Is Pay-Per-Click for You? By Brian Newmark 26 Feb 2015
If you spend any time thinking about digital marketing then you have probably heard about pay-per-click (PPC). There are those who say that this type of advertising is affordable and the best way for small businesses to get their products and services to show up on Google and Bing searches. That’s true, but the real answer to the question of whether or not PPC is for you is: maybe. There are a lot of factors to consider before you start any advertising or marketing campaign. If done right, Pay-Per-Click is affordable and reliable, but if you don’t do it just right it can end up costing you a lot.
What is PPC?
The idea is simple. When people do searches on the biggest search engines, you want your business and a link to your website to show up in the upper right hand corner and on the front page of the search engine results. You’ve probably seen these ads when you’ve done searches. The way those ads are purchased is that Google and Bing hold auctions and the highest bidders win. You bid on keywords and then you are only charged when someone clicks on the link to your website. This potentially saves on having to create expensive ads and banners for the web. It sounds great – but there are hidden dangers.
What’s the downside?
It can be a lot more expensive than you think. If you are in an industry that is popular and you bid on keywords that are also popular, used by large chunk of the population, then you could end up with a lot of clicks. That could end up costing more than print ads, or other ads. Thus, it can be tough to set a budget. Remember, you pay for the click, not for the sale, or the times when someone clicks on the link and then buys something. You have to pay Google or Bing whether someone buys or not. If you choose the most popular keywords to bid on you could end up paying a lot of money.
You also have a loss of control. While you can choose the keywords that you use, Google and Bing use algorithms to determine when the ads appear. Thus, searches that may not seem like they are connected to your business may end up showing the links and you’ll have no say in the matter.
What’s the upside?
If you find keywords that are in a very specific niche you could end up with a very cost-effective way of advertising. That’s why keyword research is important. You don’t have to bid on the most popular keywords that are part of your business or industry. Instead, you can focus on smaller and less-searched-for keywords.
PPC can be adjusted as you go. If it isn’t working, you can tinker with the keywords. You can increase and decrease the amount invested as you go. That makes it flexible, which is much harder to do with other forms of advertising.
Jumping into PPC without doing several key steps can be costly. If you go into it with a plan and a budget then you can succeed.
What are the steps?
First, set a budget. Try to figure out how much you want to spend. Second, do your research and create a plan for your campaign. Find out what words are being used the most. Figure out what your businesses’ keywords are and try to find a niche that will get results, but not break the bank. Who you do you want to reach with your campaign?
You need to monitor your effectiveness of the campaign, and feel free to make adjustments as it goes along. Only by doing these things can you determine if the PPC campaign you are running is effective and whether or not it will be within your budget.
Remember that good writing is important. The ads you create need to have effective writing and use of keywords. Short but sweet is important, but you also need words that will catch people’s eye and get them to click on the ad.
Finally, if you think that doing that will be difficult, or the research involved just seems too time consuming or difficult, then call in the experts. There are people out there who can figure out if PPC is right for you.
Are there other options?
There are. There is another PPC out there known as Pay Per Conversion. This is when you just pay for whenever someone actually buys something from you rather than just when they click on an ad and end up at your website. It can end up costing less, but can be just as effective. It all depends on what your budget says and what your company feels will work right.
There are effective ways for businesses, especially small businesses, to advertise online. You have to do it carefully, creating a plan and then sticking to it. Be careful, choose the method that works best, create powerful and effective ads, and remember that you can call in for help at any time if it gets to be too much for you.
Brian Newmark is a content marketing expert with expertise in reputation and brand management. Newmark's has a tremendous portfolio of International Accounts, with a specific focus in the MENA region. Catering to high profile individuals, multi-national businesses, political figures and governments throughout the world Brian is able to both control what shows up on search results as well as public perception. To accomplish these challenging objective, Brian utilizes high profile media outlets, bloggers, third party sites, as well as cutting edge technology for sentiment and moderation. Brian has 20 years experience in the marketing field with more than 10 years in digital marketing. In that time he has run massive Pay Per Click campaigns, Social Media Campaigns, been a thought leader in Reputation Management, and led the way with thought provoking public perception campaigns. Recently, Brian Newmark has shifted his focus to monetization of high traffic websites. There are so many sites which receive high traffic, but the revenue generation is limited to the core business of the site, often overlooking cross marketing opportunities. In 2014 Brian Newmark co-founded Augment Marketing LLC with his long time associate Timothy Boyd. Together they are bringing new thought leadership to the digital marketplace. With an office in Radnor, Pennsylvania and partnerships in Saudi Arabia and India they are able to tackle nearly any marketing project. Visit their website at http://augment.marketing to learn more. In addition to staying busy in the digital marketing space, Brian is partners in Philadelphia based group of Indian Restaurants operating under the name Tandoor India. This gives Newmark an opportunity to mix his passion for marketing and his love of Indian food. Brian lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania with his wife of 18 years and his two children. In his free time, Brian enjoys travel, automobiles, jogging and time with his family.