Waseem Saddique explores why a technique that’s only been around for such a short time may have had its day.
Having only been in existence for a few years, PPC advertising has taken the online world by storm and has become a fundamental part of online marketing for businesses all over the world. Basically, the concept of ‘paid search marketing’ is a process by which companies can drive traffic to their website, by paying for adverts on internet search engines. This technique is also known as CPC (cost-per-click) advertising or PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, as the majority of search engine advertisements are sold on a CPC / PPC (Source: socialmediatoday.com).
However, although PPC may have stamped its authority on online marketing, there is now visible evidence to suggest, that as a lone marketing tool, its purpose has become ineffective. For instance, recent research carried out by ‘YouGov’, highlighted that only around 18% of SMEs that utilise Google Adwords will actually see a return on money invested into PPC advertising campaigns.
Is it time to ditch PPC advertising?
Despite evidence showing that PPC is a failing marketing technique when used on its own, businesses still continue to use it even though they do not stand to gain any new business by doing so. On the face of things, PPC looks like a very attractive and simple way to generate new leads. Let’s face it, it’s fairly easy to implement and you can even utilise the services of PPC agencies that will do the hard work for you.
PPC is often put in the same category as the ‘get rich quick schemes’, which have been a prominent feature of the internet during its surging growth over the last 10 years or so. Waseem Saddique states: “in no way is it being said that PPC has become completely ineffective and lacking in value, however, the best way to explain it is that it’s being misused across a number of businesses.”
The fundamental problem with PPC usage at present is that it only provides a short term solution. In a short space of time, a highly targeted PPC campaign can provide hugely effective results. However, as a long-term strategy it can become extremely costly as many web users have swiftly adapted in order to sift out internet advertising. These factors all amount to the conclusion that PPC now delivers fewer returns when compared with SEO or content marketing. To summarise, PPC as a lone entity proves to be less cost effective when compared to other advertising solutions.
The fundamental flaws of PPC advertising
Some PPC analysts (Source: YouGov) suggest that there are two key factors as to why PPC is failing businesses these are:
It’s a short term solution – The purpose of PPC is simply to catch the eye of potential consumers. Beyond that there is no strategy for building a lasting rapport. It’s all about attraction and fails to incorporate any form of nurture, so when implemented as a lone marketing strategy it will only ever provide small-scale returns.
It doesn’t generate brand awareness – PPC revolves entirely around the advert, creating an advert that will hook consumers who are just ‘window shopping’. Without a brand element to support the advert, a PPC campaign only serves to stimulate window shoppers whose primary concern is that of cost and not quality.
Reviving a dying technique
In order for businesses to appreciate the value of PPC, they need to think beyond the PPC campaign. Rather than looking for quick fix solutions to marketing problems, businesses need to address the long term issues. PPC is a good place to start, but an entire strategy needs to be built around it in order to have any serious impact when it comes to the competitive online marketing world.
Companies need to think long-term in order to generate quality leads, however, this requires effort and it is that effort that will ultimately make or break your business. Effort shows that you take your company seriously and implies to consumers that they can trust and rely on your brand. Building that relationship beyond the PPC campaign is what’s important.
Develop a clear strategy. Waseem Saddique comments: “within your strategy implement a plan to increase your Click Through Rate and Cost Per Conversion for rewards from Google. Create a clear strategy and you’ll begin to see the results you want with PPC.”
Whilst PPC isn’t dying just yet, it is being used incorrectly by a vast number of businesses and it’s these businesses that quickly need to adapt in order to understand how to utilise PPC techniques correctly in order to see more positive results.