When it comes to PPC and digital advertising, it seems that every man and his dog has an opinion. People say that you shouldn’t do this and you shouldn’t do that.
However, when it comes to PPC, things are not so black and white as they seem. Moreover, most of the common PPC advice are just blanket statements that don’t consider context and your specific marketing situation.
In this article, we’re going to cut through the noise so that your next PPC campaign is more effective for you. Let’s take a look at 10 things everyone tells you about PPC - and why you shouldn’t listen:
1. Spend More, and You’ll Start to Rank Higher
This is super common advice that sounds like it should actually make sense.
After all, PPC is a digital marketing model where we pay a fee each time our ad is clicked in the SERPs. Ergo, the more we spend, the higher we’ll rank, right?
Not quite. While it’s true that the company with more cash can generate more leads, in theory, generating more leads has less to do with how much cash you’ve got. What matters most is how you organize your campaign.
I could have a fraction of the budget that a bigger company has but still generate more leads if I’m better at organizing my campaign.
2. No One Really Clicks on PPC Ads
Time and again, you’ll be told not to bother with PPC because “no one actually clicks on those ads anyway.”
This is a blanket statement that’s just not true.
In fact, WordStream published an article on this and found that 64.6% of clicks for commercial intent keywords were on PPC ads.
3. Always Aim for Position #1 - Anything Else Is a Failure
When it comes to PPC, marketers have become obsessed with the idea that only number one matters, and that anything else is a total failure.
No one is going to click on our ads if we’re in a slightly lower spot?
Again, this is just not true. PPC doesn’t work like organic search does, and you might even find that your click-through rate goes up if you’re number two or even number three.
4. Keywords Aren’t That Important
There are many variables involved when it comes to PPC, and while keywords might not always be the most important thing in your campaign, there will be times when they ARE the most important thing.
Put simply, you cannot overlook keyword optimization. It’s the search engine's job to match the right query with the best content, and while user intent is becoming ever more important on Google, keywords still matter.
Over on Bing, exact keywords matter.
Not just this, but you need to keep tweaking your keyword strategies, especially if you have a business where your products, services, or even the audience keeps changing.
5. Google Is the Only One You Need to Deal With
Google is obviously the top dog when it comes to search engines, but 30% of us use Bing, which means it cannot be discounted.
Moreover, each search engine uses different signals to match user queries with content. As mentioned, while Google is slowly moving away from exact keywords to user intent, Bing still relies on exact keywords. This means that your PPC strategy needs to be different on each search engine.
6. Once You’ve Set Up Your PPC Account, Sit Back and Relax
PPC is just like SEO in that it’s an ongoing process.
Customers are always coming up with new search terms to find you. As such, you need to be constantly monitoring your campaigns so that you stay one step ahead.
7. Click-Through Rates Are the Most Important Metric
Naturally, we all want high click-through rates (CTR). Otherwise, why are we even bothering here?
But click-through rate is nothing but a vanity metric if your conversion rates remain low.
Essentially, a low click-through rate is ok as long as your conversion rate is high. For this reason, your landing page needs to be properly optimized, and you need a solid CTR.
8. Don’t Bother If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
How many times is this one wheeled out?
They tell us that PPC is a costly business and that we’ll lose a lot of cash if we don’t know what we’re doing. Thus, we should stick to organic traffic.
However, help isn’t far away. If your business has never done PPC before, there are agencies that are ready to turbocharge your campaign for you.
9. PPC Ads Aren’t Specific Enough
The argument is that, because all you’re essentially doing is matching a keyword to a user’s search query, PPC ads don’t work. The prospect could be anywhere in their buying journey, and a PPC ad doesn’t take this into consideration.
For example, 95% of people who land on your page might be looking to compare prices at the moment, as opposed to making a purchase. As such, at least 95% of clicks probably won’t convert.
However, if you want to be more specific and drive more of the right traffic to your ads, all you need to do is carry out a bit more research into your audience so that you match the right content/ad with the right search query.
10. If PPC Doesn’t Work Straight Away, It Never Will
Marketers get disheartened and frustrated with PPC if it doesn’t bring great results right away. The idea is that, if we’re paying for it, it should be delivering instant results, right?
This just isn’t the case.
As mentioned, you need to be tracking and tweaking your efforts. PPC isn’t a one-hit wonder. It takes time, effort and patience.
All in all, it’s important that you look at PPC as a long-term strategy. Ignore the bad advice, stick with it, monitor your efforts, be patient, and you’ll be totally fine. Before long, those clicks and conversions will come rolling in
Andrew is the CEO of Next Level Web, a trusted marketing agency based in San Diego, California. He has three lovely daughters and the most patient wife of all time. They specialize in Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Advertising, and Email Marketing (The Agency - not the daughters...yet).