Pay Per Click Advertising: Targeting Potential Customers for Maximum Return on Investment

Pay Per Click Advertising - Kick Digital Media

If ever an old adage were true, it’d be that you have to spend money to make money. Perhaps that’s why 45% of small businesses take advantage of pay per click advertising. Although it’s intimidating to begin, a refined pay per click advertising strategy can benefit businesses in any industry.

What’s the secret? Pay per click advertising allows businesses to conduct search targeting across a wide variety of demographics and buyer intentions. Or in layman’s terms, it makes it easy to locate and convert members of your target audience into paying customers.

But what exactly is pay per click advertising anyway? And what types of search targeting are available? Let’s take a comprehensive look at all things search targeting.

Keyword Search Targeting

To anyone with a vague understanding of PPC, they know that keywords play a huge role in search targeting. When a user performs a search with a word or phrase, they’ll see PPC advertisements by those companies paying the most for the keyword.

But businesses should pay more heed to the types of keywords they use. It’s best to use keywords with a variety of buyer intents.

In the awareness stage, buyers may search for “broken computer.” That’s an opportunity for search targeting.

But what about customers who are ready to perform a sale? If they search “repair my computer,” then your “broken computer” keyword isn’t enough to target this customer. That’s why you should make use of different keywords for all the stages of the sales funnel.

You should know that these pay per click ads, also known as PPC ads, aren’t random. The owners of these campaigns have tailored advertisements so they’re only displayed to their ideal customers: People like you.

In short, targeting online users during an internet search is known as search targeting. But PPC ads only cost the company money when someone bothers to click on them. Why bother being so precise?

Because once a potential customer has clicked on the advertisement, it will direct them to the company landing page. At this point, the small business has paid for the ad. If the customer leaves without making a purchase, that’s money down the drain.

Thanks to keyword search targeting, small businesses can generate more traffic and higher customer conversion rates compared to throwing advertisements into the online abyss.

Demographic Targets

There are a wide array of demographics available when it comes to PPC ad targeting. It’s a boon for any business that knows its target audience. Some businesses take things a step further by segmenting PPC campaigns according to buyer personas, further improving the odds of a successful conversion.

Google and other search engines have a pretty good idea of who you are based on your browsing habits and IP address. For example, they may learn you’re a male in your 30s. That means when you perform a search on one of these engines, you’ll see PPC advertisements intended for that demographic.

When a marketer creates a PPC campaign through Google, Bing, Facebook, or wherever else, they’ll have an option to target specific demographics. Here’s an example of just a few:

  • Nationality
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Household Income
  • Education
  • Interests

Small businesses can specialize their PPC campaigns with the help of demographic targeting. But as you can imagine, demographic targets alone won’t guarantee a successful PPC ad or a high customer conversion rate.

In-Market Targets

Search engines collect a wealth of data on just about everyone and everything. They’ve used this information to create their own pre-determined market lists.

For example, if your PPC advertisements are about clothing, you can target the “Apparel and Accessories” market.

Online users who regularly search for related terms are more likely to encounter these advertisements. It’s a simple, no-fuss way to direct your marketing efforts towards the right people.

There’s one issue: These in-market targets encompass large groups of people. They aren’t all going to fit under the umbrella of your target audience.

Custom Intent Targets

To further specify a PPC campaign, savvy marketers have turned to custom intent audiences. It’s sort of like creating your own in-market audience. Since it requires a great deal of quantifiable data, not every business can make use of custom audiences.

To create a custom intent audience, you’ll compose a collection of websites and keywords that your ideal customer is likely to use. Your PPC advertisement will appear whenever someone has this information in their recent search history.

It’s not a bad idea to use custom intent targets even if there’s a relevant in-market audience. As any marketer knows, specificity is the key to success.


We’ve covered some of the basic targeting dimensions that can be used during a search query. But there’s one more to consider: Remarketing. Remarketing targets users who have already interacted with your business, whether through your website or a previous ad.

If enabled, this process is usually done automatically and with the help of code on your website. But you can also remarket manually. For example, you can upload a list of email addresses from your email newsletter.

If any of these email addresses are connected to an existing account, these users will see your remarketing advertisements. You can choose if other targeting dimensions are required beforehand.

What makes remarketing so successful? These potential customers are somewhere in the sales funnel. With a small incentive, such as a discount, you can close a deal that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.

For more remarketing advice, check out Google’s remarketing strategy guide.

Need Help With Pay Per Click Advertising?

Search targeting promises a fantastic return on your investment. Too many small businesses make the mistake of throwing in the towel during the early stages before they’ve figured out a winning strategy.

Don’t be one of them.

Need an advertising solution tailored to your business? Start your journey to improved customer conversions and contact us today.

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