PPC Campaign Optimisation

Optimising up a PPC Campaign to Grow Your Business.

Manchester based, Google Certified Partner Rob Wilkinson, outlines some areas to concentrate on for PPC campaign optimisation.

Read more: Search Engine Marketing and Adwords – Manchester

Online marketing has given smaller businesses a chance to compete in previously unreachable markets. SMEs can now promote their products or services with more limited budgets, scaling as they see results.

Online advertising – especially PPC – provides a clearer return on investment analysis. We can know if our PPC or display ads are working based on conversion data. We can also know how many people see our ads with impressions and even know how many of those people clicked (click-through rate or CTR).

PPC campaign optimisation is not “set up and leave” it marketing, and hiring a PPC management company is often expensive so business owners may think PPC is not ideal for their business – especially if they have tried a couple of techniques and failed.

PPC Campaign Optimisation
Optimising PPC Campaigns


PPC campaign optimisation: Keyword Selection

A keyword is a word or a phrase used by people searching online for information. Google have algorithms that constantly learn from searches to improve their results and deliver the most relevant results or Ads.

It is important to note that Google considered my intent to retrieve relevant results.

Related: Understanding Customer Intent is Crucial to Online Marketing

Considering keyword intent and selecting the right keywords (and negative keywords) is vital to successful PPC campaign optimisation. Select keywords that are relevant to your business.

Keywords selection is also influenced by search volume and competition. Select keywords that have high search volume and low competition by using tools such as the Google Keyword Planner. It will help you see what keywords people are using for related searches, the volume of searches per month, suggested bids and competition.

Long-tail keywords get a higher probability of conversions and lower cost/lower risk. These types of keywords are more descriptive than short-tail keywords and help with PPC campaign optimisation.

For example, if your keyword is “Recruitment Company”, then a longer tail keyword could be “Office Recruitment Company in Hitchin“. Include location and more specific words – this might lead to lower impressions, but clicks will be much more relevant, so increase your bids!

Ad Copy: PPC campaign optimisation

Ads drive clicks and conversion. Avoid being too generic, take what searchers are looking for and tie it to your unique value proposition. For example, if you’re creating an ad for “Recruitment Agency” you may want to create an ad that highlights your 90-day replacement guarantee or your introductory pricing.

Watch your competition, not just your direct competitors, have a look at a what people are doing in other countries and try to offer something better. Remember to use numbers as much as possible. Ads that include them have higher click-through rates.

Keyword extensions are essential. They increase your ad’s size and allow you to add more specific benefits to your offering – enhancing the relevance. There are different types of extensions, such as site extensions (links to specific parts of your site), callout extensions, or call extensions (usually used for mobile devices).

Your ads should have a number of variations. Test different descriptions, headlines and calls to action to discover which one yields the best results. Keep testing! Google AdWords often recommends changes to improve your campaign.

Campaign Structure

Campaign structure is another factor that will help you optimise your PPC campaign. How you organise them is up to you, often location is a good idea, or by service or product. Group similar keywords together with variants and create specific focused Ads.

Landing Pages for PPC campaign optimisation.

The URL your Ad, that is triggered by the keyword, must point to a relevant landing page. If a customer searched for “Recruitment Consultant” and the landing page displays a list of jobs, then this is not going to be relevant for people wanting to use a company to find employees. Again, it is all about understanding customer intent and evidencing that you can deliver the service they are looking for.

PPC campaign optimisation: Quality Score

Quality score is a system used by AdWords to determine the relevance and quality of your campaigns. Low-quality scores increase the cost per click (CPC) and reduce the number of times your advert is displayed. Ad copy and landing page relevance can dramatically affect your quality score, so make sure you also spend time on your landing pages.

Negative Keywords

Negative keyword lists can be used to optimise your AdWords PPC Campaign. These keywords are filters for your campaigns – your ads won’t show for such keywords. This can save you a lot of money in irrelevant clicks that cause bad-quality traffic. For example, if you are targeting businesses for your recruitment company, you might want to use “jobs” as a negative keyword, as these searches are likely to be from job seekers. (Although you may want a separate campaign targeting these visitors!).

