Does PPC Frighten You? It Should
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Does PPC Frighten You? It Should

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is undoubtedly the fastest way to get your products or services in front of your target market via a popular search engine. It is also a great way to waste a staggering amount of money if you’re not very careful. Starting a new PPC campaign from scratch requires planning, market research and a clear set of conversion goals. You have to understand what you’re getting yourself into before funding your first Adwords or YSM account, or you’re definitely flirting with budgetary disaster. Here are a few facts you should keep in mind before deciding PPC is right for your marketing effort.

PPC is very time consuming: Building new accounts, researching keywords and testing ad copy all factor in to the ramp up time – but is there ever a point at which you’re ‘done’? Can occasional maintenance take the place of the undivided attention you were devoting in the early days of a new PPC effort? The short answer is ‘definitely not’. Although it may seem plausible that your campaigns will reach a point where they can be switched on to auto pilot, there are many reasons you should always remain active in their daily management.
PPC is expensive: The amount of money you’re going to have to bid on a given keyword will be directly related to how competitive your vertical is. If you’re a mortgage broker, a battery store, a casino or a personal injury lawyer – pack in right now. If, on the other hand, you sell purple squirrel jackets, PPC may be just be just the thing. Providing, of course, anybody knows your product exists and will be searching for it. The underlying message here is take a close look at the landscape before settling on PPC. Organic search engine optimization takes much longer, but the long term ROI is much greater than paying $10 a click to be in the 7th bid position for “laptop battery”.
PPC is only one piece of the puzzle: PPC only drives traffic to your site which, if you’ve been fastidious in your keyword research, may be relevant to your business. It does absolutely nothing to improve your conversion rate once that visitor is on your home page. If you’re missing the basics in terms of user experience, content, the checkout process and generally instilling consumer confidence – do not spend a dime on PPC until you’ve gotten your house in order. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it pull out its credit card.

This is less of an introduction to PPC than it is a cautionary tale. Under the right circumstances, and with an experienced account manager at the reins, PPC can be a tremendously deadly arrow in your online marketing quiver. It is still an arrow, however, and not a silver bullet. Banner, CPM and PPC advertising should be only be among a wide variety of options you consider when planning a budget and strategy.

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