PPC advertising used to be seen as a luxury tool in your marketing kit-bag. Many business owners relied on free traffic from organic and direct sources with the view that they were saving money. Fast forward to 2014 and PPC has become a marketing method that very few businesses can afford to ignore.
What Would Happen If Your Traffic Dropped by 50%?
If you receive the majority of your website traffic from organic sources you are in a very strong and very vulnerable position. The reason that it can leave you vulnerable is what would happen if your brand was hit by a Google penalty and you no longer ranked well for your key search terms? This has happened to many businesses including some high profile cases like Interflora. Losing your major traffic source would be disasterous for any brand so spreading your marketing activities across many areas including PPC advertising is seen as a wise move.
Paid Ads Domination
The search results page has slowly become more and more dominated by paid search adverts. Our screenshot below shows what results were displayed for the search term ’3D TV’. The page shows three PPC search ads at the top of the page and on the right hand side we were shown 8 Google Shopping (product listing ads) ads. There is only one organic listing showing above the fold. If you don’t have a presence for your key search terms you will be missing out on a large number of qualified leads and sales from potential customers.
Pay Per Click advertising allows you to track a series of KPI’s. Whether you are tracking brochure downloads, contact form submissions, video views or e-commerce sales PPC advertising allows you to track exactly what keyword and advert led to the sale. Googles AdWords platform can even show what time of the day produced the best conversions. With keyword data becoming less visible in Analytics, PPC advertising can reveal some invaluable insights into how your customers interact and transact on your website.
No More Waiting For Results
In a recent Google product launch they revelead that there are over 100 billion searches on Google each month and that includes all of your customers. SEO can deliver good results and should be part of your strategy but it can take a while to start seeing positive results and ROI. PPC advertising can be visible to your customers as soon as a campaign is activated. Once the keywords and adverts have been entered and approved, your adverts will be running and sending customers to your website.
If you aren’t bidding on your brand terms then your competitors will be. All they have to do is include your brand term as a keyword and there ads will show up every time one of your targeted customers searches for your brand. This is a perfectly legal tactic - the only thing your competitors cannot do is use wording in their ad copy that portrays that they are in anyway affiliated or linked to your business.
When customers see an advert with strong, persuasive ad copy they can very easily be swayed by this and be diverted away from your website and on to your customers. It is important, as a minimum, to have a brand terms PPC campaign running to stop this happening.