On the Fence

Are you still not doing PPC?! Silly business owners! There are many reasons to explore paid search marketing as a lead generation channel. Here are just three good reasons to get you started.

1. PPC Ads Won’t Poach Your Organic Traffic

AdWords recently released the results of a study designed to answer a question that many advertisers ask: Will running pay-per-click ads cannibalize my organic search traffic? To address this concern, statisticians at Google built a statistical model to make predictions about click volume based on ad spend. According to Google:

This model generates estimates for the incremental clicks attributable to search ads or, in other words, the percentage of paid clicks that are not made up for by organic clicks when search ads are paused.

Google found that 89% of traffic generated by PPC ads is not recovered by organic traffic when those ads are paused. Which is to say, you can’t expect to make up the difference in traffic through organic search if you’re not doing PPC. Time for a new excuse!

Learn more about the study below:

2. PPC Delivers Faster Results than SEO

I would never advocate against using SEO as means of driving sustained traffic. But the reality is, SEO is hard and it takes a long time to build an authoritative site with aged URLs that earn consistent rankings. When you need immediate results, PPC is a great alternative. You can get placement on the first page for relevant searches almost immediately, provided you’re following some basic best practices and bidding appropriately. This means you can start seeing traffic and conversion in days versus weeks or months.

Google, of course, wants to make it super-easy for businesses to get started with PPC. For example, AdWords Express is a new offering that helps you quickly set up a local PPC campaign on a low budget.

3. PPC Is Ultra-Measurable

SEO often feels like a big guessing game. Organic traffic goes up, organic traffic goes down, but it’s not always obvious what factors contribute to the dips and spikes. Even if you A/B test every change you make to your website (yeah, right), there are variables that are out of your control – has Google made algorithm changes? Have your competitors made changes that pushed them up in the results, pushing you down? Has the search volume for certain phrases dropped or gone up?

With PPC marketing, it’s generally easier to measure and analyze what’s working and what isn’t. It’s very easy to test multiple ads at the same time – Google will handle the testing for you, running the versions concurrently and choosing a winner (you can choose whether to optimize for clicks or conversions). (Here are some good ideas for coming up with ad variations to split-test.)

There are lots of other metrics to analyze too. For example, Google assigns each of your keywords a Quality Score – a low Quality Score tells you that Google’s system doesn’t think your keyword, ad and landing page are relevant. It’s more difficult to get a reading from Google on the quality of a regular web page.

So what are you waiting for? What are your other concerns? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Hash Milhan