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Is PPC Marketing A Bad Idea?
PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing is a commercialized version of reciprocal linking.
Two sides basically expect to get something out of doing it. Search engine providers offer the service to advertisers in exchange for money. Search engines naturally love PPC marketing because it is a huge source of revenue for them. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo make tens of billions (yes billions) of dollars each year from offering PPC marketing services. These three providers are the major gatekeepers, which means everyone has to play by their rules to use PPC ads.
First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that just because your PPC ad is up and running is in no way a guarantee of marketing success. A PPC ad can be guaranteed to do one thing, cost you money.
Any PPC marketing firm that “guarantees” success is immediately suspect. All advertising carries a risk (PERIOD)
The most basic function of any PPC ad is to get someone to click on a link. In the most ideal situation, a PPC ad viewer would click on your link and purchase your product/service. This rarely happens, however. Most first time website visitors do not make a purchase. Typically they will scan over the site and see what it has to offer and then compare it with a few other sites to see which one is best. Regardless of what someone actually does on yours site after clicking on your PPC ad, you will still be charged for the click.
The first and best way to generate credibility and higher level search results is to create quality web page content from the outset. This is different from creating a PPC ad. At best a PPC ad should represent the quality that already exists on your site. Web page content quality always comes first. Don’t expect your PPC ads to pay off if your website isn’t AT LEAST as good as easy to find competitors.
PPC ads serve the purpose of generating traffic to a website. They are a great way to create awareness of a new website or a new product/service offered on a website. If you want to generate quick and easy traffic to your site (that already has quality content in place) PPC ads are a great tool.
It is actually quite easy to manage the costs of a PPC marketing campaign. Advertisers can set their daily online marketing budget to control costs. This make it much easier to predict expenses over time.
It is important to recognize, however, that different keywords will have different costs. The highest bidders for specific keywords will have priority use rights for those keywords as long as they bid higher than competitors. Getting the most mileage from a keyword requires research into keywords commonly used in a specific industry and also their costs. Often times, there are less expensive, but equally effective keyword alternatives available. They just have to be found.
Putting together effective and cost effective keyword ads is both an art and a science. It definitely requires patience and attention to detail. Search engine providers have very strict rules for how many characters can appear on an ad and what formats can be used. Also, there are penalties for false advertising and/or using trademark terms if you are not the trademark owner.
There is also a possibility of click fraud with any PPC ad. Click fraud occurs when an individual, company or automated program clicks on competitor ads in an effort to drive up their costs for PPC advertising. The goal is to eliminate competitors using desired keywords.
Major search engines have protocols in place to watch out for click fraud, but it is often difficult to identify it accurately. IP addresses can easily be changed and multiple users can be employed to click on PPC ads.
The danger of click fraud is somewhat overblown, however. There are simply too many competitors to keep up with in most cases. PPC ads change so often that it is hard for anyone to keep straight which competitor is providing which ad at any given time. The times an ad shows and the web page an ad shows on also change constantly. This makes it much more difficult for anyone to successfully target one PPC ad campaign.
It’s best to come into PPC marketing with both eyes open. Having an honest appraisal of what PPC marketing is and is not will help and advertiser set up a more effective campaign. A trustworthy marketing agency will walk a client through all the steps and provide credible feedback to help the client make the best business decisions.
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