Pay-Per-Click Advertising in Kenya: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pay Per Click Advertising in Kenya: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last updated on February 14th, 2024 at 04:05 pm

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a popular and effective form of online marketing in Kenya.

With PPC ads, advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad, making it a cost-efficient way to reach potential customers.

In this beginner’s guide, we will cover everything you need to know about running successful PPC campaigns in the Kenyan market, including:

  • What is PPC advertising and how does it work
  • The benefits of using PPC ads
  • Setting up and optimizing a PPC campaign
  • Best practices and top tips
  • Measuring results and calculating ROI

Understanding these key aspects of PPC will help Kenyan businesses and marketers implement profitable campaigns that deliver results. Let’s get started!

What is PPC Advertising and How Does It Work?

Pay per click (PPC) advertising refers to a digital marketing model where advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ad.

It allows businesses to show up in search engine results and on other websites when certain keywords are searched that are relevant to their products or services.

There are a few key players in the PPC ecosystem:

  • Advertisers – The businesses or people running PPC ad campaigns to promote their products/services or website
  • Search engines and networks – Provide the advertising space and platform for showing PPC ads, like Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising
  • Consumers – The people searching for products/services and clicking on PPC ads

The way PPC advertising in Kenya works is rather straightforward:

  1. Advertisers bid on certain keywords that are relevant to their business offering
  2. When someone searches for one of those keywords, the PPC ads may show up alongside the search results
  3. If the user clicks the ad, the advertiser pays the search engine or advertising network
  4. The user is sent to the advertiser’s website

So in summary – advertisers bid on keywords, only pay when an ad is clicked, and send traffic to their site to generate potential business.

Some key factors that determine the success and cost of PPC campaigns include:

  • Bid amount – how much you are willing to pay for each click
  • Landing page relevance – making sure your ads send users to useful pages
  • Quality score – set by search engines to reward good ads and sites
  • Competition – more competition for a keyword increases bid prices

Careful planning and execution is required to ensure your ads show for the right searches, drive relevant traffic to your site, and ultimately deliver a positive return on ad spend.

Benefits of Using PPC Advertising in Kenya

There are many benefits to using PPC advertising for businesses targeting Kenyan consumers:

1. Get in front of motivated customers

One of the biggest advantages of PPC is being able to put your ads directly in front of people who are already searching for the types of products or services you offer.

This means the traffic your ads generate is highly targeted and relevant, leading to higher conversion potential.

For example, if you run an online shoe store, your ads can show when someone searches for terms like “buy shoes Kenya” or “cheap womens boots”.

Benefits of Using PPC Advertising in Kenya

These searchers are much more likely to become customers compared to random website visitors.

2. Pay only for results

As we learned earlier, you only pay each time someone clicks your PPC ad, not simply for the ad being shown.

This means you are only charged when your ad drives real traffic to your site, removing much of the risk with your advertising spend.

If your campaign or keywords are performing poorly and not generating clicks, you can pause them and stop spending money until they are optimized.

This level of control is unmatched with most other advertising mediums.

3. Start driving traffic instantly

One of the best things about PPC advertising is that qualified visitors can start hitting your website almost instantly after setting up a campaign correctly.

You don’t have to wait for rankings like you would with organic SEO.

This allows you to test demand for your offerings much faster, and quickly scale up successful areas of your campaign.

The level of control and flexibility is unmatched.

4. Track performance and optimize

Extensive analytics and reporting options available in PPC platforms allow you to track every aspect of your campaign’s performance, down to the keyword level.

This includes impressions, clicks, conversions, cost per acquisition, and much more.

Knowing what is working allows you to double down on high-performing areas and fix or pause underperforming aspects of your campaign. Continually optimizing based on data is key to the best results.

5. Attractive return on investment (ROI)

Unlike some other marketing tactics, PPC advertising has the advantage of allowing you to set daily budgets, and scale back spending any time.

This means you can’t overspend your targets.

With the ability to accurately track conversions generated from PPC traffic, you can calculate your campaigns return on ad spend and make sure you are staying profitable.

