Kent Household Income by Local Authority District

The Kent Economy and Household Income

Simply Clicks is based in Kent. We also have a number of clients based in Kent. Our economic knowledge and years of experience serving Kent clients have taught us that the geography of Kent has major implications for the success of any Kent-focused SEO or Kent-focused PPC marketing activity. The specific implication depends on the nature of the product or service and its market structure. However, one overriding feature of the Kent economy is how household income changes as you move away from London. The parts of Kent closest to the centre of London tend to be more affluent. Conversely, locations further away tend to be less affluent. This “distance” can be measured in miles or commute time. For example, if you look at the table below, you will notice the position of Ashford. Ashford is further from London but ranks above Gravesham and Medway. The reason being the effect of Ashford’s high speed rail connection.


Kent Household Income by District
Kent Household Income by District - Source ONS

A More affluent northwest Kent a less affluent south and east Kent

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of Kent geography will realise that by looking at the chart above that the places nearest to London tend to occupy the upper end of the income scales and those places further away, tend to occupy the lower end.

The chart below shows this relationship on the basis of miles from central London. The data being taken from Google Maps. Each district is plotted on two axes. The Y axis showing average household income and the X axis showing distance from London. A red dotted line shows a line of best fit, which correlates at 80% with the distance


There is some variation, with certain districts appearing above this line and others below. Towns shown above the line of best fit have positive attractiveness. Excluding the effect of rail commute times, there must be another factor at play. My own view, is that this variation is caused by the relative attractiveness of the towns involved. Towns above the line of best fit have positive attractiveness. Towns below the line, have negative attractiveness. Attractive towns, such as Tunbridge Wells, may attract higher income families. Whilst less attractive towns may well deter them. Attractiveness could be determined by the reputation of schools, the type of shops or access to recreational faclities. In monetary terms, what counts as “attractive” is determined by current and potential residents of each town.

Kent Household Income and Distance from London
Kent Household Income and Distance from London

Implications of Household Incomes

This variation in household income presents implications for marketers. If you are marketing luxury goods, you would typically target the more affluent towns. Likewise, if you had the responsibility for retail store location, you would seek to match your store locations to the socio-demographic and income profile of their catchment.

I have several examples of search marketing projects where tailoring search activity to this model has produced outstanding results. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.

Why A Kent Company Should Use A Kent PPC Agency

Kent Marketing Map - Major Towns
Kent Major Towns and Villages

When it comes to managing a local PPC campaign, hiring a Kent PPC agency should be the preferred option for Kent-based companies.

In this article, we discuss the advantages of working with a local agency and why it can be the perfect solution for your business. From local market knowledge to more effective targeting, partnering with a Kent PPC agency can help optimise your digital advertising efforts and drive optimum results.
Givens – Regardless of location every PPC agency should have the following attributes:

  • The knowledge of how PPC systems such as Google Ads work
  • Understand the importance of tracking and measuring performance
  • Be able to adapt their campaigns to performance feedback, the unfolding market and the changing needs of the business.

For a Kent-based paid search campaign, a Kent PPC agency should have a deeper knowledge of the Kent economy, markets, companies and consumers than an agency located in London, or elsewhere within the UK. If an agency has worked with several Kent companies, then this market knowledge will develop over time.

The Kent Economy

The Kent economy has many facets. The county has traditionally been referred to as the Garden of England – Due mainly to agricultural produce supplied to London and beyond. At the same time, its proximity to the European mainland has seen the development of the transport, logistics and shipping industries. In the technology sector, Kent plays a major role in the UK’s biopharmaceutical industry. With key locations in Thanet, Swale and Dartford.

Kent Tourism

Kent has a tremendous tourism market. Ancient cathedrals and castles in places such as Rochester, Canterbury and Dover. A large number of National Trust properties. Plus, a range of boutique and upmarket country hotels and the largest share of gastro-pubs of any county in the UK.
Towns such as Whitstable, famous for oysters, and Ramsgate, famous for the country’s largest Wetherspoons pub, attract large numbers of weekend visitors looking for a seaside experience. But those visitors have very different socio-demographics, with very different needs.

Kent Sports and Leisure

Kent is famous for its cricket. But what sets it apart, given its coast, are some of the finest golf courses in the world. Led of course by Royal St. George’s at Sandwich, which hosts the Open Championship on a 10-year cycle.

The Kent Housing Market

The type and value of housing determines consumer behaviour. Expensive houses need expensive mortgages. Established housing tends to house older people. New estates, younger couples. Kent has one of the largest house building programmes of any UK county. However, this activity varies within the geography of the county. Ashford tends to build lots of 4+ bed detached houses for families, whereas Dartford, being closer to London, prioritises flats. If you are marketing to people to owners of upmarket country houses, then the areas around Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks will provide the most fertile ground. Even within individual Kent towns, the type of housing stock varies widely.

Kent Manufacturing

Manufacturing and distribution trades tend to follow the motorway network, with Medway the manufacturing powerhouse, with its links to the Royal Navy. In the current era of global political turbulence, one of the UK’s largest defence manufacturers, BAE Systems, has hi-tech manufacturing at Rochester.

Kent Professional Services

Maidstone being the County town, with the headquarters of Kent County Council, tends to attract a disproportionate share of professional services such as lawyers and accountants.

Kent Retail

Dartford has Bluewater one of the largest shopping centres in the south of England. Ashford has the McArthur Glen designer outlet centre. Thanet has the Westgate Centre. Whilst Canterbury, Faversham, Deal and Tunbridge Wells all have an excellent range of independent shops. Retail is a rapidly changing market and managing the interaction between a company’s online sales and its bricks and mortar offering is crucial.

