10 Common Misconceptions About PPC

PPC misconceptions

There’s no question that PPC advertising is a lucrative space right now; the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that search ads accounted for over $9 billion in revenue in the first half of 2014– that’s almost 40% of total Internet-based revenue. Unfortunately, many would-be advertisers hold misconceptions that don’t just prevent them from reaching their PPC potential, but can actually cause them to lose money on their PPC campaigns. Before you dive headfirst into PPC advertising, here are 10 common misconceptions about PPC that need to be cleared up.

1.      Anyone Can Run and Manage a PPC Campaign Easily

Getting started with PPC is deceptively simple — setting up an AdWords account and getting your campaigns up and running can seem like it’s just a few clicks away, and bids start at just a few cents per click. But just because it’s easy to get started doesn’t mean that it’s easy to manage PPC campaigns. Adwords and other PPC platforms have a huge array of features, functionality and settings that can make or break your campaigns if they’re not properly calibrated, and launching into PPC when you don’t know what you’re doing can leave you with wasted time, lost budget and a lot of frustration. PPC is about more than just launching campaigns and using tools — great results require strategic thinking and the ability to think about PPC as one channel within your advertising strategy as a whole.

2.      If You Ads Aren’t in the First Position, They’re Worthless

It’s true that CTR drops significantly for ads in positions below number one. But you don’t have to break your budget to push your ads to the top of results every single time. In many competitive industries, especially the legal and insurance industries, highly sought-after keywords carry CPCs of over $100. In fact, in these cases, advertisers can actually maximize their ROI by aiming for the top three ad positions, rather than focusing solely on #1. Adjusting your ad position strategy to maximize profit can be a much wiser move than simply racing to the top of the page.

3.   High Bids = High Ranks

While high bids are one way to increase the visibility of your ads, simply increasing your bids and your budget isn’t a scalable way to improve your PPC results. Your bid isn’t the only factor Adwords uses to determine how and where your ads will be served. Your Quality Score, which is how Google determines how relevant your ads are to the keywords to which they’re matched, plays a significant role in determining the position of ads for any given search. In many cases, a high Quality Score can give your ads a bump in position more effectively than raising your bids will do. By focusing on increasing your Quality Score, you can help keep your ad spend manageable while enjoying higher positions for your ads.

4.      PPC Takes Too Long to Produce Results

Getting a PPC campaign from zero to full-speed doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait weeks or months to see any results for your efforts. While realizing the full potential ROI of your campaigns usually takes at least a few months, you’ll still benefit from increased visibility and brand awareness soon after you turn on your first campaign.

5.      You Don’t Need PPC if You Have Good Organic Rankings

SEO and PPC are two distinct ways of driving online traffic, and it can be tempting to think that good SEO is enough. However, their respective costs and benefits mean that you shouldn’t neglect one for the other. Google’s SEO algorithms change frequently, which can mean that a site with great organic rankings one day can plummet the next. If your business depends on web traffic to thrive, relying solely on SEO ranking is an inconsistent, unreliable way to ensure traffic. Additionally, having good organic rankings makes your site a great candidate for PPC, as SEO contributes to your Quality Score and can help you get better ad rankings for your ad spend.

6.      PPC is Too Expensive

While enterprise-level corporations can funnel millions into their PPC campaigns each month, that doesn’t mean that PPC is prohibitively expensive for smaller companies. The average CPC for keywords on Adwords is between $1 to $2, and many keywords cost only a few cents per click. Since Adwords allows advertisers to control their daily budget for various campaigns and keywords on a granular level, PPC advertisers enjoy a great deal of flexibility when it comes how much, when and where they spend their advertising dollar.

7.      Never Use Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords get a bad reputation — they tend to be expensive, and because they’re so broad they carry the risk that the traffic they’ll bring won’t be a great fit for your business’ needs. But savvy advertisers know that using broad match keywords can be a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. Analyzing data from broad match keywords can help you identify more specific keywords that might be a better fit for your campaigns, and they can often bring good-quality traffic as well. We often recommend using broad match modifier, which lets you get some of the benefits of casting a wide PPC net, with a little more focus.

