External Factors That Affect PPC

Repeat Digital
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There are a number of external factors that can affect the performance of your PPC campaigns. Here are some that we’ve come across.

There are a number of external factors that can affect the performance of your PPC campaigns. From the latest cinema blockbusters to the ever-changing society we live in – all can have a huge impact on the way we advertise and whether or not our methods are successful.


With the Coronavirus outbreak, a lot of our PPC clients are going to be affected. Local dentists, private healthcare companies and businesses that rely on events going ahead are all going to see an impact in their sales and enquiries. For example, one of our clients, a private dentist, has had a knock-on effect with the cost of masks increasing in the global market place.

A global pandemic such as COVID-19 is going to have a widespread impact across all industries. This is because of imports and exports of goods, face-to-face contact in business and also economical effects businesses will be facing from closures to a reduction in purchasing.

The advice Repeat Digital has for businesses running Google Ads and other PPC campaigns would be to, if you can, focus on eCommerce sales as more customers will be buying online rather than going to a physical store. We would also advise carrying out a full SWOT analysis of your business in the existing climate evaluating the business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on both an internal and external basis.

If anyone would like help with their online marketing or their marketing strategies during this time, contact Repeat for a free PPC audit.

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Weather and Environmental Changes

After the recent flooding across the UK, PPC ads for flood defence products have seen a huge increase. One of Repeat’s clients has a website dedicated to flood defence and prevention products. Naturally, we have seen a spike in searches for said products. This begs the question – should we be monitoring predicted weather forecasts to set relevant bid adjustments when we’re due to have heavy rainfall? Similarly, the same could be said for snow ploughs and de-icer products as we head into the cold winter months.



Brexit has created a wave of uncertainty for a number of sectors in the marketing industry. This has left many businesses unsure if they will be able to trade once a deal or no-deal has been done. This creates a lot of uncertainty for not only businesses who trade with the EU, but also for agencies like ourselves whose clients may stop running ads to prepare for more expensive shipping costs and imposed tariffs.

Consumer Buying Habits

Over the last 5 years, customer buying habits have drastically changed. More people are buying online compared to in-store which has increased competition in PPC. This gives businesses running PPC campaigns a lot more users to target, including demographics who are late adopters. This can provide exciting new sales opportunities for businesses with a strong online presence.

TV & Movies

No one can predict the impact new TV shows and movies can have on PPC, but Repeat saw first hand how, if you’re not careful, ad spend can be spent on keywords with double meanings. One of our Google Ads management clients, a private health care provider, runs ads for the keyword ‘sleep doctor’ for people who suffer from insomnia. We had broad match modified keywords running as well as phrase and exact. This meant that when the new movie Dr. Sleep was released, this triggered our ads to show due to our broad mod keywords including the words ‘sleep’ and ‘doctor’.

Another key example of television impacting the number of search queries is The Apprentice. Google Trends saw a huge spike in users searching for ‘Finland Holidays’ on the same day the Finland episode aired in the UK. If you were a travel company and knew the episode was about to air, it would have been a prime opportunity to increase your budget to cope with the huge surge in searches. It looks like Visit Finland will have a big influx of new tourists thanks to Lord Sugar!

Competition Increases/Decreases

This one is pretty self-explanatory, a rise and fall in your competitors’ marketing habits have an effect on your own PPC. It all comes down to Search Impression Share. The higher your search impression share, the better and the fewer competitors you have using Google Ads. You are therefore more likely to see success.


Similar to the impact weather has on PPC success, seasonality of products will obviously have an effect on how well your ads perform. For example, there is always an increase in gym clothing sales in January. This is after customers make a New Years Resolution to start a healthier lifestyle. Companies will also see spikes in swimwear sales in the run-up to summer when everyone has booked holidays.

National Newspaper Crosswords

Crossword enthusiasts can also affect PPC ads when users search for the clue answers online. This is where Broad match and Broad match modified keywords can waste spend on Google Ads by showing ads for users looking for answers to questions rather than the actual product/service. For example, one of our clients, a company that supplies welding gas, had a search term come through for “gas used for welding crossword clue”.

As you can see from all the above examples, there are numerous external factors that can have either positive or negative impacts on your PPC campaigns. From pop culture to weather forecasts, the ever-changing world around us can be a make or break for your Google Ads advertising. It’s important to think and plan around these situations as much as you can.

If you would like to learn more about our PPC Management services and what we can offer your business, give us a call or drop us an email for free, no-obligation advice!