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    15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 24, 2012 4:05 PM by thirddd

    Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?

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      Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising campaign used to direct qualified leads to various websites, where advertisers will then pay those hosting the adverts (generally the owner of the website) when the ad is clicked. The top three largest network operators, all who operate under a bid-based model, are Microsoft adCenter, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google AdWords.

       

      PPC advertising has its pros and cons though. Only paying for the amount of clicks to their ads can minimize advertising costs which is a plus but the down side is that it is open to click fraud abuse, although Google and others have implemented automated systems to protect the system from abusive clicks by greedy website owners and/or competitors.

       

      There are two types of PPC campaigns which are bid-based and Flat-rate. Just like it sounds, the flat-rate model involves the advertiser and publisher agreeing on a fixed amount that will be charged/paid for each click. In the bid-based model, the system creates an auction arena every time the criteria is matched and whoever put in the highest amount they are willing to pay per click wins the opportunity for their ad to be shown.

       

      Steve Strauss created an article titled 8 Ways to Plan Your First Pay-Per-Click Campaign detailing how to start up your first PPC campaign. I would like to know, have you used PPC campaigns as a means to get your ads out on the web and if so, how much success did you have? Did you find it to be a worthwhile endeavour or a worthless waste of time? Sound off! I'd love to get this discussion rolling!

       

       

      ~Moni


        • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
          amspcs Ranger

          Is PPC worthwhile or worthless?  Interesting question.  Much like what I constantly preach about my own industry (payment processing) I would submit there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.  The correct answer for any individual merchant depends on the circumstances unique to that merchant.  Budget.  Location.  How competitive their niche is.  Etc.  My experiences and what I have learned are as follows:  I have tried PPC with some modest success, nothing earth shattering mind you, but in an ultra competitive field such as mine (try Googling 'merchant services' and you'll see several hundred thousand hits) it's one of the better ways to get  your word out IF (note all caps) it is done intelligently with a great deal of thought put into it. My best advise would be to seek out unique key words and phrases that do NOT rank at the high end of demand, but rather somewhere in the middle.  The most in  demand keywords will be prohibitively expensive, and the lower demand keywords will be useless.  A happy medium, very well thought out, I think is the key.  Secondly, stick exclusively with the top-tier PPC providers, of which Google is #1 by far (but a little pricey) and Microsoft/Yahoo/Bing a distant second.  Forget all about the 2nd tier PPC's of which there are lots of them, most of which in my experience are 100% useless and probably bordering on scams.    I might add that I am not entirely convinced that the 'big boys' (Google et al) are entirely foolproof themselves despite their claims of having safeguards against false clicks by competitors and bad guys.  I can only conclude that some things do slip do the cracks, and fake clicks are, to some extent, just part of the PPC territory.  I'd be very interested in the opinions and experiences of others in this regard.  Here's a good hint:  Find the phone numbers for Google, Microsoft etc, get a rep on the phone, and ask for a free introductory credit so you can 'test the waters' and see if you like it.  You'll probably end up with $50 to $100 in free PPC credit for the asking.  You WILL make mistakes initially, so why not suffer through the learning curve on their dime instead of yours.  Let me close by wishing a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to one and all.

          • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
            seoservicepro Ranger

            PPC is one tool in your Internet marketing toolbox. It has it's uses.

             

            1. If you launch a new website and organic seo hasn't gotten you ranked yet. PPC provides immediate traffic. It should be part of your marketing plan for a new online business unless you're willing to wait awhile on that organic traffic.

             

            2. It's also a branding tool. Many people simply calculate what they spent on PPC vs the sales they made to calculate ROI immediately. However, the benefit from getting your name in front of all those people isn't figured into that. The increased traffic to your website also can affect how well you rank, how many people decide to bookmark your site for later and how many people link to you from their blogs, websites and social networks.