8.    Bid Only on Long Tail Keywords

As an extension of refusing to use broad match keywords, some novice PPC advertisers maintain that long tail keywords are the only way to go. Because they’re so pinpointed and often have very low CPCs, long tail keywords can have great CTRs and great conversion rates for a low cost. But by the same turn, if you rely solely on long tail keywords, you’ll miss out on a lot of high-quality traffic that can come from broader keyword strategies. Long tail keywords can be a cost-effective means to capture great leads, but to build PPC campaigns that are scalable and sustainable, you’ll need to diversify your keyword strategy to include a variety of keyword matching techniques.

9.      The More Keywords You Target, the More Traffic You’ll Get

More keywords means more matches, and more traffic — right? It’s important to keep in mind the fact that quality of keywords is far more important than quantity of keywords. While you can use up to 20,000 targeting items (including keywords) in a given ad group, Google reports that most advertisers find that having between five and 20 keywords per ad group is the most manageable and effective range. Using too many keywords, or using keywords that don’t fit well with your business, will only drive up your advertising costs without giving you high-quality leads.

10.      PPC is Click Fraud and Brings Irrelevant Traffic

Click fraud, which involves people or automated scripts clicking ads to drive up advertisers’ costs, is a common fear among advertisers. Fortunately, Google takes fraudulent and malicious clicking behaviors seriously, and has a series of safeguards, from automated anti-fraud algorithms to dedicated investigation teams, in place to prevent advertisers from becoming victims of click fraud. When executed correctly, PPC campaigns are one of the most transparent forms of advertising; advertisers can review and analyze their conversion rate and the ROI of their campaigns at a much more granular level than with offline advertising channels.

Building Smarter PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

There’s a wealth of advice about PPC practices on the web, but wading through the sea of information and finding the knowledge you need to run better campaigns can be daunting. By working with Webrageous to develop and manage your PPC campaigns, you’ll gain access to years of hands-on PPC management experience and knowledge. Whether you’re just getting started with your first campaign or are looking to revitalize existing ones, Webrageous can help you optimize your PPC campaigns and maximize your ROI. Contact us today for a free PPC consultation.

 

Yahoo Gemini Isn’t a PPC Gamechanger. Here’s Why.

yahoo-gemini

In February 2014, Yahoo launched Gemini, a marketplace for mobile and native advertising on the Yahoo network. But while Yahoo has been a big name in tech for years, since its launch two years ago Gemini hasn’t exactly been making waves in the digital advertising industry. Here’s why Yahoo Gemini hasn’t been a game changer to PPC space, and what you should know if you’re considering launching ad campaigns via Gemini.

Yahoo Gemini: What is It?

Gemini is Yahoo’s mobile and search advertising marketplace. It allows advertisers to put brand-sponsored content in front of viewers in a way that’s optimized for mobile devices. Gemini’s focus is on native mobile advertising. Gemini display ads in a format that is more or less seamless with the look and feel of the site the ads appear on. As a result, Gemini isn’t quite a direct competitor with AdWords. Yahoo Gemini doesn’t replicate all of AdWords’ functionality. Instead, it realizes Yahoo’s new mobile-first strategy.

With around 550 million monthly users, Yahoo is an often overlooked advertising platform for reaching prospective customers. And since Yahoo’s advertising partnership with Microsoft (via Bing Ads) has been faltering in the past few years, it would seem that this segment of online traffic is wide open for advertisers. So why hasn’t Yahoo Gemini changed the digital advertising game?

Gemini is Not Integrated with Other Yahoo Advertising Products

While Tumblr and Flurry are somewhat integrated with Gemini, not all of Yahoo’s advertising offerings are accessible through Gemini.  As a result, Gemini doesn’t provide a strong, centralized portal for accessing Yahoo’s overall user base in a variety of formats. This decentralization can pose a problem for smaller businesses with more limited resources for digital ad management, since it requires them to manage ads on the Yahoo network from multiple places. For business owners and smaller companies who don’t have dedicated PPC managers, dedicating extra time to managing multiple advertising channels — especially less sure-fire ones like Gemini — can be a dealbreaker.

Yahoo Has Less Traffic Than Google

At the end of 2014, Google had a whopping 67% of all US web traffic, while Yahoo garnered only about 10%. Lower overall traffic means that Yahoo simply has a smaller audience to offer advertisers. Oftentimes, PPC advertising ends up being a numbers game; serve your ads to a large enough relevant audience, and you’re sure to get a few bites. Unfortunately for Yahoo, their lower traffic translates to a less lucrative advertising space. However, for those advertisers who do end up running ad campaigns on Gemini, the less-competitive space can lead to lower CPCs as well.