Another useful optimisation practice is to create new ads with the new copy. Make sure to create new ads and not edit old ones; otherwise, your performance history will be deleted from your campaigns. In addition, it is always a good idea to take a look at your keyword match types and look at the keyword planner to add more keywords to your campaigns.

In Conclusion

There are a lot more elements involved with running a successful PPC campaign than mentioned in this article.

PPC campaigns are always a work in progress. Make sure you stay on top of any changes and keep testing new ideas! Avoid wasting money, test often and create organised, optimised campaigns. Finally, remember, to continually monitor your results.

See Measuring your Conversion With Google Analytics

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Customer Onboarding is Integral to Growth Hacking

Don’t waste all of your growth hacking efforts by having a poor customer onboarding experience.

Customer onboarding is the process of “bedding-in” your new customers – probably during a free trial period – and delivering value that will convert them into regular or paying customers (depending on your objectives). Onboarding sets the tone for your relationship, at the very least the onboarding process needs to highlight the potential your product offers customers.

Whether a low-touch, self-service solution, or a high-touch SaaS company, customer onboarding can affect all of the below performance metrics:

  • Customer drop-off after sign-up.
  • Free Trial-to-Paid conversion rates.
  • Active customers over 90 days.
  • Churn rates or non-renewals.

What else could be going wrong?

  • Misleading sales practices.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Time to First Value is too long.
  • Poor customer experience.

Understanding The Customer’s Desired Outcome

An online subscription-based sales model means customers can often start small. A free trial can act as a gateway, leading customers to move to a paid subscription or increase the number of licences they purchase.

What does a ‘free-trial’ customer need to achieve to convert paying customer? A successful conversion (free -> paid) is not the same as what the customer is looking to get out of the trial:

  • How do they measure success?
  • How are they measured by their company?
  • What are they trying to achieve with your product?

This is not about features, functionality, or workflow, it is about the value your service offers customers.

Customer Onboarding Tips

  1. Personalise your welcome.
  2. Focus on your customer’s objectives.
  3. Offer assistance.
  4. Follow up regularly.
  5. Viral Growth. The Customer Loop. Encourange your customers to spread the word.
  6. Ask happy customers for their stories via a survey. Or retrieve data that uncovers your best customers.

The Customer Onboarding Lifecycle

Having realised value in your service, the next step is to convert to a paying customer. A result of focusing on the outcome your customers want is that everyone wins.

Timescales for this could vary, it could be day 1, 10, 30 or more. However, most companies will let trials go the full 30/60/90 days before trying to get them to convert.

Having an onboarding plan that by identifies “success” and links this to communication will help shorten conversion times and strengthen the value proposition.

An example of this would be to trigger an ‘upgrade your subscription’ message (preferably combined with a timed discount), so just after the customer has had an enquiry from the directory listing.

In Conclusion

Having a personalised, agile, customer onboarding process will increase conversions, reduce churn and spread the word! Highlight success stories to motivate more customers to use your product.

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Which Digital Marketing Channel Works Best?

Identifying which digital marketing channel works for you takes time and testing, but it will pay dividends in the long run.

Not every digital channel will automatically make you a return on your investment. Even if they do, some will make more than others, so it is essential that you identify which digital marketing channel works best.


Finding Out Which Digital Marketing Channel Works Best Takes: Time.

No online advertising channel is “set and forget.” All of them require constant monitoring and optimisation. Smaller businesses doing their own marketing, advertising simply don’t have the time to manage and optimise several channels concurrently. So, concentrate on one at a time, set up the campaign and conversion tracking and look for potential to scale. Depending on your sector it’s worth considering AdWords, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Website performance report

Customer Intent

Quite often, visitors are looking for your site, not because they want to buy your products or services, but because they are doing research, looking for work or trying to sell you something. Read these articles for how to avoid targeting the wrong searches:


Which Digital Marketing Works Best: Google AdWords and PPC.

If you have put together a great ad which is relevant, interesting and has a strong call to action, you might receive a click-through. If this is combined with a fantastic landing page with an irresistible offer, you will get a conversion.

Google AdWords allows you to place your company in front of users that want your service or product. Proper keyword research and selection combined with adverts that offer solutions and landing pages that funnel customers into sales.


