In the World of Internet Marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC) sometimes seems like the red-headed stepchild of the industry. Organic Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, CPM/Display, Video, and Social Web are all incredibly useful, but like any marketing tool, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. In today’s post, I’ve taken it upon myself to make a case for Pay Per Click when used alone and as part of an integrated digital initiative.
1. On and Off, then On Again! While an email blast is great for driving large spikes of traffic in a relatively short timeframe, no other Internet medium can match Pay Per Click’s ability to be strategically turned on and off. The ability to pause traffic for things like stock-outs, technical issues, and other hiccups can be a good way to earn traffic for dynamic Web presences that might not have the time or resources to otherwise build traffic.
2. Micro-targeting. In addition to allowing advertisers to turn traffic on and off by things like location, time of day, language preferences, interests, and age/sex demographics, the major search engines allow automated ad bids to be set up for any conceivable combination of these user qualifications. This level of sophistication allows PPC advertisers to adjust ad spend based on the relative profitability of any number of market segments, maximizing budget and eliminating waste.
3. Conversion Tracking Data. Pay Per Click Web analytics allow account managers to track user activity to the specific keyword and advertisement that caused an action. While a similar level of granularity is usually available with Organic Search and Email, only PPC allows advertisers and agencies to react with real-time changes. This level of flexibility is perhaps one if its greatest assets.
4. Flexibility. Launching a new SEO effort? Start owning key search terms in the short run with PPC and bid them down as you gain traction. Running CPM/Display advertisements? Take advantage of the increased awareness and search traffic you are earning by owning long-tailed key terms in the engine with PPC. PPC is flexible and effective enough to be the mortar strengthening the gaps of any digital marketing plan.
5. Accountability. The ability to capture performance data for Pay Per Click is all but built into the various advertising platforms. This technological fact allows ad dollars to be fully accountable to business results. While it is true that Internet marketing is a very measurable medium, in this space no other marketing vehicle speaks the language of ‘return on investment’ or ‘return on advertising spend’ so completely as PPC.
If you were unfamiliar or unimpressed with Pay Per Click, I hope to have generated some interest. If you’re a PPC pro, I hope you have a new perspective or a new appreciation for my favorite form of Internet marketing. As always, when building a marketing plan, particularly a multi-lateral online marketing plan, use the available tools that best meet business goals. If you think your company could benefit from starting a Pay Per Click program, or another form of Internet marketing, don’t hesitate to contact Fathom for a product demonstration or for an audit of your existing integrated online marketing.