When Is PPC the Right Move?

The internet is a big place, and there are lots of digital advertising options. So how do you decide when it’s best to direct your ad budget to PPC, or pay-per-click advertising? That’s a good question, and I’m glad you asked.

In this short blog post, I’m going to share a few things that will help you decide when you should invest in PPC and the various benefits of it. If you’re considering venturing into PPC, but want to get the biggest bang for your buck, this post is for you. Hey, everyone likes to kick the tires, so don’t feel bad.

Let’s talk about when PPC is the right move, based on your website needs.

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You Need Quality Website Traffic

All website traffic is not created equal. What makes your website traffic high quality or low quality? To put it simply, intent. Someone casually browsing your site is quite a bit different from someone searching for a specific product, or filling out a form to request a service. We call those kind of site visitors quality traffic, and it doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, your website could always use more quality traffic.

Driving people to your site via PPC ads is a great way to get quality traffic, because those potential customers are there for a very specific reason. They went online and searched for an answer, saw an ad that promised an answer, clicked it, and they’re now ready to be contacted. This is the very definition of quality website traffic, and having amazing PPC ads is one of the quickest paths there.

You Need More Leads

Again, website traffic ought to be categorized by intent. When you serve clickable, helpful PPC ads, your website visitors are much more likely to submit a form, click a “Contact Me” call-to-action, or otherwise become a qualified lead. Like I said earlier, PPC ads help drive more qualified traffic to your site, and when site visitors convert (i.e., click a button or submit a form), they are considered a lead or an opportunity.

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You Need More Phone Calls

The “click-to-call” PPC ads are just what the doctor ordered if your business is trying to get the phone ringing. That’s right, PPC ads aren’t relegated to just landing pages or signup forms, you can also include a “click-to-call” functionality that lets your leads immediately call your business. And they don’t even have to click through to your site, they can call directly from the Google search page where the PPC ad was served. This works particularly well for mobile users, because it’s only natural to use your phone to contact a business.

You Need to Defend Your Digital Turf from Competition

Hey, it’s tough out there. If your competition has any sense at all, they’re going to be bidding on the same search terms & keywords that you are – as well as your business name in order to capitalize on your website traffic. Since we’re in the automotive industry, we see car dealerships bidding on their competition’s name all the time, so that when someone searches your dealership name, they’re served an ad for your competitor(s).

Bidding on your own dealership name can help combat some of that and keep qualified website traffic headed your way (and not to the dealership across town). Businesses that bid on their own name usually have better page position and even a lower cost-per-click, which I’ll talk about below.

 

Now you’ve got a pretty good idea of what makes PPC a good move, so let’s talk about some of the benefits. Not only will a successful PPC campaign help you achieve the goals above, but it can help the long-term health of your digital advertising game. Check out some of these sweet benefits.

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Speed

Much like Keanu Reeves on that speeding bus, your website is on the clock. PPC ads are the fastest way to get directly in front of the potential online customers looking for you. Google has a bit of a reputation for getting people accurate search results, and it’s vital that your PPC ads are showing up for the customers looking for your business. Other forms of digital advertising and SEO take time to see results, but PPC ads offer near instant results when created properly.

Transparency

If you’re doing your own PPC, then you’ve got access to your analytics so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. Optimizing your ads for conversion is impossible without clear and transparent reporting, so if you’re using an agency for PPC, make sure they’re sharing everything with you so that you can make the most intelligent decisions with your ad dollars. If you can see how every single penny is being spent, you can easily calculate ROI.

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Data, Data, Data

Again, the reporting data from your PPC ad campaigns will help you make adjustments to your keyword bids and even the specific time you are serving ads to customers. Bidding on keywords at 3:00 a.m. or on the weekends when your business is closed? Bad idea. Nobody will see those ads, and worse, they can’t take action even if they wanted to. That’s wasted money.

Volume

PPC is still a top performing digital advertising option when it comes to lead volume. Click-to-call and form submissions are two of the fastest ways to generate leads from your website.

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Lower Cost Per Lead

When you are running well-built and well-managed PPC ad campaigns, your cost per lead (CPL) can go way down. Too many times, people take a “shotgun” approach and try lots of different bids and schedules to see what sticks. Not only is that an inefficient way of running an ad campaign, it’s going to drive your CPLs way up, since it’s incredibly difficult to tell what’s working.

 

And that’s it, folks.

This post has been focused on PPC, obviously, but there are a host of other digital advertising options that are available to nearly any business with a website.

Are you in the automotive industry? Are you going to the Digital Dealer 22 conference this week in Tampa? Then stop by Room 17 on Wednesday (April 12) to hear me talk about prioritizing your digital marketing channels. I’ll talk about PPC, social advertising, video advertising, and more!