best ppc practices from report central

The 7 Best PPC Practices That Helped Us Generate Over 60M

Creating a successful PPC campaign can be tricky. But, it’s hugely important if you want your business to gain customers and increase revenue, and everybody wants that, don’t they? Thankfully, here at Report Central we’re well versed in creating PPC campaigns that get you customers not just leads.

At Report Central we not only manage lead gen campaigns, we live and breathe getting customers through PPC every single day. We help our clients understand their leads, their behaviour and intentions and with these insights fine tune our PPC campaigns towards only the quality leads that actually generate the important thing – customers.

Back in 2017 when our client, Umbrella Supermarket, asked us to help attract, acquire, engage, report and enhance all its leads, they were a new entrant to a flooded marketplace. Yet in just one year, through a campaign run almost entirely through PPC, we made them the market leader.

In fact, over a 13-month period we generated over 8K leads, 800+ customers, and a whopping £60 million revenue. The story was so compelling – we even got nominated for a highly coveted Data IQ Award for this project.

So, how did we achieve it? We’d usually say “lots of coffee + data analysis = BOOM”, but today we’re going to share the seven PPC practices that helped us gain that success, and hopefully they will help you too.

Before we dive into the seven then, it’s really important to remember that one of the things we can’t get enough of when talking about PPC is that PPC is a marketing tool that’s got to be used holistically with other marketing channels and data.

By combining PPC with other insights like lead outcomes and revenue, you can understand better a bigger picture of what’s your marketing spend is actually getting you back.

Right at the start of your journey though, you won’t have any insights to help you. In this instance, we strongly believe that any marketing work you do has got to stem from your marketing strategy and positioning. You can have the most incredibly crafted PPC ad but if the website is not set up for conversions and your target audience doesn’t resonate with your brand or ethos, you might enjoy lots of clicks on the reports but no conversions when it comes to revenue.

That’s why any new marketing project, whether it’s PPC, SEO or website design starts with the target audience and buyer personas.

Tip no 1 – Start with Buyer Personas

Understanding your target audience is paramount to any marketing activity, including PPC.

How to create buyer persona image

Find out who is your ideal customer and what it is they are looking for. Only then can you provide them with a product or service that they want and know how to market it to them. Plus, knowing your audience
means you can perfect your pitch, helping you get the lead and sale every time. Get to know the ins and outs of your target audience and you’ll be able to build up an effective PPC campaign around your buyer persona

Start off by creating the buyer persona you know best – your actual customers. Where do they come from? What problems do they have, and how can you solve these problems?

You obviously want to tap into new clients as well. When strategizing for Umbrella Supermarket, we discussed their target audience from the start. In this case they wanted to reach out to contractors across different industries based in the UK. So, we asked questions around gender, age, location, industries, frustrations and goals in order to connect to these potential customers.

Now you know who your customer is you can apply this to your PPC campaign and start targeting the right people, through the right channels, at the right time. This is the first step in building up an awesome PPC campaign.

Tip No 2 – Do You Keyword Research

 Keyword research On Screen

A staple of any successful PPC campaign is thorough keyword research. Think about it, choose the right keywords and you’re one step closer to gaining clicks and conversions.

In a market where every umbrella advertised themselves online, Supermarket was the first comparison site to offer a range of umbrella options including reviews. Truly understanding a keywords intent was the key to helping supermarket overtake those in P1-3 with a lower budget.

In order to understand keyword intent, do your research on broad match to find exact match for long tail keywords. You might find it useful to use data from the Google Keyword Tool and other handy tools, which help forecast results based on impressions, clicks, and conversions depending on network and geo location.

In case of Umbrella Supermarket, we focused on long-tail keywords to connect with contractors who were looking for immediate non-brand specific solutions to their problems, rather than just anybody researching the subject on surface level.

Tip No 3 – Test Your Keywords, Focus on Revenue, Not Cost Per Lead

Start with a broad term. For example, we initially used ‘umbrella company’ in our Adword’s campaign, a term many contractors search for. After 14 days we were able to identify the long tail keywords that brought the actual sign-ups from this broad term. This meant we were able to weed out the non-revenue generated variations and increase conversion rates.

So, despite the fact that the actual cost per lead rose, what this actually meant is that we obtained a lower cost per sale and more revenue per sale too. Doing this, you too will be able to dig out the long tail keywords that will be more profitable for your business.

Focusing on broad match terms and never weeding non-convertible terms is one of the most common PPC mistakes, read our blog post here to understand more.

Tip No 4 – Measure Conversions – Not Just Clicks!


Getting tons of clicks doesn’t really matter if none of them are converting. So you need to be tracking your conversions. This way you can tell which campaigns are really working. Conversion tracking is a powerful tool in Adwords that will identify how well your campaign is performing in terms of leads, sales, downloads, and key actions for your business.

Measuring your conversions is a great way to tell you how good your PPC campaign is at getting people to do what you want them to do. It will act as an indicator to what you’re doing right, so you can optimise your campaign accordingly.

Tip No 5 – Collect As Much Data As You Can Via PPC


Data is valuable and there is a lot of it when it comes to PPC. Monitor profitable keywords, your customers’ behaviours, and engagement and you can then use these insights to optimise your campaigns, landing pages and email content.

Insights gained from gathering data can lead to real results. For example, monitoring data produced by keywords for Umbrella Supermarket meant we observed that the keyword ‘best umbrella company’ brought better conversions on a Tuesday afternoon. We could then restructure our Tuesday bids for this single keyword in Adwords to accept a higher cost per lead. We knew this would generate revenue far exceeding any other keywords at the equivalent cost.

Another example was seeing leads coming in after hours, as a lot of contractors would be doing research in the evening. Feeding that information back to our sales team to allow them to restructure their shift times to cover time periods appropriately resulted in higher and more frequent conversions.

Tip No 6 – Integrate your PPC and Your CRM


So, you’re monitoring data from PPC. That’s great! But, imagine what happens when you combine this with data from your CRM. The answer is you end up with tons more data to work with.

What does this mean for you? Well you’ll be able to establish which ads and keywords are actually turning into worthwhile sales, repeated purchases and referrals.  You’ll be able to filter out any low-quality leads, so you can concentrate on only the leads that convert into sales and sometimes that means going for the more costly ones you would otherwise have rejected.

While PPC alone tells you if an ad is turning into leads and amount of sales coming in, combining PPC and your CRM together will tell you if that lead was good quality and what they did in the long term – and that kind of information is a goldmine for anyone that wants to grow their business.

If PPC is the diesel engine that pulls your business up the hill, referrals and repeat business are the things that make it go faster, once the momentum is developed.

Tip No 7 – Optimise Your Landing Page


Your landing page is as important as your ad. A landing page is your chance to persuade the potential customer to convert. Get it right and you will drive targeted traffic to where you want it. Get it wrong and it doesn’t matter how many clicks you’re paying for (google doesn’t allow you to pay per lead), you’re not going to get any leads.

To optimise your landing page you should ensure that it contains powerful, user relevant content that’s also super relevant to your ad copy.

This isn’t actually as easy as it sounds. For example with Supermarket, when a client searched “best umbrella company” we made sure they landed on page that used that keyword in every CTA and offer. Yet most PPC campaigns make the basic error of sending clients to pages without lead forms or more commonly their home page, neither of which are good for conversions.

Focusing on your landing page will not only improve your conversion rate but it should also improve your quality score, meaning more people will see your ad and click on your ad in the first place.

Have you enjoyed this article and found the tips useful? Interested to know more about our Umbrella Supermarket case study? Then download it below

download our free google adwords case study

how we took one client from zero to £60m


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