Why PPC can serve as an effective digital marketing tactic for Builders Merchants

by David Watling, Head of Sales, Pauley Creative
8 June 2017

David Watling, Pauley CreativeAs the world of digital marketing continues to expand and evolve, the competition to rank well in Google Search becomes fiercer year on year. As a result of this, builders’ merchants must be flexible with their marketing tactics, in order to maximise the online visibility of their products and services.

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is now dominating page one of Google, particularly with the removal of the advertising sidebar, meaning that PPC ads take up the majority of space in Google search. This means that you really need to be investing in paid advertising campaigns in order to stand a chance against your competition.

You may be sat there wondering, “how can I ensure PPC advertising works for my business?” or “is the investment in PPC even worth my time and money?”

If so, this blog post is for you. It will address five simple reasons for considering PPC advertising in the first place, alongside tips to ensure you align paid search campaigns against measurable marketing goals.

Without further ado let’s start with the 5 key reasons for employing PPC…

1) PPC is highly measurable

‘Pay-per-click’ advertising means that you only pay out for those all-important click-throughs, meaning that you know exactly where your budget is being spent. Unlike more traditional print-based advertising, where you simply spend money and hope for the best, PPC enables you to keep track by producing a result for every penny that’s spent. This means you can be flexible with your approach depending upon the outcome of each campaign.

2) Gain quality clicks through to your website

Ranking within both organic (un-paid search) and paid search doubles your opportunity for click-throughs to your E-commerce platform, and therefore doubles the chance of these leading to a conversion. The more listings you can gain on page one of Google search, the more legitimate and attractive your building products will look to online visitors.

3) Support your organic (un-paid) search

Ranking highly on page one of Google search, and trying to figure out why you’ve been positioned there in the first place, involves in-depth research on your keywords, as well as a thorough review of your website content. However, PPC displays results very quickly, allowing you to understand what keywords have worked straight away to bring the right prospects to your website, and ultimately gives you more control over your rankings. Whilst ranking highly in organic search is crucial, PPC is considered to support your overall search rankings with immediate effect.

4) Control your advertising costs

How much you are willing to spend on PPC is entirely up to you, and is flexible for you to change at any time. Obviously the less you spend, the less likely you are to see a huge turnaround; however, this will again depend upon the competitiveness for that particular keyword within the construction industry. Always set your PPC budget to meet your own business needs.

5) Provide support to campaigns

PPC is there to support a range of marketing campaigns, whether it’s a product promotion, website launch or a company rebrand. You can even feature campaigns overnight in order to get campaigns well underway as quickly as possible. Paid search ultimately helps to drive revenue and increase online visibility, becoming a consistent support system to any promotion or marketing campaign.

Aligning PPC advertising to your business goals

Now that we’ve discussed some of the key reasons for implementing PPC as an effective marketing tactic, it’s also important to emphasise that you’ll only reap the benefits of PPC with an effective strategy in place…

…and there’s no such thing as an effective strategy without specific marketing goals. Creating measurable goals will allow you to understand what keywords are required to improve the performance of your E-commerce platform.

When defining goals, you first need to consider what results you want from a website visitor clicking your ad and being directed to a landing page.

For builders' merchants the goal may be to increase sales, enhance brand awareness or improve traffic levels.

Consider the following…

  • Do you need to be driving awareness and sales for a new product?
  • Do you need to boost sales for an existing product type?
  • Are you looking to increase the number of product enquiries on your platform?
  • At what pace do you expect to see an increase in sales?
  • What percentage increase in sales is realistic for your business

Whilst it is crucial at this stage to be setting clear and quantifiable goals, they must also be flexible for industry changes, seasonal changes and services offered on your Ecommerce platform.

Benchmark from previous performance

At this point, you may be wondering where to actually begin when it comes to setting accurate PPC goals; this is where you’ll need to analyse data using Google Analytics to measure the previous performance levels of certain products. This will help you to determine what quantifies as realistic goals for your individual business.

  • In what months did we sell the most of Product A?
  • In what months did we sell the least of Product B?
  • What products had the least sales over the year?
  • What products are lacking online visibility?
  • On a monthly basis, how many people are aware of our brand and directly typing the website address into search?

Establish Short- & Long-Term Goals

It’s important to establish short-term as well as long-term goals for your business, in order to provide realistic stepping-stones towards achieving your desired outcome. This not only makes the long-term goal easier to achieve, but it also provides your team with the motivation to achieve it.

A short-term goal may be assigned on a weekly or monthly basis, such as increasing sales and revenue from X to Y; this short-term goal would be directly targeting people who are interested in your product and service in order to increase the chance of them buying from your Ecommerce site.

However, whilst sales could increase for a particular keyword overnight, they will naturally fluctuate depending on factors such as seasons or product launches. In particular, new accounts with little to no previous data take longer to see an increase in sales, as it takes time to optimise the campaign and review keyword performance.

This is when you need a long-term goal plan, typically aimed towards your businesses’ overall profit growth. Whilst most businesses intend to make a high profit as their long-term goal, very few actually measure how exactly they’ll get there, or what steps are needed to achieving this success.

Analyse your goal campaigns

Whilst creating a goal plan for your PPC campaign should always be the first step towards implementing an effective strategy, analysing the progression of these goals is just as important.

If your short and long-term goals aren’t being met, you need to dig into why this was and how the issue can be resolved. If they are being met, identify the tactics used to get there so that you can do more of what works and less of what isn’t.


The learning process to PPC is continuous, and as you begin to collect data for your paid keywords, the strategy may start to change.

Ensure you’re flexible with the strategy required to achieving these goals as the online behaviour of your visitors changes over time. And remember - without setting goals, you’ll spend a significant amount of money with little results to show for it.

For more information on implementing an effective PPC strategy for your construction business, download our PPC eBook for Ecommerce websites here.  
David Watling, Pauley Creative