PPC requires a monetary investment, unlike other methods of online marketing. Still, that fact has no bearing on its ROI and overall performance as a marketing tool. In this blog, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of paid search with the goal of evaluating it as an investment.
Advantage: Target location
A relatively new feature of paid search is the ability to target users based on their location. This gives businesses another way to segment their target audience.
This recent Drum article explains the feature. According to the article, you can use it without ever having to split your campaign:
"Few noticed when Google introduced a location field to the ad customisers template within the Business Data section, and the majority of those that did failed to realize the importance. This allows you to dynamically adjust your ad copy based on a visitor’s location. This is without having to split campaigns out by location. This is all done in one campaign. No low search volume issues. No data dilution."
In a broader view, this makes paid search more effective. It's now easy to target relevant users since you can hone in on their location. This increases the ROI of the practice.
A serious disadvantage of paid search is the competition. Because it's an effective practice, your competitors will also want to use it to generate leads.
Of course, organic search is just as competitive, if not more, for the same reasons. You're going to have to deal with competition no matter the circumstances when it comes to online marketing.
Advantage: Use of buyer personas
One way to improve your paid search efforts is to create and refer to buyer personas. With these, you can imagine and visualize how real customers will interact with your marketing efforts.
According to a recent Search Engine Land article, using buyer personas in the context of paid search increases your ROI:
"However, if you add a few cold, hard financial facts to a buyer persona, you can instantly start to use it to refine your search marketing budget. Now, I know, this isn’t a typical way to use personas, but it’s a great way to start using them to actually change your business."
When you know what you're doing, paid search has a favorable ROI. It's when you do things on the fly that gets you into trouble.
Some small businesses have limited marketing budgets to work with. They don't like the fact that you have to pay for advertisements.
There's no getting around this one. Paid search, like other worthwhile marketing practices, costs money. Whether it's worth the investment is something you need to decide.
Advantage: Cost control
On the other hand, there are enough ways to make sure your paid search investment is reasonable. You don't have to waste your entire budget to get results.
Any business can afford paid search as long as its finances are in order. The size of the company doesn't determine whether the investment is worthwhile.
Advantage/Disadvantage: Just supplemental
And finally, this last point is going to be a positive or negative depending on how you see it. Even the best paid search campaign won't be enough to rely on in terms of your site traffic. That shouldn't even be the goal of your strategy.
The idea of paid search is to supplement your other online marketing efforts. It's often the last piece you need to bring everything together. The extra boost in site traffic will carry over to your content, social media, and email marketing efforts.
In the end, it's simple. Paid search campaigns backed by good strategies will always be worth the investment, while the less thought out ones may not be. To talk more about paid search, or anything else, contact us today.