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3 Ways To Boost Your PPC Performance

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Carolyn Henderson's avatar
Carolyn Henderson

Pay-Per-Click advertising is an important part of digital strategy for businesses looking to drive targeted traffic to their website and achieve a measurable return on their investment.

But advancements in AI, evolving consumer behaviour and the relentless pace of change in search engine algorithms and features mean that the parameters of PPC are always changing and evolving. Staying ahead of these changes is crucial for businesses seeking to optimise their PPC campaigns and maximise return on investment.

So what exactly is PPC? How does it work – and how can you make sure you’re getting the most from your available budget?  Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, read on for ways to stay competitive in this fast-paced world.


What is PPC?

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is form of online advertising in which the advertiser (i.e. your business) pays a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site rather than attempting to ‘earn’ those visits organically. PPC ads can appear at the top or bottom of search engines like Google and Bing, as well as on social media platforms, and on websites, in designated ad spaces. 

PPC is an auction-based system in which advertisers have to bid on relevant keywords, setting the maximum amount they are willing to pay for a click on their ad. Every time a user performs a search, an auction takes place to determine which ads will appear, and in what order.  Just like in a real auction, the more people who are bidding on a keyword, the higher its cost per click will go.  

However, it’s not all about price – as well as bidding on relevant keywords, it’s important that PPC ads are well-written, and that the landing pages they point to contain quality, relevant information.  Search engines give ads a quality score that offer an insight into how you can enhance success without spending more money.

How does PPC drive growth?

The primary goal of PPC is to drive traffic to a website, generate leads, and increase conversions by targeting specific audience segments with tailored ad messages. It’s possible to target specific keywords, demographics and locations, as well as people who are actively searching for what you’re selling.  PPC platforms provide detailed metrics about ad performance, with set budgets so you can’t overspend – and because you only pay when your ad is clicked, there’s more transparency around attribution and direct ROI.

Three ways to improve your PPC performance, right now

1. Go direct for conversion data

Many businesses use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for their conversion tracking and attribution data for marketing campaigns.  Importing from GA4 saves time for sure – but research shows that GA4 has been undercounting conversions at a rate of around 15% compared to its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA).

When compared to Google Ads tracking, GA4 tracks around 40% fewer conversions – which can lead you to believe that your strategy isn’t working, when it is.

Direct Google Ads integration (also called server-side tagging) requires the conversions to be set up in Google Ads and Google Tag Manager. This takes some extra time, but enables more control over cookies and results in better quality, consistent data across customer touchpoints, facilitating enhanced optimisation. 

Conversion data diagram

2. Power up with Pmax

Performance Max (PMax) is a new type of goal-based ad campaign introduced by Google Ads in 2021. It uses machine learning and AI to optimise your campaigns, allowing you to run ads across the entire Google Network (including Search, Shopping, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Discovery, and Display) from a single campaign. 

Creating PMax campaigns means giving google more control over your campaign management, ad placement, bidding, etc, but it can deliver great results. 

Miles McNair, co-owner of PPC Mastery and co-author of the Expert Guide to Google Performance Max, explains: “Google is steering away from keyword targeting and keyword bidding as we know it, suggesting a move towards a ‘keywordless’ future. 

“That means attribution is going to become even more important, especially when you consider we’ll likely eventually lose third-party cookies too. We’ve already lost the original iteration of keywords because of things like close match variants and broad match. Exact keywords are not exact anymore. And that means marketers now need to put more focus on their creatives, offers, and the actual person behind the search.” 

What this essentially means is that businesses need to think about high quality imagery and video content, as well as content and brand messaging, in order to set themselves apart from competitors. 

PMax is most effective for ecommerce, but it can deliver conversions for lead gen too – just be sure you pay attention to the info that you feed Google, and that your customer profiling is on point. 

Image of a windy road through mountains

3. Optimise your landing pages

The money you invest in PPC is at risk if you don’t make sure the landing page the user arrives at after they click is as well optimised as it can be. Poor design, confusing UX, too much or too little information, misaligned messaging – all can make them bounce off to a competitor in record time.

Firstly, the information on your landing page should be relevant to the information in your ad text, therefore matching the user’s search intent and showing them what they expect to see.  Mismatched ad/landing page content can at best be regarded as misleading, or at worst as clickbait, which destroys trust.

Secondly, make landing pages informative but concise. Sharing too much can overwhelm your audience, so keep copy succinct, focusing on vital details and clear calls-to-action.

Finally, adding images and videos can help enhance your ads by showing your product in action, negating the need for the user to read a lot and making your landing pages more engaging.

Need PPC support?

Our expert team has decades of expertise in precisely targeted PPC strategy and can support your business to stay ahead of the curve.  Get in touch today to book a no-obligation consultation.