One of the more common and powerful tools marketing experts use to market businesses online is a paid search campaign. While the potential to drastically increase profits is there, it’s also possible to lose a lot of money. Once a business owner decides they want to get deeper into digital marketing, a common question is: should you bring your Paid Search in-house? To make this important decision, it’s important for website owners to know what PPC is, and how easy it is to lose money when using one of these types of tools. Learn more about additional ways to eliminate wasted spend and save money on your PPC Campaigns below.
What Is Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing?
PPC marketing is a focused type of advertising that is found on Google or Bing search results. It gets its name from the fact that the client only pays when someone clicks on their ad. Some common terms used when speaking about PPC include:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
- Impressions (How many times your text ads were served)
- Conversion Rate (How many people perform the desired action)
Clients bid on certain keywords used in a PPC ad to get higher placement on the search engine results pages. The client who pays the most for their ad placement will have their text ad appear closest to the top of the results pages. The other clients will have their ads placed based on where they finished in the bidding. This process can be confusing to clients, and that confusion is just one of the reasons why so many new advertisers see negative financial results with their first PPC programs.
Not Understanding The Process
One of the most common ways clients lose revenue with pay per click advertising is they simply do not understand how the process works. A client who needs their advertising to have a strong showing on results pages may not understand that:
- They are bidding against other vendors
- Their position on results pages depends on the rank of their bid
Some new clients tend to bid way too much and significantly lower their return on investment.
Not Having A Plan
A well-planned PPC advertising campaign has defined goals that the client wants to reach and certain types of data that are needed for analysis. Before you start bidding on keywords, you need to lay out your plan and determine exactly what it is you want to accomplish.
What is the overall goal of your campaign? Is it to test keywords in new markets, or gauge interest in your new product? You must define your goals and then create a set of metrics you can use to compare to the results that you get. If you have no plan when you start your campaign, then you will not maximize your results.
Not Using The Right Platform
The most common platform used for PPC programs is Google AdWords. Companies from all over the world spend a lot of money each year on AdWords to make sure that their text ads get seen by as many people as possible. As powerful as AdWords is, it is not the only paid search platform available. There are many paid search services companies out there who offer benefits beyond what AdWords can offer. Other platforms:
- Offer specific analytical services that Google does not
- Reach niche markets that your company is trying to sell to more effectively
They may confuse terminology or group things that aren’t actually PPC. Below are some digital marketing platforms that are commonly confused for PPC:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Sponsored Listings
- Cost Per Impression (CPI)
- Paid For Placement
None of the above have to do with PPC. In order to maximize your campaigns results, you need to be sure that PPC is the right PAID search platform for your desired outcome.
Bidding On Common Keywords
A professional marketing agency is going to recommend that you avoid bidding on the most common industry keywords (or at least spending majority of your budget on them) for several reasons.
- Excessive Cost – The more popular keywords are dominated by the larger corporations and the bidding for placement on these words can be astronomical.
- Saturated Market – Many clients and agencies see value in investing something in major keywords which is why most of those keywords are very saturated.
- Lack of Results – While shoemakers would love to see their ads pop up with keywords such as “shoes” and “boots,” the truth is that there are so many bids in for those words that getting real results for small businesses is almost impossible.
Hiring Junior Level or Novice Freelancers
It’s a common assumption that hiring in-house will get you more for your money – more hours, more work, cheaper price – but what many fail to realize is you may also get more headaches. Hiring in-house can actually be a bad idea if you are hiring at the junior or mid-level, and cost you more money in the long run – wasted ad spend, not capitalizing on opportunities and novice mistakes that add up over the lifetime of a campaign. Agency experts are going to know how to use the latest tools to get the types of results you need as it’s all they do all day, every day.
To maximize the potential of PPC marketing, you should seriously consider hiring a professional marketing agency. With the help of experienced professionals, your company will start seeing more web traffic and has the potential to make you the most money, and may be able to alleviate a lot of the errors and headaches mentioned above.