Let’s face it. When it comes to SEO and digital marketing there is a lot of competition out there for most businesses. The ultimate goal is to get your website to appear at the top of the search engines. For most websites, this is not an easy task. There are a lot of factors involved in the process of achieving search engine domination. However, there is another alternative to organic search results that is pretty popular. PPC, or pay per click. There are a lot of businesses out there that rely on it to get traffic, but is it necessary…or even worth it? In this article, we will highlight some of the major advantages and disadvantages of initiating a pay per click campaign.
How PPC Works
Although Google Ads is the most popular pay per click program, Amazon, Bing, and many other popular websites offer the same type of campaigns. The way it works is that you sign up with the ad program and plan out a campaign that fits a budget that you specify. Google will set a monthly cap. For instance, if you choose not to go over $1,000 in a month they will only allow your ad to show based on your budget and your goals. Your ad will show up at the top of the search results and when somebody clicks on it, you pay. The cost per click depends on how you set up your campaign. Your ad will show up in target areas during certain times of the day. The cost of a click can be anywhere between $1.00 and $50.00. The average cost per click these days is between $1 and $2.
Advantages of PPC
The first advantage is, obviously;
Your site will be at the top of the search results.
Generally, in the search results, the paid ads are on top, front, and center. Just below them, are the local businesses that are listed and claimed in the search engine’s business listings. Below the business listings are the organic search results. In a PPC environment, your ad will share space with other businesses that have the same keywords in the same areas. Many of the pay per click ads show up on the top of the page, and down on the bottom of the page. It doesn’t matter how well your site is structured, or how many backlinks you have it will instantly show up in the results for the keywords that you specify in the campaign.
Customized Ads and Keywords
When you run a pay per click ad campaign you get to choose your own keywords and have the ability to customize all of your ads. This means that you have control of what keywords your ad will show up for, and have it say exactly what you want it to say. This can be a huge advantage because it gives you the freedom to hire an expert to word your ads in a way that gets the attention of the customer and ultimately leads to a solid conversion. It also gives you that same freedom to not hire anybody, and use your own words.
Specific Campaign Tracking
Another advantage of using pay per click ads is that you have a clear vision of how your campaign is doing. You can see where your ad is appearing, how many people are clicking on it, what keywords they are using when they find you, and how much money you are making because of the ads. There are tons of tracking tools and data reading options in your PPC dashboard that help to provide a specific diagram of what is happening in each view of your ad.
Disadvantages of PPC
The biggest disadvantage of pay per clicks is that you can’t control who clicks your ad.
Ads cost lots of money.
If you budget $1,000 per month to spend on your ads, and each click costs you between $1 and $2 that thousand dollars can burn up very quickly. Anybody can click on your ad and cost you money, including your competition. A random person looking for your services can go back and forth between you and another website while only using your pay per click ad to revisit you. Sometimes people just click the ads just to click them. Sometimes bots visit the ads and you have to pay for a bogus visit that wasn’t even a human. It could end up costing you thousands of dollars to make a couple of thousand dollars. In other words, you could potentially spend more money on ads than you make altogether.
Many People Don’t Like Paid Ads
Although your ad may reach the very tops of the search engine, there are a lot of people out there that know that they are paid ads and would rather go with a website that they feel they can trust. As mentioned earlier, the organic search results come in just under the business listings. Only websites that have been around for a while and have established a bit of web presence show up there. This makes it seem like the businesses there are more trustworthy. It all depends on the eye of the beholder. In any case, many people see a paid ad and avoid it like the plague.
You Have to Pay to Show Up
Another disadvantage of using a pay per click campaign is that the only way you show up in the search engines is if you pay. Yes, when you pay you get results. The results are exceptional because you are up above everybody else and in plain view. However, if you don’t pay, you don’t exist. Unless your website already has some great search engine optimization tactics in place. If you already show up organically for your keywords, you will already be visible, but if you rely completely on ads, you will not be seen.
Pay per click ads can have an amazing return if you have the money to shell out in the first place. There is no guarantee that the ads you place will have any kind of return on your investment. It is possible that any PPC endeavor could go either way. You could win big, or lose miserably. If you are looking for real results that get you in the search engines and keep you there engage with Spartan Websites to see how we can get you right where you want to be.