Imagine taking out an ad in your local newspaper that you only pay for each time a potential customer actually reads it and visits your shop as a result. What’s more: imagine that your ad is only printed in the newspapers bought by readers who are already considering buying a product that your company sells.

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Think of this in an online environment and you’re pretty close to pay per click (PPC) advertising.

Do a quick search on any of the popular search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing) and you’ll notice that the results at the top of the page are displayed inside a coloured box – these are paid-for ads. The side panel of links to the right-hand side of the organic (ordinary, non-paid-for) results also contains PPC ads.

The way it works is that advertisers select a number of keywords – they want their PPC advert to appear whenever someone searches for those particular keywords. You can also select keyword phrases – a group of two or more keywords used together (eg ‘pet insurance’ or ‘art classes in Hampshire’).

The more specific you can be with your keyword phrases, the more likely it is that the person using the search engine will click on your link and end up buying your product or service.

For example: if I’m a second-hand car dealer in Poole, specialising in Volkswagens, and I choose the keyword ‘car’, my ad could appear when:

• someone in Scotland searches – chances are they’re not going to travel to my showroom in Poole;

• someone looking for Ford cars searches – I don’t sell Fords; if they click on my link, they’ll be disappointed, leave the site without making a sale, and I’ll have paid for that click;

• someone looking for new cars searches – again, this isn’t what they’re looking for and I don’t sell new cars.

If I use the keyword phrase ‘used Volkswagen cars in Dorset’, the only people who will see my ad are those are actually looking for used Volkswagen cars in the Dorset area, so they are highly likely to click on my ad and end up buying one of my cars.

Because you only pay for PPC ads when someone actually clicks on your link (taking them to your website), by selecting keywords carefully, you make sure you’re only paying for ads that are likely to result in sales.

So, how do you know how much each click-through will cost?

Another benefit of PPC is that you can set your own budget on a daily basis. Advertisers bid on individual keywords or keyword phrases, so essentially they’re worth as much as you and your competitors are prepared to pay for them.

Generic keywords will be in high demand so you’re likely to have to bid higher. For example, the keyword ‘surfboards’ will cost more than the keyword phrase ‘custom surfboards’. The higher you bid, the further up the search results page your ad will appear – and, subsequently, the more attention it will receive from potential customers.

Are there any other factors that affect where my ad will appear?

Certainly in the case of Google, the most important factor is relevancy. Google wants to create the best user experience possible – they want to be sure that when someone uses their search engine, the results that appear -including the PPC links- will take them to websites that match their search query as closely as possible. If your ad is very relevant to the keyword phrase you’re bidding on, Google will give you Brownie points for this and place your ad higher up the page of results.

Google also likes fast websites – if your website is slow and clunky, Google will deduct Brownie points, because you’re not helping to create a good user experience.

Google also keeps a close eye on the click-through rate of your ad – if lots of the people who view your ad go on to click on it, Google knows that your ad must be appealing, and therefore boosts your ‘quality score’ again.

Facebook ‘profiles’ were designed for individuals, and to make a connection with another individual on Facebook, you both need to mutually consent to becoming Facebook ‘friends’ – only then can you see one another’s personal information.

Facebook users don’t necessarily want to become ‘friends’ with your business and allow you access to their personal information. This is one of the reasons why you need a Facebook ‘page’ instead.

Why not choose a ‘group’ instead of a ‘page’?

Facebook describes a page as “a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes”. Pages often rank very highly in search engine results – groups don’t show up at all. When you add an update to your page, it will appear in your fans’ newsfeed and when they ‘like’ (subscribe to) your page, Facebook will suggest your page to their friends too – neither of these benefits apply to groups.

Think of a group as more of a live chat room – content is constantly changing and you have little control over this because it’s dependant on what group members post, and that could be something completely unrelated to your product or brand!

Customise your page to suit your brand

While you cannot personalise a profile or group at all, you can style your page to suit your business. Facebook pages come with a number of customisable tabs – some companies have created really imaginative welcome tabs, with offers or content exclusively available to those who click the ‘Like’ button:

facebook business page


Another benefit of creating a page for your business is that you have access to Facebook ‘Insights’. Insights gives you detailed analysis of how your page posts have been received by your fans – it tells you how many times your post has been viewed, how much feedback it’s attracted (‘likes’ and comments), as well as demographic information on your fan base such as where they live, how old they are and whether they’re male or female.

Team this up with a URL shortener like and your website analytics package, and you’ve got yourself a super effective means of tracking conversion from Facebook activity to actual sales.


Facebook has just last week released a new tool to enable you to convert your profile to a page – Mashable has more details on this. This is great news if you’ve already set up a profile and want to change it to a business page without loosing all of your network.

Thursday, 24 March 2011 09:18

How to write for your website

Written by Jethro

Thanks to word-of-mouth, effective marketing, first-rate SEO (search engine optimisation) or just good old pot luck, a potential customer has found your website – congratulations!

Writing great text for your site can make all the difference in helping a visitor to find what they’re looking for, convincing them to stay a while and, ultimately, converting their visit into a sale. So, what are the crucial steps to getting your wording right?

Friday, 18 March 2011 14:27

How to write a killer tweet in six easy steps

Written by Jethro

Include a link

retweets by link occurrenceA recent study found that almost 70 per cent of retweets contained a link. There’s not a lot you can say, unless you’re extremely profound or witty, in 140 characters that’s going to tell the whole story. Including a link in your tweet gives you the opportunity to expand on those first captivating characters, not forgetting as well that tweets are a prime opportunity to drive traffic to your own website. Using URL shortening tools like helps keep your word count down.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 12:38

Web applications

Written by Jethro

South West Graphic Media build web design packages to suit your requirements.  We tailor our design and choose the best plugins to create a great user experience.  Joomla extensions library is the largest collection of website functionality plugins on the internet. Examples of open source plugins for joomla are web forms, which allow for custom forms to collect data from site visitors i.e. contact forms, galleries, community memberships, forums and Ecommerce shops.

During the planning process we hand pick which applications we need and install them onto your site.  We then use our knowledge and customise the application to suit its required purpose.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 14:00

Content Management System (CMS)

Written by Jethro Watson

Some of you have asked about the CMS service we provide.  Here is a little bit of information regarding content management and why we choose to produce our websites in this way.

A content management system (CMS) is a group of procedures used to manage the flow of work collaboratively.  They allow a large number of people to contribute to a shared data source.  Content  management systems allow control and access to information based on user levels.  

Within the web a content managed site allows authors to add, update and share new content directly onto a website.  Depending on the level of the user they can administrate documents and articles and further components.  Administration and authoring is typically done through browser-based interfaces.

Joomla websites

South West Graphic Media uses Joomla as its primary CMS system.  Joomla is one of the widely supported CMS systems in the world. This enables sites to be created with ease and provides a large resource of extensions to develop online applications which our clients may require. 

We have a bank of templates available which means we provide rapid deployment of your vision into an online presence.

Joomla comes with an advanced set of administrative tools which help to develop a well optimised site hosting your content.  As part of our service we provide as much free training as you need in order to manage your site.  Taking ownership is key to adding new content.  This is important for SEO as a constantly evolving site improves your visibility to google.