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PPC agency Manchester

Make money. Your Premier Partner in crime

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Crooks, blaggards, charlatans a blight on the PPC landscape

Their lack of contact has ground your teeth to dust. Squirms and ‘erms’ abound when you eventually catch up with them – it’s enough to make you sick. Forget ‘em. It’s time to say good riddance to underpar PPC services. Manchester, you know you’re better than this.

But don’t just turn to another bunch of villains. Waiting in the shadows by the banks of the snaking Ship Canal, pacing the ginnels, biding time beneath the catacomb of railway bridges as Pendolinos thunder overhead, the Dark Horse collective is waiting, ready to serve. Our PPC agency sweats and bleeds integrity; unclench those peggies – your decline into despair is over.

Piqued your interest? Welcome. Salvation has arrived.

A PPC humblebrag

  • 11,824% increase in conversions
  • 16,056% increase in revenue
  • 6.2x ROAS achieved
  • Account restructure
  • Budget reallocation
  • Responsive ads established
  • Systematic bid adjustments
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PPC in the premier league

We’ve done the hard yards, rolled up our sleeves and got stuck into the PPC messes made by other agencies. From taking over the PPC management of accounts that were set up worse than Jimmy Carr’s taxes to correcting bidding strategies that were squandering businesses’ hard earned cash like wildfire, we’ve proved our worth over the years. Even Google themselves took notice of what Dark Horse was doing. 

The digital overlords gave our PPC agency the ultimate seal of approval as a Google Premier Partner. Reserved for only the top 3% of companies in the UK, there’s few PPC agencies in Manchester that can say they’re rubbing shoulders with John Mueller. But we’re one of them. Take that.




For a PPC agency to be even considered as a Premier Partner, you have to know how to play ball with Google and meet a strict set of criteria and qualifications:

  • Track record of managing Google Ads campaigns and delivering exceptional results
  • Demonstrate a high level of expertise and knowledge in Google Ads by achieving certifications in various Google Ads products and services
  • Consistently meet Google’s performance requirements, including meeting certain spend thresholds and delivering growth in client revenue

It’s a nice little humblebrag, but being a PPC agency that’s a Google Premier Partner isn’t just a sign that we know what we’re talking about. We’ve been given the key to Google’s deep, dark vault of training and resources as well as having Google on speed dial for immediate, dedicated support just for our clients. That’s VIP access to technology and trends that the mediocre PPC agencies in Manchester can only dream of. Nightmares. 

We don’t do PPC management. We do PPC dominance.

What is PPC?

Great for your business.

Definitively though, PPC stands for ‘pay per click’ and is a type of online advertising that sees advertisers pay every time someone clicks on their ads. It’s in the name. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your website rather than earning them organically. 

Where traditional methods of advertising, such as print or billboard ads, rent an advertising space on a fixed price basis regardless of whether anybody interacts with the ad, PPC ads offer a more flexible and reactive way of advertising online. PPC is most commonly used in search engine advertising (known simply as Google ads), where advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their target audience. When a user searches for those keywords, the ads appear at the top or bottom of the search engine results page and you only pay if your ad is clicked.

And therein lies the pit of despair that is PPC in Manchester. Improper bidding strategies, poor audience targeting and costs-per-click so high they could see the top of Beetham Tower are the blight of the landscape. Search ads are only as good as the PPC marketing agency that executes them.

Leave the shoddy PPC of your past behind and start putting your competition to shame.

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Why should you consider PPC ads?

PPC advertising is designed to get your brand in front of the right people. By ‘the right people’, we mean the users who are dripping with intent to purchase, new audiences, old audiences and audiences that didn’t even know they needed you until they saw you. These are the people who are going to make your revenue grow from 7 to 8 figures.

Our impact-driven PPC agency uncovers the nooks and crannies that will amplify your brand and secure conversions. Meanwhile, straight-line PPC will align searchers’ desires with your website to get them converting and spending. Expect quality leads and the ROI you deserve.

