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PPC Insights and Improving Your Returns

Reading time: 4 minutes
Written by
Katie Cudnowski
Business Manager and Marketing Asst.
Scrabble tiles spelling out "Pay Per Click"

Most PPC campaigns are complex, and even the smallest detail can have a big effect on the outcome. Here’s our insight on how to make your campaigns successful and improve PPC returns.

What Are Some of the Most Important KPIs to Measure Success?

Your CPA, or your cost per action, is a great indicator of how your ads are performing, especially when you benchmark them against other industry data. A source that we like to use for this is WordStream. WordStream updates its research regularly, which helps you see if you’re doing well or if you’re way over or under the industry average. Cost Per Click (CPC) can help optimize the ad campaigns themselves.

Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is also critical. It can be hard to get the attribution right so that you can say with certainty that revenue X came from advertising Y, Still, that measurement is extremely important for evaluating your success and optimizing your ad spend.

What Is a Funnel, and What Does It Have to Do with Paid Ads?

The top of the funnel is about awareness. The middle of the funnel is more about education and deepening the relationship with your brand and your product offerings. The bottom of the funnel is putting more concrete offers in front of people where they are going to engage and potentially convert in one way or another.

Aligning the top of the funnel means that you're going to get more people, but they're going to be lighter touch, shorter visits, and probably less qualified than the audiences that you would get further down the funnel. At this point, you're trying to get your name out there, be in the places, and show up on the websites and the channels where they're likely to see you and understand something about you.

Audiences acquired through one PPC platform (e.g., Google Ads) can also be pixeled by other retargeting platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), each of which provides its own targeting options. This allows you to parse through those users and find the most valuable visitors in subsequent campaigns that are aligned more with the middle or the bottom of the funnel.

When and Why Does Intent Matter?

If a person isn’t aware of your brand, they're probably not going to jump right on a demo when they first encounter your digital presence or ad. This poses the question of whether the person is solution-aware, or if they even have a problem in the first place.

Thinking about matching their stage in the funnel, their intent, with the offer is so important. You can gauge intent through things like a video playthrough, or filling out a form to download an ebook. If they have played through a certain percentage of the video or entered their email to download the free book, this can be a great way to gauge intent at the awareness stage.

How Does PPC Compare to Other Acquisition Channels Such as SEO or Email Marketing?

PPC amounts to instant gratification, but as soon as you stop paying, traffic goes away. However, PPC allows you to capture interest (and potential purchase intent) and direct the prospect to your landing pages and conversions. PPC also enables you to build audiences for retargeting and nurturing in future drip campaigns. In comparison, SEO is a long game, but can ultimately result in constant high-quality traffic that values your site’s content and POV.

Email marketing feels like old news but is, surprisingly, still a very viable channel. The Direct Marketing Association cited an ROI of 42:1 on email marketing spend. PPC works in tandem with email marketing by capturing initial attention via searches and social feeds, then capturing email addresses via a lead form, chat bot, or other mechanism.

Where Should You Be Spending Money on Targeted Ads?

Within the context of budget and ad spend, casting out a big net is great, so long as you can do it for cheap. Cost Per Click (CPC) is going to be vital to keeping that as low as possible because there's a high likelihood that people who are going to be captured this way aren't going to be a good fit.

As we progress down the funnel, we get into the latter portion of those audiences, where we know they're going to be well-targeted. Those audiences are where we are more willing to see a higher CPC because we know that those are going to be higher value clicks.

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About Katie Cudnowski

Katie comes to O8 with a background in all things communications and marketing and a desire to learn the ins and outs of agency life. While keeping up with all things digital and marketing, she assists O8's CEO with business management. Prior to joining the O8 team, Katie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in Communications and Event Planning and has experience as an account executive and marketing specialist. Katie loves dissecting brands and figuring out their "voice", as well as the challenge of adapting to different communication styles. When not at work...


At O8, a global digital agency based in Minneapolis, MN, USA, we specialize in delivering measurable growth on demand for marketing and sales teams. We pride ourselves on our transparency, agility, and deep technical expertise. In a world that's often stressful and chaotic, we offer experienced, actionable guidance to help you achieve your goals. Our approach is professional, clear, and authentic, ensuring you receive customized, data-driven solutions that drive results.