“Why should I do PPC?” It’s a question many businesses have wondered at one time or another. If you’ve never pursued online advertising in the form of PPC, also called pay per click and paid search, you might not know why you should choose it at all, and what makes it better or different than other forms of marketing online, for example, search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing (SMM).
You’re not alone. There are many businesses that haven’t yet pursued PPC because they don’t understand the benefits or the risks.
Simply put: PPC is another way for more Web users to find your website when they perform a search within search engines like Google or Bing. What’s great is that any business can start at any time and have great success with PPC if it’s set up and managed efficiently.
Your return on investment can be reached much faster than other forms of online marketing like SEO, which can take much longer to show results. And you often have more control with targeting.
So in today’s post, we’ll look at several reasons why you should consider doing PPC to fuel your business’s success online.
7 Reasons You Should Do PPC
1. Your organic search rankings are non-existent.
If you aren’t showing up in the search results, how are prospects finding you? If you’re relying solely on word of mouth or listing your site on marketing materials, you aren’t going to reach many people. You might be using social media, which is another great way to reach people – but it doesn’t offer the control and targeting that PPC does.
Remember, just because you have a website, that doesn’t mean it will be found in the search results. PPC offers a way to reach the right people at the right time with your products and services when they are looking for them online.
Organic search marketing shouldn’t be ignored, but PPC can be a nice buffer while SEO is being built on the side. PPC and SEO can also work together in harmony to provide stellar results.
2. Marketing within organic search can be unreliable.
Search engines like Google are powered by algorithms that examine countless websites in their index to determine the best web page for a person’s search. Marketers who specialize in SEO work to understand that algorithm – although fairly difficult – in addition to search engine guidelines in order to help guide their efforts.
But algorithms are unpredictable and change all the time, without notice and without regard to those marketing practices that have been built around them. Websites lose rankings and data at the drop of a hat because of this. Marketers in this space are often walking a tight rope.
But guess what? PPC advertisers typically enjoy access to premium data and treatment regardless of organic search algorithm changes, and this will likely never change because a large chunk of Google and Bing’s revenue comes from its advertisers.
And even if you do rank organically in the search results, there are so many factors at play that are out of your control. What one person sees as the No. 1 search results might be No. 5 on another person’s screen due to things like personalized search.
PPC offers a way to gain top placement in the search results. While your ads are not guaranteed to show every single time a person types in one of your keywords, if you have an account that’s in good shape with active management, your ads could show up 95 percent or more of the time.
3. PPC is flexible, and can quickly support your marketing initiatives.
At any given moment, you can create an advertisement in support of a marketing initiative. For example, if you have a special promotion coming up and you need to get rid of additional product stock, try a new ad in your PPC campaign.
This can come in handy for many scenarios like seasonal lifts, holidays, sales initiatives and so on. You simply don’t have this type of flexibility with the organic search results that your website might show up within.
4. You can take up more real estate on the page.
When someone searches for a keyword related to your business, more than one listing entices your users to click-through because it not only shows brand authority, but also gives them more than one option to get to your website.
I wrote a post not too long ago about how you can dominate the search results with the addition of Product Listing Ads (PLA), another form of PPC within Google AdWords. Here’s an image I took from the search results that shows how Nordstrom is killing it in the search results with a paid search ad, a PLA and an organic listing:
5. Gather important data that can be used in other channels.
Google recently unleashed fully secure search, which means that the data that SEOs were used to getting in their Google Analytics about top-performing keywords is gone.
But PPC can fill the void. PPC advertisers still have access to the keywords that drive conversions and revenue through advertising data. SEOs can use PPC campaigns to integrate this into their marketing and optimization efforts.
Likewise, think about how you might be able to leverage those keywords in other areas of your marketing like newsletters, social media and so on. If a particular phrase is converting well, there must be something that strikes a chord within your audience.
Additionally with PPC, you can see trends in what terms people are using to find product and services on your site. If these products are in stock and important to your business, you can use the data to cross-reference content on your site – specifically, do you have a landing page for it?
Pro tip: You can run a PPC campaign to a special landing page to gauge interest in the market for a new product or service before you embark on the long journey of development. If you do decide to launch the offering or product, at the end of your PPC campaign, you will have learned what worked in your advertising so you’re set to ramp up when it’s time.
6. PPC is a good support system for other marketing campaigns.
Your special PPC offers can be a great starting point for those same offers in different campaigns like through your newsletter or social media accounts. Sales and promos advertised via newsletters and Twitter + PPC = win! We see a huge lift in ROI when clients tackle a special offer across multiple channels.
7. Everyone else is doing it.
My mother always said, “Just because your friends jump off a bridge, doesn’t mean you should, too” … but in the case of PPC, you should jump. Really. We’re willing to bet your competitors are doing it, and that means you should be, too.
In fact, your competitors might be bidding on your brand name. That means, they can show up when someone searches for your business online! If that’s not a good enough reason to use PPC, we don’t know what is.
3 Risks You Take in PPC
PPC isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, if it’s done the wrong way, you’ll waste all your investment very quickly. So let’s look at a few ways PPC can be a risk to your business:
- If your account manager doesn’t know how to manage a budget, you should start looking for a new one – like yesterday!
- Too low of a budget can be a disaster. For example, the odds are stacked against you if you have a click cost of $5 and a $100 daily budget – that’s only 20 clicks per day.
- PPC is not right for every business, but you should test it out to see what sort of ROI you can get with it if you can find a professional or agency you trust.
We hope that helps clear up any mystery behind why businesses choose PPC and how it can work for you, too.