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Monday, September 19, 2005

Why Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns Fail

Posted by @ 3:23 am
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Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is the fastest growing sub-section of the Search Engine Marketing industry. At least in terms of dollars spent – some $5.5billion is expected in PPC alone in 2005.

Many of the people I speak to in the course of my role, talk to me about their pay per click campaigns. They usually feel that the reality of running a PPC campaign fails to live up to the hype.

In my opinion, pay per click campaigns fail for two core reasons:

  1. The campaign is too conservative; or
  2. The campaign is too aggressive.

Conservative

What do I mean by conservative? Well in the course of setting up a PPC campaign, the user is given the task of selecting / creating:

  1. Geographical distribution;
  2. Number of keywords/terms to use;
  3. Bid price levels;
  4. Effective advertisements / descriptions;

In any one of these areas, if the user who sets up the account is too conservative, then the traffic they receive will not reflect the true traffic potential. The user may now walk away from PPC thinking that it doesn’t deliver the promised results of increased sales or visitors. The only saving grace here is that they probably have not spent a great deal of money, due to their conservative approach, other than their value of their time.

Aggressive

On the flip side, imagine that the user sets up the same account and takes an aggressive approach on the 4 points above. What a difference this will make! The site will receive a lot of traffic but the expense of the campaign will outweigh the returns. This is usually due to the high level of poor quality traffic that such an approach generates.

Again the user may walk away from PPC advertising, with an even more bitter taste in their mouth, because they have spent (potentially) a great deal of money and time on the campaign. They will feel very jaded towards Pay Per Click advertising as they believe it generates a very poor return on their investment.

The Middle Ground

Is there a middle ground? Well yes there is as all experienced search engine marketers know. Unfortunately many of these have already dealt with the issues of being too conservative or too aggressive, but have finally found their patch of middle ground. They are also the people who persevere in the effort to get things right.

However, most business owner are not like that. So what are the options for them?

  1. Give up on PPC and miss out on sales;
  2. Outsource to a search engine marketing consultant; or
  3. Consider a fixed traffic plan.

Each of these options has pros and cons. The flexibility and individual attention given by a SEM consultant is offset by the high cost. Option 3 is a fixed cost but doesn’t necessarily provide the flexibility of option 2.

To a hard core search marketer, the fixed packages like ineedhits Clicks4Sure service doesn’t appear to make sense. They are not a good option if you have the time, the patience and the skills to do it yourself. In the same way paying for the oil to be changed in your car doesn’t make sense if you are mechanic. Personally, I pay for the oil in my car to be changed as I don’t have the time to do it myself.

The same concept applies with Clicks4Sure – it is a totally outsourced Pay Per Click program that provides guaranteed traffic with little risk, money upfront and best of all, is a set and forget program. Whilst you may pay more per click, the time savings and the security of the program easily outweigh the extra cost.

It all comes down to your comfort and skill level.


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