PPC advertising allows you to be seriously focused on variables beyond which keyword to drill down to. That’s just PPC 101. We look at audience signals, demographics, devices, time of day, location and lots more to make sure your marketing spend is going into all the right areas. PPC also has the advantage of being extremely measurable. Our PPC experts can see exactly what is driving positive results to double down on these tactics, while eliminating areas that aren’t performing as well. Fingers on the button – reactive marketing. We’ve got your back.

PPC marketing goes hand-in-hand with properly executed Paid Social advertising and top-drawer SEO. The unholy trinity of digital marketing. We do it all and we’re ready to serve – just send us a sign.

Fighting polluted PPC in Manchester

Dark Horse is a Google Premier Partner, which means our PPC agency is in the top 3% in the UK. We couldn’t be prouder about it. We know our onions, and we’re glad Google recognises that too – a bit of extra validation for those who want to see it. 

Ultimately though, your business comes first, and we’ll always test everything Google offers to make sure it works for you; Google’s a business at the end of the day, and it’s dog eat dog out there – they’re just trying to make some dough, but we’d prefer you made more.

Tell us your commercial goals and we’ll create a battle plan to make them happen. To put that into motion, we’ve hired the best PPC experts from across Greater Manchester and beyond, who live and breathe all things paid advertising. We only accept victory when tangible results and converting traffic is coming in; welcome to the joy division.

With a forensic approach underpinned by process, knowledge, tried-and-tested tools and PPC experts to make your goals a reality. Our PPC dominance is well documented; it’s expansive and powerful.

Our PPC agency services include:

  • Transparent execution – you’ll have insight into all of our ongoing tasks from PPC build to delivery, so you’ll always know where you’re at
  • Meticulous PPC campaigns – carefully selected keyword and audience targeting that we know will convert and make you money
  • Monthly reports with real results – we’ll show you everything; the good, the bad and everything in between
  • VIP access – all the contact you need to our PPC experts, with regular consultancy meetings. 
  • No juniors – you deserve the time of an expert and that’s exactly what you’ll get with over 66 years of combined experience in the team
  • Industry leaving tools – everything you need to leave your competitors quaking in their loafers
  • Proactive and reactive PPC – meticulous campaign planning paired with fingers on the mouse to pounce on every opportunity that comes your way

Our PPC agency has seen it all; the mediocre, the shoddy and quite frankly the piss poor. But we’ll always turn it around with integrity, quality and real results. The stuff that really matters.

Our PPC services: Manchester, strap in

Here’s a statistic for you – 80% of users only read PPC ads when they use search engines. If you’re not investing in solid PPC, you’re missing out on the majority of your audience who are ready and waiting to buy what you have to sell. With a forensic approach, our PPC agency puts your website front and centre of every potential customer that has a laptop. We hear that’s quite a lot of people. All you have to do is wait for the conversions to come rolling in. Better buy an abacus or two, you’ll have a lot of coins to count.

Search ads

The OG of pay-per-click advertising. Since launching in 2000, Search ads have dominated the top of the search engine results pages. These ads are typically displayed at the top or bottom of the search results, and are marked as “sponsored” or “ad”. You know the ones we’re talking about. They may be simple but there’s nothing wrong with that. Products, services, sales promotions, even articles – Search ads are a solid way of promoting what you have to offer by targeting the very keywords your audience is using to search online. 

Search ads need meticulously researched keyword data, creative copy and audience targeting to be successful. Our PPC agency expertly creates Search ads that convert, constantly testing and analysing the data to put you in the spotlight and annihilate your competitor’s ads. We won’t rest until we’ve met your goals and then some.

Google Shopping ads

Shopaholics get their own PPC ads. Google Shopping ads are more geared to e-commerce websites or retailers, and specifically promote your products on the search engine results pages. Convert bigger, more relevant, can’t-part-with-their-cash-quick-enough audiences and haunt your competitors’ nightmares with shopping ad campaigns that will crown you King of e-comm, ruler of them all.

Google Display ads

Think Search ads but made prettier. While Search ads are about getting users with intent to convert, display ads are higher up the funnel. It’s all about instilling that intent in the first place – finding an audience who could become paying customers. Our PPC experts will sow the seeds of what your potential customers are looking for via targeted ad placements, getting into their heads to fill your pockets. And once they can’t stop thinking about your product, Remarketing ads can be used to ensure they come running back to you, to convert. 

