At 2 The Top Marketing we are primarily focused on lead generation through organic marketing and social portals. We use paid ad placement in search engines (known as Pay Per Click Advertising) as a means to polish a campaign rather than as a the bulk of the marketing push. There are Pros and Cons with Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing that enable it to work well in some instances yet make it a terrible advertising choice in other circumstances.
Simply put, PPC allows a business to immediately begin generating traffic to a web site which is the major bonus for pursuing this type of campaign. The main drawback of PPC is twofold. First, it can be very pricey. Secondly, it can be an immediate solution for traffic generation, but, unfortunetly it does not offer any longevity for future growth. The minute a PPC campaign is stopped or put on hold, site traffic also ceases. At 2 The Top Marketing we prefer to create marketing campaigns that establish a web site as the source of a sustainable and longer term influx of traffic. The goal is to create a continuous flow of traffic that can generate leads from many sources well beyond paid advertising.
Pay Per Click marketing and management is one small tool that we use in conjunction with many marketing techniques within a campaign. For any business, the goal is to gain a high Return On Investment. Let’s take a look at a few examples of when to use and when to avoid PPC advertising to promote your business online.
Our focus first and foremost is organic traffic driven through Google searches as this has the highest long term ROI for our clients. For most marketing campaigns, search engines drive the majority of traffic that converts at the highest rate. Each optimized page of a web site has the possibility to rank for select keywords or keyword phrases. Typically a web site is not large enough or have robust enough content to rank for all of the converting search phrases in a given marketplace. If this is the case, we would use a PPC campaign to reach several specific phrases that the client site is unable to reach through organic search engine ranking.
PPC costs can become very expensive and drain a marketing budget quite quickly. Businesses bid for high paid ranking… the business that can afford the highest bid per click gains the highest placement for a specific search phrase. Depending on the market, bids can easily rise to $3 or $6 per click. With several hundred clicks per day at these rates, advertising for a single word can rapidly deplete a marketing budget if not properly managed.
Paid ranking returns results that have nothing to do with the quality of the business, the price of a product or customer service. It doesn’t return the best results for a query… it returns the ad for the business that is willing to pay more than anyone else. Web users are smart and their current search behavior is based on past experiences and oftentimes poor results of clicking through to these Ads. The Ads at the top of the page rarely return the best product or solution to a web user and click through traffic percentages on Ads are now far lower than rates in organic listings.
The cost for pay per click management is typically a percentage of the monthly campaign budget. This is normally in the range of 15% to 20% depending on the market and campaign needs.
The more money the client spends on their paid marketing campaign the more money an agency makes.
Let’s look at a quick example of how this might work. A business in Dallas sells cars and hires an ad agency to manage a PPC campaign. The agency sets them up paying for the top words in their market.
Dallas Cars, Dallas Automobiles, Dallas Chevy, Dallas Truck, Texas Cars, etc, etc…
These are very expensive words to bid on because they generate a large amount of traffic. However, they do not generate a large amount of conversions. These are words web users are using because they are at the ‘search stage’ of finding the vehicle they want to buy. They are gathering information and are not yet at the ‘purchase stage’ of the process. Sustaining a campaign with high bid costs but low converting words is a poor investment.
With each additional word added to the keyword phrase the price per click drops and the conversion rate rises as it returns results closer to the purchasing point. The goal is to reach the customer when they are ready to purchase rather than paying for per clicks while they are in the search phase. A better phrases to market might be something like;
Dallas Chevy Impala LS 2015
That phrase is incredibly targeted and focused on reaching a user who has already decided which vehicle they want to purchase and that is looking to buy at that time. The cost per click to run a PPC campaign on this phrase is approx 80% less expensive than a shorter, more broad, phrase such as ‘Dallas Cars’ and the conversion rate is 80% higher. Uncovering targeted ‘buy’ phases is how PPC marketing can work well for a business.
The problem with how advertising agencies charge for PPC management is that by researching and advertising more targeted and higher converting phrases it lowers the cost the client spends on their PPC campaign… which reduces the amount of money the agency takes in. There is no incentive for an agency to spend more time researching the best converting words that are less expensive for the client. Typically expensive words are pushed and a campaign success is measured by traffic to the site rather than conversions. This allows agencies to return high traffic numbers to make the campaign appear as if it is working really well.
Rather than charging a percentage of the clients PPC campaign budget our cost for PPC management is a flat fee based on the number of key words. This allows us to find low priced and higher converting phrases to market reducing client campaign costs while at the same time, increasing ROI for a business. This method has proven to deliver results and allowed us to offer the best solution for success.