Our Top Ten PPC Agencies in the UK
Sadly, too many of AdsRunner’s clients have come to us after being bitterly frustrated from having outsourced their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns to an agency who has let them down and either under-delivered in regard to their promises made, or worse still has caused them losses. We get that it’s hard to find a PPC agency you can feel confident in when setting out to outsource this aspect of your marketing and advertising.
We want our readers to understand what to look for to find the best PPC agencies in the U.K. that are relevant for their phase of online business development. Of course, PPC is an amazingly fast and potentially lucrative marketing strategy. PPC search and shopping ads, whether on Google, or via Bing, boosts your brand visibility quickly and delivers immediate results.
This speed of performance allows you to evaluate your ROI quickly, review your investment and shift focus in an agile way. Insights gained in terms of what drives your customer’s purchasing decisions mean you can consistently improve targeting of your ads to customers who are likely to have a high intent of purchasing your product or service.
The downside to sponsored advertising, however, is that with a weak setup, you can watch your marketing budget vanish very quickly, so it is essential to choose a competent, reliable partner who allows you to focus on other aspects of your operations while the transparently exceed your expectations, setting up and continually improving your strategy for optimised results.
Obviously, running PPC campaigns or finding the right PPC agency is not an easy task.
There are so many factors to consider and an overwhelming variety of variables to monitor in paid advertising. Without the technical know-how, you’ll probably struggle with setting up and tracking correctly, creating a keyword plan and knowing how to optimise campaigns consistently.
So before we dive into looking at some of the top U.K. PPC ad agencies worth assessing, here are four keys to finding the right agency to help you drive your sales and objectives forward.
- Communications that are regular, reliable, transparent, clear and timely. For us, each of these aspects of communications is our number one consideration in choosing who we work with, because without effective communication, there is no trust and no capacity for efficient collaboration.
Regularity is important because marketing and business landscapes can change very quickly, so both you and your marketing partner need to respond quickly to minimise losses and adapt. Reliability is about data-informed decision-making; data offers objective proof of quantitative impacts and guarantees transparency. Clarity is not only about the discussion around data, but also communications being jargon-free and meaningful for your teams. Lastly, if there is a sudden change to your circumstances, being told someone will get back to you within 48 hours in not acceptable. 24 hours can make the difference in making significant losses, or adjusting to boost profits.
- Proof of expertise is important for you to feel confident that your short-listed PPC agency can deliver results faster than other agencies out there and also can add depth and breadth to your campaigns, by being able to draw on industry insights gained previously.
You may want to check out an agency based on a referral from a business colleague, but be aware that this too has its limitations in how valuable they can be for your particular circumstances. It cannot be overstated that every business is different, even within niches. Explore your short-listed agency’s capacity to deliver for your needs and aspirations longer term.
Industry awards offer some comfort of an agency’s expertise, but look for those with accolades specifically for PPC; video competence is of value, but is only one aspect of advertising. That being said, don’t be dazzled by an award circuit that is sometimes criticised for being about knowing the right people. Some fantastic agencies are doing great work affordably, because they do not necessarily have the profile for whatever reason, which can up your fees for services.
- Data management expertise is a must for PPC advertising campaigns, because every tweak, split-test and pivot must be based on objective data outputs that can be clearly analysed and drawn upon to inform improvements. PPC advertising involves a slew of what can feel like over-whelming variables for customisation and campaign management. It is essential that your chosen agency have results they can share with you for similar campaigns to demonstrate their ability to maximise your investment.
- Keyword strategy optimisation is central to out-competing companies in your niche and adjusting to minimise costs when appropriate. The research that underpins a campaign should be comprehensive and suited to your budget. Keywords are the connection between your offering and the customers you seek; they evolve according to changes in tastes, shifts in your business priorities and competition in bidding from your competitors.
Your ad agency will demonstrate on-going vigilance with regard to the changing shopping and search ad picture, collaborating with you to agree any shift in keyword strategy focus to align with changing realities and minimise costs wherever possible.
- Mobile and localisation expertise are necessary to drive footfall to either a bricks-and-mortar or ecommerce store. Mobile optimised websites mean you can establish push notifications of special deals when a customer is in your locality, for instance. Given that over 50% of web traffic comes from smartphones and customers express a preference for mobile-friendly websites, this technical know-how of your preferred marketer is a must.
Localised marketing is especially important if your business is based overseas or international. Understanding cultural norms and subtlety of language idiosyncrasies are important for warming audiences to your messaging and establishing yourself as a local business leader.
We make no apologies for putting ourselves first in our list of top PPC agencies in the U.K. We have been in the business for over ten years, delivering PPC campaigns for a variety of business sectors from our London office. If we have not come across your particular challenges before, chances are there will be common features with campaigns we have run for other businesses already and we love opportunities to expand our expertise. We work with SME’s mainly, but also have international enterprise experience too, so whether you are a U.K. high street or industrial park business or are building an ecommerce brand, we can help rocket-fuel sales with PPC campaigns.
