PPC Is A Valuable Business Tool
I talk to many business owners who have tried Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, which usually means Google Adwords, and many that haven't. Those that have almost always fall into the category of tried and got badly burned by runaway costs. Those that haven't fall largely into the category of put off by the negative experience of those that got burned.
To use PPC advertising and get value from it you must be clear about what you can realistically achieve. In other words have clear measurable objectives, based on some planning.
The following is a personal list of reasons to use PPC and for me this will always be Google Adwords as my first destination. The simple reason for this is scale and when positive outcomes happen with the Adwords campaigns I'm managing I know I can replicate the same on other PPC networks.
Reason 1 - Get Highly Targeted Traffic To Specific Web Site Pages
The harsh reality for every new web site is that it won't get visitors unless something is done to shout about it. There are many tactics that can be employed and PPC is high on my list every time. This is because the traffic you can gain from PPC is, or should be, directly relevant to the adverts your visitors have clicked on to get to your pages.
The important thing to keep in mind is that using PPC for this reason isn't intended to be long term. Other traffic building actions should be taking place at the same time that are designed to increasingly gain free visitors.
Reason 2 - Test To Validate Your Belief
It's a risky business building web pages in the expectation that visitors landing on them will do what you want them to do. PPC can save you time and money by enabling you to quickly test if your beliefs are well founded or not. True, you have to spend some money in order to ultimately save some money but if you do the planning before you do the doing you'll know in advance what you will need to spend.
I have seen countless business owners focusing on gaining traffic for specific search terms but those terms were the wrong terms. Convincing someone that they're aiming at the wrong target is never easy, unless you can quickly demonstrate that what they're aiming at is a waste of time. PPC gets this job done more speddily than anything else.
Reason 3 - Quantify Local Search Activity
Here's the scenario. Your customer base is local or regional. You see from doing some keyword research using Googles Keyword Planning Tool that there are thousands of searches every month for "widget suppliers" but very few for when you add a local or regional qualifier at the end of the search phrase. Based on your own knowledge and experience you feel strongly that there must be more local or regional searching going on, and you'd be right.
The limitation we face when doing keyword research is that local to Google, for example, will mean the UK. All the searching data for "widget suppliers" is held in a UK bucket. It's not possible to get a breakdown by location from Google's historical keyword data. This is where PPC comes in because you can apply geographical limits on where you want your ads to appear. As a result you can very quickly build up data about localised search activity.
Reason 4 - Make A Brand Even More Visible
You may have seen this scenario. You do a search and the top paid advert relates to the site already ranking top organically, so what's going on? It might be that the business owner has simply forgotten to disable the advert once the site has hit the top organic ranking. This is possible but the more likely reason is that the business owner, or whoever is looking after them, is using PPC to reinforce brand presence on the page. It may also be done to dilute the advertising of a competitor.
Whatever it is it's a legitimate and effective technique.
Reason 5 - Squeeze Extra Business
This reason can cover a number scenarios but the one I'm thinking most of is concerned with gaining a few more visitors than your organic listing is delivering. As a business owner you should know that being towards the bottom of page one is nowhere near as good as being at the top. If you are towards the bottom PPC can deliver some visitors you will struggle to get from your organic listing. At the same time you will be helping your organic ranking, as long as you're also aware of and doing the other actions that will help your page climb higher. If you're on page two or three I highly recommend you experiment with PPC to see what happens. You may well be pleasantly surprised.
More Reasons to Use PPC
The five reasons I've given are by means a full list. What I haven't listed is using PPC to drive an increase in sales. This can happen but you must do thorough planning before you begin campaigns that are just about helping your bottom line. This is the number one reason why many business owners have had a bad experience with PPC.
Always Begin With Qualified Expectations and Clear Objectives
Pay Per Click advertising can be a very effective way of relieving yourself of cash, quickly! It needs to be treated with respect. If you do it right you will find it's an invaluable business tool. Google, for example, provides all the tools you need to plan a campaign that will fit your budget. If you get an answer that you don't like move on until you do get an answer that works for you.