Pay Per Click (Google Adwords) For A Small Business


Pay Per Click (PPC) is a great marketing tool for lots of businesses. I have worked with PPC since the early days of the internet, going back around 20 years, and the concept is pretty much unchanged.

With PPC you advertise your product or service on a search engine and then every time your advert obtains a click you pay a fee to the search engine. The fee will be based on an auction so if you are the only person looking for traffic from a particular phrase you will pay very little (perhaps 30 or 50 pence) but for the most competitive phrases the cost will be considerably more (upwards of £5 to £10 is not uncommon).

The majority of search engine traffic comes from Google so this article only discusses Google Adwords but the ideas here can be applied to other search engines.


Before you can start a PPC campaign you need to decide on a budget. My golden rule when explaining this to clients is that the initial budget must be enough to give you an accurate test.

To calculate a realistic budget first you need to understand the product or service you are looking to promote and from this the phrases that you want to attract traffic from. From here you can then get an idea of how much each click will cost should you wish to be in the first few paid adverts.

After this you need to estimate traffic volumes or required traffic volumes to give you a daily figure and then after I would always suggest looking at 2 weeks or more as activity and conversation will vary.

The other aspect to calculating a budget, which I always do alongside the above, is to understand what you would be happy to pay per event. An event is an activity that happens on your website where you have some business benefit and therefore should be able to apply a value. For example, a new lead or a sale.

Even before starting a PPC campaign you should be able to make some realistic assumptions as to if it is something that your business could benefit from.

Campaign Success

After you have done the maths, based on various assumptions, you then need to look at how you plan to manage the campaign to give you the highest chance of success. As with most marketing you never know for sure if the new marketing effort will deliver a positive return, but through planning as best you can, you should be able to minimise the downside.

There are a variety of tools within Google Adwords that you can use to trigger when and where your adverts will be seen and the main ones I consider for every campaign are:

Can We Help?

Every PPC campaign will have differences and like every marketing technique, it is important to constantly evaluate a campaign. If you are thinking of using PPC for your business or, if you are setting up a new business and think that it is one of the strategies that you will use, get in touch and one of our team will be happy to share some of our experiences.