PPC myths: 5 untruths about paid advertising

From no-one clicking through to them being redundant unless you’re in the number one position, there are plenty of pay-per-click (PPC) myths doing the rounds. But what’s the reality? It’s time to debunk some of those myths once and for all and reveal five untruths you shouldn’t believe when it comes to PPC advertising.

Untruth 1:

“PPC is too expensive for my marketing budget”

PPC will only cost as much as you allow it to. You hold the purse strings so giveth and taketh as you please. PPC advertising platforms have features which allow you to set maximum daily, monthly or lifetime budgets for each individual advert. You can even control the maximum you want to pay for each click on your ads!

Advertisements will be shown until your budget is spent and once it’s gone, your adverts won’t be displayed in the search engine results page (SERPs) anymore. It’s worth noting however, that Google can get a little excited and spend as much as double of your daily budget if it thinks the results will be good. However, monthly or lifetime budgets set at account level will prevent this from happening.

Untruth 2:

“I appear top in organic results, so I can pause my PPC activity”

Just because you appear top in the organic rankings, that doesn't mean you should automatically pause your PPC activity, especially when competitors could be bidding on these terms. We recommend running A/B tests across different types of search terms whether this is pure brand, brand + product, and non brand terms to determine how aggressive your PPC activity needs to be in order to guarantee the highest proportion of click share across the search engine results pages (SERPs).

This needs to be an ongoing task as Google is constantly testing different elements in the SERPs which normally ends up penalising organic visibility and competitors may see an opportunity to steal traffic by bidding on these terms.

Untruth 3:

“I’ve set up my PPC campaigns, they should run themselves now”

The set-up of your ads and campaigns is merely the beginning of your mission! Neglecting your activity could result in you wasting your spend on irrelevant search terms. Campaigns must be managed, either by yourself or external PPC nerds, for as long as you’re running them.

You wouldn’t leave a pan of water on the hob and expect it not to boil over, so don’t leave your PPC ads running without checking on them. Regularly.

Run experiments, add negative lists, tweak bids, add keywords, add new types of adverts…the possibilities are endless! What we are trying to say is, you need to constantly tweak campaigns to get the most for your budget. Master this, and you’ll get a great ROI.

Untruth 4:

“You need to rank in position #1 to be profitable”

This statement is completely false. Yes, the volume of traffic by being #1 will be higher than if you rank in lower ad positions, but so will costs. The lower your ads are, the cheaper the costs. It’s also worth noting that users who click on ads in positions four and five are a more qualified lead, as they’ve taken the time to scroll through the search results.

Instead, to analyse maximum profitability, you should be focusing on cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and cost-per-click (CPC). Your CPA will be affected by the cost-per-click to your website. For example: advertisements ranked #1 at a cost of £2 per click, could send around 100 users to your site daily. If five of these visitors convert, your CPA would be £40.

However, if your advertisement is ranked #3 at a cost of £0.50 per click and 50 users visited with two converting, your CPA would be £12.50. So, which is more profitable?

Untruth 5:

“No one clicks on PPC ads, it’s a waste of money”

WRONG! On average, 41% of clicks go to the top three paid ads on the search results page. Google has recently changed the look of their mobile ads, making it harder to distinguish between paid and organic. PPC visitors are also 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors. So stop being a negative Nancy and get your PPC on!

Here at Superdream, our paid advertising experts are on hand to help you make the most of your PPC campaigns. If you want yours to work harder for you – or you want to get started with PPC – contact us today.

Posted by:

Nick Choudhury

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