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Remarketing ads

The stalker of the paid ads world, Remarketing ads let you target and engage with users who have previously interacted with your website or other PPC ads. By specifically targeting users who have already shown an interest in your product or service, Remarketing ads are the perfect weapon for converting lurking users to paying customers. With expert audience targeting, our PPC agency makes sure that no potential customer slips through the net and falls into the murky waters of your competition.

Programmatic ads

Basically the VR of paid advertising. The more techy of the PPC ads, Programmatic Display ads refer to the automated buying and selling of digital advertising space. This includes a lot of algorithms and data to target your specific audience with ads in real-time. We know user search behaviour changes fast, so to keep up with an ever-evolving audience our PPC experts reactively optimise precise targeting and ad spend to reach every one of your users with the most relevant ads to them. It’s that personal touch.


Microsoft ads (Bing)

Do people still use Bing? Apparently 4% of the population use Bing, there you go. Bing’s not dead yet. We’re not one to judge or discriminate – all PPC ads are welcome here. Microsoft ads are just PPC Search ads but on Bing instead of Google. They function the same as standard Search ads by appearing at the top and bottom of search engine results pages, and let you target a specific audience that are searching for what you’ve got to offer. In the case of Bing ads, probably a Gen X that still has a landline (yes, they still exist too).

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Yahoo ads

The ugly sister of Bing ads. Although only about 2% of users in UK search online with Yahoo, you’d be a fool to neglect Yahoo ads as a viable paid search option for your business. With Yahoo Ads, businesses can create targeted ad campaigns to reach a specific audience based on demographics, interests, and search behaviour. Want to appeal to the elder millennials and Gen X who probably still use Ask Jeeves religiously (oh yes, that’s still going), Yahoo ads are the answer.

Google ads scripts

This is where the mediocre PPC agencies are weeded out from the elite. Any half-decent PPC agency will offer Search ads and Display ads, they’re base-level standard. Find yourself a PPC agency that writes their own Google ads scripts and you’re onto a winner. We don’t just rely on Google’s standard ad formats, we create our own. Paving the PPC path for results that really pay off. 

Google ads scripts are a powerful tool that allows advertisers to automate and customise their Google ads campaigns. These scripts are snippets of JavaScript code that can be added to your Google ads account to perform various tasks and actions. With Google ads Scripts, our PPC consultants are able to automate bidding strategies, create custom reports, manage keywords and ad groups, and much more. The bottomline? Ultimate efficiency to create the most effective PPC campaigns for you. Golden.

 PPC ad copy

Well-targeted ads put them front and centre of your audience. Carefully crafted ad copy converts lurking window-shoppers into paying customers. It refers to the text or content that appears in your ads when they are displayed on search engine results pages or other online platforms. Compelling CTAs and keywords that meet your user’s search intent all tied up into concise content ad copy. A well-crafted PPC ad copy can significantly increase the click-through rate and drive more qualified traffic to your website, ultimately leading to higher conversions and ROI.

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Product feed management

Shopping ads can only achieve limited success unless your product feeds are properly optimised. Here’s the basics. A product feed is a file that contains all the relevant information about the products or services you offer, such as their titles, descriptions, prices and images. By effectively managing your product feed, you can optimise your PPC campaigns by ensuring accurate and up-to-date information is displayed in your ads. The point? Attracting the right audience and increasing conversions.

PPC account management

If there’s one thing you can count on Google to do it’s change their algorithm without so much as a head’s up for those in the industry. It’s infuriating, and hard to manage on your own. Our PPC account management does the dirty dealings with Google so you don’t have to. From setting up your PPC accounts to managing your bid strategies to reactively optimising your ad copy, we become your shadow master as we combat the cesspit that is PPC in Manchester and reach our final objective: make you money.

Forensic PPC audits


Our PPC audits are designed to shake things up. Google ads failing you? Display ads falling shy of the right users? Bid strategies eating up your hard earned cash and leaving you to buy Tesco’s own-brand baked beans? It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Our forensic PPC audits put your pay-per-click campaigns under the microscope, dissecting every missed opportunity to uncover the tangible, data-driven results that will increase your bottom line.

