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    7 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2013 1:30 PM by Moderator Rebecca

    To PPC or Not to PPC that is the question

    Eric Wayfarer

      I wanted to post this for several weeks now but have been too busy.

       

      I believe every business is different and will have different results and my comments are not meant to dissuade anyone from PPC, but to merely pass along our experience.

       

      We spent thousands of dollars on PPC over the years on various campaigns, some that were easy to track while others not so easy.

       

      At various times, I have eliminated specific channels of ads to specific products/services and found no drop in sales.

       

      Click Here!

      I have worked with what started out as GoTo, then Overture and now Yahoo Search for nearly 5 or 6 years. At the end of 2006 our funds ran out and our overall sales for the first 2 1/4 months of this year are up by about 20%.

       

      I experimented with Google Adwords with one specific product over a period of 6 months. Our sales were enough to pay for the advertising but we never made a profit.

       

      Miva (formerly FindWhat) brought general traffic but was often plagued by fraud clicks but up until last Summer, their Miva's credit, they always credited our account back. Last summer we experienced about a 75% increase in clicks beginning in July. I investigated before filing a complaint and could clearly see a pattern of hours and keyword phrases that were being hit.

       

      I complained citing my investigation findings and after 1 week I was told they could not identify the clicks as fraudulent. Needless to say since their clicks were for general site traffic, when our funds ran out, I discontinued advertising with them.

       

      I do expect that we will experiment once again with PPC but do it with business targeted engines or sites like Business.com or BusinessWeek.com.

       

      We have never done any advertisements with MSN.com but have been considering it, however, I recently read some horror stories about peoples credit cards being hit by high click charges of $100 per click or more. They were quick to respond and correct it but I fear giving my Ccard info to a service that has those kind of problems.

       

      One other suggestion I will pass along that was provided in a paid subscription service we receive. If you are considering Google Adwords, be sure to opt out of having your ads displayed on "Content" sites. Apparently this is automatically checked and you have to physically uncheck it when you set up a campaign. You are discouraged from doing so (of course) but from the investigation conducted by the publishers of the service we subscribe to, the Content displays are where the vast majority of the click fraud occurs.

       

      Esirlov

        • Re: To PPC or Not to PPC that is the question
          amspcs Ranger

          Thank you Eric.  Your insights are very helpful and useful.  Here is my experience with PPC--please share if you agree or disagree as well as any other thoughts you may have:  I have experimented with lots of PPC engines, both Tier 1 (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo etc) and second tier (Adknowledge and others I don't even remember).  As far as I am concerned, the second tier providers are totally useless, not unlike bundling up your money and putting it out with the garbage.  Of the Tier 1 providers, Google is far and away the best in terms of effectiveness, but  unfortunately this is what makes them price prohibitive for all but the biggest PPC players.  The new Microsoft/Bing/Yahoo offering is not nearly as effective, but from a cost standpoint probably provides more bang for the buck for small advertisers.  I too share your misgivings about their payment and CC policies.  My final thought is:  I think click fraud is a major issue for all of them, including Google, although it is much much worse for the second tier ppc providers.

          • Re: To PPC or Not to PPC that is the question
            GMFS Adventurer

            I think people nowadays should go with bing ppc. You can save a whole lot of money going that route instead of using google ppc. As long as you do your keyword research and test your ads. That is the key. Reasearch and test test test.

            • Re: To PPC or Not to PPC that is the question
              NorthStar Wayfarer

              In Google, the rate is 40 to 1 for paid ads vs organic search results.  Meaning for  every one time some clicks an ad, 40 clicks are going to the number one organic results.  So, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key factor in nay business online today.

               

              People are becoming smarter and know that those sidebars are paid advertising.  We are bombarded with ads all the time and people are tired of it.  Concnetrate on SEO, get your keywords to rank better and your business will grom.

              • Re: To PPC or Not to PPC that is the question
                koln123 Tracker

                Potentially use PPC as needed while you push like heck to develop some organic traffic and other traditional forms of marketing.    Focusing too much on PPC will not be effective in my estimation.       For the PPC portion, consider targeting the least expensive keywords that may still give you enough traffic for your business.  If your business is small, you don't have to pay higher dollar amounts and compete with companies that annually invest considerable sums in advertising.    If a less competitive word costs 1/4 of what a more competitive word costs,  it may still bring in enough customers for your business.

                 

                For organic, target the same keywords.   You may get enough business for a keyword that 50 - 100 people per day search for.  So why do seo for a keyword term that 1000 people per day search for, when it will be much easier and faster to rank well  for the less competitive word that still delivers enough traffic for you?     You may target ads by state as well as an initial test on the ppc.  

                 

                Good Luck

                SBLD

                • Re: To PPC or Not to PPC that is the question
                  Moderator Rebecca Guide

                  Hi Eric,

                  Thanks for the great topic!  As you can see our members have had experience with both options, and each approach has their pros and cons depending upon numerous factors. Budget is going to be a primary concern for many small businesses with PPC, but also will give you immediate results with the customers who are truly interested in your product. The SEO approach will be far less costly, but may produce minimal results.

                   

                  Thanks to everyone for participating in this thread.  I know it will be useful to many of our new members currently starting up their own businesses and looking for maximum exposure.  Keep those responses coming!

                   

                  Best,

                  -Rebecca