Archive by Dave Ashbolt

The Aftermath of the SERP Shake-Up – Google Removes Right Hand Side Adverts


google SERP changes

So it’s been about 1 month since Google decided to remove paid adverts from the right hand side of the search results pages. When this first happened our first reaction was probably the same as a many others, ‘what will happen to the cost of clicks?’

We imagined inflated click-costs and clients’ CPA’s increasing. Not to mention CTR dropping due to the ads that have since moved to the bottom of the SERPs, having next to no chance of generating any interest.

Was this a ploy for Google to make more money? We had numerous conversations amongst our PPC team about what this meant and what we should be doing to make sure our clients are ranking in the top 4 positions.

Instead of panicking and increasing bids, we opted to leave bids as they were and monitor. We pride ourselves on well built, granular account structures, utilising all of Google’s available tools to maximise quality scores. We liaise with clients to ensure that the landing pages are optimised for PPC campaigns, which has helped achieve strong PPC results month-on-month, so why change our approach now?

We trusted that Google would continue to reward quality advertisers with higher rankings, instead of favouring poor account builds with higher CPC’s.
Dave Ashbolt, Head of PPC

Since the change how has this impacted our clients? Well, so far it’s been positive across the board. The majority of accounts have seen a reduction in costs per click, while maintaining or improving ranking and comparatively increased click through rates, due to the decrease in impressions now available.

We haven’t seen conversion rates suffer either; again, some clients have actually experienced some impressive improvements.

These changes haven’t been surprising when you think about it. Advertisers always strived to rank in the top 3 positions, due to higher click through rates and a conversion being more likely to occur when occupying one of those spots.

It’s still very early days, but the initial signs have been positive for us and we haven’t experienced any of our initial fears. The next few months will give a clearer picture of the effects on PPC results and we’ll report back when we have more data!

If you’re having problems since the change or need PPC advice. Contact or call 0203 4321 369

Passion help Action Medical Research Achieve a Google GrantsPro Upgrade


AMR Ad Grants Pro

We’re extremely excited to announce that Passion Digital have helped Action Medical Research to successfully join the Google GrantsPro programme.

Charities which utilise the standard Google Ad Grants programme receive $10,000 per month of in-kind advertising from Google, completely free of charge. With the help of Passion digital, Action Medical Research (AMR) now receive $40,000 per month of in-kind advertising, following their successful application to upgrade to Google GrantsPro.

This additional advertising budget which will be invaluable in helping AMR to fund medical research to beat the diseases that devastate the lives of so many children.  They have been funding medical breakthroughs since 1952 – such as the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine – helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.  You can read about more of AMR’s medical success stories here:

“Passion have managed our Adwords account for a long time and have effectively steered us towards the Pro account. 

As a small charity we are always looking for greater reach and visibility to continue our work, and the Pro account will give us the ability to compete with larger charities and test more effectively, raising awareness and generating much needed income to fund vital medical research.”

Grant Ellis, Web Manager, AMR. 

Passion Digital look forward to the challenge of utilising a much larger budget to increase donations and general awareness of this much-needed charity. If you have a Google Ad Grant account and need help upgrading to the Google GrantsPro programme, please do get in touch to see where Passion Digital could help.

Google GrantsPro: Take Your Online Presence to the Next Level


Google Ad Grants Pro

We recently announced that existing Google Ad Grant accounts can apply to advertise multiple domains under one account, so we thought we’d stick with charity/non-profit PPC and mention Google GrantsPro.

What is Google GrantsPro?

Existing Google Ad Grant advertisers who utilise the full $10,000 per month given to them have the opportunity to gain a much larger grant of $40,000 per month to spend on Google Search Advertising.

How Do I Get Google GrantsPro?