Facebook ads can produce a great return for some brands, but for most, it is about brand awareness. People aren’t looking at their Facebook feed to find a new product or service, they are not actively looking to buy (despite the excellent targeting options).

If you have a local catering company, for example, then Facebook ads are a great way to put your services in front of a local audience that is likely interested in your food. While they aren’t actively seeking it, you can trigger impulse purchases or most certainly raise awareness.

Other PPC

Some digital channels are just irrelevant, for example, if you produce SaaS CRM software for the B2B market, then LinkedIn is going to be the first stop. But advertising your local catering business would be a complete waste of your budget.

If your potential customers are actively searching for a product or service, they are more likely to open Google and type in their keyword query, hoping to find exactly what they are looking for. For many, PPC ads provide the highest measurable ROI.

Influencer Marketing

The latest trend in digital strategy is influencer marketing. But what is it, how does it work, or will it even work at all? Just because one company experiences a massive ROI doesn’t mean that another company is going to experience a similar return.

One classic example of influencer marketing is how Disney recruited EvanTube to promote everything from toys to holidays. If you have kids, you will know about EvanTube. Evan is a US based kid of about 12 whose videoed during everyday life. For some reason completely lost on me, this is a hoot for my UK based kids to watch.

As seems to be the trend now, my children rarely bother with TV (unless it is on demand) and EvanTube represents a way for brands to engage with their target audience. Disney sponsoring Evan to review toys and theme parks which is a natural, perfect fit.

However, you are unlikely to be running a business on the scale of Disney, but influencer marketing is now taking place on a much smaller scale. Social ‘personalities’ are being recruited to review local products and services and spreading the word via their social media channel of choice.

Influencer marketing is just one channel, depending on your business it could be the right one, but, as with all the channels, it is about testing on a small scale and measuring the results.

Measure Your Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) By Channel

For many, which digital marketing channel works best is measured by CPA. CPA is the amount of money spent on a marketing channel, divided by the number of sales generated from that channel.

So, for example, if in one month you spent £200 on Google Adwords. Because you have goals and conversion tracking set up, you know that this has generated 20 sales (CPA=£10). Now, if you then spent £200 on a Facebook advertising campaign, and this only returned 10 sales, this would represent a CPA of £20. The obvious next step would be to concentrate your efforts on Google Adwords rather than Facebook. In this example, the answer to “which digital marketing channel works best?” would be Google.

In Conclusion

There are numerous ways to market your business online, including

  • Email Marketing.
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Display Advertising.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Content Marketing.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Online Public Relations.

The key to identifying which digital marketing channel works best is to experiment and test the waters. Not everything will deliver a CPA that makes financial sense. Pay close attention to your data and know when it’s time to abandon one channel and focus on more promising marketing opportunities.

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Setting up and Working with Analytics Campaigns

Getting the most out of Analytics Campaigns and Conversion Reporting.

If you use Google Analytics and regularly distribute content to generate more web visits. Then you need to have analytics campaigns tracking set-up and running.  Find out below how to plan, set-up and analyse website visits using Google Analytics Campaigns Tracking.

Conversion Tracking in Analytics

Fortunately, this is simplicity itself. In short, you simply add parameters to your website URLs.


The Parameters

The simplest way to illustrate how to set-up campaign reporting is by example. By adding 3 parameters to your back-links, campaign reporting becomes simple. These parameters are below:

utm_medium – for example blog, website, social, email
utm_source – for example my blog, www-other-site, facebook.com, new-sign-up
utm_campaign – for example article-1, reach-out-Feb, social-update-1, email-blast-march

So,  https://www.onlinecustomersolutions.com

Becomes (all on one line)



Whenever you post a link to your website, remember to include the parameters so that you can track exactly how much traffic is being generated AND the conversion.

Remember to keep it simple and descriptive. Don’t get into codes or complicate abbreviations. social, facebook, 100217

How to Measure the Results

Open up and log into your Google Analytics account and navigate to Acquisitions -> Campaigns -> All Campaigns

campaigns in analytics
Google Analytics Campaign tracking instructions

This will default to showing you stats based on the campaign you specified in the “utm_campaign” parameter above. Or, if you are running paid campaigns and have linked your accounts, these will also show here.

