Is Pay Per Click the Right Strategy for Your Company?

Your company is ready to undertake a major inbound marketing campaign and is considering pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.  You may be unsure if PPC will help your company achieve its goals and provide a return on investment. There is no one size fits all strategy when it comes to PPC.  Every company has different needs, goals, and budgets.  Here are some ways to tell if PPC would benefit your company.

What is PPC?

PPC is an online marketing strategy that involves a fee being charged each time a user clicks on an ad. Another way to look at PPC is paying for potential customers to visit your company’s website, instead of them arriving organically. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy involving keywords in content to be noticed by search engines is the organic way to have customers visit. SEO is free (aside from paying an SEO expert). PPC is strictly pay for play.

How Does PPC Work?

PPC is really an online auction; instead of bidding for various items, you are bidding for a customer to see an ad your company composed on a search engine. This is an important concept to understand before moving forward with PPC. Take Google’s AdWords as an example of PPC bidding. The dollar amount your company bids in AdWords determines how often it will be seen. If you bid $1 per click, then your ad is less likely to be seen than a company paying $7 per click. 

PPC ads that have a great enough bid will show up on the top of the search engine results page (SERP) with the word “Ad” next to it. You can set a daily budget for your ad, and you can set a maximum bid per keyword. Google determines if an ad is displayed based on your maximum bid for a keyword and on the quality Google places on the content of your ad.

Ad rank is decided by your maximum bid multiplied by your quality score. If you bid $4.00 and have a quality score of 6, your ad rank will be 24 (4 x 6). Bing has a similar system for its PPC. The cost for PPC ads with Bing is lower than AdWords, but remember the difference in market share between Google and Bing is vast.  Google commands 72% of the market share for search engines; Bing only has 8%.  It is important to note that further market research may be required to determine which search engine to use. Even though more searches are done on Google, you target demographic may prefer Bing.

Is SEO Better Than PPC?

SEO is not necessarily better than PPC, but they are disparate methods of achieving the same goal. Cost is the primary factor in consideration of both methods. SEO may not require bids per click, but there is a cost involved in time, effort, and if a consultant is used. If your company is small and does not have the resources for PPC ads, then you may want to start with SEO.  Research how SEO works and try different keywords and see if your SERP ranking improves. 

If a company can master how SEO works then, it can organically build its brand.  On the other hand, if you work for a company that has a healthy bank account then using PPC can put your company’s ad at the top of the SERP page every time.  Having your ad frequently clicked can help you achieve your goals in a short time. You can also try both methods at once, but it is advisable to do them separately at first to see which is more effective for your company.

For more information on how your company can benefit from SEO check out this blog post.

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About the Author

Though his chief ambition is to one day control the entire Internet, Jim busies himself in the meantime running our little web development and marketing agency. He's a certified super nerd who ranks coding in old, outdated languages and watching Star Trek reruns just a bit too high on his list of fun things to do.Outside of work, Jim enjoys Hockey (Tampa Bay Lighning, to be specific), more genres of music than most people realize exist, riding his Harley (he calls it "two wheel therapy") and exploring the world through travel.