The most ROI-centric among you may already be dashing for the back button, but read through the article and you’ll understand why even a negative-profit PPC campaign can be good for your bottom line.
Why PPC is Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Dealt With Before
Traditional media is expensive. Even when it isn’t, it’s irreversible. Once a traditional campaign goes live, almost nothing can be done to reverse any mistakes that were made. You can’t stop the presses. There’s often a contract that you can’t back out on. Traditional advertising is not the place to experiment, not unless you have the bottomless pockets of a global corporation to play with.
PPC is different. You don’t pay a dime until a user clicks on your ad. You can end your campaign at a moment’s notice. You can set limits on how much money gets used up by a campaign, and those limits can be just about as small as you like.
In short, PPC thrives on experimentation. There’s no need for focus groups and expensive market research when you can simply test the market directly, and continuously refine your strategy until you have perfected it.
PPC As Market Research
Not all companies are capable of turning a profit using a PPC campaign, especially if their primary source of revenue comes from ads. What most people don’t realize, however, is that PPC can also be used as an extremely cheap form of market research.
For the small business, social networking and SEO strategies tend to be more profitable than PPC campaigns. The catch, however, is that these strategies are only profitable if you know what you’re doing. It takes a tremendous amount of experimentation to figure out what you are doing. Since SEO and social networking strategies work very slowly, this means that it takes a long time before you can learn first hand whether any given tactic is actually doing anything for you.
This is why PPC can be effective for even small businesses that could never turn a direct profit from it. If you’ve ever asked how well a particular keyword or landing page will convert for you, paid search marketing is one of the best ways to find out.
By experimenting with keywords, ads, and landing pages, you can design a page that is is fully optimized not for the search engines, but for the users who will find it. Using ads to pick the best keywords, titles, and content is one of the most underrated strategies in the industry.
The sooner you can identify the strategy with the best conversions, the less time you will waste optimizing a page that won’t do you any good once it ranks. Since time is money, this ultimately means that a carefully designed PPC campaign is great for your bottom line.