PPC is the foundation of performance marketing. Let’s break down its advantages and disadvantages to see if it’s the right fit for your business and audience.
Every coin has two sides, and we can’t argue any differently when it comes to digital marketing and its various techniques. No matter if you’re a fan of SEO, social media marketing, or PPC. Everything has its pros and cons with no universal winner for every type of business.
What is PPC?
PPC is a model of advertising where businesses pay each time someone clicks their ad. This means that if you’re running this type of ads, it doesn’t matter how high you rank or how many times your advertisement was seen – you pay only for clicks leading to your website.
When someone mentions pay-per-click, many people automatically imagine ads that are shown on the Google search results page. While there’s nothing wrong with it, bear in mind that Google Ads is not the only PPC platform there is.
In fact, PPC advertising is also a popular choice on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many others. What makes PPC being PPC is not about where are ads displayed, but how are you paying for them.
Advantages of PPC Advertising
Let’s take a look at the major advantages of PPC marketing.
1. Fast results
You can start getting traffic from PPC whenever you want. You don’t need to wait weeks, months, or years to see results. If you’re eager to have more traffic today, you can set up a PPC campaign and start immediately – or at least, once your ads will get approved (which usually takes hours).
2. Extremely targeted
Unlike any other type of advertising, you can set up your campaigns to target only the audience you’re looking for. There are plenty of targeting options to chose from on any PPC platform, like users’ interests, age, gender, or household income.
When it comes to PPC on search engines, you are also selecting keywords you wish to target, Those are queries that people type into the search engine to get relevant results, for example, “buy blue jogging pants”.
Keywords targeting is one the best performing type of advertising. Bidding on specific keywords means focusing on people who have a strong intent to buy what you’re selling.
3. Tracking the success
Since you can create various PPC campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords, you can also track the results of each of them. There’s no need for guessing what works and what doesn’t – you can see all your data in various dashboards to evaluate every piece of the puzzle.
You will not have to wonder where are those sales and leads coming from as everything could be effectively analyzed.
4. Easy to Optimize
As everything in your PPC can be easily analyzed and targeted, it’s only logical that the same goes for optimizing the performance. Once you gather enough data from your campaigns, you’ll get a much clearer picture of what is going on, and what needs to be fixed.
You can start removing badly performing ads, or perhaps just lowering their bid for a start. On the other hand, well-performing ads can get a little bit more room, raising their CPC. There are literally countless options how to optimize your account once the data kicks in.
5. No Upfront Expenses
You don’t have to invest time and money into building backlinks, tons of content, or perfecting your on-page SEO. With PPC, you pay as you go and you can decide to stop your campaigns anytime you see fit.
6. No Minimum Budget
Doesn’t matter if your budget is small, or you just want to try how PPC marketing works for your business. You can start with as low as $100 and target only the most relevant audiences to see benefits. Of course, the bigger budget is always better to cut time of discovering prosperous keywords or audiences,
7. Easy Setup
Creating your first campaign takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours – depending on your skills, platform, and complexity of your advertisement. This means that if you’ll decide to get some traffic for tomorrow, there are no barriers against that.
You can target visitors which previously came onto your website, and show them your ads. Not only that, but you can also create different segments from your audiences to target only users which made a certain action on your page within a specific period of time.
Disadvantages of PPC Advertising
As we’ve broken down the major advantages of PPC, it’s time to look at the other side and talk about the disadvantages.
1. Not an Investment Type of Marketing
PPC marketing will always require money to run campaigns. Unlike SEO or content creation, you can’t invest in a pay-per-click campaign and hope that visitors will be coming to your website for months or years for free. Every click is paid for immediately and your campaigns will stop running as soon as you stop spending money.
2. Plenty of Room For Mistakes
PPC Platforms like Google Ads are very complex these days. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you may waste plenty of money before you learn how to run your ads properly. However, hiring a PPC specialist will eliminate this risk, or at least reduce it.
3. Fierce Competition
With the increasing popularity of PPC grows the number of competitors fighting for best spots. If you take Google as an example, you can see that there are only four ad positions at the top, and that’s where you want to see your ads. Lower positions receive just a fraction of clicks, leading to a disappointing volume for your website.
If you want to be seen on the top, be prepared to fight hard for it, especially if your business is in a very competitive industry.
4. Clicks doesn’t equal leads or sales
You can bring plenty of visitors to your website through PPC, but what good does it do if most of them will bounce? Pay-per-click will not guarantee that your visitors will like your website, or that you gain any leads at all. You can, however, make sure that you did your best by optimizing your landing page and targeting options. That will increase your chance of scoring high-quality customers significantly.
What do you need to start with PPC?
I hope you have a better understanding of PPC’s advantages and disadvantages now. If you decide to give it a try, check what needs to be done first.
- Create a PPC account: Depends on your preferrences, this can be a Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other platform which you think is fit for your business.
- A good quality landing page: That’s where visitors first come in when they click your ad. Landing page has to be fast, relevant, and be able convert visitors into customers.
- PPC account manager: Depends on your skills, time and budget, this could be an ad agency, a freelancer, or yourself. If you decide to manage your PPC by yourself, expect to spend at least a few hours per month optimizing your campaigns (and a bit more in the beginning).
Pay-per-click is a performance-based marketing model. While it has some disadvantages against other types of advertising, its advantages can’t be overlooked. If you’ve never tried to run a PPC campaign for your business, I recommend you to at least try and see if there is a pontetial.