PPC and Advertising in the 21st Century
Business can fall to the bottom or soar to the top based on advertising. This is more true in the 21st Century than ever before. Pay Per Click marketing or PPC is one of the newest methods for marketing to potential customers online. The big advantage of utilizing PPC is that an advertiser’s marketing campaign will generally appear above most other search results. This means potential customers will be more likely to click on those ads.
The downside, however, is that PPC ads cost money and the cost can go up quickly. Search engine providers like Google, Yahoo and Bing use a bid auction format to sell specific keywords and/or phrases to advertisers. As specific keywords/phrases become more popular so too does the bidding price. There is no guarantee, of course, that people who click on a PPC ad will actually end up buying anything. Advertising online has risks just like traditional advertising.
There are common mistakes that people should avoid when they decide to try their luck with PPC advertising. Most of these mistakes are common for people new to the game and that’s why having a little extra knowledge up front can save precious time and money. Below are some practices to avoid.
Common PPC Mistakes:
- Giving up too soon
- It takes time to develop a marketing campaign. People new to PPC advertising often become discouraged very quickly when they fail to see instant results. Even though we live in the digital age, it still takes time for an ad to get noticed. It takes even more time for people to click on an ad link, read through the content and make the decision to purchase something. This is not to say that PPC ads should run forever. Working with a trusted PPC marketing agency can go a long way toward providing the necessary expertise to figure out how long and how successful a PPC marketing campaign will turn out.
- Only considering the click-through rate
- Search engines only charge you for using a PPC ad when someone actually clicks on your link. Just clicking on a link, however, does not indicate that a sale is being made. If a specific PPC ad is displayed thousands of time, but never clicked on it is time to reconsider the marketing strategy. If, however, the PPC ad is averaging one click per every seven searches, you are getting good hit results (again this does not indicate any sale being made). Search engines still charge for the click even if there is no sale. If you are only getting five clicks in a day, but you are making three new sales from the PPC ad each day as well, this could be considered a productive PPC marketing campaign. It is important to measure click-through rates and actual sales together.
- Failing to understand conversion
- All right, you know by now that you are paying each time a person clicks on your PPC ad. You also understand that simply clicking on the ad doesn’t indicate a sale. The easiest way to measure conversion is by looking at how many sales are made for each time a person visits your site. This is simple if you only have a single online advertising campaign going and it is the only way you are selling online. The process becomes slightly more difficult, however, when you have multiple ads and different options around the web for customers to buy your product or service. Google Adwords has a very informative (not necessarily easy to understand) set of conversion tracking tools. An advertiser can set it up to measure what a person actually does after clicking on the PPC ad. Do they buy something, ask for information or sign up for email notifications? How much is each action worth to you? All of this information can be set up and analyzed over time on Google Adwords. Again, having an expert PPC marketing firm to set up and interpret all this information for you is a smart move.
- Failing to set a strict budget strategy (doesn’t necessarily mean a fixed dollar amount)
- It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict the success of a PPC ad campaign ahead of time. Customers change and internet traffic fluctuates. The simplest way to measure success is to see whether your revenue is exceeding the cost of PPC advertising. If it is, keep going. If not, stop or change strategies.
- Being inflexible
- The online marketing environment is a fluid realm. Simple changes, like re-arranging keywords/phrases or using different buzz words can make all the difference in PPC marketing. It’s easy and fast. It doesn’t cost any extra money above what you are already paying for the PPC ad and can make the difference between being in the red and being in the black financially. Consider changing specific keywords to better fit searches or to better reflect the common words used by your target audience. Change the time of day that your PPC ad appears. These are all viable strategies.
- Picking already popular keywords
- Keywords like “best insurance” or “lawsuit” are very popular and thus very expensive to bid on. If you find yourself in a saturated market, consider using keywords that specifically reflect the differences of your company. What makes you stand apart from competitors? Why do you offer better products or services? How do industry keywords relate specifically to your uniqueness? Taking some extra time to flesh out unique keywords or less popular keywords can pay off big.
- Resting too soon
- Some people enjoy instant success with PPC marketing. It is easy for “beginner’s luck” syndrome to fool a person into getting too comfortable. PPC marketing must be monitored on a regular basis to make sure that ads are not getting stale and costing more than they are bringing in. Just because a specific keyword arrangement is working well in January doesn’t mean it will also work well in February. Even successful advertisers can benefit from making small changes to get larger profit margins. Keep an eye on things the whole time. Don’t forget about your PPC ad.
Trust A PPC Expert
These are just a few of the more common mistakes that people new to the PPC game can make when they get into it. Those wishing to ensure the most reliable and informative services available are encouraged to find a credible PPC marketing agency to help them get started. The small extra cost of paying for professional online PPC expertise can more than pay for itself in the end.