We have built a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness based on some of the key facets of the effective advertising partnership we have already outlined above. Our partnership focus means that we will undertake a comprehensive audit of your online presence to establish a PPC strategy that integrates smoothly with your alternative marketing channels and maximises return.
Expect close collaboration continually throughout your campaigns, so that we are responding appropriately to your changing requirements and are aware of new information that enables timely decision-making between and within your teams. Your success is important to us because frankly, your business helps us build ours and feeds our team’s passions and curiosity!
Our PPC expertise extends to acknowledgment by Google, Microsoft and Meta as providing excellence in PPC services for Google search, Google Shopping and Bing advertising, be your campaigns targeted to smartphone users on the move, or shoppers at home on their devices. AdsRunner expertise can also help with complementary social, video, customer relationship optimisation, (CRO), and user experience (UX) optimisation. Ensuring your online presence is the best it can be contributes to your paid ad profitability, because wherever your customers come from, their experience of you will be smooth, enjoyable and memorable.
We continually learn how to build on proven strategies and explore innovations in ways that minimise risk to you and give you the edge over your competitors, here and abroad. The advantage of working with a Google, Meta and Microsoft Bing Partner is that your campaigns will be based on developments we get advance notice of from these two mega-marketing channel providers; this helps you get an edge in your sector, which in turn reduces your cost per customer acquisition and increases profitability.
Data leverage and keyword optimisation are at the heart of all of our paid ad campaigns, but can feed into other channels where you are marketing. This brings cohesion of message and branding, giving you greater control over implementing priorities at any particular time. We offer an obligation-free audit of all of your online architecture and make a set of recommendations that push you forward faster. We will also draw on data for your sector gained from previous experience with hundreds of AdsRunner clients; this ensures that we are able to optimise for your keyword-researched PPC campaigns.
2. Pepper Agency
It may be stating the obvious to say that this agency’s approach is about “profit over traffic”, but it’s amazing how many agencies big up the branding aspect of marketing, without looking at the profits that have to underpin the ‘awareness raising’, otherwise, you are a museum piece, right? However, sadly some marketing agencies are not looking at the long-term sustainability of a campaign. Advertising must ‘wash it’s own face’ and then some!
So with Pepper Agency, you know that this London and Leeds advertising company have your bottom line front and centre in strategic development of your marketing campaigns. They are Microsoft certified experts, you know that they are equipped to focus on what counts. They also offer Google Analytics and ad campaign management, for which they have Google accreditation, as well as Amazon advertising to their retinue of services, which means you have some assurance of transparency in terms of your return on ad spend (ROAS), because data delivers objectivity to your insights into customer behaviours.
This agency also have a social conscience as an employer, ensuring that staff feel valued through commitment to a living wage for all employees. This is important for you as a client too, because you have the reassurance of knowing you are likely to be working alongside committed and productive marketers.
3. Digital Uncut
Digital Uncut is a B2B PPC agency with an international reputation, despite only establishing less than ten years ago. With offices in London, San Francisco and Madrid, whether you are a start-up or scaling-up, expect expert help from them to get targeted, pre-qualified leads from your PPC campaigns.
They work across a variety of sectors, on everything from competitor research, through strategy, channel plans, testing, automation, plus copywriting and ad design. While getting started, or building up you campaigns, this small company charge around £40 ph and you can expect a basic campaign to come in around upwards of £4,000, according to a service comparison website.
4. Loud Mouth Media
We have talked about Loud Mouth Media before in terms of their marketing expertise, for which they have won a number of accolades, including sponsored ad-related. 60% of what they do is advertising, for which they have achieved awards, such as for 2 years running: ‘Best Small PPC Agency in the UK’ and ‘Best E-Commerce Agency’ at the UK Search Awards 2020/2021. They have also been acknowledged as a Top 3% Agency by Google in 2022 and are, as you’d expect, a Google Premier Partner; this makes this agency top tier in terms of their performance in the UK and Ireland.
They have offices around the U.K., including London, Dublin and Glasgow, covering a range of services including:
- Google (Paid Search, Display, Video)
- Social (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn sponsored ads)
- Lead Generation
They offer a free digital audit to assess your ad accounts and offer advice on how to boost growth, so you know they will be starting from a point of understanding where you are. Minimum project costs come in under £1,000, making them accessible for the smallest of start-ups.
5. Circus PPC
Circus PPC specialise in Google Ads. Based in they work with retail and e-Commerce companies looking to grow their accounts with innovation. We like the fact that they take a collaborative approach, based on reducing loss, through identifying wasted input and driving growth. They seek opportunities to make their client leaders in their market, which goes beyond normal KPI focussed metrics into qualitative aspirations.
