Why PPC = Pay Per Click not Pay Per Sale

17 April 2018

A common misconception about PPC is that clicks = Guaranteed calls and sales. Unfortunately that’s just not the case at all.

So what is the point of paying for PPC then, I hear you ask.

Well, I’m going to explain why, but first let’s define exactly what PPC is.

What is PPC?

PPC or Pay Per Click is a form of indirect advertising that allows advertisers to pay only when their advert is clicked by an online user.

You’ll notice that I’ve underlined the indirect advertising part, because this is the critical part of PPC that seems to get misunderstood.

What is indirect advertising?

Indirect advertising is advertising that does not directly promote a product or service. Instead, indirect advertising makes people aware of a product or service by indirect means, such as sponsorship, product placement OR online advertising.

Why PPC is a form of indirect advertising

What does this have to do with PPC?

The point is that PPC is designed to encourage people to become interested in finding out more about your product or service. But (and it’s a huge but) there is still another critical step after that.

You, or more accurately, your website needs to convert those interested people into customers.

Let’s take a high street shop for instance. The signage above the door serves the same function as a PPC advert. It’s designed to compete with the other shop signs on the high street for visits from customers. 

Once the customer enters the shop the signage has basically done its job correctly. It’s now the responsibility of the shop, products and staff to encourage the customer to make a purchase.

So let’s take this example back to the internet

You’ve got a PPC report in front of you telling you that you’ve had 50 clicks on your PPC campaign in the last 30 days.

That means 50 people liked your PPC advert so much, they chose not to click on your competitor’s ads, or the other 10 non-PPC search results. Congratulations, your PPC campaign has done its job correctly!

But why no sales you ask?

Well let’s go back to that shop on the high street

A shop just caught your attention with its great big neon sign, cool looking window displays and claims of special offers inside.

You head inside with high expectations, but the place is a total mess. You can’t seem to find anything, the staff are rude and the prices are too high.

Chances are that you would rapidly change your mind about this shop and take your business elsewhere right?

Well the same applies to websites.

Why would you stick around on a website if it’s slow to load, poorly laid out or just doesn’t get to the point?

Bad website example

So how do you solve the issue?

For starters you’ll need to investigate the page on the other side of those 50 clicks and ask yourself questions like:

Is your website an eyesore?

Let’s address the elephant in the room here. Does your website look like it was made in the 1990’s by your Uncles, friends, sisters, cousin? If so then maybe it needs a refresh, starting with the page you are sending people to with your PPC campaign.

Is the page slow to load?

If so, figure out why. Speak to your web hosting provider, and get your website designer to make sure that your images file sizes are web optimised and that nothing on your page is causing a severe slowdown. As a rule, most websites should load in 5 seconds or less.

Are you sending people to the right page?

If your PPC advert is promoting ‘boiler repairs in Leeds’ but you send people to your homepage rather than your GEO page for boiler repairs in Leeds, then you’re going to have problems.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

What is your unique selling point? What does your business do that sets you apart from your competitors?

Are you holding the attention of your visitors?

The average attention span of an online user is 8 seconds. Does the content on your page summarise the value of what you are offering in 8 seconds or less? Or does the user have to read through lots of waffle first?

Are you offering any proof?

If you are claiming to be the best in the business then where are your customer testimonials? Or the links to your glowing reviews on Trust Pilot and Google Reviews?

Do you have a call to action?

You need to tell people what to do. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just a simple “Give us a call today on…..” will do. If you don’t tell people what to do next they might just decide to leave instead.

So what is the key takeaway here?

If your PPC campaign is delivering clicks then your PPC campaign is doing its job correctly.

The bottom line is that the responsibility of what happens after those clicks rests entirely with you.

The sooner you can identify what the barriers are to converting those clicks into customers, the sooner you can start enjoying the benefits of a profitable PPC campaign.

Tagged with:

  • Google
  • Local Business
  • Pay Per Click
  • PPC
Author -
SEO Manager Thomson Local

Rob has a decade of experience in SEO, Copywriting and Digital Marketing. He enjoys creative writing having previously written a humorous short book about life in retail as well as several film scripts. Like any self-respecting blogger he has a love of cats and enjoys a nice cup of tea. You can find out more about Rob via his LinkedIn and Writing Portfolio.

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