How Long Does PPC Take To Get Optimal Results?

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Compared to long-term digital marketing strategies such as organic SEO and social media marketing, PPC holds out the promise of fast and dramatic results. Pay per click advertising is a quick way to increase website traffic and develop your online sales. However, to get the best results, a PPC campaign does need to be carefully managed over several months for its full potential to be realised.

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Most of our customers see some results almost immediately from PPC, with optimal results being achieved within 3 to 9 months. This varies from business to business according to the factors we will explain below. To get the best results, you may need to engage in other activities alongside PPC, such as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).

What Constitutes Results?

Technically, a pay per click campaign is successful if it attracts a lot of clicks through to your website or landing page. This at least indicates that you have chosen your keywords well and that they are targeted at the right audience. So far, so good; it is realistic to see a spike in web visitors from day one.

You can also measure results in terms of increased brand visibility. With PPC you can go from being virtually invisible to being at the top of the search results for important keywords. A lot of potential customers will therefore be seeing your company for the first time, regardless of whether they click on your link or not. This is the soft side of PPC and is difficult to measure tangibly, but the effect is real. Increased brand awareness makes it likelier that someone will click on one of your web links at some point in the future, either through PPC, social media, or organic search results.

But wait a minute; a PPC campaign that got thousands of clicks and increased business visibility would still be an abject failure in terms of ROI if the visitors don’t convert to sales. Therefore, the most important real-world measure of success is your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) - how much each sale costs you.

You calculate your CPA by dividing the revenue spent on PPC by the number of sales directly associated with the campaign. For example, if you spend £2,000 on PPC and get 10 sales, then your CPA will be £200.

This may or may not constitute value for money, depending on the net value of each sale. If each sale is worth only £10 then clearly you have made a loss, whereas if each customer is worth £1,000 you will have made a campaign revenue of £10,000 – a profit of £8,000. This is why ROI is the next important measure of success. You get your ROI by dividing your net gain from your campaign by the total cost of your campaign.

So, using our example: ROI = (£10,000 - £2,000)/£2,000 = 4:1, or 400% - a pretty good ROI!

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Factors Affecting Success

From this example it will be clear that you need to manage your CPA, keeping it as low as possible, in order to get optimal results from PPC. To keep your CPA low you need to keep your conversions high. The exact number of conversions you need to factor in depends on the value of your services.

To get any conversions at all you need to make sure there is a great landing page awaiting your visitors when they click through from your advert. This is something that you – or your PPC management team – should be doing from the beginning of your campaign, as well as optimising it as you go along. Other factors come into play as well. For example, well-established products or pages that already have a good conversion rate will probably see optimal results from PPC quicker than new websites or newly launched products. This is because for new products there will be a steeper hill to climb in terms of brand awareness and domain authority.

What You Can Do To Get The Best Results

You can improve both your click through rate (CTR) and CPA by engaging in PPC alongside other digital marketing activities. This is where our team at JDR can help you. By marketing your business through social media, SEO and email marketing, we can give you the overall boost to brand awareness that you need for PPC to bring in results in a shorter timeframe.

If you have a low conversion rate, you may also need Conversion Rate Optimisation. This may include reworking your landing page for a better layout or improving your calls to action. It may also involve analysing results from your PPC and optimising your keywords based on what works, over the course of several months.

How To Get The Best Results From PPC

If approached correctly, PPC can bring fantastic results in a short amount of time, giving you a good boost in revenue alongside longer term inbound marketing work. Our team of PPC specialists can work closely with you to get you the best results; to keep your CPA low and your ROI high. For a crash course in PPC and how to get the best results, download our free guide; How To Use Google AdWords To Attract More Customers And Sales, by clicking here.

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