PPC advertising is a technique that a lot of marketers play around with, then quickly decide it doesn’t work for them and give up. Or you may be keen to build up your organic rankings and assume that PPC has no place in your marketing strategy. But there are a lot of situations when a PPC strategy can make perfect sense. Whether it’s Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, or any other pay-per-click platform, there are certain situations when you should definitely give it a try.
We’ve carried out plenty of campaigns for our clients over the years, which are often very large campaigns with hundreds or thousands of keywords. But smaller PPC campaigns can be just as rewarding. If you are still wondering when to use PPC, here are some of the situations when paying for clicks can be a very good idea.
When You Want to See Immediate Results
SEO is one of the best strategies for directing targeted traffic to your site on a regular basis. But it takes time before you see genuine results. Sometimes a lot of time.
You might not have time to create the content in the first place and then promote it by reaching out to bloggers and influencers. You might not want to wait months for your pages to start ranking. Alternatively, you might be happy to do all the work to rank your web pages, but you might want to focus on something that generates faster results at the same time.
With PPC, you can get on the first page of the search results almost immediately. Or you can start getting clicks on your Facebook ads and directing targeted traffic to your site in a matter of hours. That’s a big deal, and it makes perfect sense when you need to get traffic fast.
Perhaps you’ve launched a new website that you know will take a while before it starts ranking naturally. Or you’re launching a new product and you want to get the word out. You might have a special offer that only lasts a few days, or you might be promoting an event in a couple of weeks. Whenever you want to promote anything that is time-sensitive, PPC is worth considering.
When You Want Targeted Traffic
If you want to direct highly targeted traffic to a product page or landing page, PPC is one of the easiest ways to do this. Most PPC platforms provide a level of targeting that can ensure you only pay for clicks from the people you are trying to attract.
For example, with AdWords you can target web users in a specific location or just those using mobile devices.
On Facebook, targeting is even more refined, with the ability to target people based on specific demographics, hobbies and interests, and even life events like getting married. This can be exactly what you need for you campaign if you want to ensure only very specific people visit your website.
When You Want to Test
PPC advertising is ideal when it comes to testing out new ideas and optimizing conversions. Let’s say you have set up a new landing page to test for conversions. The fastest way to get test it is through using paid traffic. By sending targeted leads to your landing page, you can generate feedback over a period of days or weeks and then A/B test your page to optimize it, all without having to wait around for traffic.
PPC can play a large role in conversion rate optimization, whether you are directing people to your store to make direct sales or signing people up to your list. We’ve written about the various elements of successful landing pages. But you need traffic to gather data, and PPC is one of the best ways to get the traffic you need.
When Your Competitors Are Using PPC
Even if you’re getting some good rankings in the search engines, your competitors might be sneaking traffic away by using ads. After Google shook up the way its AdWords ads are displayed, the above-the-fold area is now taken up almost entirely by promoted links, and many searchers will click on these. As a result, your competitors could be generating a lot of traffic from the search engines even if they have no SEO strategy—traffic that you could be enjoying.
If you are not ranking organically and your competitors are running PPC ads, they could be taking all the targeted traffic for themselves. Don’t give them an easy ride. Invest in your own PPC campaign, and make sure you have a presence in the SERPs.
When You Have Money to Spend
PPC costs money. Sometimes it can cost a lot. The aim of any good PPC strategy is to increase your ROI and reduce costs, but you will still need to invest in your success. As such, you can’t expect to get too far without a healthy marketing budget.
If you are already stretched, there’s a limit to what you can achieve with PPC. And while certain platforms may be cheaper than others, you still need money to get started and to keep going. That being said, you can control your budget, and you don’t always need a huge amount to start getting results. You can set a daily budget that you can afford, but just be aware that setting your budget too low can impact your success.
It also depends on your industry. What’s the average CPC for the keywords you want to target? Some can be very high, perhaps over $20 or more. Research the costs involved to get a better idea of what you will need to spend and whether you can afford it. But if you have the budget, the results can pay off.
When You Want to Know How Much Impact Your Marketing Bucks Are Having
PPC offers control over your budget. One of the problems with marketing the old-fashioned way was not knowing exactly how much effect your marketing bucks are having, but that has changed. With PPC, you can track everything so you know exactly what is working and what isn’t.
You know how much every single lead is costing you, and you can improve your results and get rid of the ads that aren’t working. If you know you have $500 a month to invest in PPC, you can see exactly what that does for you in terms of traffic, leads, and sales, so it’s easy to make decisions on whether to carry on with it. So when you want to know exactly how much you are paying for each sale or lead, PPC is a great option.
Try It and See
At the end of the day, you’ve got nothing to lose by starting up a PPC strategy for your business. You will quickly work out whether it makes you any money, and this is the number one factor to keep in mind: If it makes you money, it’s worth doing.
That being said, don’t just run a few ads and stop. Instead, plan your strategy, set it up, and test the results to find out what is working. Keep it going for a while, try new things, and work out what you need to do to improve your results.
PPC can work for many businesses. Even if you’re doing well with other marketing methods, and even if you’re ranking organically for important keywords, if you can still make money from PPC, you should be using it.
The only way to find out whether PPC is a good option for your business is to try it out. So try it for a few months, test, optimize your ads, and work out your ROI. This is the only way to decide whether it’s worth it or not.