@WSP Blog - The Unsung Virtues of PPC

October 21, 2014 - Susan O'Neil, CEO



October 21 , 2014 |

The (Too Often) Unsung Virtues of Paid Search Advertising aka PPC

I just sat through a Google Hangout hosted by the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) on Google’s SERPS Changing Layout and Its Impact on Businesses.  Like most presentations of that ilk, you can pick up a little nugget here and there, but often there’s even more value to letting your mind wander a bit as you get to sit back in your chair, abandoning your keyboard for a bit.

One Hangout participant praised the value of branding using PPC.  Many advertisers are vying for the top paid listings in Google to try to sell immediately online.  Others are working hard to harvest leads to nurture by email and direct mail.  However, there’s a unique value proposition in this type of advertising that is unlike any other advertising medium I’ve ever seen.  Although the advertiser is paying for each click to its website, it pays $0 for all the times its ad appears at the top of the most popular search engine in the world and is NOT clicked on. When you consider that a reasonable click-through rate is around 5%, that means the 95% of the time your ad is presented to searchers who don’t click cost you nothing.  Nothing!   We love supporting branding in this way and so will you.  What other medium gives you almost limitless numbers of eyeballs for free?

428509913_8c87678631During another stretch of today’s Hangout, my mind wandered again.  I remember my friend Ross Lasley, the Internet Educator, suggesting a tagline for Website Publicity’s PPC Campaign Management services be: “Inbound Marketing with No Waiting.”

His point was that, when people come to our agency to ask for marketing/advertising help, they already know they need to do things differently: “Everyone is interested in the farming/nurturing/white paper cha cha. ‘Oh, I’m going inbound!’  But you can’t expect to see any results for weeks or months to know if what you’re doing, any single or collective aspect of it, is working.”   Smart guy.

This is PPC’s unsung strong suit.  With PPC, you can get proof of what works – and, equally important, what doesn’t, quickly.  For example, split test an ad concept and hit the landing page with a thousand visitors in a few days.  You learn a lot that you can then apply to those slower “inbound” marketing techniques.

“Fail fast.  Fail cheap.”

Hmmm…I’m warming up to that idea.  What do you think?


About Susan O’Neil, CEO – @Website Publicity
Founder & CEO, and co-author of Maximize Website Traffic, Susan speaks and writes frequently about Search, Social & Mobile Marketing.
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Comments (1)

  1. What a nice piece Susan – and thank you so very much for mentioning our chats here, I love it.

    With site owners what I most often focus on is the holistic balance required to achieve web marketing success and when someone talks about how methods (including stuff they don’t even specialize in) can work together in this way it always makes me smile – you won’t often see people talking like this but when you do I have but two words of advice: hire them.

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