Circus PPC has a wealth of experience, expertise, and tenacity with the confidence of improving Ads accounts in: Mobile Advertising, Shopping, Display & Remarketing, Paid Social, Amazon Shopping, Video Ads. They believe in creative designs being an essential element for paid campaigns. We agree.
They are a Google and a Microsoft Partner, so you know you can rely of high-quality setup and account management if looking to outsource your campaigns.
Their staffing is flexible, calling on experts in their network, which helps keep your costs down, given they have minimum overheads. This is good news, given they are likely to work more at the mid-range level of business size because their minimum monthly budget is around £8000.
Impression is up there among the UK best ecommerce PPC agencies, with young teams of ad professionals in London and Nottingham. They enjoy working with brands with large ambitions, allowing them to stretch in driving customers through well-integrated strategies that go beyond PPC.
They help with branding, analytics, PR, CRO, as well as paid advertising and have won awards for their services. They have developed proprietary tech to help partnership-oriented acceleration in making smarter decisions, based on data insights.
This company is definitely operating in the mid-range business tier, given their monthly management fee starting at £5,000 and a basic contract fee of around £20,000. The agency has, for instance, served brands such as Experian, which gives you some idea of their capabilities and so ask yourself whether your company is aiming for sector leadership too before getting in touch.
7. Push Group
Push Group is a Google award-winning digital marketing agency that work with start-ups through to mid-sized companies. As their name implies, they are looking for clients who are looking to grow quickly and with capacity to adapt accordingly, such as ecommerce businesses. They match this in staff capacity, with minimum staffing of 50 and up to 250, freelancers and sub-contractors.
What we like about this London agency is their transparency, offering clients access to live data, so you know exactly where your budget is being invested. They are also a Google and Microsoft advertising partner, which means you can rely on the quality of services. Out of just over 50 reviews, they have a 4.9-star rating from clients.
Their services include web design, as well as paid search, social advertising, display and native ads, where ads appear matching the look, feel and function of the format where they appear. Given their scale, they are likely to have strong communications with you, so that makes for better collaborations.
8. PPC Geeks
This Warrington-based PPC focussed agency specialise in sponsored advertising campaigns. You can be confident PPC Geeks are committed to ensuring you get a strong foundation for your investment, because they undertake an audit of your current advertising campaigns to identify key areas for improvement. They have a five-start rating from TrustPilot and are a Google Ads Partner, so this offers some reassurance of the quality of their work.
Founded only five years ago, we like their dedication to this complex, key element of marketing. They cover Ads for: Google, Bing, social media and Amazon, for which you should expect a minimum investment of upwards of £4,000.
ExtraDigital has the kudos of being an ISO-certified marketing agency, which means that you can expect standards that are regulated. They have offices in Canterbury and London, offering fully managed Shopify PPC services for online retailers. Prior to commencement of their services, they will undertake a Shopify audit, so you will have a benchmark from which to measure their results in boosting sales.
This is complemented by services including:
- Multi-lingual content design and development
- Keyword Research
- Competitor research
- Ad testing
- Landing Page Optimisation
- PPC Campaign Optimisation
We did not find information on their fee structure
ThoughtShift, is another award-winning digital marketing agency, based in Brighton and founded in 2011. We wanted to add this agency to our list, because having a social mission, we consider them to be thought leaders in the industry. While they focus on “purpose-driven brands…”, often working with charities, they do support businesses in a few different sectors too, including tech and ecommerce retail.
Their key approach is audits, 50% data-driven PPC campaigns, including social (around 25% of their work), organic marketing and consultancy to enhance visibility, increase traffic and acquire new customers.
They are a medium-sized team of strategists, specialists and consultants who take a collaborative approach with clients, beginning with a free digital marketing analysis. Their basic digital projects start at under £1,000 and their hourly rate is anywhere between £40-99.
Ad’ing It All Up…
So, there are ten of our particular top PPC marketing agencies, but we really probably could have named many more who are offering great value for money for high quality sponsored ad services. However, by teasing out some of the key issues around service provision, we hope you feel you are having your thinking confirmed in terms of what to look for.
If the process still feels a little random, well that’s because there is an element of the wild west out there still, as regulation struggles to keep up with advances in the tech and what constitutes the science of marketing and what is art. We believe it is definitely a balance of both. Data is a must, but is dry without the dazzle of visual creativity and wizadry of applying the data to the specifics of a client’s circumstances.
If you want to speak to a friendly, no-nonsense team who can offer you true collaboration, partnership, transparency, accountability, plus rocking returns, just message us with your questions, or better still, pick up the phone and let’s get your ads rolling in the profits.