A lot of opinions get expressed about the value of PPC and whether it’s a good investment for your business. When an online marketing expert like Neil Patel asks “Is Paid Search Ineffective for Online Marketing?” in his recent Entrepreneur article, I know that his opinion is worth listening to. He looks at both sides of the question, and like he says, “This article could go viral if I started off with a “HECK, YES!” and launched into a diatribe against pay-per-click (PPC) and its attendant evils. But I’d rather give value than go viral.”
I appreciate that. The whole problem with making blanket statements about something that takes specific, customized tactics is that the blanket doesn’t cover all the issues. Here’s a very quick look at what Neil Patel has to say about PPC:
3 Good Things About Paid Search
- Paid search lets you target ads to specific searchers.
- Paid search is metric-driven and measurable.
- Paid search gives new or small companies immediate brand exposure.
3 Not-As-Good Things About Paid Search
- PPC costs more than organic search (SEO), but it’s hard to compare ROI when you can’t measure them the same way.
- eBay did a study showing improvement in click-throughs when PPC was gone, but Google did a study that showed no difference.
- People clicking on ads to get information don’t follow through with purchase.
3 Things To Improve Your Paid Search
- Stop bidding on your own unique branded keywords if your brand name has no PPC competition.
- Bid on competitors’ branded keywords very carefully (Read Neil Patel’s advice).
- Emphasize quality content because that’s what people are really looking for.
One of the things I appreciate about PPC is that it takes skill to use it effectively. It’s an art, and there’s always going to be ways to improve that art because conditions change. Marketing is exciting because it is dealing with people, and that makes the unexpected a possibility with every campaign.