A Time And A Place For Pay-Per-Click Advertising
I got a call the other day from a prospective client who said he needed help with his internet marketing and one of the first things out of his mouth was "And I don't want to do pay-per-click, I've tried it before and it doesn't work". I said "no problem, I'm not a big fan of pay-per-click advertising either", which is true even though we have managed dozens PPC campaigns for clients over the last 4 years.
Pay-per-click or "PPC" advertising is an expense not a marketing investment. If you don't know already I am a huge believer in the principles of Inbound Marketing. That being said there is a time and a place for PPC advertising. The biggest factor when deciding to include PPC in your online marketing strategy is whether you can get a new lead for your target "cost-per-lead" amount.
Unfortunately, many small business owner don't have any idea about how much they can afford to spend to acquire a new lead or customer (but that's a topic for another blog post). Let's assume for argument's sake that you currently spend $75 to acquire a new customer. That means that if you spend less than $75 to acquire a new customer through PPC then it is worth it to spend the money with Google.
A Quick Guide To When Pay-Per-Click Makes Sense
- If you can get a new lead for less than your target CPA (cost-per-acquisition)
- If the keywords you want to rank for organically are very difficult and it will take you a very long time to rank for them
- As a supplement "branding" strategy to your organic strategy (the fact is that if people see your company more than once on the front page of Google they are more likely to click on your website)
- To get leads immediately while you are ramping up your inbound marketing efforts
- For short term product or service promotions that need immediate attention
Of course, there are many more conditions under which pay-per-click advertising makes economic sense but the underlying fact is that if you can afford to spend the money, and it costs you less than you would normally spend to get a new customer then why not do it. Do you not want new customers, do you not want to grow your business?
What If You Just Don't Have The Money For PPC
The answer to this question is simple, get started on inbound marketing. In fact, if you have any time or money to spend on marketing at all it should go towards creating an effective inbound marketing campaign. Not sure what inbound marketing is, then read this free ebook on Getting Found Online or this one on Creating A Free Inbound Marketing Plan. The fact is that PPC has its place in the online marketing world and it can be very effective and affordable if used correctly.