Setting Up and Optimizing a PPC Campaign

Now that we have covered the basics of what PPC is and why it’s an effective advertising approach for businesses targeting Kenyan consumers, let’s go through a step-by-step overview of setting up and optimizing a campaign.

Choose the Right PPC Platform

While Google Ads is the largest PPC platform globally, there are other options to consider as well:

  • Google Ads – Great reach, advanced options, steep learning curve
  • Microsoft Advertising – Good alternative to Google, may be less competitive
  • Facebook Ads – Built-in targeting by demographics and interests

Look at your business’ particular products, services and target customer profiles, and decide which platform(s) make sense for you.

Many businesses find success with a Google Ads and Facebook Ads combination strategy.

Setup Tracking and Conversion Goals

Before showing your first ad, you need tracking properly implemented on your website, and have decided what counts as a conversion.

Common goals include:

  • Phone call requests
  • Contact form submissions
  • Online purchases
  • App downloads

Ensuring you can accurately detect conversions is crucial for understanding campaign ROI.

Research Target Keywords

Conduct thorough keyword research around topics that relate to your products and services, and what search queries your ideal customers are likely using.

Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner help with this.

Tools like Google's Keyword Planner help with this.

Organize researched keywords into ad groups or categories to keep campaigns well structured and help inform bid strategies.

Target keywords covering each stage of the sales funnel.

Create Attention-Grabbing Ads

With keywords selected, now focus on creating awesome text ads that earn attention and clicks.

Having at least 2 ads per ad group allows for A/B testing.

  • Compelling headlines – Summarize your offering clearly
  • Dynamic text – Customize to match user intent
  • Unique value prop – Show why you beat competitors
  • Clear call-to-action – “Shop New Arrivals”

Set Bids and Budgets

One advantage Google and Microsoft ads have over other PPC platforms is the ability to manually set bids for individual keywords based on their performance and value to your business.

Optimize for value, not maximum traffic.

Bid higher on keywords that convert better after testing.

Define a daily/monthly budget that is affordable, then adjust as needed based on performance.

Lower budgets at first while testing is generally smart.

How to set up a PPC campaign on Google Ads

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a PPC campaign on Google Ads targeting Kenyan customers:

Step 1: Sign up for a Google Ads account

Head to and setup your account

Sign up for a Google Ads account

Step 2: Do keyword research

Identify keywords Kenyans would search for your business offerings

Identify keywords Kenyans would search for your business offerings

Step 3: Set up campaign structure

Step 3: Set up campaign structure

The best practice is to categorize keywords into tightly themed ad groups under a campaign

Step 4: Create text ads

Write compelling headlines and descriptions for your ads

Step 5: Target your ads

Focus them towards Kenya via location targeting

Step 6: Set bids and budgets

Step 6: Set bids and budgets

Decide max bids per click for keywords

Daily/monthly budgets

Step 7: Measure and optimize

Track performance data like CTR, conversions

Adjust bids, keywords over time

While the initial setup takes some effort, once your foundations are strong, Google Ads makes optimization smooth.

Make small iterative changes and track weekly/monthly performance vs targets.

Costs To Advertise on Google in Kenya

The cost of advertising on Google in Kenya can vary based on different factors such as the type of ad, target audience, and the advertising agency.

According to various sources, the average cost-per-click across all sectors in Google Ads on the search network is $2.69.

Some marketing agencies in Kenya offer Google advertising packages with custom pricing based on the specific needs of the business.

For African safari businesses, it is recommended to spend a minimum of $2000 to $2500 monthly for the best results with a high conversion rate.

Additionally, Google AdWords is run on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where the cost depends on the competitiveness of the industry, and the average cost for most industries in Kenya is less than $0.3 per click.

Therefore, the cost of advertising on Google in Kenya can vary widely depending on the specific requirements and goals of the advertising campaign.

PPC advertising costs in Kenya

The cost of PPC advertising in Kenya can vary depending on various factors such as the number of keywords targeted, the level of service required, and the agency chosen.

