This article is contributed by Pat Walton.
PPC marketing is the absolute market leader when it comes to online advertising. The largest and most powerful of the search engines, Google Inc. alone pulls in over $10 billion per year in revenue from their pay per click advertising platform Adwords. With such revenue streams it’s obvious that PPC is very popular and well used amongst many market segments.
Despite this, a number of misconceptions or myths about the platform still exist in the minds of many people who haven’t yet tried out pay per click. Having such misconceptions might be doing your business more harm than good in missing out on a wonderfully useful marketing method, so let’s go over them now.
I have to Work with Google
This is one of the most common myths regarding PPC, that Google is the only game in town, it’s flat out untrue. Google’s Adwords program is one of several that are available to you as an online entrepreneur looking to start a PPC campaign. Microsoft’s MSN ads, Yahoo ads and the Bing advertising network are just some of the others out there. All vary slightly in their application but the basic point is the same; if you can reach your target audience through them, you don’t need to even speak to Google if you don’t want to.
PPC is Too Expensive
This misconception is only as true as you want it to be. For one thing, most PPC services, including Adwords, will let you set your own monthly budget of any size and your spending doesn’t have to go beyond it by a single cent unless you want to spend more. Your ads will only be shown until your budget runs out. Furthermore, even if your budget is small, your pay per click campaigns can still be very effective if you select the keywords for your niche right and gear the landing pages your ads take people to for high conversion.
You Need To Have your Ads in the Number 1 Position
Not at all, many people believe that PPC campaigns work well only if an ad is positioned in the top spot on search listings. This is nonsense for two reasons. First, many studies have actually shown that ads positioned between second and sixth place actually receive more clicks than top spot positions; these ads are cheaper and thus you will actually pay less for your clicks if you aim for them instead. Second, what really brings in the clicks on a PPC ad is its wording and the effectiveness of its keyword targeting. If your ads are compellingly written and have been placed well based on searches by your target audience, you’ll have excellent click-through anywhere on the first page of search results.
I Can Run my PPC Campaigns on Autopilot
Another frequent misconception is that a PPC campaign can be set up just once and left to run by itself continuously until your money runs out. Again, this isn’t true at all; you need to manage your PPC campaigns, or at least have someone competent do it for you. Constant experimentation is what makes pay per click work so well. You got to research new keywords, keep up with search trends in your target advertising niche and experiment with different ad phrasings to see which ads can give you better results.
I Need to Aim for High Click Through Rates
A lot of people getting started on PPC think that their biggest aim is a high rate of clicks on their ads. The truth is that while click through is great, it’s not at all the most important thing. Your real objective is high conversion -what happens when visitors click on your ads and land on your website itself. You want the percentage of these people that ends up buying to be as high as possible. Even a low click through rate can bring great results if your conversion is above average.
I’ll be a Victim of Click Fraud
Click fraud is a way of ruining someone’s ad campaign by clicking on their ads from another machine and causing their budget to run out faster (since you’re charged for every click that someone makes on your ads). Realistically, this is highly unlikely to happen to your own campaign and even if it does, the search engines are very good at detecting it and won’t bill you for fraudulent clicks on your ads.
PPC Takes a Long Time to Show Results
A lot of online and offline advertising won’t show its buyers any results for days, weeks or even months. The exact opposite is the case for PPC; its response time is nearly instantaneous. If you’ve selected your ad keywords well, have written your ads in a very attention grabbing way and are bidding ahead of others on the keywords for which you want your ads to appear, you’ll get results within minutes if anyone is interested in buying. This is because the ads appear exactly as people are searching on the engines, looking for solutions to their problems and ready to buy.
My Ads Won’t Reach the Buyers I’m Looking for
PPC is probably the most highly targeted advertising platform in existence. It delivers ads for your products and services directly to the consumers who are most interested in them right at the moment when they are searching for what you’re offering. No other type of advertising offers something like this at such discount prices relative to audience reach.
PPC Listing isn’t Important if I have High Organic Search Ranking
On the contrary, although organic search rank in the first page is great and highly important, having your ad also appear in the paid listings to one side is likely to increase your click through rate by a certain margin. Both are very useful and reinforce each other’s legitimacy in the eyes of search engine users.
SEM (search engine marketing) PPC Campaigns will Improve your Organic Rankings
Many people are also under the false impression that if you spend money with Google as a customer, they’ll also raise your site in their listings. This is fortunately not true. Google takes its organic results search quality with extreme seriousness; they know that their entire success depends on their reliability as an unbiased information locator. For this reason, buying ads with the company won’t result in any special consideration for your domain form an SEO point of view.
Author Bio: Pat Walton has covered the tech industry for over two decades. When he’s not writing about technology, you can find Pat reviewing video production companies in Chicago or working on restoring his vintage 1963 Corvette.