Location and Proximity

Proximity brings benefits. If you can regularly meet face-to-face for agency/client discussions, the quality of the interaction will be improved. The agency will get a deeper understanding of client strategy and operations. The client will gain a deeper understanding of the range of opportunities offered by digital marketing.

Google Business Profile

When it comes to local search – SEO or PPC – A company’s Google Business Profile plays a key role. The local search engine results page (SERPS) will show a variety of results. Sponsored results, organic results and map results. Knowledge of Kent areas, even down to postcode level, is crucial. A city such as Canterbury has the CT1 postcode at its centre. However, Medway a unitary authority with a population of 300,000 plus, utilises an ME, or Maidstone, postcode. Indeed, many Medway searches utilise the individual Medway towns of Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester and Strood rather than using Medway as the location.

In Conclusion

Kent is a county of almost 2 million people. A population larger than Northern Ireland. More than half the population of Wales and a third of the population of Scotland. After London, Kent often has the second largest number of UK geographic searches on Google. Rivalling bigger counties such as Yorkshire and cities such as Manchester. The nuances of local markets within Kent, however, are important. I suggest, only a PPC agency based in Kent can provide the optimum service for a company located in Kent.

Use PPC to get your Kent business noticed nationally

Map for Kent PPC post

We often work with clients that are based in Kent that have a good level of local business but also operate outside of the county. In this post we’ll talk about how PPC has helped grow business outside of local.

Intro to local search

Google’s algorithm continues to adapt and change as the internet and economies continue to grow. In 2012, they launched Google+ Local and in 2014 rebranded to Google my business. The idea behind it was to make it easier for businesses to engage with customers at a local level. At the same time, it made it more difficult to engage at a national level. I’m sure in the coming months, we’ll have another post on local search. It’s certainly worth setting up!

So what can you do to get noticed nationally? PPC?

In short, the same thing you do to get noticed with anything on Google search results – PPC. We help target national search terms and always keep the scope as refined as possible. It’s easy to fall in the trap of targeting too broad a customer and spending too much on “general” search terms. We find the more focused the keyword, the better the results. It’s a big part of how we deliver the best value for our clients.

Why focused search terms?

The Google Adwords bidding system will always try and broaden the search results for the intended keywords. Initially you might think that’s a good thing. But often it’s showing your advert to a loosely linked customer. We do our best to avoid this and like aiming for quality not quantity.

Automated PPC vs Manual Expertise

Automated PPC Campaigns - By Robot


We recently had the opportunity to run a PPC campaign against Google’s smart bidding. After 6 weeks, the results show why you should continue using a Digital Marketing agency, like Simply Clicks, to run your PPC Advertising.

Our Story

One of our clients was working on their Google My Business presence. Whilst doing so they were contacted by a Google adviser and encouraged by them to set up an automated Google ads campaign. Between the client and the Google adviser they plugged in the necessary information to get the PPC campaign started, and off they went.

A few days later, we spotted via Google Analytics that the client’s PPC spend on the account was starting to increase above budget. So we investigated. We saw that an additional Google Campaign was live. We made contact with our client, who confirmed the details. Our response was to leave the campaign running. And so, the stage was set. Our “manual” PPC campaign was up against Google’s “automated” PPC campaign.

Calculating return on advertising spend (ROAS)

We measure a number of conversions on the account and apportion a nominal value against each of them. The client’s average revenue per sale is above £50,000, with a 30% plus margin. Enquiries, where full contact details are acquired, are valued at £50: downloads, phone calls and emails at various values between £5 and £20.

The Results

A couple of weeks in, it was clear to us that Google was bidding on terms that were unlikely to achieve the same return on ad spend (ROAS) as ours. But building a successful PPC campaign takes time. Maybe the intelligence behind the google engine needed more time and information. Therefore we decided to allow the automated campaign to continue for another few weeks.

After 6 weeks in, ROAS was not improving and we decided to switch off Google’s automated campaign. So what do the results look like?

The graph below shows the Spend Amount and the Goal Values for each campaign.

The good news is that, although Google’s automation didn’t perform as well as Simply Clicks’, it did generate a positive return. Just.

Graph of a Simply Clicks Vs Google Automated campaign
Graph of a Simply Clicks Vs Google Automated campaign

Result Insights

On average, the “automated” campaign delivered a £1.11 return for every £1 spent. Whereas, the Simply Clicks’ “manual” campaign generated £4.42 of nominal value for every £1 spent.

In the Simply Clicks campaign, the terms containing the clients brand name generate 6.5% of its nominal conversion value. And the average cost per click (CPC) is 8p. Meanwhile, in the “automated” campaign, the terms containing the clients brand name generate 18.1% of its nominal conversion value. And the average CPC was 19p.

One observation from previous experiments is that Google automated campaigns will tend to buy and overbid for branded terms. As these will more easily convert than generic search terms.

Concluding Remarks

Using a Digital Marketing agency clearly has its benefits. When we retrospectively looked at the results, we asked ourselves, why?

We obviously believe in our skills and our business. And the results back that up on their own. But Google’s automation has the challenge of doing right by all of its customers, including the customers that are competing with each other. If you have more than one business competing automatically through Google’s auction platform, how does it decide who should win?

We think the simple answer is that they all do. Which explains why the campaign we observed made a positive return. But not by much.