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Boosting Sales: How Pay-Per-Click Gives you the Upper Hand
Guest Post by Andrew Lowen
In the world of marketing, there are really two kinds of people. First, you’ve got your marketing ‘purists’; they’re the ones who think that all traffic should be organic traffic, and that search engine optimization, or SEO, is the be all and end all of a successful advertising campaign.
And then you’ve got your ‘any port in a storm’ marketers; they’re the ones who don’t really care too much about the methods they use, or about whether traffic is organic or inorganic, as long as they’re seeing results.
So, which one are you?
Organic vs. Inorganic Traffic
No one can really argue against the fact that organic traffic is the better of the two. Of course, it is. In a perfect world, we all want to see that our websites are performing so well that visitors are finding them all on their own.
But the world isn’t perfect.
In fact, when you’re trying to fight your way to top billing against an entire army of competitors, the world can actually be pretty tricky.
So the question you need to be asking yourself is this: if you’re struggling to get your website seen by the right people, at the right time what are you going to do? Are you going to sit back and accept it? Or are you going to take action and do something about it?
Pay-per-click could be all you need to succeed.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are sponsored results that appear above the links that Google determines to be the most relevant for each search it conducts, and they generate inorganic traffic to your website.
Now let’s not beat around the bush here, a lot has been said in the past about methods that create inorganic traffic.
Some Say It’s ‘Cheating’; Others Say It Can Ruin a Brand’s Reputation; We Say It Works
The truth is that, if visibility is an issue for you right now, PPC can help, and there’s no shame in grabbing available opportunities to do what’s best for the future of your business.
There’s also no need to worry about brand reputation, either. In fact, most users couldn’t spot a paid ad if it bit them on the nose!
Benefits of Pay-Per-Click
The main benefit of PPC is that, when you’re up against a sea of competitors, this is a method that’s going to make you stand out from the crowd; it’s going to give you the upper hand.
It mostly all comes down to ensuring that your website is seen first, and removes the need to try and climb to the top of the Google search results.
Keep in mind that three-quarters of people won’t bother to scroll past the first page of results, so if your site is hanging out around the 12th position mark, you’re pretty much invisible.
Visibility is a direct benefit of PPC, but there are a few extra indirect benefits, too, which can really help to give your business a boost.
Improved visibility results in more traffic, which in turn results in:
- more awareness
- more conversions
- more sales
- and, ultimately, more profits
What more could you want?
Best Practices for Pay-Per-Click
PPC sounds great, doesn’t it? It is… but it’s also got a bit of a sneaky side.
While PPC can seem simple, in many cases it’s more complicated than it looks, and it’s a method that’s actually very easy to get wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If PPC isn’t giving your business the boost you expected (ie. if you’re seeing increased traffic but your conversion rates are still looking a little sad), then it’s wise to take a look at your link destination URL, as this could be what’s stopping you from enjoying all the PPC benefits.
When It Comes to Pay-per-Click, It’s Important to Remember That Your Visitors Haven’t Directly Searched for Your Website
They don’t know you, and at this point, they’re not particularly interested in getting to know you.
If they’ve just conducted a search, then they’re only after one thing: a relevant result to that search. So while you may like the idea of using PPC as a way to bond with your audience, that might not be the best way forward.
To Put It Bluntly, Don’t Set Your Link Destination URL as Your Homepage!
Instead, always choose a product or service specific link that will satisfy your visitors. They can get to know you later!
Disadvantages of Pay-Per-Click
So, are there any downsides to using PPC? Of course! There are downsides to practically every type of advertising technique, and PPC is no different.
The most obvious downside is that Pay-Per-Click costs money… it’s in the name, after all!
Businesses pay for each click that’s made, with the average fee per clickgenerally being between $1 and $2. One person clicks, you pay $1. 100 people click, you pay $100. You get the gist. It may not sound much, but the average business pays between $9000 and $10,000 per month for PPC!
There’s another pretty big downside to PPC, too: PPC is essentially little more than a band-aid.
It’s a quick fix to stop the bleeding before the wound can be stitched up. Basically, while PPC is great for a short-term boost in traffic, it’s not exactly suitable as a long-term solution to improving sales and profits.
PPC does a fantastic job of sending visitors in the right direction and getting them to your website… but what then? What have you got on your website that’s going to encourage these visitors to stick around? PPC can’t do that for you; that’s something that you’re going to have to figure out. Hint: It’s SEO!
Longer Term Solutions
SEO and PPC are like cheese and wine or spaghetti and meatballs; they go hand in hand.
It’s the perfect combination for businesses that are struggling with low levels of traffic: using PPC to get visitors to the right place, and using SEO to keep them there. Eventually, as your SEO strategy develops, you’ll find that your analysis is showing an increasing amount of organic traffic, and you can wave goodbye to PPC.
There’s plenty of other longer-term solutions that work pretty well, too:
- With social media still being a red-hot topic and showing no signs of dying out anytime soon
- SMM is well worth dipping a toe or two into
- And while email marketing may not be as trendy, it’s still a fantastic way to engage with audiences.
Most importantly, it’s about doing what’s best for you and your business.
Take a few moments to think about which metrics you want to measure, and create a list of key performance indicators, or KPIs. These metrics are really effective in showing you what’s working, and what isn’t.
Remember that boosting sales isn’t a science, it’s an art. There’s no right or wrong answer, so gives things a try and see if they work!
About the Author
Andrew is the CEO of Next Level Web, a trusted marketing agency based in San Diego, California. He has three lovely daughters and the most patient wife of all time. They specialize in Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Advertising, and Email Marketing (The Agency - not the daughters... yet). See case studies & results of happy clients at www.NextLevelWeb.com.
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