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Which PPC or Social Channel is right for your business?

Blog Article

Those who visited our Digital Day in June will have learnt about the benefits of PPC (pay per click), why it exists and how it can boost your brand’s online presence. Now you know why you need it, but you might still be wondering which PPC or social channel should you be using.

Here’s a lowdown from PPC Account Manager Mark  on what was covered  in the PPC session, helping you decipher which PPC or social channel is right for your business.

search ads

Search Ads

There are currently 6.5bn searches happening online every day representing a massive opportunity for your business to be found online.

6.5bn searches represents a lot of potential visibility and opportunity for your business! Whatever you are selling, wherever in the world you sell it, there is someone looking for it – appearing in paid search on Google is the quickest way to tell the right people about it.

What are search ads? Search ads are text ads within Google’s search results which are triggered by a keyword search, “mens nike shoes” for example.

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You have just 60 characters of Headline text when your ads appear in SERPs (search engine results pages) so it’s really important that you get it right – this could be the first time that a potential customer is hearing about your business. Think of the headlines in a newspaper, many people skim the headlines and don’t read the whole story, well search results are the same – in fact 80% of people skip everything but the headlines.

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Along with your headlines, descriptive text and display URL, you can also use Ad Extensions to improve your ad’s visibility and improve your CTR (click through rate) by up to 15%. The best thing about Ad Extensions is that they come at no extra cost and there is good variety of extensions to suit any type of ad. The most commonly used extensions are site links which can be used to link to additional areas of your site, Callouts which give additional information about your business and Location Extensions which display your address and phone number alongside your ads.

Display Ads

Display Ads are banner ads which are served to people while they browse other websites, for example if you sell football kits it would make sense to target people looking at the team’s website, or related websites like news and blogs.

We compare this type of ad to conventional billboards – you have the opportunity to create some truly beautiful imagery, which will stand out, advertising your brand, products or services.


Next up is a must have for Ecommerce – Google Shopping Campaigns.

These are a mixture between Search Ads and Display Ads, essentially allowing you to display product images along with text information within Google search results. The images stand out against the text listing giving Shopping Ads a higher CTR and higher conversion rate than traditional ads.

Google Shopping

Shopping campaigns are created in the Adwords interface alongside text and display ads but the product feed that sends the data to Adwords will need to be uploaded to your Google Merchant Centre account.


Video Ads – YouTube

If you are a creative brand, one which produces lot of video content then you’ll be starting to think about Video Ads to share your content. You can advertise on YouTube or on Google’s vast Display Network.

The scope to promote content through Youtube is too big to miss, with over 1bn hours of video being watched worldwide on a daily basis. It’s important to note that 50% of video views happen on mobile devices so you need to ensure that your ads, content and website are optimised for mobile.


Paid Social Media Ads

Social media ads are completely different to paid search. Targeting on social is interest based rather than being based on intent to buy.



With over 1.94bn active users on Facebook this is a channel that most businesses can’t afford to ignore. This is quite a large number of people – to put it into perspective; China has a population of approx. 1.4bn, so if Facebook were a country, it would be larger than China!

The number of advertisers on Facebook has unsurprisingly doubled over the last 18 months due to the numerous targeting options and ad types available – age, gender and interest targets with single images, slideshows and video options.


328M active users on Twitter bring the social media total to almost 2.3bn – not including the likes of Snapchat and Instagram. Twitter once again emphasises mobile with over 80% of users accessing Twitter from mobile devices.

Over 130K advertisers are currently using the platform to obtain new customers or new website visitors. The targeting options and ad formats are similar to Facebook with the added Hashtag Promotion and Keyword targeting options.


Finally we have Linkedin with over 106M active users per month. Primarily a B2B network, Linkedin can help you to find decision makers within a business so if you have a business service to offer, perhaps recruitment or software, then Linkedin would be your first port of call.

Targeting options are much the same, but it also includes business specific options such as size of business, job titles and even contact retargeting. If you are writing content which could be useful for other businesses, then you can also promote a piece of content or even appear in your target users inMail.


Smarter Search

What we have seen so far is the basics of PPC and Paid Social, but the really good stuff is what comes once you have done the basics – next up are a few time saving ideas and smarter ways of managing bids through PPC.



We’ve all seen remarketing ads – those shoes you looked at but didn’t buy that are following you around the Internet – they aren’t there by coincidence. Those advertisers are targeting you based on previous intent to buy those products.

You might find them annoying, but you might be surprised to know that on average they convert 30% better than Search Ads. You worked hard for visitors to find the products in the first place – don’t miss out on the opportunity to get them to convert this time.


Weather Based Bidding

We all know how the UK weather can fluctuate between breakfast and lunch with the sun shining one minute and torrential rain the next. Well, you can now take advantage of these changes in weather, adjusting your bids depending on the ‘mood’ of the day.

If you have a car showroom, for example, you’ll want to bid more in mobile devices when the sun is out, increasing footfall in your dealership – but if you have an online shop, you might want to concentrate on desktop and tablet devices when the weather is not so good, driving online sales while potential customers are sat at home.

Live Traffic

If you have a shop which you’d like to drive customers to as a result of your PPC ads then you will be interested to know that you can tap into live traffic services to calculate location targeting based on the customers drive-time to your business. This gives a much more realistic approach to radius targeting with 10 miles radius in Hertfordshire being much more commutable than 10 miles across London, for example.

Stock Levels

How much budget have you wasted by forgetting to turn off campaigns when your stock is low, or when you don’t have any more capacity? With this script you’d no longer have to worry about wasted spend – it would automatically turn off your campaigns when stock hits 0 and turn it back on when stock is replenished.

Bidding Software

If you are running a high volume of campaigns with thousands of keywords you’ll know how difficult it is to manage your bids. Luckily, there are programmes out there, like Marin, which can manage most, if not all of this for you. Marin makes bid adjustments on your behalf ensuring optimum enquiries or sale, even finding opportunities that you might not, by manually looking at campaigns.

If you are a Marketing Manager running campaigns across multiple channels, or a business owner running your own PPC account then automation is a must – freeing you up to manage other channels, or other aspects of your business. It’s really important that you utilise these tools and allow them to support you in creating successful campaigns.

We hope you enjoyed the PPC talk. For any further questions or information on anything you learnt do get in touch and our expert team will be on hand to help!

Mark headshot

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