Understanding the Pros and Cons of Pay-per-Click Advertising

internet marketingAs a business, your website should function as more than an electronic business card that rarely gets seen. Your website should:

  • set you apart as the business of choice for people in need of your products or services
  • be easily accessible to potential clients who are looking for your products or services
  • your website should get you more of the types of clients you want.

But how do you beat out competitors—and perhaps more importantly—get potential clients to see your site in the first place?

To increase the amount of potential clients who view their site, some businesses turn to Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising. PPC advertising is a way to bring targeted traffic to your site for specific search queries potential clients enter in the search engines.

For example: if you are a personal injury attorney in Phoenix and buy relevant phrases for a PPC ad, when a potential client types in “Phoenix serious personal injury lawyer” your site will appear in the “Sponsored Links” section of the search engine results.  You won’t pay a fee for this visibility until someone clicks on your listing.

When developing an Internet marketing campaign for your business, PPC can be an asset to your online visibility. Below are some pros and cons to consider before investing in a PPC advertising campaign.

PROs of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Fast Results

With PPC advertising, you will be able to see results immediately.  As soon as you set up your account, your business’ ad will immediately appear when people search for the phrases you’ve purchased.  Potential clients will then be able to access your site and begin to see how you can meet their particular needs. For new businesses, this can be a great tool to get a jump start with Internet marketing!

Increased Visibility

PPC ads are a good option for businesses that do not yet have a strong Internet presence.   It enables you to target your niche market so that you can start to get the types of clients you want.  Since PPC ads are less visited by potential clients than websites that are listed in the search engine’s organic results, PPC can be a good strategy to utilize in conjunction with other Internet marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization.

Controllable Costs

Through a PPC advertising campaign, you can control which keyword phrases you are interested in purchasing and can set a budget for the number of clicks you’re willing to pay for.  Once your budget runs out, your ad no longer runs. In this way, you can keep a tight rein on your budget by starting and stopping a PPC ad at will.

CONS of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Price Inflation

The cost of purchasing keywords for PPC advertisements is largely determined by their popularity. The more a keyword is sought after, the higher its price. This can severely impact your bottom line or make it impossible for you to get the targeted terms that would yield the best results for your business.

Click Fraud

Fraudulent clicks on your PPC advertisement cost you money and reduce the return on your investment. A dishonest PPC service may try to charge you higher fees by clicking on your link, or soliciting people from around the world to click your ad, multiple times.  Although this practice is unethical, some PPC services simply want to take advantage of you. Additionally, keep in mind that your competitors may click you out of the listing.

Fleeting Results

Although your firm’s website will be visible on search engines right away and you’ll promptly see results, this is a fleeting success. When your PPC campaign ends, so do your results. Additionally, the Sponsored Links section of the search engines results pages only receive 15% percent of the clicks. The majority of the clicks go to listings in the organic results. For lasting results, it’s important to seek high rankings for relevant key term phrases in the organic listings of the search engines.

Of course, it is important to be careful when hiring any company to manage your company’s Internet marketing. A good company will be aware of all of the various means available to you to get your name out there and be able to provide you with the information you need to make good decisions about the best way to achieve your Internet marketing goals.