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Pay Per Click Advertising Is Not A Do-It-Yourself Process

March 04, 2013

In addition to our pay per click advertising business, our agency provides full service advertising and marketing communications programs to a wide range of clients, from large organizations of 10,000-plus employees to micro-businesses that function as a one-man-show. In the course of lots of meetings, we frequently discuss online marketing, and more often than not, the smaller organizations are attempting to handle their PPC management on their own. In other words, they don't use any sort of professional, pay per click services.

We'll ask the question, "Have you tried online advertising?" and they'll answer, "Yeah. We've used Google advertising, but it doesn't work for our business." Then we'll dive a bit deeper and ask something like, "What kind of budget did you have?" They might answer with something along the lines of "Oh, we spent a lot, like $125 every month!"

Ah ha! With an average cost per click of $1.00 (and that's low), a $125 budget translates into about 4 clicks a day. And given that most website visitors don't convert into customers, such a low budget would be a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes, they'll say something like, "We used to get great results from our Google ads, but not anymore." Well, that could be due to the fact that effective Google AdWords management requires daily monitoring and modifications; changes to bid strategy; addition of new keywords; and development of new text ads. The lesson here…you can't set up a campaign, hope for the best, and just walk away.

You see, while Google advertising, Yahoo advertising, Bing advertising, and Facebook all have relatively simple-to-use interfaces that allow advertisers to create their own search marketing campaigns, effective pay per click advertising requires thorough knowledge of the medium and relevant experience. Bottom line: pay per click advertising is not a do-it-yourself process.

In fact, just today I sat down with a friend and colleague who asked me to review his company's pay per click program. By way of background, he owns a small service business in the insurance sector. His customers are local, and they seek his type of service when they're facing very specific circumstances. In short, his business is an ideal candidate for a pay per click campaign. He knows it too. That's why he set up his own campaign when he sought to grow the business a few years ago. However, he ultimately gave up on PPC because he felt he was paying too much per click.

I took a close look at his campaign and immediately saw at least a dozen problems that were contributing to his poor results and higher-than necessary cost. For example, he had too few ad groups, too many keywords, and he was seeking to localize the results with geographic descriptors. (He could have simply relied on Google's geo-targeting tools that serve ads based on a user's IP address.)

Pay per click advertising can be one of the most powerful and most efficient marketing tools for small, medium, and large businesses. However, in order to make the most of pay per click, it makes good sense to engage the professional know-how of a PPC agency. For every dollar you spend on PPC services, you'll get more dollars back from new customers!