Among the many tools available to digital marketers is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. PPC advertising involves buying ads on different ad platforms and being charged only when those ads are clicked by visitors. Ads are displayed based on keywords and the monetary value placed on them by advertisers.
PPC ads can be an effective marketing tool when used properly. They can also be a waste of money. Whether or not they work for a particular organization depends on a variety of factors. If you have been considering investing in PPC ads for your organization, proceed with caution. Be sure to consider the following three things before you make a decision:
1. Your Overall Marketing Budget
PPC advertising’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. Of course, we are talking about PPC’s billing model. Advertisers are only charged when their ads are clicked. That way they aren’t spending money on ads that don’t get any attention. That’s the good news. The bad news is that an ad can get a lot of clicks but still not translate into higher sales.
All of this is to say that you need to be cognizant of your overall marketing budget. Are there other marketing strategies on which your money is better spent? Should you decide to delve into PPC advertising, how much can you afford to spend and what you are expecting in return? A good principle to adhere to is not placing all your advertising eggs into a single basket.
2. The Potential for Fraud
Because the PPC industry is built on a piecemeal approach to billing, it invites a certain amount of fraud. In other words, publishers always face the temptation of driving up clicks in order to increase revenues. This is known as click fraud.
Although many marketing teams and digital marketers fail to account for click fraud, it’s a very real thing. Deploying a click fraud detection platform like Fraud Blocker is a good first step in preventing click fraud, but advertisers need to take additional steps as well.
Here’s the point: desktop and mobile click fraud can consume your marketing budget without giving you anything in return. Failing to adhere to standard click fraud protection principles could mean wasting a ton of money. At the same time, it could prevent your company from investing in more productive marketing tools.
3. Your Overall SEO Performance
The majority of PPC ads are rooted in keywords. Half-a-dozen competitors in the same space could find themselves competing for the most expensive Google keywords for their ads. Their competition only drives bid prices higher. Consider this in light of your overall SEO performance.
If your company is currently struggling in the SEO department, chances are that you need help with basic tasks like keyword research and choosing the keywords most likely to rank well. The chances are also pretty good that your SEO struggles will carry over into your PPC ad campaigns.
A better course of action would be to shelve PPC advertising until you are achieving acceptable SEO results. Once your SEO efforts are up to par, you will be in a much better position to zero-in on those keywords capable of producing the best possible results in a PPC ad campaign.
No doubt PPC advertising works for many companies. It wouldn’t continue to exist as a marketing option otherwise. But there’s also little doubt that implementing a PPC strategy without thinking through the implications can be harmful. Like any other marketing tool, PPC has its strengths and weaknesses. It is important to consider every angle before diving in.