PPC is an efficient way to advertise to people already searching for your product.Unless you live in a cave, you’ve used Google to search for something. And unless you’re blind, you’ve seen the ads that show up in the first three spots of your results. So assuming you aren’t a blind caveman, you’ve already had some form of contact with Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC).

Like most forms of online marketing, PPC is not without its pros and cons. The key to limiting the cons is developing a strategy that works for both the client and the person managing the account.

The Good

PPC can do a lot of things that traditional online marketing can’t. A PPC campaign can be targeted down to specific geographic regions or certain demographics. You yourself can choose what search terms your ads show up for.

A PPC campaign can be started and stopped on a whim. It can run 24/7 or only certain hours that correlate to the buying habits of your target market.

PPC campaigns provide you with a lot of information almost immediately after it starts running. You can learn what terms really are relevant to your brand and what ad copy resonates most with the customer. This data is gathered as the campaign is continues to run and provides you with insights you can then pull across to other marketing strategies.

The Bad

As mentioned earlier, PPC is not without its flaws. The biggest drawback is you have to find a strategy that works within the budget provided.

You are paying Google a certain amount every single time someone clicks on your ad. Certain industries are extremely competitive and their clicks can cost upwards of $30.

Highly competitive industries require higher budgets to make the campaign plausible. If your monthly budget is only $500, that doesn’t even give you enough for one click a day before you are out of money.
There are strategies to get around this, but most involve either cutting your click through rate to get cheaper clicks or strangling your potential traffic by only bidding on extremely specific terms.

The Best

Done properly, PPC can be an great financial asset.One extremely important aspect of a successful PPC campaign is to set up reasonable expectations with the client. If they want to run a low budget campaign in a competitive market, they shouldn’t be expecting to get a million clicks.

What’s best for both parties is to come up some kind of numbers projection for the campaign. Show it to the client and let them know about the potential obstacles and how you plan to guide them through.

When properly managed, a PPC campaign can be an extremely valuable weapon in your marketing arsenal. But before diving into the world of search engine marketing, it would be wise to thoroughly research your market and the relevant search terms for your product. Evaluate the potential costs and come up with a plan to make the most of your investment.

photo credit: Dave Dugdale via photo pin cc
photo credit: mag3737 via photo pin cc

Rob Hughes
Rob Hughes is a Paid Search Analyst at Big Leap who enjoys the creative aspect of online paid advertising. In his free time, Rob is a 3x Intramural Champion, a 17x Intramural Loser, and an avid climber of local mountains.