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PPC projects

We get it, not every business needs a PPC retainer. Maybe you have an idea of where you want to get to, but you just need a little boost first. A helping hand to see you on your way to success while you wave to your crushed competition from new heights. Short-term PPC projects are typically implemented to achieve specific short-term goals, such as promoting a limited-time offer, launching a new product or service, or driving immediate traffic to a website. Unlike long-term PPC campaigns that aim for sustained visibility and continuous traffic, short-term PPC projects focus on generating quick results within a specific timeframe. This is high-stakes stuff. With quick conversions comes the possibility of quick declines. Get it wrong and you risk losing huge wads of cash toot-suite. Any good PPC agency in Manchester should be able to take on short-term PPC projects in their stride and make you more money than you thought possible. Too bad there aren’t many good ones. 

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PPC audits from Manchester’s experts

This is not for the faint of heart. Our Manchester PPC audits are hefty and honest. Some might not like to hear how paid their remarketing ads are set up or where their display ads bidding strategies are falling short (and exactly how much money you’re losing out on), but we’re gonna tell you. 

Data-driven to the core, our 33-point Manchester PPC audit covers everything from set-up to optimisations to missed opportunities. Here’s some of the things we look out for:

  • Are they using pMax (performance max) campaigns, and if so are they set up correctly?
  • How does the shopping structure look, is it as robust as search?
  • Are DSAs (Dynamic Search Ads) being utilised? If they are, are they set up with each landing page split out (ideal), or can it target any and everything (bad)
  • Is there too much of a reliance on brand, or is brand seeping into non brand activity
  • How is the landing page score? Are there issues on the pages we can discuss in detail?
  • Are more sophisticated bidding methods such as value rules and seasonality adjustments used?

Got any skeletons in the closet you don’t want us discovering? Too bad, our PPC audits will find everything. Want a taste of victory? Ask us for a free PPC audit. 

The forensic PPC that Manchester needs

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A lot goes into our PPC agency’s campaigns. Dark Horse is founded in forensic, meticulous data. Spreadsheet upon spreadsheets. Not quite big data, but a big amount of data for sure. We don’t do anything until we can prove why it will work and what the result will be. The numbers don’t lie. 


In-depth analysis

Data-driven analysis. Simple. We conduct a thorough review of your website’s paid media performance and tell you the critical conversion gaps and opportunities in your PPC campaigns.

Audience research

We get to know your audience better than they know themselves. The language they use, the terms they use to find what you’ve got to offer, their shopping behaviours, their mother’s maiden name…

Spending reviews

Knowing what to spend and when is crucial for maximising your PPC campaigns. Allocating the right budget can make or break your pay-per-click performance. Get it right and you’ll see the dollar signs roll in.

Killer KPIs

Too many PPC agencies in Manchester get into optimising PPC campaigns without ever setting a single meaningful KPI to measure the performance. Coincidence? We think not. We’ll tell you your measurable KPIs and meet (or exceed) them.

Actionable quick-wins

If you can do something, you should do it right? When we find quick wins in our audits that will take 2 seconds to fix but will get more users clicking on your ads, you best believe we’re going to action those iddy-biddy wins right away.

Solid structures

PPC account structure is literally the foundation of your PPC campaigns. Poor account set up is like building your house on a bed of straw and crossing your fingers and toes that the big bad wolf won’t blow it down. We all know how that one ends.

PPC landing pages

We don’t care about increased ad impressions. More traffic means nothing if those users aren’t converting. We develop, test and optimise your PPC landing pages (old and new) to maximise your paid media performance and, you guessed it, make your business more money.

Real-time conversion tracking

Most PPC agencies in Manchester have a set and forget mentality. They’ll give you a token PDF report at the end of the month citing a 0.2% change in conversions which can get you nothing more than a big bottle of coke in today’s economy. We thrive on showing how what we are doing is working, and we love to show you the results as and when they come through.

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Leave PPC villainy behind

The PPC agency that Manchester has been waiting for

It’s our Genesis. Dark Horse was born out of being mistreated by a PPC agency in Manchester. We were charged £650 for one change to one Ad group – it was  raised by 10p and then lowered back again. Two logins in that month. A combined time of less than 60 seconds. No research. Nothing.

