I get asked often by clients if they should participate in PPC Campaigns on Google and in just about every instance I would say a resounding yes. That said, in order to have measurable success, you need to be willing to spend a little. I will go over the benefits first, tackle costs, and then fringe benefits.

The Quick Benefits of PPC

The most obvious benefit is that you can instantly buy your way on to the top of the first page of Google as well as Bing (includes Yahoo) with a relatively modest investment depending on your industry. A well built PPC campaign can target very specific geographic locations, run at certain times, and target specific devices such as users searching on cell phones. Also, campaign extensions like click-to-call campaigns can generate loads of calls to the business. Unlike SEO, PPC campaigns are like light switches, however, there are fringe benefits which we will tackle a little further down.

Let’s Talk About PPC, Dollars and Sense

For example, a sealcoating company can get a #1 listing on the first page of Google with a per click investment of $2 targeting their local geographic target, however, if we were to bid on terms in the Digital Marketing industry, we are looking at upward of $60 per click. For most verticals, the lower end of the spectrum is common, especially of focusing on a geographic area like Western NY.

Depending on your profit margins, if you spend $100 to make $2,000, I am sure quantifying PPC is easy. Actually, it would be pretty irresponsible to not do it. Otherwise, spending $100 to make $100 is potentially flawed.

Google specifically set the tone for this, but any person utilizing an agency for PPC must be billed directly for clicks with full transparency. Agencies charge a flat management fee and/or a clickshare rate, meaning a percentage of actual PPC spend is post-billed, generally 18%. Effectively, this is like a “tip” as one client observed. Some local agencies charge flat fees of $300 plus 12.5% click share which can in some cases, double the actual campaign cost.

We are currently not charging any of these fees for clients. Why not, you may ask? Frankly, in order to qualify for Google Agency Partnership, we need to have active campaigns. We are committed to doing this the rest of the calendar year. I truly want every client to at least test the waters with PPC without fears of additional fees. One month, $10 per day can go a long way for most industries, however, some may justify more. Google is very transparent with their recommended budgets.

PPC and SEO; A Romantic Tale

The first thing you need to understand is that spending on a PPC campaign doesn’t correlate to Organic rank. Google makes this very clear that doing one doesn’t drive the other as a 1:1 relationship. That said, the end result of a well built and successful PPC campaign drives the ranking factors that result in better SEO results.

For example, some of the key organic ranking factors like visitor engagement, website traffic and time on site can be greatly enhanced with an effective PPC campaign. We have experienced this over and over with stale websites that have plateaued on organic search or new websites lacking domain authority.

The true hidden gem actually comes in the form of metrics. Google Analytics provides zero keyword data roughly 99% of the time for organic searches. On the other hand, PPC offers complete transparency into keywords and phrases that generated that click. This data can be used to greatly enhance the website content and meta information to push even a good SEO plan over the top long after the PPC campaign ends. We have long extracted that information to update the website itself to turn paid clicks into organic strongholds for years to follow.

Bing! Using just Google is only 63% of search engine use nationally. Bing (includes Yahoo) is the other third of search density and is generally half the cost. Bing has a handy import tool, so a campaign in Google can be easily transposed into Bing’s search network.

What Else Do You Need to Know About PPC?

Actually, not much. If you do a campaign with First Page Media, we ensure you have full transparency in the campaign at all times. We provide weekly reporting via email. We encourage your involvement however you need not do anything at all other than reap the benefits.