The Ultimate Click: How to get what you pay for with pay-per-click advertising


@veronica Thanks for the response!

Editor’s Note: You’ll never find the right answers if you don’t ask the right questions. So my hat’s off to Veronica Cisneros, lead Web designer and developer at, for continuing to push us to dive deeper into the best use of search engine marketing.

After answering her initial question in PPC Ads: What is search engine marketing best used for? Paul Cheney takes our exploration of the most effective use of pay-per-click advertising one level deeper today …


In the post, Daniel points out that search engine marketing (PPC Ads) are best utilized in communicating “the value of a click to your landing page, not to get a sale.”

That is his main point. And he’s absolutely right.

What he didn’t mention (probably for the sake of brevity) was the idea that “the value of a click to your landing page” should be a derivative of the “value of the ultimate sale.”

That is what I mean by “the ultimate click.” The ultimate click is the sale. And in many cases, the sale comes after a series of micro-yeses.

So in other words, it makes more business sense to run an ad for toothbrushes when you are selling toothbrushes, than to run an ad for a free car when you are selling toothbrushes.

This is because in the toothbrush ad, the value of the click to the landing page is to get more information about the toothbrushes your company offers.

The toothbrush ad is a derivative of the ultimate value of buying a toothbrush. The free car ad is not.

That is what I mean when I say it’s important to get “the correct clicks” rather than simply as many clicks as possible. If the goal was to get as many clicks as I could, I would obviously want to run an ad for a free car.

But because the goal is sales, not clicks, I need to run an ad for a toothbrush.

Now, while I’d be open to testing it (especially if I’m selling toothbrushes), the copy of that ad probably wouldn’t be:

Buy Our Toothbrushes

They’re really great

Only $45 each!


I’d most likely run an ad along the lines of:

Designer Toothbrushes

Explore our catalogue of

50 brands used by celebs


In the first ad, I tried to sell in the ad. I made it seem like the reader should click on the ad and buy a toothbrush for $45.

In the second ad, I made the value of the click about being able to browse high-quality designer toothbrushes. And hopefully, that’s exactly what they’ll be able to do when they click the ad.


Daniel, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the point you were trying to get across:

Selling in the ad is usually bad. The goal of an ad should be to get a click.

I’m simply adding that the click should also be as relevant as possible to the ultimate offer.

I hope that clears things up.


Editor’s Note: Spot on, Paul. And might I add that, this is not simply an academic discussion. Remember, these are pay-per-click ads. Why pay for traffic that will not convert?

So while Paul’s examples are purposefully extreme to make a point (although, I’ll admit, he’s got me seriously Jonesing to find out which toothbrush Brangelina uses), it would help you to take a second look at your AdWords account to determine whether your aim is to get a click, or get a click that will convert.


Related Resources:

Banner Ad Design: The 3 key banner objectives that drove a 285% lift

Banner Design Tested: How a 35% decrease in clicks caused an 88% increase in conversion

Converting PPC Traffic: How clarifying value generated 99.4% more conversions on a PPC landing page

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  1. Ben says

    How can a new person rely on you when you don’t have any visible means of providing feedback on your website? I am forced to come to your blog and comment because I can’t find any way to contact you.

    I wanted to check out a previous web clinic but it opened in a very small window with scrolling tabs. Not a great start

    1. Daniel Burstein says

      You’re absolutely right, we should have an easier way for readers to give us feedback. While we mostly communicate through social media, the more avenues (and the more clear they are) that we give readers to respond, the better we’ll be able to help.

      I am glad to see that you were finally able to find our comment form — and I will provide a private reply to your email support ticket to see if we can help with your issue.

      And, if any reader would like to provide feedback, you are always welcome to contact me at

  2. Cleofe Betancourt says

    I work with many clients who market on the smaller 2nd tier engines and think you would be surprised at the number of marketers who do take the “sell a toothbrush, offer a free car” approach to PPC. In my opinion, they overvalue getting the click but provide no actual value to the web visitor. As you mention in your Editors note ” Why pay for traffic that will not convert?”

    I think a a major cause of this trend is lack of knowledge by novice marketers who are looking for the best “deal” in keywords vs cost. This “flea market” approach to advertising offers no real value to anyone and ultimately results in a high bounce rate and unhappy visitors.

  3. Kevin Moreland says

    Love your straight forward approach to your posts. Keep up the good work!

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