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Does Your Business Still Need PPC Marketing?

PPC Marketing | 4 minute read

Yes.  {end of blog post}

ppc marketing servicesI hear business owners consistently skimp, cut or eliminate their pay-per-click advertising budget on a regular basis.  The idea of paying each time a user clicks on your advertisment when there is free search traffic available causes some marketers to shy away from this important inbound marketing channel.  Let me tell you that in my fifteen years doing online marketing consulting, search pay-per-click has always measured as the best paid advertisement to gain new customers.  It consistently beats banners, sponsorships, e-newsletter sponsorships to name a few.  The only channels that PPC does not out perform is organic search and e-mail marketing to your own cultivated list. These same marketers will spend $30K to take a team to a trade show and never count the leads generated.  A similar investment in a properly run pay-per-click campaign will generate more new prospects nearly every time.

Push versus Pull Marketing

With banner ads, radio, TV or even trade shows, you as a marketer are trying to push your information into the hands of your target customer.  You have to interrupt their day and get them to invest in learning about your products or service.  On the other hand when you advertise on pay per click search; users are trying to pull your information from the internet.  An internet searcher has gone to Google and said "find me companies that do XXX".  You have a prospective customer that is actively looking to find you.  Why would you NOT want to appear in those results?  In fact, why wouldn't you want to appear more than once on that first page of results?

Pay Per Click - The Ultimate Control

The most common thing we find with a potential customer who has a poor view of pay-per-click is that the campaigns they have run in the past were poorly managed.  With loose settings and poor tracking you can seriously overspend for the wrong visitors here.  Years ago we had a client spend a small fortune on the word "bridge" when they really wanted "backyard bridge".  With the right settings you can easily make sure you ONLY show up for backyard bridge and never spend when someone is looking for the Liberty Bridge.  But that is only where the control starts.  You can customize your account to only show in your targeted geographic area.  This can be five miles from your location, all states east of the Mississippi or you can pick and choose zip codes around the country based on median income.  You can further slice and dice the users you are willing to pay for further by crafting your ad to encourage clicks from your target market and discourage clicks from the users you don't want to pay for.  With the right PPC marketing services company, all this should be handled for you.  

Tracking PPC Advertising

You absolutely should not be running PPC ads unless you are tracking conversions properly.  You should know your cost-per-lead or cost-per-order each month and decide if that is acceptable or not.  If it is acceptable, then you should buy more of them.  If it is not acceptable, then you should adjust your campaign settings and bids to bring them into a more acceptable range.  If your cost per lead is $100 and you close one out of every 10 leads, then your cost per new customer acquisition would be $1000.  Now if the lifetime value of that customer is $100,000 then you should have a VERY robust ppc budget.  Comparatively, if you are doing eCommerce PPC and your cost per order is $15 and your average order size is $60 then you have better be getting repeat orders from those customer.  Otherwise paying 25% in direct advertising cost will not pay off for your business.  While conversions are your most important metric you should also be watching your pages per visit, avg time on site and bounce rate.  Sometimes even if your cost/conversion is high, you can still see enough value in the prospects learning about your products and services.  

PPC Pitfalls to Avoid

As I mentioned above, the most common pitfalls we see are loose settings and improper tracking.  If you have those two items handled, here are a few other pitfalls you should be careful with:

  • "Content Targeting" or "Display Network" - pay per click can run on search results pages OR on related websites around the internet.  While content targeting campaigns can offer some great value, search PPC is a much better bet.  Your PPC search and content campaigns are probably better off separate rather than merged.
  • Avoid Bidding Wars - Many business owners are caught up in being first.  They are willing to pay whatever it takes to be ahead of company Z.  The problem is that if you are paying too much per click, your ROI will fail.  Your PPC agency should be trying to find the sweet spots by using different keyword phrases and different ads.  
  • Reaching too far - A common mistake is to imaging your company has broader reach than it truly does.  If all your customers are 30 miles from Pittsburgh, PA then using PPC to broaden to Cleveland may be a bad choice. Its an interesting trial, but your conversion rate is likely to be much better in your own backyard.  Similarly if you are very good at Service A and Service B, but really think Service C is something you should be getting traction for; often we willl find that Service C is what crushes your PPC return on investment.  Make sure your core services are performing well before you bid on ancillary parts of your business.  If you do want to promote Service C, then set it up with its own budget so that it doesn't harm your primary service offerings. 

Types of PPC Marketing

When we run pay per click marketing for our clients, we use a variety of styles based on their target personas and goals.  Here are a few based on our perceived value of each:

  1. Search pay per click
  2. Shopping campaigns
  3. Facebook demographic PPC
  4. Content targeting or display ads
  5. Youtube paid campaigns
  6. Outbrain content marketing
  7. Linkedin Ads
  8. Twitter ads

Interested in PPC Marketing Services

If you are still on the fence about pay-per-click marketing, please give us a call at 412-942-0222 or get scheduled for a free consult.  We would be glad to spend an hour talking about your PPC goals and experience to see if we can help you succeed online.  




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Jeff Schroeffel

Jeff is the owner and one of the lead inbound marketing consultants here at PIC. Jeff started in SEO in 1999 and launched Pittsburgh Internet Consulting in 2001.

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