Whenever a business evaluates a new tactic to add to their digital marketing arsenal, there are canon questions that always flood the mind: what is it, how does it work, and, of course, what are the pros and cons?
These investigative questions allow a business to determine which strategies provide the right fit, and at the right time.
This discussion will explore many of the biggest pros and cons associated with pay per click advertising. Our hope is that the information included below will help you better understand PPC and determine if it is a good fit for your business.
Pro: PPC Can Create Immediate Results
Time is everything in today’s hyper-fast business world. Ironically, a lot of digital marketing strategies don’t produce quick results.
For example, if you want to start climbing the SERPs, be prepared to strap in for a few months on the search engine optimization grind before you start seeing tangible results.
Pay per click advertising, however, can start returning results as soon as your campaign goes live!
Con: Clicks And Conversions Are Not A Guarantee
While PPC does have the power to produce instantaneous turnarounds, not all advertisers will be able to unlock every potential advantage right out of the gate.
For PPC beginners, it may take some time to learn the best practices that are necessary for your campaigns to start yielding the right clicks and conversions to reach your advertising goals.
The good news is that, at the very least, you’ll be getting your brand in front of potential leads, even if your ads don’t result in clicks.
Pro: Flexible Spending
Some businesses steer away from PPC advertising because the idea of paid ads scares them. They don’t want to burn their marketing budget with a strategy that they are unfamiliar with and is potentially expensive.
The reality is that PPC advertising is not expensive. In fact, costs are completely controlled and flexible. As an advertiser, you have the power to set the maximum amount that you’re willing to pay for a single click.
You can also set a daily budget, which ensures that you aren’t spending beyond your means with PPC.
Con: It Is A Paid Strategy
While the flexible costs are nice, PPC is still a paid strategy at the end of the day.
If you have a very tight budget, opening up the wallet to buy clicks may not be in the cards, especially if your campaigns are not able to convert those clicks into revenue. A lot of new advertisers burn their ad budgets quickly as they try to understand the pay per click market.
Thus, you may opt for “safer” strategies that require only time and effort to be successful at, such as social media marketing, PR, blogging, etc.
Your business will change. Hopefully, this is a positive change, but negative changes can also occur. It’s important to focus on strategies that scale with your business and its most current needs.
You don’t want to be locked into a strategy that becomes too small or large for your needs, especially in terms of costs. This is particularly important for startups that are bound to grow erratically and need to make smart decisions about spending money.
Pay per click advertising is a very scalable strategy. As your business grows, you can add more campaigns, bid more aggressively and explore different ad groups. If your business shrinks, you can quickly reduce spending to a safer and more appropriate level.
Con: PPC Is Always Changing
Any PPC expert will quickly tell you that the toughest challenge is the dynamic environment of the advertising market. There are so many moving parts involved in search and social media advertising and they all have an impact on your campaigns.
For new PPC professionals, tracking all of these influences and understanding how they are changing your campaigns is a true obstacle that requires constant vigilance.
Your competitors are constantly switching their tactics, search users change their behaviors, and PPC channels develop new technologies and policies that cause big shifts in ad performance.
Pros: Easy-To-Measure ROI
No matter what PPC network or platform you choose to host your campaigns on, there is ample data supplied to help you measure the overall health and viability of your PPC strategies.
Many of these metrics help PPC advertisers keep a very close eye on ROI. You always know what you’re spending, what the result of that spend is and how much money is being wasted and/or gained.
Other strategies require digital marketers to jump through a number of hoops to accurately see what the returns are, but not PPC.
Con: Sharp Learning Curve And A Ton Of Work!
There’s a lot of tools and resources available to new PPC users, which can help soften the learning process quite a bit. Plus, Google Ads has introduced Smart Bidding and other automated tools that help any advertiser work smarter.
That said, it is important to avoid the common pitfall that many new advertisers make by assuming that PPC is easy. It’s not. There are a number of steps in the process, from planning to execution and finally management. It isn’t just a simple matter of selecting some relevant keywords, making an ad and then sitting back.
Bottom line: PPC is hard work. Successful PPC campaigns are the result of tireless tweaking and adjustments. It is a strategy that requires a lot of effort and learning.
Pros: Powerful Benefits
We’ll end on a high note. Yes, PPC is an incredibly competitive strategy that requires a lot of time, creativity, expertise and a whole lot more. But, successful campaigns can produce tremendous results.
Any business benefits from producing more website traffic. Search engines are quickly becoming the primary, go-to way that consumers shop and find new brands and solutions. Traffic from PPC ads is extra valuable because it produces qualified visitors that are expecting to convert right away.
You can’t beat that.
PPC is a valuable strategy that many businesses benefit from, but it isn’t for everyone. We hope our breakdown of the pros and cons of pay per click advertising help your company decide if it will provide the right fit for you.