That agency is one that is 14 years old, multiple offices in the UK, countless awards and widely recognised as an industry leader. The only thing they’re leaders in is utter disappointment. We know the truth of what happens if you don’t give them enough profit.

Imagine if PPC in Manchester wasn’t polluted with schmoozers in Spinningfields selling generic PPC ad copy with a side of client neglect, all in exchange for a cut + paste monthly PDF, 4-figure fee and a big headache. We can dream, right? 

We remember the hangover from poor PPC agencies. The disappointment, the regret, but more so, the anger. Mediocre PPC companies can do one. Forged in the fury of sky-high fees and incessant industry “experts”, Dark Horse emerged with a vengeance. We exist to right the wrongs of shoddy PPC management and dominate paid advertising. The PPC oasis that Manchester businesses have been waiting for.

The right PPC management company could change your destiny

We’ve hired the finest minds in PPC; Manchester, the north-west, far and wide – we’ve scoured the country with a claw-toothed comb, seeking out the very best PPC talent. The smarter we work, the more money we make you. Simple.

We have client relationships spanning years and years; that’s not down to sickening schmoozing, fancy lunches or jargon vomit, it’s down to the cold, hard cash we make for the businesses we work with. Our PPC services are incredibly good value; we’re based up north which keeps our overheads down. Cut us open and we bleed grit and integrity.

Dark Horse gets *it*. We combine analytical approaches with creativity to make sure we’re focusing on growing your business from 7 to 8 figures while producing ads that appeal to the end user to drive higher volume. Expect data-driven decisions that will deliver results, make you money and leave you cursing yourself why it took you so long to get in touch. Our PPC agency isn’t for everyone, but it could be for you.

What are you waiting for? Channel some of that Manc grit, rip off the plaster and give us a call today.

Find out more about PPC


Ryan Bartram

Google Ads: what to expect in 2024

  The evolving landscape of Google Ads: what to expect in 2024 Google has been making substantial changes to its platform over recent years. From the removal of keyword match types and campaign variants to the introduction of new…

Can you do ad copywriting?
Can you do ad copywriting? - Expand

Yes, obviously we can. We’re a PPC agency…

Why should I use a PPC agency rather than do it in-house?
Why should I use a PPC agency rather than do it in-house? - Expand

Extensive teams of experts, access to specialised tools, lack of time and resources – the list goes on. But there’s one reason above all else to use a PPC agency and that’s cost-effectiveness. We have economies of scale, which allows us to optimise campaigns at a lower cost than you can do in-house. Bring on that sweet sweet ROAS.

Why should I use an PPC agency rather than a freelancer?
Why should I use an PPC agency rather than a freelancer? - Expand

You know that age-old saying ‘two heads are better than one’? Well, it turns out that 10+ heads are a lot better than one. We have a large team of experts who work together to create and manage your campaigns, making them more comprehensive and effective than a single freelancer could ever hope to achieve. We also have the resource to help you scale as your business grows. We’re willing to bet Freelancer McGee will come up short on that front too. 

How does Dark Horse measure the success of a PPC campaign?
How does Dark Horse measure the success of a PPC campaign? - Expand

Data is everything at Dark Horse. We constantly evaluate the effectiveness of our PPC campaigns and use that data to optimise our ads and adjust our strategy. Success varies based on the objective of each campaign, but we typically use the below as key measures:

  • Click-through rate: This basically measures how often people who see your ad actually click on it. The higher the CTR, the more relevant and appealing to your target audience your ad is
  • Conversion rate: So, people are clicking on your ads – but are they taking action from there? 
  • Cost per conversion: No doubt you want to know how much you’re paying for each conversion – and we want that cost to be as low as possible
  • Return on investment: We look at how much profit your PPC campaign is generating
  • Quality Score: We need to please the big G. Google Ads uses Quality Score to measure the relevance and performance of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.
What is the difference between PPC and SEO?
What is the difference between PPC and SEO? - Expand

PPC and SEO both fall under the search engine marketing bracket, increasing your brand visibility, nudging leads to site and driving conversions. They just use different means to get to those same results. 

