Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising Can Grow Your Business…
… But Doing It Cost Effectively Isn’t As Simple As They Claim
Google AdWords’ promise for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is alluring: “Want to grow your business? Put your message in front of potential customers right when they’re searching for what you have to offer.” Bing AdCenter will tell you: “You can reach millions of unique searchers… Pay only when your ad is clicked on – it’s that easy.”
It is easy to get pulled in by the apparent simplicity of online advertising. For as little as $5 a day, you can start an online advertising campaign. Just choose your keywords, write some ads, select your geographic target, enter your credit card, and turn the campaign on.
The Benefits of a Pay-Per-Click Campaign
In fact, the benefits of using PPC in your online advertising efforts are clear. In addition to the relative simplicity of setting up a campaign, pay-per-click advertising offers you:
- Campaign Control: You have quantifiable control over your target audience, location, and keywords. Customized campaigns and specialized URL placement allows you to increase relevant traffic to your website.
- Conversion Control: Because you create targeted landing pages to match your relevant keywords, you can design different pages for visitors at different phases in the Customer Buying Cycle.
- Cost Control: Among efficiencies like geo-targeting and keyword targeting is a little known feature of PPC – the ability to remarket campaigns. So, if the user searches your keyword more than once, you can bring up your ad again – at no charge to you.
- Customer Control: You can choose the number of times the customer will see the ad so they don’t get bombarded with ads every time they search the keywords. This way, you ads stay fresh in prospects’ mind.
And PPC offers benefits that you cannot get from any other method of paid advertising or online marketing. For example:
- Pay for What You Use: With PPC, you pay only for the ads that are clicked on. Compare this to print advertising. No matter how targeted your postcard mailer or newspaper ad is, there is guaranteed to be a portion of the list or subscription base that is not relevant to your business.
- Immediate, Measurable Results: You see results with PPC right away, often in the form of increased traffic within minutes or hours. You can (and should) monitor these results on a daily basis and use them to make immediate, informed changes and tweaks to your campaign. Compare this to SEO, which can take months to bear fruit and therefore months before you know what’s working and what needs changing.
- Dependable Process: Any updates or alterations to the advertising platform are announced well in advance. Compare this to SEO, where you are quite often at the whim of algorithmic changes, ones that leave much to guesswork.
PPC Done Right: Not As Simple As They Lead You To Believe
But it is also easy to lose sight of how much time and attention your PPC campaign needs to be done right and to be cost effective. This can be a major challenge for businesses trying to set up and run a campaign by following the “simple” instructions provided by the search engines.
Keep in mind that:
- Search engines are in the business of making money, so they recommend what will be easy (for you) but will also have the highest spend possible (for them);
- Even though you can start a campaign for as little as $5 a day and you can see immediate, measureable results (see above!), it can take months and months with such a small budget to get any statistically significant results that would allow you to make all the refinements and adjustments that are so key to PPC;
- Advertising online is competitive, and it can literally take your hard earned dollars quickly without the accompanying ROI if you do not know the ins and outs of PPC; and
- There are over 300 settings that can make a difference in spend on a PPC account. And many of these settings need to be managed and changed throughout the campaign – often on a daily basis.
Sales Renewal has found that it is usually worth the investment (10-15% of your ad budget plus a small set-up fee) to work with a professional agency that specializes in PPC to set up your campaign and optimize it regularly (daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your needs). This will save money in the long run as the investment in professional management will more than come back to you in lowered ad costs and higher traffic.
Is your PPC campaign working the way you would expect it to, or would you like to see better results for your advertising dollar? Sales Renewal can help, and is offering a free review of your existing online advertising campaign. New to online advertising and interested in finding out how to incorporate PPC into your sales and marketing mix?
Download our PPC Advertising for Your Business Tip Sheet here:
Please also subscribe me to the Growth Spurts Blog
Sales Renewal’s insight:
It is easy to get pulled in by the apparent simplicity of online advertising. For as little as $5 a day, you can start an online advertising campaign. Just choose your keywords, write some ads, select your geographic target, enter your credit card, and turn the campaign on. But in reality, it isn’t that simple.