Pay Per Click Does What it Can Not What it Must

Over the years I’ve been asked over and over again which is better…pay per click or search engine optimization. I’ve never really had a definitive answer for this question. It really depends on what your company objectives are and how quickly you would like to reach these goals. It is very important to note that pay per click is not what it once was; less populated, easier to use, and much easier to gain higher pay per click rank.

It is equally important to note that pay per click can be just as costly as search engine optimization. Here are a few things that you should know before starting any pay per click campaign.

  1. Your entire marketing budget should not be throw into any one marketing channel. A good mixture of advertising is the best if you have the ability to do so. Many avenues which allow your company to reach out to potential buyers and customers is always recommended. However, if you are limited with your budget, pay per click is fast and delivers good results.
  2. Be patient with pay per click results. With any marketing effort, things take time. Pay per click is not magic and is the fist step in reaching out to potential customers to engage in the sales process. It may take several touch points before anyone turns into a customer or buyer.
  3. Ensure you are using all of the new Google features to reach out to your prospective visitors. Mobile ads, Click to call, Google Boost, and additional deep links.
  4. If you are using a search firm to run your pay per click campaigns let them do their job. The majority of PPC firms and management companies know what they are doing and will produce results. The more you interfere…the more difficult their job becomes. Work with your firm not against it.
  5. The problem with online marketing is…online marketing. With proper analytics measurements, ppc campaigns, and other forms of online marketing you can really make a new site or current site hum. The problem is this; online marketing has more accountability than any form of marketing.  Because every click and visitor can be tracked advertisers expect much more than what can be possible with this form of advertising. Keep it real and make sure to remember pay per click is not the solution to all of your visitor desires.
  6. If you are willing to pay for your traffic while your search engine optimization takes root…it is a good way to go. In fact, it is better to hold two number one spots or more than one spot for any keyword which is important to your business objectives. IE ~ If you are targeting a specific keyword…it is better to hold to positions on page one which in turn will double the opportunity to be found and add in two touch points.
  7. 4 out of 5 web visitors ignore the paid search results and pay per click [depending on what vertical you are in] can be very expensive.
  8. PPC is a excellent way to augment any marketing effort and works very well. Just keep your expectations based in reality.
  9. Pay per click is here to stay and is evolving rapidly. The more changes that come…the better the results.
  10. Most importantly, you will not be the only one targeting your keywords. Remember the 80 | 20 rule. When competition is thick in your industry be prepared to fight harder for your results.

Pay Per Click Works – Patience Is A Must

Does pay per click work for business?

Does pay per click work? The short answer is, yes. Does pay per click work overnight? No. Pay per click marketing takes time to generate information [data] in order to figure out what has been working and then make adjustments and optimizations in future application. I have experienced much frustration with clients who want to stop all paid search marketing within days or weeks of initial campaign launch because it is not producing as fast as they may have expected.

Pay per click marketing on Google, Yahoo, and MSN\Bing requires the search marketer to preform keyword building, ad copy building, account set up, tracking, bid management and more. Does it make sense to give such an undertaking only a few days or weeks to generated perfect results? No, it does not.

In fact, it is quite normal, for an adjustment period of a month to three months before key performance indicators (KPIs) begin to produce positive results [positve or negative]. There are a lot of variables to consider which impact pay per click results; strategy, location, demographics, competition, user behavior, click to conversion rates, impressions, ad variations, dynamic insertion to name a few. It is very possible it may take up to a month to find out that a new strategy is needed to combat thick competition. This could require a full blown reconfiguration of everything. Is this a painful choice? A little. Is it the end of the road? No, it shouldn’t be.

It is no wonder many search marketing firms and online marketing professionals require contract terms with minimum time frames. Pay per click marketing is not perfect but if you were to weigh, on a cost per lead or conversion rate, effectiveness of PPC versus traditional media PPC will win hands down. It is much easier to effectively track and adjust PPC daily, in a paid search user interface, than it is to change a national advertisement on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, billboard, or newspaper ad. In fact, I’m pretty sure you can’t change those media vehicles in minutes.

Unless you are tracking response rates with a unique phone number knowing the true conversion rates and cost for each conversion is nearly impossible. However, pay per click can be assessed down to each single response to your ad. It is the ‘click’ which indicates interest, curiosity, possible intent, and conversions. Real trackable people looking for your product or service.

Traditional media (tv, radio, print, billboards, and direct mail) is a direct interruption of an individuals time and concentration. When a person sees these advertisements you are interrupting their daily routine and demanding their attention. More than likely, your ad will be fast forwarded or ignored and the message [for the most part] is lost.

With pay per click marketing, the individuals clicking on your ad are interacting with your company by will. There is no force…there is no demand for attention. The business ad is positioned at the right time, at the right place, during a decision or buying cycle. I would say that it is more important than ever to let the data collect and revise paid search than to pull the plug.

Sure, it is another issue if your pay per click manager lets money bleed out on a daily basis. Then it is your online consultant who needs to get pulled not your ad dollars.  * More on this in another post. Keep your ad dollars in paid search and be patient. It takes time for ads and keywords to work. It takes time for your campaign manager to locate the correct combination to your target audience.

My recommendation: if your paid search is bleeding money, find a new campaign manager or search firm. If your pay per click marketing isn’t exactly what you want it to be a week, month, or two months from when it first started, be patient. Pay per click does not work for all businesses and it is not the perfect solution to your marketing needs but it works. The only way you will find that out is to give it a chance and breathe.

Be A Good Marketing Butcher and Improve your PPC advertising

10 Steps to increase your ROI with PPC

William Gladstone said “a leader must be a good butcher…”and this is something that applies to a lot of things; one of which is your pay per click marketing and online media. You may feel compelled to dip into every new marketing idea that is presented to you by your staff or marketing agency. The problem arises whenyou have made these decisions and find that you have a massive amount of meat on your cutting board and no one is getting fed.

Too many times I have come onto a project only to find it bleeding money and not producing enough clicks, leads, sales, etc. By concentrating piece by piece on which online marketing methods work FIRST before trying to take on another channel you become a good apprentice butcher.

For example,a small business with 50 employees does not need to spend money on banner advertising, pay per click marketing, social media marketing, email marketing,mobile media and forms of traditional media in order to reach out to its prospective audience. Targeting the markets you seek the most do not require huge amounts of funds to make introductions, prospect, entice, or sell.

If it isyour first time into the arena of website marketing, take your time and take it one step at a time. Make sure you achieve success day by day and month by month. Once your independent consultant, internal marketer, or advertising agency has hit a few out of the park, make considerations for expanding online marketing.

You may be thinking that this paying attention to budgets on the front end of this should be pretty easy however, keywords and costs per click can run out off control pretty quick.  So, don’t spend more ad dollars until you seeresults. Well, I’m here to tell you, companies large and small do it all of the time. Coming onto a project where it takes a butcher to trim the fat may comet too late if money has been spilling out on the floor for months.

My recommendation for building out an online pay per click media plan is simple and for the small to medium businesses.

  1. Define your goals
  2. Define your keywords
  3. Define your DMA / target market
  4. Write compelling PPC ad copy
  5. Ensure you have all of the correct calls to action
  6. Use proper Ad Words and Google Analytics tracking
  7. Check quality scores and landing pages
  8. Focus on high converting low cost keywords
  9. Use the Google keyword tool for your research
  10. Focus on both short and long tail keywords
  11. [bonus] – Cut keywords that are under performing or costing too much

All the best and happy chopping.