To drill-down into the medium and source use the tabs and secondary dimensions that you will be used to in analytics.

Campaign dimensions
Analytics campaign dimensions utm_campaign

Once you are happy with your view, and as long as you have set-up goals to measure conversion rate, then you can easily see which links are delivering the most conversions.

Analytics Campaigns and conversion stats
Analytics conversion report

In Conclusion

Campaigns are easy to set-up, simple to report on and free to use. Start discovering which of your online marketing is delivering the best results!

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How Visitors Consume Content – Increase Visits and Conversion

This article aims to help website owners understand how people consume content, so they can increase visits and conversion.

Can we agree that the whole point of a website is to sell something? This might be a political ideal, awareness, an idea, or something as simple as a product or service. Government websites ‘sell’ a quicker cheaper, self-service way of doing tax returns, or completing forms. Charity sites ‘sell’ information in the hope that you will donate (which you should).

Websites (online content) need to offer the reader something so that they will engage (buy). Since starting our dedicated SEO and online marketing service, the trend has been to create long-form content. Doing so demonstrates authority and value to the search engines so that they rank well in the search engine results.

Content Size

There is no doubt that the emphasis on quality over quantity has impacted on SEO even more so in 2016 than in previous years. The average article length complied on popular optimisation sites is a testimony to this. The average word count with info-graphics, commentary and links to associated articles, represents a significant time investment.

IF (word count > 1000) THEN Quality = High?

Is this what valuable content is for visitors? Fair enough if the article is an in-depth review of Keynesian economics and whether now is the right time to be borrowing more to invest in infrastructure. That kind of content needs a bit of meat. But if the article is about the top 10 trends in local search engine optimisation. Or how one burger is better than another; are readers really going to set aside 15 minutes to read the content (remember, they are probably on a phone)? It may increase the time on page stats, but only if there is value in it for the visitor.

Modern Content Consumption

Here at Online Customer Solutions, we believe there are a number of elements that help visitors decide whether to open an article (website) and then continue to engage with it:

  • The Headline
  • Introduction
  • Article Length v Relevance v Quality (layout + content)

The headline (page title) combined with the introductory paragraph (meta description) dictates if visitors open the link.

The headline signifies the article’s relevance to the individual and the introduction helps emphasise the relevance but also signals the content and quality of the article. Assuming everything passes and the link is opened, this is still no guarantee that the content is going to be read and engaged with.

“Very rarely do people have enough time to read an in-depth article, you need to get your message across quickly, preferably with a call to action.”

We can help you increase visits and conversion, contact us now.

If the content is as expected, and the layout isn’t putting anyone off, then we are on to the next stage. Speed reading or ‘skimming’. Reading the first sentence or two of each paragraph will help form the reader’s opinion. Whizzing down the article to see if it continues to be of interest.

Relevance is very personal, and can’t always be controlled, but this comes back to ensuring the article headline (title) and introduction (description) is as accurate as possible. Speed reading forms part of the decision process as for whether to read the whole article. Is it going to be worth the effort? What will I get out of it?

Often long articles or web pages include phrases like: “We’ll get on to that later” or “Stick with it, it’s going to be worth it”. These tactics are also used by salesmen – the more time you invest in something, the less likely you are to walk away. This doesn’t work on web pages, visitors don’t need to start again, they just click ‘back’ and forget. So, even though the long content is meant to help page time, it could actually hurt it.

In our opinion, the value is to be found in a more recent trend:

  • Make your headlines accurate (no click-bait please)
  • Reduce the size of an article (or amount of content)
  • Link to further information.

This will help time-on-page (more people will read it), bounce rate and conversion.


We started out saying that “The aim of this article is to help website owners”. Obviously, being website owners ourselves, we hope that you are ready to engage with us via our contact form. We really do help businesses increase visits and conversion.

Very few people read articles to the end, thanks for making it this far!

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Small Business Website Essentials

An online presence is crucial to a small business. A good business website will attract visitors and convert them into paying customers.

Small Businesses account for more than £650bn of GDP. There are over 4.5M small businesses employing less than 9 people.

