Why should you run a PPC campaign? close

Lauren Macnab
Lauren Macnab
In Musings
17th March 2010
Why should you run a PPC campaign?

After all, no one ever clicks on the sponsored links.

... Actually, they do
Granted, not as many people click on the sponsored links as the natural listings in the search engine result pages (at last count the split was roughly 70 / 30) but those that do click through are already qualified traffic by their very nature. This makes PPC one of the most cost effective marketing channels out there. And anyway, 30% of several hundred million searches every day sounds ok to me.

SEO is a long process
SEO is essential to the success of your website, and your business in general, but it is a long and complicated process. Getting ranked in the natural listings for key terms can take months. And what if you’re working with an old website that isn’t as search engine friendly as you would like? You can add all the meta keywords you like but if your site isn’t optimised, your natural ranks are destined to remain low. This is where PPC comes into its own. It is instant, if you set up your campaign in the morning you will be appearing on your chosen keywords by the afternoon. You can also change your ad messaging and your position in the result pages whenever you like.

Scared of commitment?
Starting any marketing activity for the first time is fraught with potential pitfalls that end up costing you time and money, and these are two things most people don’t want to part with without a good reason. PPC is something which you control, down to the penny. You choose how much you spend, when you want your ads to be seen, where you want your ads to be seen and even what you want your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) to be. In this sense PPC leaves you in complete control and being able to stop and start the campaign at the flick of a switch (sort of) means that there is no long term commitment.

PR opportunities money can’t buy
PPC works best when it is used strategically. If you get some PR, either expected or unexpected, PPC should be used to guide people through to your site when they are looking for it. You can also use your competitors fortune and misfortune to your benefit. For example, when XL went bust in late 2008, the search engine result pages erupted with competitors offering unfortunate XL customers cheap replacement flights. This was great for advertisers in terms of driving profit but most importantly it gave them an opportunity to come to the aid of potential customers. Great PR that the constraints of traditional advertising cannot facilitate. 

Make your customers work for you
You should treat your PPC audience as a live focus group. Test out different messages in your copy, trial new keywords change your landing pages. If tracked and analysed correctly you end up with invaluable data about what your audience responds to best and you get the data in real time. So if you’re considering a new advertising campaign, test out your copy in your PPC ads first to see what works.