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5 Incredibly Practical Reasons To Do PPC In 2015
For businesses that are reluctant to dip their toes into pay-per-click advertising, columnist Pauline Jakober discusses some reasons why the investment may be worth your while.
The competition for visibility in the search results is fierce, which is all the more reason that big brands should stake their claim as a presence to be reckoned with online. Alongside search engine optimization, pay-per-click (PPC) can garner more real estate for your brand on the results page — and if you’re not there, your competition surely will be.
So, if you’re on the fence about PPC, or if just haven’t given it much consideration until now, allow me to discuss why PPC is a no-brainer for your brand — even if you’re already a successful business.
PPC Matters To Big Brands, And It Drives Revenue
Let’s look at a few stats that highlight why PPC is a channel to consider in 2015.
First, if you’re already focusing on the organic search side, why not take it to the paid side as well? Take note that this data shows pay-per-click has a positive impact on organic click-through rate in many cases.
And, if there’s ever any doubt that big brands need to have a presence in paid search, too, look no further than these tops luxury brands and their paid ad spend, as well as these top health insurance advertisers vying for visibility in the search results.
We can see the results of paid search spend in reports like this one on the 2014 holiday shopping season revenue, and this one (PDF) from the Interactive Advertising Bureau that highlights advertising revenue in the first half of 2014.
In fact, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, search ads accounted for $9.1 billion, or 39 percent, of the total Internet advertising revenue for the first half of 2014. When including mobile-related search revenue, search ads totaled $11.8 billion in revenue.
Note: The full report from IAB on half-yearly paid search data for 2014 can be found here (PDF).
5 Practical Reasons You Should Consider PPC Marketing
Aside from the data we have about how PPC can drive real results for all types of brands, you should also consider the benefits of PPC advertising in general.
Most of these benefits and advantages center on the amount of control and visibility PPC offers in your marketing efforts. The straightforward nature of PPC puts you in the driver’s seat (arguably more than most other forms of advertising and marketing), and when done right, the benefits do outweigh the risks.
Here are five reasons why PPC marketing is worthwhile:
- You only pay when an interested person clicks. One of the reasons PPC is so straightforward is because you know exactly where your dollars are going, and you only pay when an interested party clicks on the ad. This is different than traditional advertising offline, where you spend X amount of dollars and hope your target market actually engages with the ad, but you never really know.
- You set your budget to control costs. Speaking of budgets, with pay-per-click, you set the budget to your needs. You can put a cap on what you spend daily, and it’s flexible for you to change at any time. That doesn’t mean you can expect to see huge results with a limited budget, of course; it all depends on how competitive the keyword and industry are. (You can learn more about setting budget in Google AdWords, or check out a post I wrote on how much you should spend on PPC.)
- You can reach your target consumer at the right time with the right ad. Want to target a person in a specific place at a specific time of day with a specific ad? No problem. With PPC’s location targeting and delivery options along with device-specific preferences (like mobile), you can deliver very specific messages to your target consumer at prime time when they are close by.
- Unlike organic search, PPC can show results very quickly. We all know how important organic search traffic is for long-term website marketing; however, it has a longer cycle to prove ROI. PPC can show results fast. You can start a PPC campaign on Monday and literally start seeing results in terms of traffic and conversions the next day (depending on a variety of factors, obviously).
- PPC data can inform your other marketing channels. Does your search engine optimization (SEO) team want to know if a particular keyword or set of keywords is converting well? PPC can tell them. You can also test the waters with new products or offerings using PPC in order to gauge demand and get an early look at its reception. You can even use PPC to promote oddball events or things that wouldn’t be appropriate for other forms of advertising. This article by Jim Yu also gives good information on how PPC can inform SEO in other ways.
3 Things To Watch For If You’re Just Starting PPC
PPC might be sounding more fantastic by the minute — but not so fast. If you think you’re ready to dive into PPC, here are a few additional considerations to explore before you start:
- PPC is not easy. No, you can’t just hire a college student to plug in data and monitor the account. Good PPC takes skill, and great PPC takes strategy, a thorough understanding of the advertising platforms, a solid knowledge of rules and guidelines, and a little creativity and marketing sense. That said, you should work hard to identify a credible, trustworthy agency or in-house professional. And be wary of those that promise the world and don’t help you understand what results will truly impact business objectives.
- PPC is collaborative. As much as you might like to hand it all over to the PPC pro and never have to look at the pay-per-click account again, true PPC strategy comes with collaboration. You are the expert of your business; your PPC manager is the expert of PPC. Together, you collaborate and forge great ideas and ways to execute on any goals you may have for the business, its products and services.
- PPC is ongoing — for the lifespan of your business. When PPC is done right, you’re investing and making a nice return on that investment. So even when your business is booming, PPC is there to continue to drive revenue and be a support system for any event in the life of your business. New website launch? PPC is there. New product? PPC can help. New color of widget? Look to PPC. Got a webinar around how to make widgets? PPC can help there, too. Need to rebrand? Yep, PPC does that. The key is that when looking for a PPC manager, look for a long-term partner to help you grow your business with you.
So, are you beginning to see how PPC is a viable marketing channel for your brand? Even if you’ve never done it before, throw caution to the wind and test it out in 2015. Chances are good that it can work for your brand!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.