I have been having a bit of an internal debate as of late about Pay Per Click Campaigns. I know that there are people who make millions of dollars every year off pay per click campaigns, and yet for small business owners I have never felt it could be as effective as social networking or search engine optimization. However, recent events have me changing my tune of pay per click campaigns (PPC).
So, I want to bring my internal debate about pay per click campaigns to a logical forum here in my blog. I would definitely appreciate your viewpoints on this one, since I have been looking at the issue from so many different ways that an outsider’s voice would be nice. Here is my Lincoln breakdown of the pros and cons.
Pay Per Click Campaigns Pros
- I have noticed lately that Facebook Ads are a great way to drive fan traffic. Instead of driving people to a product, you can advertise your fan page to the people who are most interested in your product. Imagine if you have a new fan page that you are looking to get off the ground, and use as a base for your business. Instead of having to build the fan page by relying on current friends to spread the word and other guerrilla marketing methods, you can use Facebook ads to target specific groups who would purchase your products/services.
- Some of the second tier pay per click platforms are a great way to find cheap advertising. PPC platforms such as Admob, 7Search, Bing, Pandora, and Ask.com. Generally the clicks are more affordable on these networks. They can provide some great traction for your site at very affordable costs.
- When you go with Google make sure that you are prepared to put some major coin into a campaign. Do your keyword testing on other sites, such as 7Search, and then go full out on Google. Otherwise, you could receive a Google Slap in the form of thousands of dollars of advertising expenses that get you nowhere. Make sure that you set a budget with Google ahead of time. When you take these steps you can have a successful campaign.
- The tracking on pay per click campaigns is amazing. You know which keywords bring you traffic, what the conversion ratio is, and where you rank on average with other advertisers for various keywords.
Pay Per Click Campaigns Cons
- Pay per click campaigns can get very expensive if you do not watch your budget. I once had a Facebook ad campaign that I did not know was on a recurring budget. When I checked my bank statement at the end of the month, I had spent close to $1000. My mouth dropped, and I swore off Facebook for the next 6 months. I know of friends who have done things similar to this, and lost thousands of dollars. Be careful with your pay per click campaigns budget.
- That leads into the next challenge I have had with pay per click campaigns. They are sometimes not cost effective. Now, I admit that in the past I did not always know what I was doing, but I have found that aside from the Facebook fan page and a few affiliate products, I have not had very profitable pay per click campaigns. It sometimes feels like throwing away money.
- Another reason I have always sided with social networking and search engine optimization versus PPC is that there is a flood of quick traffic, and if you do not capitalize on it with a good email marketing list or a few quick buys then you are finished. I have search traffic right now that is boosting my site, because of articles that I wrote last summer. I had to check the article to remember what I wrote, but here is Google providing a huge influx of traffic from these articles. People are coming onto my fan page or joining my email list, because of something I wrote last year.
- This is a personal issue, but I have always prided myself on organically growing my blog traffic, fan page, and twitter accounts without just forking over a few bucks to get it done by someone else. I am not opposed to work smarter, but I feel that I will lose a little bit of what I have worked on in the past.
These are my pros and cons of pay per click campaigns. As you can see there is value in PPC, but the question is how much? Also, is it more worthwhile to stick with social networking and search engine optimization? Maybe a combination of both? This is where I would invite you to put your two cents in, so we can tackle pay per click campaigns together.
Looks like you’ve experienced PPC quite a bit. I personally focus on organic SEO strategies, haven’t jumped into PPC yet (although I might do it at some point). Facebook PPC looks indeed a great way to target specific markets, they’re really taking over from Google little by little.
Overall, I tend to believe that it’s hard for a beginner to jump into PPC and not lose money. The things they have to learn first are keyword research, finding niches, getting some cheap traffic and only then they might acquire the experience required to become extremely profitable from PPC.
Great article, thanks
I never use PPC. I also use SEO strategy for the long term. Thanks for the info, maybe I’ll use PPC, but for now I need to learn more things about this.
After concentrating on SEO for 2.5 years and obtaining top 3 positions for various terms I have now returned to google adwords to test my next batch of key terms. Organic is a long term task and I find the quick testing of adwords useful.
That is definitely a good point. I had never considered using adwords in that manner. Then if the adword pays off, you can go back to the SEO for the keyword, correct?
well yes in theory
– but you know I find key words and SEO in my industry questionable – after all the hard work of acheiving top 1,2 and 3 positions for medium competative terms my best converting terms are my brand – and those brand searchs follow print editorial –
i strongly believe branding and cross marketing channels (print,tv etc) must not be ignored – social networking is only one small part of the mix-
Social networking is definitely only part of the mix. However, it is a growing part of the mix as more people use social networks as a source for answering their questions. Plus, my belief is that every search I show up in is another chance for someone to say there is that “Andy Nathan” or “Smart At The Start” again. Wow! He is everywhere. Maybe I should check out more of what he is doing.