  • PPC is a paid advertising model where your ads are displayed at the top or bottom of search engine results pages, and you pay a fee every time one of your ads is clicked. It’s one of the fastest ways to drive traffic to a website. However, as soon as PPC activity stops, so will the traffic and revenue associated with it
  • SEO is an organic channel that improves your website’s rankings in search engine result pages through optimised website content, backlinks and technical fixes. SEO takes time, but you’ll reap the rewards long after SEO activity stops, assuming you put the right investment and time into it
How long will it take to see results from our PPC efforts?
How long will it take to see results from our PPC efforts? - Expand

A PPC campaign will deliver both short and long-term results. Within just a couple of days of launching your (do we really need to say it?) high-quality campaign, you should see an increase in traffic and conversions, as well as improved brand awareness. But like all good marketing, PPC feeds off data. The longer a campaign is live, the more data we have, and the better we can optimise it. Longer-running, data-driven campaigns perform better over time. 

Who will be my day-to-day contact once I am a PPC client?
Who will be my day-to-day contact once I am a PPC client? - Expand

We don’t rely on account managers at Dark Horse. Instead, you have direct access to the relevant person working on your website – no middleman. Email or call the PPC lead on your account anytime between 9 and 5 and they’ll get back to you directly.

Is Dark Horse a Google Partner / Premier Partner?
Is Dark Horse a Google Partner / Premier Partner? - Expand

We sure are, and we’re chuffed as chips about it. It means our PPC agency is in the top 3% in the UK. We know our stuff, and we’re glad Google knows it too.

Do I have full access to my Google Ads account?
Do I have full access to my Google Ads account? - Expand

Of course you do. It’s your account after all. You just grant us access to it and we work our PPC agency magic.

Do you do local PPC ads?
Do you do local PPC ads? - Expand

We do ads for every business type you can think of. Local, regional, national, international, round the corner from your favourite chippy…

Do you do split A/B testing on your PPC campaigns?
Do you do split A/B testing on your PPC campaigns? - Expand

Any good PPC agency in Manchester should be doing this. Testing is what tells us what actually works for your business in practice, and what will have the biggest impact for your conversion rates. 

Do you offer on-off PPC projects?
Do you offer on-off PPC projects? - Expand

We sure can. We get it, some businesses are pretty on it with their paid marketing efforts but big projects come up that are difficult to manage in-house. That’s where a PPC agency like Dark Horse can guide you through the project, take the weight off your internal teams, and make you a ton more money.

Does PPC help SEO?
Does PPC help SEO? - Expand

PPC can indirectly help boost your SEO efforts. While PPC does not directly impact search engine rankings, it can drive more traffic to a website which can lead to increased visibility and awareness. Additionally, the data and insights gathered from PPC campaigns, such as keywords that drive high click-through rates or which ad copy performs best, can be used to inform and optimise SEO strategies. By leveraging PPC data to improve website content and targeting, it can lead to better organic search rankings.

Does PPC work for small businesses?
Does PPC work for small businesses? - Expand

PPC works for any business type, and can be an effective strategy for small businesses looking to increase their online visibility and drive targeted traffic to their website. While PPC campaigns do require a financial investment, they can often be more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods. By carefully selecting keywords, targeting specific demographics and continuously monitoring and adjusting campaigns, small businesses can see a positive return on investment through PPC advertising. The success of a PPC campaign for a small business will depend on factors such as budget, competition and the quality of ad copy and landing pages.

How do you create a PPC strategy?
How do you create a PPC strategy? - Expand

Creating a PPC strategy involves thorough research, strategic planning and constant optimisation. Firstly, you need to define your goals and target audience. Next, conduct keyword research to identify the most relevant keywords to bid on. Create compelling ad copy and design landing pages that are optimised for conversions. Set a budget, monitor your campaigns regularly and adjust your strategy based on performance data. By continuously refining your PPC strategy, you can maximise your ROI and reach your advertising objectives effectively.

How do you do keyword research for PPC?
How do you do keyword research for PPC? - Expand

Keyword research for PPC involves identifying and analysing the keywords that are relevant to your target audience and align with your advertising goals. To do this, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to discover popular search terms, assess their search volume and evaluate their competition level. It’s important to choose keywords that are not only highly relevant to your business but also have a strong potential to drive traffic and conversions. Additionally, considering long-tail keywords and negative keywords can help you refine your PPC campaigns and optimise your budget.