To qualify for the larger amount, it’s not as simple as just spending the $10,000 per month Google provide to non-profits (which we know in itself is a huge task!). There are a number of factors that need to be taken in to consideration – your Google Ad Grants account must have:

  • Spent at least $9,900 twice in six months.
  • Correctly installed Conversion Tracking and be actively tracking at least one conversion (tracking conversions from Google Analytics in to AdWords also counts).
  • Account-level click-through-rate (CTR) of 1% or higher.
  • Agree to complete surveys and provide conversion data numbers.
  • Manage the account at least weekly or bi-weekly.

You’ll need to fill out an application form confirming these points and provide details on how you plan to use the additional budget provided.  This requires more detail than the Ad Grant application and data would need to be included, for example if donations increased by x% how would that effect the people who benefit from your charity.

What Next?

If you are lucky enough to meet the criteria and are awarded $40,000 per month the next question is, what do you do with that money? Passion Digital have worked with many Ad Grant and GrantsPro accounts so we understand how to make them work for your organisation. We can help throughout the process and maximise the chances of upgrading your existing AdGrant account to a GrantsPro account.

Get in touch today to see if we can help with your Google Grant management

Paid Search Advertising Build – Part 1


PPC Build Part 1

In this series we will be looking at the process of starting a paid search advertising account from the ground up. In this first post we will be looking at the very early stages of PPC search, the things you need to clarify with a client before you really start.

First Step

Having a set process that you follow when starting a Paid Search account is really important and helps to make sure you don’t end up doing something costly that you regret later on.

First things first, what are the clients goals or expectations from the account? This will define everything from how you structure the PPC build itself to how you report back to the client, this will form the subject of this article. We will also only be looking at paid search advertising as opposed to pay per click in general (which would include Facebook and LinkedIn).

There are two main types of goals that clients will typically have – “visibility/branding” goals or “CPA” goals, think Ecommerce / Registration/ Lead Generation. In this article we’ll focus on CPA goals.

Once we have established what the clients goal priorities are you can then start to work out the finer details which we have broken down to 4 areas.

What is the cost per lead / goal you will be working towards?

This will ultimately determine how you optimise the account, when to pause lower performance keywords, how to identify which are the most cost efficient as well as where to allocate budget. It is also how you prove what a Rockstar you are to the client and why they are paying you!

This can be difficult, especially if the client has not run paid search before as they won’t necessarily know what to gauge it against. In an ideal world they will have a good idea of their margins and costs and therefore know what they want to aim for. The same also goes for conversion rates, hopefully they know how they do in their store or from other channels and can give you something to aim for.

Don’t be afraid to push back if you feel the targets are unrealistic, doing some keyword research will give you a good idea of costs and by applying various conversion rates you can quickly work out if it’s a fair target. Remember you are the expert and should be able to inform the client of what is realistic.

What are the main points of focus?

The products or service lines that the client are most keen to push will help you to define where to focus the paid search build, perhaps allocating more budget to certain campaigns for priority products or pushing certain products across multiple platforms for increased visibility.


Determining what to spend on Paid Search is a hard question to answer, but we here at Passion believe in starting smaller and proving the accounts worth first. Often a budget will scale with successful account management, but initially this may be a factor in determining how big your account will be. There are several ways this can be broken down, by product, platform or country.

Stretching the campaign budget over too many campaignswill leave you suffering from Impression Share lost to Budget. This is definitely something that will need considering for high cost per click industries (web design, insurance, forex etc.) that could take half the budget in one click, so don’t spread your campaign budgets too thin!

Where will your ads be seen?

Deciding what platform to appear on is a complicated decision and is based on several different factors. Knowing the core demographic for your client is crucial, for example Google and Yahoo/Bing each have different audience demographics:

  • Bing tends to have an older age group using less up to date internet browsers
  • Google has a younger audience that will be heavier on mobile use

Deciding which one to go with depend on your clients goals and what they are trying to do with the account. You can always run on both, just remember to adjust the budgets on each platform accordingly to stop the account overspending.

That concludes part 1 in our series, part 2 will be about researching and building the account which we will be making the subject of the next article!

As always we welcome comments so feel free to leave them below!


We're recognised by
Digital Marketing Agency London +Mike Grindy