Like most marketing disciplines, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has a lot of misinformation associated with it. Separating fact from fiction isn’t easy, especially because PPC simply hasn’t been in the forefront of the marketing world for nearly as long as traditional tactics. However, PPC is fast becoming one of the most effective and common marketing tactics so it is time to put some of these falsehoods to bed, once and for all.
For your handy reference, we have compiled 5 of the most common PPC myths (and why they are dead wrong).
1. The Only Value of PPC Is in Generating Leads and Sales
On the surface, this belief makes sense. How often have you seen pay-per-click ads that didn’t have the sole purpose of getting you to buy something or fill out a lead generation form? Probably not too often. Since the goal of these advertisements is to get you to take action, it is easy to miss the subtleties associated with each PPC ad you come across.
For instance, brand awareness is a crucial piece of pay-per-click strategy. By bidding on your brand name as a keyword, you can ensure you consistently appear twice on the SERP (search engine results page) instead of just once for your organic listing, giving yourself more credibility. By having your logo appear on display ads dispersed across the internet, you are solidifying your brand identity and will be top of mind for potential customers.
Aside from awareness, the PPC playground is the perfect place to gain market insights and test new messaging or design concepts. Because you can make edits quickly in PPC platforms, you can test out advertisements that take an entirely new approach to your usual messaging and tactics with little risk.
You can try focusing on different benefits, using different imagery (perhaps ideas you are considering for a rebrand), targeting different locations or demographics you are looking at expanding into, and so much more. The best part is, if your new ideas don’t work, you can pause them with just a click.
2. More Impressions Is Always a Good Thing
More impressions means more exposure, right? Yes, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to PPC strategy. Just because you are hitting quadruple digit impressions on your first day doesn’t mean you are getting more engagement, which is really the point of PPC advertising.
For PPC advertising, it’s about quality over quantity. Campaigns with high impression numbers but a low number of clicks means your click-through rate (clicks over impressions) is suffering. Google judges ads with low click-through rates as providing a poor or irrelevant user experience and gives them lower quality scores, meaning you have to pay more to get a better ad placement.
Another risk that comes with a large number of impressions is generating unqualified traffic, often due to a targeting strategy that is too broad. You are paying for every click, so reining in your targeting allows you to make the most of every click you get.
For display campaigns, more impressions could also mean that you have a lot of bad impressions in the form of ads on “mature” or offensive websites. Most organizations would agree that having their brand associated with this type of content is a huge no-no.
3. I Am a Small Player in My Niche or Don’t Have a Big Budget So I Can’t Compete
This is one of the biggest turn-offs for most small to medium-sized businesses when it comes to starting PPC initiatives, but this shouldn’t stop anyone!
Changing your approach to keywords is a great way to make sure you remain competitive. By switching to longer tail, peripheral, or complementary keywords, you are able to get the exposure you need while staying within budget.
For example, if you own a company that sells running shoes you won’t have any luck targeting “running shoes” as a keyword and fighting against the likes of Nike, Adidas and other major brands. Instead, try targeting keywords specific to different niches of running shoes — such as “crossfit running shoes” or “trail running shoes.” Go a step further and target top of the funnel keywords like “upcoming crossfit events” or “running trails” to meet audiences interested in your products but not directly looking for them at the time of their search.
Another cost-effective tactic is to set up remarketing campaigns, which allow you to build a list of your website visitors and then deliver ads to them on other websites they visit. This is a critical digital display advertising strategy that a shocking amount of businesses (including your competitors!) are not taking advantage of. Even if you are already doing remarketing, you can begin building even more defined audiences based on their behavior on your website.
Have questions about remarketing? Get in touch with the Rocket55 PPC team.
4. As My SEO Improves It Is a Good Idea to Reduce My PPC Activity to Save Money
Building a successful brand often relies on both SEO and PPC. By pairing your organic listings with related ads, you can dominate the SERP and push your competitors lower and lower in search results.
To illustrate this with some hard and fast data, a Google study found that “incremental ad clicks make up 89 percent of traffic generated by search ads but aren’t replaced by organic clicks when ads aren’t running” This essentially means that PPC ads provide clicks to your website that would not have been generated from just your organic SEO listing.
Another often-overlooked benefit is the ability to find keywords that would be useful to optimize your web pages for. Pretend you are using some of those peripheral keywords from Myth #4 — you could run PPC campaigns, determine if you are getting traction with those terms, and use those findings to build better content on your website. If those keywords are resonating with your audience, why not create more rich information about them to give your customers a better experience?
5. PPC Campaigns Are Set It and Forget It Endeavours
This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when diving into PPC advertising. The belief that you can launch a campaign and just sit back and reap the benefits leads to a lot of lost marketing dollars and a lot of premature grey hairs.
The truth is, the most important work happens after a campaign is launched. It is imperative to check daily, even hourly, to make sure your strategy is working. If you notice that some keywords are too expensive to bid on, pause them or try longer tail keywords that are more specific product or service. If you notice that women 35-44 are converting more, make bid adjustments to ensure your ads are getting served to this demographic more often.
The optimization possibilities are limitless, and it is often a tricky (and time consuming) burden to maintain your campaigns. For this reason, a lot of companies choose to outsource their work.
Are you looking for someone to manage your PPC account? Talk to the PPC experts at Rocket55 and see how we can elevate your digital advertising.