             

            3. Also, in calculating ROI, you should consider your customer retention rate. In other words, let's say you spent $1000 on PPC last month and only made $500 in profits last month. A failure? It depends on how well you retain customers. If it brought you 2 or 3 repeat customers who buy from you several times over the next year or more or it brings you customers who sign up for your monthly service, how much were those customers worth to you?

             

            So, yes PPC is worthwhile for a lot of reasons.

            • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
              Darren Hughes Adventurer

              In my opinion, providing that (a) you have a product/service that consumers want, and (b) it is priced competitively, then Pay-Per Click or paid search is a great option. Yes, it has imperfections and it can be expensive, but in my experience (which is lots), those that do not do well with PPC do not have very good campaigns set up. There are a few key basic rules to folliw when running PPC campaigns, the most important being not to overbid for keywords. You need to know the value of a customer and your site conversion rate. By knowing these, you can easily calculate what you can afford to pay for each click. Of course you can get a little more granular and calculate this on a keyword-by-keyword basis, but it's not entirely neccessary.

              • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                Navigator

                I appreciate all of the discussion and great thoughts we have going on in here! Thanks to those who have posted and to those who haven't, what are you waiting for???

                 

                Come join the conversation!

                 

                ~Moni

                • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                  Sophia_Myles Tracker

                  Worthwhile or worthless? Towards this type of question, I think the answer will always be "it depends". Theoretically, it is fair to pay on clicks - one visitor, one payment - sounds nice, however, in reality, things are usually more complex. Despite all the click fraud abuse that many advertisers are suffering, one visitor is just not equal to one customer. People may simply mis-click on your ads, which brings income to the publishers, not to you. So in my opinion, to make sure you're paying for a return, you have to make sure that your ads is not only attractive but also targeted. Attach importance to your ROI and things will be worthwhile.

                  • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                    jeet Wayfarer

                    Let me tell you, If you do have very good ranking and 100k visitors then you should go for CPM ads. PPC ads are useful for those have new websites and very low visitors. CPM will give you much return for the Impresssion and CPC who ever click on your ads. People who visits everyday to your site would never click on your ads. So only new visitors do that. I think it will help you finding the answer.

                    • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                      Davidurmann Adventurer

                      If you costs from the campaign are less then your profits then yes its worth it. If they are equal or slightly higher you have to consider other factors like branding or what other value you are getting from the visit.

                      • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                        Nathan Adventurer

                        While PPC advertising and marketing could be an extremely efficient way to drive high quality traffic to your site, you may also waste a lot of funds if you’re not very careful in the method that you build and take care of your own campaigns. This is exactly where effective PPC management is necessary; it provides you with the tools to develop your campaigns in the right way, and lets you to continuously keep track of your promotions to make sure that you are getting the best click through percentages as well as conversion rates so that you are able to constantly make money while these kinds of campaigns are running.    But, to build up good quality pay per click campaigns, you must ensure that you are making use of the appropriate keywords. By choosing the wrong keywords, you will find that your own campaigns won’t be capable to work well, regardless of how much fine-tuning as well as testing you undertake over time.    Hence, your first step would be to do in-depth keyword research. The manner in which to achieve this is simply by seeking to learn precisely what goes on within the minds of your consumers and potential customers, after which to find keywords and phrases that will bring in prospects who are actually ready to purchase one of your own items. These types of keywords would offer the most effective results for your PPC advertising campaigns, and more importantly, you will find that by means of PPC management, you’ll also be able to improve their effectiveness through adjusting and also testing.  It does not imply that you need to only use keywords that entice prospective customers who are all set to purchase; using key phrases which bring in information hunters could also be beneficial, but then you must learn how you can market to these kinds of prospects on a regular basis until finally they’re all set to purchase. Hence, to obtain proper PPC management you need to have the right balance of “buying keywords” and also “information seeking keywords”. Actually, even if you begin to develop marketing campaigns for each one of these keywords and phrases, it is a great idea to split both of these types, as this will assist you to very easily understand what type of way of make use of for these keywords and phrases once you begin testing as well as fine-tuning.    The thing is, in terms of information seeking keywords, a considerable amount of your time and effort is going to be spent on making e-mail advertising campaigns which will constantly nurture these kinds of prospects until finally they are ready to purchase. It doesn’t imply that you must disregard the buying keywords and phrases when it comes to this type of marketing and advertising, however you will find that the most work is going to be spent on trying to convert information seekers into buyers.    Thus, by having these points under consideration, you’ll be able to get the best results from your own PPC marketing campaigns, because you have built these kinds of advertising campaigns over a solid foundation.    I am not brilliant or even pretend to be efficient in PPC but I will get there.  A long a you keep TESTING and improving, I think we will all get there!!  Happy New Year to all and let this be one to remember my friends!!

