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How To Decide If PPC Advertising Is For You

Pay per click advertising is a cost-effective marketing strategy that you can use to reach your market, control your message, and generate quick, measurable results. That said, many people find PPC to be daunting. There is an immediate cost involved and your campaign can become expensive (often, overnight) if it is approached poorly. Other people wonder why they need to pay for each click when they're already using search engine optimisation to gain exposure.

To be sure, PPC advertising may not be appropriate for every business. Your decision to take advantage of the strategy is heavily dependent on your marketing goals. Below, we'll explore several factors you should consider when determining whether pay per click advertising makes sense for your business.

Timeframe To Generate Traffic

Search engine optimisation is a slow-churning strategy with enormous long-term benefits; it gains momentum over time. By contrast, PPC allows you to reach your market immediately. While your website gradually moves up the organic listings, your pay per click ads can be displayed in front of your target audience instantly. That lets you generate traffic within hours of launching your campaign.

Expanding Your Reach

While the major search engines enjoy a massive amount of traffic, they represent only one of many avenues through which you can reach your market. There are many websites that attract tens of thousands of visitors each day. A large portion of them syndicate PPC ads from the major platforms (for example, Google Adwords). Others maintain their own paid search platforms. Pay per click advertising lets you expand your reach far beyond the search engines.

Refining Your Reach

If your business targets a specific audience, you'll find unique value in using PPC to reach them. Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter provide advertisers with an assortment of sophisticated tools that let you refine your reach. For example, you can target by age, gender, and time of day. If your business serves a local market, you can choose to have your ads displayed only to those who live within a defined geographical region. That helps you to contain your PPC costs while targeting those who are most likely to convert.

Making Your Budget Accountable

With most advertising channels, calculating your ROI is difficult. There is often a significant amount of gray area in which it's hard to identify costs, conversions, and profit. This is one of the reasons companies have turned to PPC advertising. You can establish a budget, monitor your ad spend, and track your conversions easily. In doing so, you'll be able to quickly identify whether your pay per click campaign is generating a positive return or not.

Testing The Effectiveness Of Your Copy

By the time your site begins ranking competitively within the search engine's organic listings, you'll want to send visitors to landing pages that have already been tested. Otherwise, you risk directing valuable traffic to pages that fail to convert. PPC allows you to test the effectiveness of your copy upfront. Your ads can direct a targeted audience to landing pages that have been modified to improve your conversion rate. When your site begins to enjoy organic traffic from your SEO campaign, visitors will be sent to pages on which the copy has been proven to generate sales or leads.

Researching Your Market

Your SEO campaign will focus upon a limited number of your most important keywords. That said, it's likely that your audience is using keywords that may have escaped your attention. Pay per click advertising is a potent research tool for uncovering these hidden gems. For example, Google Adwords allows you to generate reports that identify search phrases people use before clicking on your ads. If your analytics program shows that specific phrases convert well, you'll be able to add them to an exclusive ad group as well as to your SEO campaign.

Outflanking Your Competitors

There will be times when one of your competitors controls the top organic rankings for specific keywords. This often happens when a site has gained an enormous level of ranking authority and has become virtually immovable from those positions. If you want exposure for those keywords, PPC may be the most logical route. You can launch a campaign, set your bids, and enjoy top paid rankings within minutes. While it may be impossible to unseat your competitors in the organic listings, pay per click advertising might help you outflank them.

Controlling Your Message

One of the key advantages to using PPC is that you can control your branding and marketing message. You're able to dictate the copy you use within your ads. What's more, you can send targeted traffic to pages that have been optimized for conversions. It's more difficult to do this with an SEO campaign. Your listing within the organic rankings is largely controlled by the search engines. Plus, the copy you use on your site's pages might hamper their ability to rank well in the first place. Pay per click advertising solves this problem by letting you retain tight control of your message.

Carpeting Search Engine Territory

You'll find that you can control both the organic and paid positions for some of your keywords. This has two effects. First, by having your site listed in the top spots for both natural and paid listings, you'll enjoy more exposure to your audience. That will generate a larger amount of traffic while strengthening your company's brand. Second, by controlling more search engine territory, you'll prevent your competition from receiving valuable exposure. Over time, your business will enjoy top of mind awareness within your market.

Blending SEO And PPC

PPC represents one of the most effective methods for positioning your website in front of your audience. It can generate near-instant traffic while letting you control your message. Most importantly, your results can be measured to help you identify whether your campaign is profitable.

It's worth noting that pay per click advertising does not take the place of search engine optimisation. Instead, they complement each other. While your SEO campaign builds momentum, your PPC campaigns drives immediately traffic. Eventually, as your pages begin ranking organically, you'll enjoy more search engine real estate. That exposure can be invaluable for your company.

Is PPC advertising a good fit for your business? If you want to produce fast, measurable results, there are few marketing channels that are more powerful.

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