Everyone has an opinion. That’s fine, they’re entitled to it.
But, there’s always someone with an uninformed view, who is dim-witted enough to argue the toss.
And so it is with PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, which has become synonymous with ‘Google Adwords’ in the same way that Biro became to mean ‘ball point pen’.
So what are the negative mind-set brigade suggesting?
Only if it’s not done properly.
People can spend huge amounts of money on PPC without realising what they’re doing.
Sure, it is easy to spend money on Google. But like anything that we do, it is only once we have mastered a subject that it becomes efficient.
So why is it easy to waste money on Adwords?
Frequently because Google is notorious for setting defaults which are weighted in its favour rather than benefiting the advertiser.
Consequently it is not until you spot that you have spent your daily budget, and nobody has come to your site who is actually looking to buy anything, that you realise you may not have grasped a full command of the ‘rules’.
Nevertheless, once you have refined your campaigns and worked out how the Google system operates, then it becomes a ‘no-brainer’. If I spend £1 on advertising with Google and receive £5 back each time, then I am going to carry on greasing Google’s palm until the cows come home!
The other way in which PPC has a reputation of being expensive is through people using unscrupulous marketing agencies.
Whilst most agencies are fairly transparent with their pricing, typically they will charge a setup fee and a monthly management fee, there are agencies that do an all-in-one deal.
This covers the cost of Google advertising as well as their management time. Yet the downside to this method is that the cost of Google’s clicks is never certain and a disreputable company could easily suggest to you that the cost of clicks per month might £1000, whereas in fact they can do it for £300.
This means that they are making a significant profit from the money that you pay them by leaving you blind as to the true cost of Google clicks.
PPC is only for big companies….
I guarantee you that there are more SMEs than Nationals advertising on Google Adwords these days.
You only need to spend a few minutes doing some research on Google to find out that the majority of advertisers are small or medium-sized businesses.
Certainly the big guns use Adwords as a source of revenue. Indeed they have deep pockets which enable them to dominate the top slots.
But even though they can afford to do this there are still plenty of spaces for smaller enterprises to find customers.
For example by using niche phrases as keywords the smaller advertiser can compete with the National companies, whose ability to think beyond the obvious is frequently limited!
The quote that I particularly like to summarise this situation is from the great Adwords man himself, Perry Marshall.
Perry says “far from being a stupid bidding war where the guy with the deepest pockets always wins, Adwords is truly a fight for the most intelligent and savvy. If you dial down with enough precision, you can unseat almost any competitor.”
It’s too complicated….
Yes, without doubt, Adwords is a complex and complicated instrument.
So what should you do?
Quite simply, get an expert to do it for you.
You wouldn’t hesitate to use an accountant to do your year-end figures, neither would you stop to think if you needed a lawyer to draft a new contract or take action on your behalf for the recovery of a debt for example.
You possibly even use an insurance broker to get your annual insurance premiums at the best market price and I’m sure that you probably outsource your payroll or your bookkeeping to 3rd parties.
So anything that requires expert knowledge gets done by somebody else. This should be the case with PPC too.
That said, it is certainly possible to do ‘DIY’ PPC. There are numerous videos on the Internet which explain the ins and outs of Google Adwords.
There are also many good and reputable books which will give you the information that you need.
My recommendation would be to spend an hour every night studying Adwords, and within a month or so you should be competent enough to run a campaign without blowing next year’s holiday fund!
People don’t click on paid ads….
I have heard this said many times. Frequently by people of a certain generation!
However if that were the case, then Google would have ceased to exist years ago. Looking back at their profits for 2014, their total advertising revenue was $59 billion. All of this came from paid search.
And guess what? The revenue from ‘free listings’ that most web owners use was a big fat zero!
Are you still so sure that people ignore the paid ads?
What can we learn from the negative mind-set brigade?
So when you weigh it all up, logic tells us that PPC is a great way for businesses to get more customers, despite ill-informed opinion to the contrary.
But, just as we all know that eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise will give us the best chance of living longer, many of us chose to do our own thing and face the consequences.
Food for thought, eh?