                        • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                          Clear Presence Media Scout

                          PPC is without a doubt my favorite marketing method. As with most things, the top 5% of performers absolutely dominate this field. 95% of PPC spenders will throw money down the toliet (though it will probably still be profitable). Even though they are running bad campaigns, they will still have a lower cost per lead than most other advertising channels they could go through. In my experience, the lead acquisition cost in PPC is about 10x lower than Print advertising.

                           

                          Now, if you get the right guy working on your campaign, it will become a gold mine. The PPC managers who really know what theyre doing can turn Adwords and FB ads into the driving force of your business. But again, this requires constant analysis and optimization of your campaign by a seasoned professional.

                           

                          Hope this helps!

                           

                          Clear Presence Media - Online Marketing Management & Consulting

                          • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                            seoservicepro Ranger

                            We find it better to teach clients how to run their PPC campaign themselves if they have a small tom medium size business. A large corporation with a big budget can afford an in-house staff member doing it or outsourcing to a PPC manangement company. A small-medium size business doesn't have a large enough budget to make a profit from PPC when you factor in the cost of paying them into the mix as well.

                             

                            So we teach a man to fish rather than give them one.

                              • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                                Clear Presence Media Scout

                                We find that trying to do this is bad for the overall ROI of the business, due to the time and work taken away from normal operations for PPC training. We do some consulting and teaching, but not much. If we show a company that our services will pay for themselves, they usually dont care about learning it. They want more time to focus on their business as a whole, not PPC campaigns. That is the point of outsourcing, afterall.

                                 

                                 

                                Hope this helps!

                              • Re: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns: Worthwhile or Worthless?
                                thirddd Scout

                                PPC campaigns are great if you need to drive short-term traffic to your website. Almost any business can benefit from PPC search campaigns if they use them effectively. PPC campaigns are ideal for businesses who don't have a lot of working capital because the businesses only have to pay when their advertisement is clicked by a search engine user, as opposed to traditional advertising where you pay for a set amount of impressions. Paying only for qualified leads minimizes the amount of risk a company takes on by increasing the chances of making a sale through their advertising campaign because their ads ultimately only attract people who are interested in what was said in your advertisement.

                                 

                                On the other hand, PPC is not the ideal candidate to be the primary component of your long-term search engine marketing campaign. Although PPC should never be completely overlooked, there are other methods of Internet marketing that produce far better results at a fraction of the cost. When going long-term with your Internet marketing campaign you want to invest a good amount of your marketing budget into SEO for the keywords you're currently using in the PPC campaign and attempt to climb the organic search listings. Ranking organically in any of the top 3 spots on the search engine results page for your targeted keywords almost always outperforms a PPC campaign that uses similar keywords. The first organic search positions on search engines like Google usually receive around 45-50% of all the traffic for any given keyword, and it's completely free (if you managed to do the SEO yourself). If you hired an SEO agency to help you rank organically it's only a matter of time before your investment is paid off by the additional profit generated from your organic search listings.

                                 

                                To sum it all up, I'd say go for PPC if you're looking at a short-term marketing strategy. If you're going long-term, organic SEO is the way to go.

                                 

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