According to our research, the cost of PPC advertising in Kenya can range from KES 10,000 to KES 500,000 per month, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Highly competitive industries such as tech, legal, or finance can have much higher costs per click than other industries.

It’s important to research different agencies and their prices to find the best fit for your business’s needs and budget.

Best Practices and Top Tips

Optimizing pay-per-click campaigns is an ongoing process, but following these best practices will set you up for success:

Develop Focused Campaigns

Having clearly defined individual campaigns organized around specific products, service categories, or stages in the sales funnel allows you to optimize effectively and will likely improve quality scores set by the PPC platform.

For example, instead of one giant campaign targeting all keywords vaguely related to your business – it is smarter to have an “informational” campaign focusing just on awareness building content, a “sales” campaign with conversion-optimized pages, etc.

Landing Pages Matter

Sending your PPC traffic to a generic homepage or to content not closely related to the user’s query provides a poor experience which leads to low conversions and high bounce rates.

Creating tailored landing pages designed specifically to match groups of keywords improves relevancy substantially.

Even basic tweaks like making sure a page contains the keyword searched for in the headline and content goes a long way.

Write Great Ad Copy

With PPC advertising, you typically have just a couple lines of ad text to catch attention and convince searchers to click rather than other options.

Master the trifecta of effective ad writing:

  • Clear – Summarize offering or key benefits
  • Concise – Get point across quickly
  • Compelling – Motivate clicks

Having your differentiation and value be plainly evident is key.

Often starting copy with the most important customer benefit works well to maximize click-through rates.

A/B test ad variations.

Bid at Optimal Price Points

Bidding is not a “set and forget” aspect of PPC campaigns.

As metrics roll in, continually adjust bids according to the actual value of each click.

If certain terms or campaigns are converting users extremely well, bump bids higher to drive more traffic.

Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner show historical averages, but take care not to just blindly bid at top dollar.

Sometimes just slightly exceeding competitor bids delivers good volumes at better cost.

Pause Poor Performers

Closely monitor keyword, ad and landing page performance at least weekly when getting started.

Cut off funding quickly to aspects that are simply not working to free up budget for well converting areas with potential.

Don’t fund losing bets, unless there are clear issues identified that can be remedied to turn things around after some optimization efforts.

Monitor and Shift Budgets

Use capabilities like shared budgets to ensure dollars flow toward top performing PPC initiatives automatically.

For example, have parallels “test” campaigns set on lower budgets, but allow your winning high conversion rate production campaigns have dynamically increasing budgets.

This allows “survival of the fittest” based purely on data.

Common mistakes to avoid with PPC in Kenya

It’s easy for businesses new to PPC advertising to make few blunders early on.

Here are the major mistakes to avoid:

  • Using a single or broad match keyword
    • This makes your targeting very generic causing poor quality scores and higher CPC
  • Not having a daily budget cap
    • You can end up overspending without close monitoring of daily spends
  • Not optimizing for mobile
    • If your landing pages are not fast loading or mobile-friendly, campaigns perform poorly
  • Not localizing ads for Kenya
    • Using incorrect language or currency hampers relevance for Kenyan users
  • Not splitting brand and non-brand keywords
    • Mixing these together dilutes their performance. Brand terms should be managed separately

Essentially most mistakes relate to the lack of ongoing optimization and fine-tuning of PPC campaigns.

Being vigilant and making minor measured tweaks weekly helps maximize ROI over time.

Key Takeaways

PPC advertising in Kenya provides a scalable, measurable channel for customer acquisition for Kenyan businesses.

When executed correctly, it delivers a strong return on investment.

Other key highlights:

  • PPC ads help capture motivated customers actively searching for your offerings online
  • Allows precise targeting by location, device, keywords etc. custom to the Kenyan market
  • Performance is very measurable allowing for continual optimization
  • Must be localized carefully for Kenya e.g. language, mobile experience etc
  • Managing and iterating weekly is crucial for driving better campaign results over time

As digital adoption expands rapidly across Kenya, PPC presents a big growth opportunity for local businesses to generate quality leads and sales in a targeted, trackable manner.

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