The Pros and Cons of PPC Advertising to Grow Your Business

The Pros and Cons of PPC Advertising to Grow Your Business

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I first stepped into the world of PPC advertising (pay per click) in 2005 as a platform from which to promote my wedding ceremony business. Google Adwords was barely 5 years old at the time. Although I came armed with 20 years of direct marketing experience, this digital landscape was new territory for me. I felt like I was floundering in my lack of experience, yet Google Adwords quickly grew to play a vital role in generating new clients for my business.

What is PPC Advertising?

Fast forward nearly 20 years and, according to Statista, Google will account for an estimated 25.9 percent of the total digital advertising revenue generated in the United States in 2024. PPC advertising makes up a huge portion of that revenue.

As its name implies, PPC offers advertisers paid traffic. Advertisers pay when someone clicks on an ad. The ads run on search engines, social media, mobile apps, and websites.

I’ve managed PPC advertising campaigns for a vast array of clients, from sensitive industries like legal and financial services to those offering fun experiences to consumers. I’ve seen firsthand how effective PPC can be to generate targeted leads and increase the revenue of a business.

Like other marketing solutions, there are pros and cons to PPC advertising. This article is designed to help increase your understanding of paid search ads so that you can decide if they may be a marketing solution that fits your current business needs.

The Pros of Investing in PPC Advertising

  1. Targeted Traffic to Reach Your Specific Audience

PPC advertising enables you to reach your specific audience by age, gender, household income, or interest target. For example, one of our law firm clients has several offices throughout the country. We target users in the states in which they have offices. Because people living in large cities are not typically a good prospect, we exclude many major cities from targeting.

For another client, a single location medical spa, we set the geographic targeting to a certain mile radius surrounding their location. To further fine-tune the targeting, we exclude age groups not yet prime for anti-aging treatments while targeting higher household income groups.

2. Immediate Results Towards Obtaining Your Business Goals

You may be amazed with how quickly PPC advertising can start delivering on your goals. While it can often take several days for a standard search campaign to make its way through the machine language process, we have seen leads begin generating in less than two hours of enabling an AI Performance Max campaign. Unlike SEO which takes months or more to see results, PPC traffic is instantaneous.

3. Visibility Amongst Your Competitors

If you have competitors who can afford to spend more on marketing, don’t let that stop you from believing that you can get the results you want with PPC advertising. Bigger ad budgets don’t guarantee higher visibility.

Your ad’s rank in search results is highly driven by the relevance of your keywords to your landing pages and ad copy, a concept known as Quality Score. By continually optimizing the components which drive your Quality Score, you pay less for clicks which maximizes the stretch of your ad budget and keeps your ads in prominent positions on the search results page.

4. Ability to Measure Your Goal Performance

With PPC advertising you define what constitutes a goal that you wish to measure. You then set up your account to track those goals. At Inner Architect Media, we work primarily with clients seeking to generate leads. This means that our goals are focused on conversions—in other words, contact form submissions, phone calls and live chats. By identifying what drives conversions, you can use these insights to direct your campaign strategies.

5. Control Over How Much You Spend

How much you spend is an area in which you have much control. PPC budgets are typically set to a daily amount. You have the flexibility to change the budget—up, down, or off— whenever you want.

The Cons of a Commitment to PPC Advertising

  1. Ongoing Investment Required to Maintain Traction

Launching and maintaining a PPC campaign will provide the fuel for a flow of traffic to your website. Once you stop fueling the ad spend, the traffic is likely to stop just as quickly as it began. This is unlike SEO, which can drive unpaid traffic after an initial investment.

2.  Challenging to Learn and Master Ad Management

Running effective PPC campaigns requires expertise that takes time to build. Understanding how to effectively integrate the campaign components such as keywords, ad copy, and landing pages is only half the job. The other half involves proficiency in maneuvering the ad platform, which is often undergoing continual change. Over the past nine months as Google began its deep investment in AI, the platform was literally changing daily. All of this creates a learning curve which can lead to wasted ad spend.

3.  Consumer Ad Skepticism

Well-ranked PPC ads typically display above organic search results at the top of the search results page. Because they are marked “Sponsored”, some consumers may look upon that with distrust and ignore them.

  1. Fraud Risks if You Don’t Protect Your Campaigns

According to Jupiter Research, 22% of global ad spend was lost due to ad fraud in 2023. Without invalid click monitoring and protection, this can drain your budget unnecessarily. There are several solutions that provide strong fraud protection, yet here again lies another learning curve to gain an understanding of how to use a new platform.

Is PPC Advertising Right for Your Business Now?

Consider your business goals:

  • Is increasing visibility the answer to getting where you want to be?
  • Are you comfortable with committing to an ongoing ad budget?
  • Are you willing to invest in gaining PPC skills for your in-house team?
  • Or would you be open to hiring a PPC management agency to run campaigns effectively out the gate?

Conclusion

We’ve outlined that PPC advertising provides targeted reach, expanded visibility, and immediate results. At the same time, we’ve indicated that an ongoing investment is required to maintain results and that ad management requires an investment in education and resources.  

As you think about the prospect of PPC advertising for your business, remember one thing — Not all PPC Management is Created Equal.

Let our team of experienced, Google certified professionals develop and maintain strategies that will take your business where you want it to go.
Contact us at 415-485-6961 or click the button below and take a step towards business growth today.

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