What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and why does it matter?

What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and why does it matter?

You probably already know what Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is, even if you don’t know the term.

But whether you know what it is or not, it’s a vitally important part of your business and should be an important part of your marketing plan.

Here’s what you need to know.


Pay Per Click is, as it’s name suggests, a form of advertising where the advertiser sets up adverts and pays whenever they’re clicked on, rather than up front. It’s another form of paid for traffic, buying visits to your online properties, whether they’re a website, social media or other offer.

One of the biggest forms of PPC, and the one you’re most probably familiar with, is search engine advertising. You’ve definitely seen them, if you’ve ever used Google. Whenever search results come up, you might have noticed that the first one or two results have a little green [Ad.] next to the URL.

These are paid adverts, and a perfect example of what we’re talking about.

Every time someone clicks on that link and is sent to your page, you have to pay an advertising fee. If you’re using PPC in the right way, this fee won’t matter, because the price of customer acquisition will be less than the total profit made. Obviously, not every click will end in a sale, but this cost should be balanced when you’re planning your PPC campaign.

Running a PPC ad campaign can be intensive at the beginning, because finding the correct keywords, deciding how to use them and pointing those keywords at highly converting, efficient offers takes a lot of research.

On top of this, choosing the correct keywords is vitally important to your business because the more effective your campaign in terms of click throughs and conversions, the cheaper it becomes. Like every property under its aegis, Google rates its PPC campaigns on how efficient they are. The better the metrics of your campaign, the less you are charged for individual clicks.


Google’s PPC program is called Google Ads, (previously Google Adwords) is the largest and most comprehensive pay per click advertising system on the planet. It’s also wide reaching, keyed not only to the Google search engine, but also to every other Google property, including Youtube, Chrome, Pixel, Nest and more.

Like most PPC systems, Google Ads works on individual clicks, with users having to bid for their keywords and paying for every click that their adverts receive. Whenever someone types something into a Google search bar, Google examines their list of paid advertisers and chooses one or two relevant options to present.

Who wins is down to Google, but it relies on a particular set of metrics, which include:

• Keyword relevance: How relevant your keywords are to the search being conducted, how targeted your keyword groupings are together, and how clear and effective your advert copy is.
• Landing page effectiveness: If you don’t know what a landing page is, it’s the page people arrive at when clicking your ad, and it’s generally a custom offer for that particular advert. The more highly targeted your landing page is and the better the on page content the higher Google will rate it. Other things Google uses to rate pages include total time on page, and whether they clicked the offer, moving further into your sales funnel.
• Quality score: Quality score is Google’s own rating of your Google Ads account. It takes into account things like your rate of click throughs, landing page effectiveness, how relevant your offer is, and more. Your quality score can fluctuate over time, depending on how effective your recent ad campaigns have been.
• CPC Bid: Your CPC bid is how much you’re willing to spend on each individual click. This is set by you when you create your ad campaigns, and you can tailor it to individual offers, to ensure you’re making a profit.

What this means is that you, as an advertiser, can examine your offers, analyse the average conversion rate and profit margins, and work out exactly where your profit points are. Your adverts will only land in front of people who are interested in your offers, and you will only have to pay a price you can afford for each ad.


The single most important part of your PPC campaign is the keywords.

The keywords dictate who sees your ads, and who they are targetted towards. This is why it’s vitally important that they are correct.

The best way to consider your keyword list is in a manner of continual improvement. Some companies never change their keywords, without realising that they may be missing out on vital terms that could drive significant traffic to their offers.

When choosing keywords, there are several key things to considering, including:

Applicable: There’s no point in paying for ad space that doesn’t result in people opting into your offers. The best keywords will have a high click through rate without being overly expensive.
Definitive: You’d be surprised at the terms that can be linked to your offer. There’s a specific phrase for this. The long tail. These are keywords that are generally peripherally linked to your term, but nevertheless are searched for enough to be worthwhile. Because they’re less used, and less searched for, they will normally cost you less, but will still send effective traffic to your offers.
Wide reaching: PPC is constantly evolving, and the terms that people use will evolve with them. Your keyword list should be both wide and deep, covering all the terms people use to search for your offer.

Finding the correct keywords can be difficult, which is why there are now various business and tools which offer keyword research as their core service.


No marketing campaign should be static, and like all good advertising, your PPC should be constantly monitored and improved. According to reports, a significant marker of an account’s success is how active it is.

The key metrics to consider are:

Finding new keywords and terms: Perform relevant keyword research, and look for new long tail keywords that tie in to your offers.
Finding negative keywords: A negative keyword is a term that sends traffic to your offers but does not result in sales. You can tag these to prevent this from happening and save you money.
Fine tuning ad targetting: Google ads gives you the option to break apart your ad groups, creating smaller, more finely honed and targetted adverts. And a better targetted ad should result in more sales.
Consider removing expensive keywords: If your campaigns are performing well with plenty of inbound traffic, it might be worth shutting down the search terms that cost you the most.
Split testing your offers: Create different versions of the same landing page, but with key differences to see which is most effective for your customers. Then hone future offers with the knowledge gained.

By becoming a member of ICAP you’re joining a community of like-minded professionals and business owners in the children’s activity sector working towards excellence

Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins is the Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association (bfa). With 25 years’ experience in the franchise sector, Pip has worked her way up within the Association, gaining insight from all areas of the business and the franchise industry. She is well-known and highly regarded in franchising for her dedication and depth of knowledge. Pip regularly speaks at conferences and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing on franchising matters for national, local and franchising trade press. Pip is also a regular judge for the annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, the Franchise Marketing Awards and Global Franchise Awards. Pip represents the UK at both the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC). The bfa has grown to be one of the largest franchise associations in Europe, and one of the most successful associations in the world.

Theo Millward

Theo Millward is a graduate of Lancaster University with a BBA in Management. In 2016 Theo purchased UK swim school, Swimtime from the founders which teaches 20,000 children a week. Following a multi-award- winning digital transformation, during the global pandemic, Theo and his team founded Franscape, a saas that digitally transforms Franchise brands. FranScape won New Business of the Year at the UK Business Awards.

Andy Georgiou

Andy is the Founder of ICAP and a leading UK Franchise Business Consultant. He is fiercely committed to helping children’s activity providers build successful and profitable businesses. With qualifications in Business Management, Digital Media and Marketing, he has helped build, advise and grow leading 6 and 7 fiqure children’s education, sports and activity brands in the past 17 years.

Frank Sahlein

Frank has been active in the Children’s Activity Center industry as an athlete, coach, business owner, consultant and business broker. He is a native of San Mateo, California and graduated from San Jose State University in California (USA).
Frank was a pioneer of the Children’s Learning Opportunity Center concept from 1976 – 2016 at the Wings Center in Boise, Idaho (USA) – a blend of Sports Instruction, Arts, Education, Entertainment and Outreach programs.
As a business management innovator, Frank has delivered over 1,000 presentations for a variety of Children’s Activity Center industries such as gymnastics, swimming, cheerleading, dance, martial arts/ninja and child care/education.
3rd Level Consulting is a Business Development and Service Provider Partner for private industry companies, associations, and organizations in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Panama.
Two-time recipient of the National Business Leader Award from USA Gymnastics, Frank is the author of “Building Your Business Potential” and “Designing Your Empowered Life”. He is the creator of the SmartEDGE™ Business Applications and Management Certification Courses. He is the co-founder of LEAP Learning and the MetaSpheres Corp, and is the founder and Executive Director of the International Association of Child Development Programs.
His passions include his beautiful wife Lourdes Gonzalez, family, friends, fitness training, transformational reading and travel.