Small companies fighting hard to attract the attention of would-be customers. A quality website is essential if you want your business to punch above its weight.

Most small business website sites aren’t fit for purpose in today’s digital world. Sites that are based on out-of-date technology. “Static”, limited to five pages, and offer no content management. Being able to post photos and publishing reviews is essential.

Small business websites rank very low on a Google search. Even when they do attract visitors, they rarely convert them to paying customers as they project a poor image online. These businesses missing huge opportunities to grow.

Many businesses want to do more in this area – but most don’t know how they can start the process without spending thousands of pounds.

Small Business Website Essentials

A new dynamic and up-to-date website will be more relevant to a visitor. It will also give repeat visitors a reason to return. News, specials and testimonials are a few ways of making a website more exciting and dynamic. And best of all, updating your content regularly makes it more search-engine friendly.

A professionally designed website makes all the difference. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune though as there are website templates that look fantastic and can be customised to match your company brand and logo.

With millions of websites in the UK alone, you must make your website visible to your customers. The way to do this is to climb search engine results.

If your website hasn’t been optimised to help it up the rankings, you can’t independently reach out and help potential customers find you. Despite having a website, you’re still working off-line!

Find out more

Online marketing company in Cheadle : Online Customer Solutions, provide websites, SEO and online services to help businesses grow. We work worldwide with businesses small and largeContact us today.

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Measuring your Conversion With Google Analytics

The first step in improving your website, is to measure what is currently happening. Google Analytics is a free service that shows you: how many visits does your website get; which pages do visitors look at; how do they navigate round your site, and much more.

Online Customer Solutions provide Analytics as standard. With a Monthly Plan you receive a weekly report detailing number of visitors, how they found your site and goals completed.

A ‘Goal’ is defined as the sites objective. This could be a sale, enquiry, sign-up etc. Every site can have a number of different objectives or Events. You can drill down into how the visitor reaches your site and how they navigate to complete the goal..

Reporting is essential to discover which advertising is working. You could be spending 15p a click on a display advert and be delivering 100 visits per day, but if non of them are converting into a goal, something needs to change.

Alternatively, you could be spending £4 a click on a very specific campaign, not delivering many visitors, but if those visitors are converting into Goals, then this is working.

What the Goals are, and what they are worth to you can be configured to provide additional insight. It could be that you are running an e-commerce site. The value of the Goal is the value of the shopping basket. Google also has an e-commerce plug in, that enables you to send product information as well as price on conversion. So you have complete visibility of your return on marketing spend.

Find out more

Online marketing company in Cheadle : Online Customer Solutions, provide websites, SEO and online services to help businesses grow. We work worldwide with businesses small and largeContact us today.

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Help Setting up a Website

Online Customer Solutions specialise in providing help setting up a website. OCS can replace an existing site or help create a new one and provide a cost effective solution.

It is essential that your website captures peoples attention within the first 15 seconds of a visit, so you need a compelling proposition, tell your visitors what you do and how you can help them.

Using new and established applications to keep costs down, OCS works with you to setup your online presence.

OCS will help build anything from a simple two or three page site, to a full e-commerce solution. OCS have sourced a library of online tools to make setting up a website as simple as possible.

With low setup and running costs, OCS help you minimise your capital outlay and manage your monthly hosting costs.

Help Setting up a Website

From the purchasing of a domain name, to hosting the website, payment gateways and security; Online Customer Solutions provide help, support and advice when setting up your website.

Online Customer Solutions also help with your online marketing and increase visits and sales or leads.

Find out more

Located in Cheshire south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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How to Increase Sales

Top tips on how to increase sales.

  1. Ensure your website is authoritative, trustworthy and expert.
  2. Increase your conversion rate. How many people that contact you / visit your website convert into sales.
  3. Work on measuring and improving this percentage.
  4. Increase the number of people visiting your website (online advertising, social media, email etc)
  5. Follow up incomplete baskets – if people don’t complete the online order process, ask them if they need any help (this can be automated!).

Online Customer Solutions can review your website and current online advertising. OCS provide step by step solution on how to increase sales.

Find out more

Located in SK8, just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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