How do you optimise PPC campaigns to improve performance?
How do you optimise PPC campaigns to improve performance? - Expand

Optimising PPC campaigns involves continuously monitoring and analysing data to make informed decisions on how to improve performance. This includes adjusting bids, keywords, ad copy and landing pages to increase click-through rates and conversions. By conducting A/B testing and using data-driven insights, your PPC agency can identify what works best for their target audience and make the necessary changes to optimise their PPC campaigns for better results.

How is PPC calculated?
How is PPC calculated? - Expand

PPC is calculated based on the cost-per-click (CPC) and the number of clicks generated by your ad. The formula is simple: total cost divided by the total number of clicks equals the cost-per-click. For example, if you spend £100 on PPC ads and generate 50 clicks, your CPC would be £2. This metric helps advertisers understand the effectiveness of their campaigns and allows them to make informed decisions on budget allocation and targeting strategies.

Is PPC suitable for all business types?
Is PPC suitable for all business types? - Expand

PPC advertising can be suitable for all types of businesses. The effectiveness of PPC campaigns depends on various factors such as budget, target audience, industry competition and the specific goals of the business. Businesses with a smaller budget may find it challenging to compete with larger companies in the PPC advertising space. Additionally, some industries may have higher costs per click, making it less cost-effective for certain businesses. Ultimately, it is important for businesses to evaluate their individual needs and goals to determine if PPC is the right advertising strategy for them.

What are PPC landing pages?
What are PPC landing pages? - Expand

PPC landing pages are specific web pages that users land on after clicking on a paid advertisement. These pages are designed with the goal of converting visitors into leads or customers. They are often tailored to match the content and offers of the ad that brought the user there in the first place. PPC landing pages are crucial for a successful pay-per-click campaign as they play a key role in driving conversions and maximising ROI.


What is pMAX?
What is pMAX? - Expand

pMax, or Performance Max, campaigns are a type of advertising campaign that focuses on achieving specific performance goals, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or driving sales. These campaigns utilise a variety of digital marketing tactics, such as targeted ads, optimised landing pages and data-driven strategies to maximise results. Performance Max campaigns are designed to deliver measurable results and drive conversions, making them a valuable tool for businesses looking to boost their online presence and achieve their marketing objectives.

What is SMART bidding?
What is SMART bidding? - Expand

Smart bidding is a feature in Google Ads that helps you get more conversions at a lower cost. It uses your conversion tracking data to optimise your ad placement in each auction. This helps you avoid unprofitable clicks and get more profitable clicks for your campaign.


Will I have control over or input in my PPC campaign?
Will I have control over or input in my PPC campaign? - Expand

You certainly will! It’s your business after all. We don’t do anything without the green light from you.


Does Dark Horse conduct cross-channel campaigns?
Does Dark Horse conduct cross-channel campaigns?  - Expand

Absolutely. Dark Horse’s roots may lie in PPC, but we’ve grown as an agency, expanding into Paid Social and SEO. We can join forces with our counterparts to create unbeatable paid and organic search marketing campaigns that help you dominate across the board. Paid gets you leads quickly, while SEO works on your long-term visibility.

Can I work with Dark Horse if I’m located outside of Manchester?
Can I work with Dark Horse if I’m located outside of Manchester? - Expand

We have an array of clients based within the M60, but you don’t need to have a Manchester postcode to work with us. We’ve had clients based everywhere across the UK and internationally. Our only criteria is that you want top-quality PPC from Paid Marketing elites. 

Should I be doing both PPC and SEO at the same time?
Should I be doing both PPC and SEO at the same time? - Expand

In short, yes. The two work hand in hand. PPC focuses ondriving targeted traffic to your site immediately, while SEO focuses on the longer term, building your site’s organic visibility to drive more “free” traffic over time. As such, PPC not only benefits your site in its own right but supports SEO by filling in the gap while you’re waiting for your optimisation efforts to pay off.

