Is PPC dead?

So often people will claim that certain marketing channels are no longer worth investing in. They are, in effect, dead! Yet this is so rarely the case. The way that marketing channels are used is always changing. This is due to the environment that we operate constantly shifting. In this article when I refer to PPC I am speaking about text-based search ads. The kind that you see covering ever more real estate on your search engine results pages (SERPs) these days.

What is PPC?

So let’s start with the basics. As I mentioned by PPC I am referring to test-based search ads that feature at the top of search engine results pages and are normally marked with a small “ad” sign next to them.

What is the benefit of PPC?

The first place people look to find a solution to a problem that they may be facing is through search engines. Therefore being able to serve up your solution when somebody searches for it has real value. Organic SEO has become hard. To feature organically on search engine results pages can be difficult and often takes a lot of time to build your online presence. PPC is a very quick way to feature at the top of these pages.

Why do people say that PPC is dead?

PPC has become more competitive. With more competition this has driven prices up, which has made it an unviable channel for many. There are still possibilities to keep your advertising spends low through being creative, using long tailed keywords and broad match modified keywords, it is just different than it was before.

If you have a high ticket item cost with a large margin you will probably be able to use PPC effectively still. You may need to do more research and search for long tail variants of the keywords that you want to rank for. The main factors for your PPC are to test everything and to get a broad range of terms and Adgroups that are right for your business.

How can I get better value from my PPC?

There are many different techniques and I will list some of the most effective ones here. If you are on a low budget you can restrict the times that your adverts are being shown. For example if you are a company providing B2B services you may want to restrict the times that your adverts are shown to only display during office hours. You will also want to set a bid limit for the day, you do need to be aware that the bid limits that you set per day for keywords often get exceeded. Therefore you may want to restrict the total bids for individual keywords. This may result in your ad never being shown as the first result. It is always worth testing whether you see more success having more clicks on ads at lower positions or fewer clicks in the number one placement.

It is always worth using the full range of bid types for your keywords. Know that exact match keywords are the most expensive and for those on a budget should be avoided for more generic terms and only attempted for long tail variations. Using the Keyword planner tool is vital for researching how different keywords perform. However these are just guides, although they are really useful, to find out how effective different terms are you need to test. Remember to always test with different ads too. Responsive search ads are great for testing out different variations.

I hope that this guide was useful for describing why people say PPC is dead and for highlighting some of the benefits. If you are thinking about using PPC as a tactic for your business, feel free to contact us.

Photo by Launchpresso on Unsplash

John is a data driven marketing specialist and website manager who lives in South East London. When he isn't blogging for us he works for NHS Property Services.

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