targets. After conducting extensive analysis, they picked keywords and geotags that will bring more traffic to the website, which are then converted into leads. Furthermore, they also monitored the campaign's performance and make the necessary adjustments in order to reach company targets.
Whitehat also covers all the aspects and complexities of PPC services like account setup, market research, campaign and ad groups setup, budget management, conversion tracking, and analysis and optimisation, among others.
A good pay per click management agency aims to drive more traffic to a company's website through online advertisements that contain specific search terms. The only time the company pays for the service is when website visitors click the advertisements, making it an effective, yet relatively cheaper, means of online marketing.
Remember to Download Your Beginners Guide To Google Adwords.