How long is a PPC contract with Dark Horse?
How long is a PPC contract with Dark Horse? - Expand

We’re in this for the long run and want to help you get the best results from your paid advertising. That’s why a typical PPC contract lasts 12 months. If you have other needs, though, give us a call and we can chat more about it. 

How much does PPC cost?
How much does PPC cost? - Expand

Our PPC campaigns start at £900 per month, though the fee will vary based on how many hours you invest in. Before you sign with us, we recommend a set number of hours based on how long we think it will take to achieve your business objectives and deliver the best results for you. Speak to our sales team to discuss our PPC costs further.

What budget will be needed to run a PPC campaign?
What budget will be needed to run a PPC campaign? - Expand

In short, your ad budget is completely up to you. We recommend spending a minimum of £2000 a month, though, so that there is enough data to judge results and inform our ongoing strategy.

What fee models does Dark Horse use?
What fee models does Dark Horse use? - Expand

We have a standard retainer, but for higher spends we charge a percentage of ad spend. This percentage can be tiered so that it reduces as budgets increase. Ultimately, it’s designed so that the hours required for higher budgets match the fee structure.

How many hours will be required?
How many hours will be required? - Expand

We’re too meticulous to throw a random number out there. Instead, we can provide more insight into the numbers of hours we need after we audit your account and have identified the scope of opportunity. Having said that, we do require a minimum of 9 hours.

What happens once I become a PPC client?
What happens once I become a PPC client?  - Expand

You’ll have taken your first step towards PPC success!

First, we assign a PPC specialist from our team onto your account and organise an intro call with you and everyone you dealt with during the pre-sales phase to ensure everyone is fully up to speed with your business. We then produce an initial workflow document detailing the action plan for the first month and beyond.

What PPC tools do we use?
What PPC tools do we use? - Expand

We use all of the usual tools you’d expect, like Google Ads. But we also use the likes of Supermetrics and Shoptimised. Don’t worry, all of these are included in our hourly fee, so you can benefit from them at no extra cost.

Does Dark Horse have experience working in my vertical?
Does Dark Horse have experience working in my vertical? - Expand

Our team of PPC specialists have over 63 years combined experience. We struggle to find a vertical we haven’t worked in before. If you want the juicy dets of who we’ve worked on, you’ll need to get in touch.

How often will I receive a report? What is included in my PPC report?
How often will I receive a report? What is included in my PPC report? - Expand

We want our reports to be valuable for you, so we make them fully bespoke to your needs and KPIs. Our monthly reports provide detailed insights into the results we’ve achieved so far vs your goals, and the actions and plans for the following month to keep driving that success. Dominate or die. 

Our reports are usually monthly, but we can adapt their frequency to your needs. At Dark Horse, you come first.

Why work with Dark Horse

It’s our genesis. Dark Horse was born out of being mis treated by a PPC management company. We were charged £650 for 1 change to one Ad group – to raise by 10p and back again. Two logins in that month. A combined time of less than 60 seconds. No research. Nothing.

That agency is one that is 14 years old, multiple offices in the UK, countless awards and widely recognised as an industry leader. We know the truth of what happens if you don’t give them enough profit.

The question to you then….do we seem disingeniuos? If so, don’t work with Dark Horse. If you think we tell the truth, then we are the only option for consideration.

Other things we do


Digital Audit

There is no room for mediocrity in the future. We will forensically retire your incumbent agency.

Piece by ickle piece individually wrapped in powerpoint slides.

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Paid Social

They haven’t got mortgages so why not take their savings instead of Netflix. Paid Social so startlingly revolutionary that it could make Gen Z vote Tory with Kirsty Allsop as PM.

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seo manchester

SEO Service

The only thing you will get from page 3 is going blind.

Law professional, Tracey 23, from Skegness says "No sales below my favourite position - number 1 of course!"

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Avenue85, an e-comms clothing company, had heard about Dark Horse’s reputation. It came to us to grow its site and reduce third-party platform reliance. It had heard that Dark Horse was forensic in its actions. Avenue85 presented Dark Horse with a challenge; raise performance significantly to a minimum of 6x ROI, maximise revenue from 25 brands and achieve a cost of sales equal or better than Amazon. We accepted.

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Increase in revenue