The Pro’s and Con’s of Paid Search Marketing (PPC)

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.

There is still a great deal of suspicion around running a PPC campaign and I’m forever being asked questions such as “Yes, but no-one clicks on these because they know they’re ads from the company?” – “It’s expensive, isn’t it?” – “But how much business will I get from it?”

OK – it all comes at a price, which depends on the particular keywords that determine the demand of what it is you are providing. Meaning how many potential customers are searching for what it is you provide as a business. So when determining how much PPC will inevitably cost, you must take into consideration many factors. The biggest being your budget. PPC could cost 50 pence per click or it could be £10 per click. It’s a fluctuating scale that changes by the minute as if it were the stock market.

So here are some Pro’s and Con’s to consider:

Pros of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

  • Can Generate Traffic Quickly – As soon as your Pay-Per-Click ad goes live you can expect to see immediate traffic. Not only will you just be seeing more traffic driven to your website, this traffic will be targeted and highly motivated as people will have been searching for exactly what you sell. Unsurprisingly, this means that there is a higher chance of conversions!
  • Targeted Website Traffic – Pay-Per-Click campaigns allow you to target specific searches. With Ad Retargeting, your ad is shown to people who have recently visited your website in order to encourage them to come back.
  • Niche Market Strategy – With Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns, you have the ability to target your ad to specific niche markets, days of the week, times of the day and target specific cities or specific countries to gain traffic from your ideal target audience.
  • Seasonal Marketing Strategies – Probably one of the best advantages of Pay-Per-Click Marketing is that you can choose when to run your campaigns by the season. During slower seasons when you may not be receiving much traffic, you can turn your ad campaign off or ‘pause’ it. You can also increase your pay per click advertising during a busy holiday season.
  • Double Branding Exposure – Larger brands who have achieved a spot on the first page of Google organically will also create Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns to appear twice on a search for ultimate exposure and page domination.
  • Long tail keywords – People are becoming savvier when it comes to determining what they want to find through the online search engines. And, through speech recognition more and more longtail keywords are being used. For instance, instead of typing a search such as, “gold prices,” users might now type or save searches in the form of a question such as, “how much will gold prices go up next year?” That would be a longform search or a longtail keyword. If you keep that in mind, then PPC can be very profitable return on your investment.
  • Measurable ROI – It is very easy to measure results with Pay-Per-Click Marketing. There are many metrics out there waiting to be seen such as those on Pay-Per-Click analytics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your campaign in terms of return on investment. You will also be able to find out the number of viewers who saw the ad, number of clicks and if viewers reacted to the ad as you expect them to. With some PPC providers you can even track phone calls and listen in to them to see if they are the right sort of enquiries.
  • Full Control – The great advantage of PPC is that you have full control of all aspects of your Pay-Per-Click management campaign such as how much you bid, how long the campaigns run for, what keywords to target and the overall cost of the campaign.
  • Perfect for e-commerce – One form of Pay-Per-Click that is perfect for e-commerce store owners is Google Shopping. With Pay-Per-Click Marketing, you can integrate your products into Google Shopping so when someone is searching for something such as “women’s pink jeans”, if you sell this then your product will likely show up as long as you are bidding for that keyword.

Cons of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimisation vs. Pay Per Click Marketing – Organic searches will always gain top spot in search listings and will bask in the beautiful advantage of longevity. We always recommend Search Engine Optimisation as a primary marketing strategy and Pay-Per-Click as a more short-term solution as it will work better at improving your Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Temporary Listing Results – One big disadvantage with Pay-Per-Click Marketing is that as soon as your budget runs out, your listings will disappear.
  • Increasing Pay-Per-Click Marketing Costs – Pay-Per-Click Marketing can sometimes be costly. When bidding for keywords, even though you are only placing bid for sometimes less than £1, eventually these 50p’s or so can start to mount up especially if you get caught up in a bidding war with a competitor.
  • Fewer Clicks than Organic – Around 85% of online searchers are known to click organic listings first and only 10-15% will click on a Pay-Per-Click sponsored ad.
  • Click fraud It’s not something that most PPC platforms openly discuss, but there’s a very real possibility of click fraud. This occurs when PPC advertisers barrage their competitors’ ads with fake clicks from different IP addresses,  racking up expensive bills from ghost traffic.

All in all, doing Pay-Per-Click Marketing for your business has its pros and cons although we’ve found that the pros heavily outweigh the cons. From living and breathing the industry, we have found that offering advice on both the good and bad points of PPC is vital before taking a PPC client on board

Contact WSI Eastbourne for more information.

View the article in the Eastbourne Herald