Want to Give Gemini a Try Anyway?

Still want to give Yahoo Gemini a shot? We recommend copying existing ad campaign details from an existing AdWords campaign, instead of building them out from scratch in Gemini. You’ll also want to adjust your bids for Gemini, as the platform tends to have a lower average CPC than AdWords. Ultimately, giving Gemini a test drive won’t do any harm, but if you’re working with a tight budget, the biggest risk will be in taking away critical resources from AdWords campaigns that are likely to perform much better.

Diversify Your PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

When all else is said and done, experimenting with different platforms such as Gemini and Bing Ads can be a good way to find untapped audiences and diversify your advertising strategy. But since there’s no centralized ad management platform or service to help you manage all your digital ads from one place, adding a new ad service like Gemini to the mix can be a time-consuming endeavor without a guaranteed payoff. For many companies, the potential for the small bump in business that might be gained from managing Gemini campaigns is likely not worth the effort, especially if they’re managing their own PPC campaigns.

Webrageous has the dedicated resources and the experience needed to run campaigns across multiple advertising platforms. We can run PPC campaigns more efficiently than any individual business could on their own. As a result, we can manage campaigns across multiple outlets for you to ensure that you’re getting the optimal results from your PPC campaigns. With Webrageous, you can explore and experiment with innovative and potentially lucrative PPC channels without feeling like you’re wasting your time. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you optimize your PPC campaigns now.

Why Is It Important To Blend PPC and SEO?

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, and when it comes to online business and marketing, the sentiment couldn’t be truer.
 
blend ppc and seoWhatever kind of business you have online, one thing is certain. You need traffic! Without visitors to your website you won’t make any sales regardless of what product or service you provide.
 
So how does the need to blend PPC and SEO come into this?
 
As a refresher for those who may be new to the Internet, the two most common ways of bringing traffic to your websites are PPC and SEO. PPC stands for pay per click advertising, and SEO stands for search engine optimization. Understanding how both works is the key to knowing how to blend PPC and SEO.
 

What is the Difference?

PPC is a form of paid advertising. Businesses pay the advertising platform a fee each time a customer clicks on their advertisement. A business can choose where their advert appears by bidding on different search terms. Each time someone types in that term into the search engine, the adverts paying the most will appear in the listings.
 
SEO relies more on organic search results. A business will optimize their website for certain search terms, and the search engines will then deliver what it deems to be the most relevant results to a user when they go searching for the said term. The sites that appear in the top 10 search results of a term will get the lion’s share of the traffic.
 
There are pros and cons for both types of advertising but one thing is for certain. You need to blend PPC and SEO if you want long term business success.
 

Why You Need to Blend PPC and SEO

 
Relying on either one of these traffic sources can spell trouble for your business. If you rely solely on SEO for example, and all of your traffic comes from the search engines, then you are very exposed. What happens if they suddenly change their algorithms (as they often do) and suddenly all your page one listings disappear overnight? Guess what’s gonna happen to your traffic? It’s going to disappear too.
 
If you base all your advertising methods on PPC traffic alone, you could end up getting priced out of business, unless you have a huge marketing budget. As search terms become more popular, the cost of appearing high on the search engines shoots up too.
 
It’s not unusual to see a search term go from costing $1 per click to almost $6 a click in the space of a few weeks depending on the niche.  Unless you have the money to compete, you’re going to get swallowed up.
 

How Do You Blend PPC and SEO?

 
The simplest solution is to use both methods of advertising. Blend PPC and SEO together and experience the best of both worlds. Because SEO takes a period of time to start working for you, it should be classed as a source of long term traffic. You need to invest time and effort generating content that will attract the search engines, and prompt them to rank you highly in their listings.
 
The focus of your attention here should be providing useful content that can be used and implemented by your readers. It’s becoming more important than ever to create content that provides real value to people as the search engines are cracking down on people that put up trash simply to gain rankings.
 
PPC traffic, on the other hand, is much faster. You can set up an ad campaign now and start seeing results straight away. It can be a very useful medium to test out different forms of advertising and marketing messages, and can form the basis of your SEO marketing when positive results are spotted.
 
The key here is balance. Long term success online requires a business to attract a wide range of traffic from multiple sources. Sticking to one and one alone is a recipe for disaster. Blend PPC and SEO now and see the difference.
 
This post is written by Lior Levine, a marketing consultant who works for a web hosting company that lists the top 10 website hosting companies available online.