Customers are looking for you. If you don’t know how to get found, you’re lost. That’s the message from WSI Paid Search MD Jack Porter-Smith at this years WSI UK Digital Summit.

Jack is based in Toronto and not only runs WSI Paid Search but is also one of Google’s top ten Adwords Top Contributors. The team at WSI Paid Search not only run PPC and Google shopping campaigns but also display and remarketing campaigns, as well as providing comprehensive measurement, reporting and ROI tracking

Jack took to the stage to explain everything PPC. What it is, how it works and how you can maximise its use for your business.

First, let’s begin with where PPC started. Originally, PPC ads were small text ads. Then things progressed and you could also add static images. Now, in 2015, animated images, multiple products, video and much more all come together to form PPC campaigns.

Remarketing appeared in 2008 and is now a standard part of PPC campaigns. In fact to use a quote from WSI’s co-founder Dan Monaghan, “remarketing can be the rocket fuel of a PPC campaign”

Every business has a voice and direct connection with its customer. SEO is important, but PPC is becoming even more important. Why? Because of the opportunities it brings. It’s demand driven by consumer expectation. Paid search has an uncapped potential and can bring in good returns. It can help you expand into and capture new markets, bringing you new customers.

The message is simple – If you don’t connect with your customers via PPC, someone else will. You may be handing business to your competitors.

Jack went on to tell us about his AASS checks – no that’s not a spelling mistake!.

  • Awesome
  • Awful
  • Starting
  • Stopping

Whether it’s PPC or digital marketing in general, the AASS checks need to be done – we need to review the effectiveness of our campaigns, marketing and business development . We often spend so much time working in our businesses that we don’t work on the business. How often do we take time to stop and ask ourselves the following questions about the business?

The Awesome:

  • What’s going well?
  • How do I do more of it?
  • How can I make things better?

The Awful:

  • What is bad or failing?
  • How is it harming my business?
  • How long has it been this bad?

And when it comes to tactics


  • What opportunities are out there?
  • What should I start today?


  • What am I doing that is dated?
  • Am I doing anything that is just keeping the status quo?
  • When was the last time I actually stopped and thought about this?

These are all questions that we ask ourselves every day when managing PPC. As business owners and managers, these are things you should also be asking yourself regularly.

So what are some of the common problems we see when talking to business about their existing PPC campaigns that you should look out for.

  • Setting & forgetting – campaigns are set up and left to run, especially if they seem to be getting a reasonable return.
  • Irregular AASS checks – they need to be done regularly to get a good return or improve on it
  • Not mobile optimized – with people increasingly using mobile devices, this is essential. If you’re ads are not optimized for mobile you will be missing out on a large part of the market.
  • Not conversion optimized – again, regular reviews to track the conversion rates are needed
  • Not tracking 100% of traffic – PPC is highly trackable, right down to the keyword that originated the search and sales from telephone calls; make sure you do it
  • No clear ROI – Measurement!

And the common causes of these problems?

  • In-house attempts – a lack of knowledge where staff managing campaigns maybe don’t understand the complexities
  • Sometimes a poor agency selection

If you’re recognising some of these problems, the good news is that PPC is agile & fixable!

There are opportunities out there, you need to maximize on them. Pre-empting some people in the room who may be worried about trying PPC, or are already running what appear to be successful campaigns, Jack had this to say.

What about the What ifs?

  • What if it fails? Learn from the data. Think about Rovio games – they had 66 fails before Angry Birds was successful
  • What if I can’t afford it? There will be a way to work your budget to afford it.
  • What if I’m doing it already? Remember those AASS checks?!

So, in summary,

Why should you do PPC?
Because it’s one of the few places in marketing when customers actually present themsleves to you, asking for what you have to offer. You just have to be comnpetitive with that offering. If you don’t do it and your competitors do you’ll be losing market share. It’s one place where you can precisley calculate return on investment (ROI) and it’s completley trackable and transparent, unlike some other advertising methods.

Why can’t you do it yourself?
Good agencies use their learning from other campaigns to maximise the return on yours. They have good relations with Google and Bing and so can get to the bottom of any issues more quickly and may even get earlier access to new features. A good agency will have years of experience that cannot be matched by an inhouse team. Oh, and your agency won’t need to take sick days or holidays – they’ll have it covered.

Why should you listen to me? Well, you don’t have to but look who I hang out with!!

WSI Paid Search MD Jack Porter-Smith with Google’s Matt Cutts




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