Ask The PPC Consultant (or Fun with PPC FAQs)

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Questions We Hear All The Time…

When it comes to understanding PPC consultation, there are NO dumb questions. AdWords makes it look like just about anyone could win with PPC, regardless of experience or training. Unfortunately, that works out pretty well for Google as they rake in the big bucks…not so well for marketers.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of some of the common questions we get from prospects, whether they’re entirely new to paid search or have been trying it on their own for awhile. Hopefully, this will help fill in the blanks for you. If not, we would love to hear what’s on your mind, so we can include your questions in our next FAQ-esque post.

The Incredible Deal! (Or Not)

We’re going to start with the biggie. It might come in an email. Or as an ad online, or even in the mail.

“We can get your site on the first page of Google, guaranteed, for $100…today!”

There’s not anything quite so disappointing as getting a call from a PPC prospect or SEO client, and having them ask if this offer is legit. Once they stop to think about it, most people know that an offer like this couldn’t possibly work for organic search. But what they clearly didn’t realize was that anyone could use paid search to get their site on the first page for almost any term, today, although it might involve big bids. So why would you pay someone even more for a one-time appearance of a single term?

And the offer has another problem — the one that almost everyone misses: you don’t want to show up for only ONE term!  You ACTUALLY want to show up for probably somewhere around 100 terms…and 100 terms times $100 per term is $10K!  Nope, nope, not okay. A budget buster right there.

If you’ve fallen for one of these scams, don’t feel bad. The offer is compelling and hard to resist, and they’ve pulled in many an otherwise savvy marketer.  Thankfully, it’s never too late to get paid search right.

Isn’t Paid Search just a matter of spend more and get more business? 

Oh, if only!  But really it’s a lot more complicated than that. It’s entirely possible to spend your entire marketing budget and get absolutely zero new business. Yes, we said that…because it’s true. Without a solid strategy, including the right keywords, the right ads, and the right landing pages complete with carefully crafted calls-to-action, you could be lining Google, Facebook or Twitter’s pockets without bringing in more of what you need…customers!

About “the right keywords:” Google likes to run your ad for any search term even close to what you chose. For example, you have window shades for sale. You quickly get lots of clicks, but few sales…and when you look at your analytics, visits are only seconds long. If you know where to look, you’ll discover your ads are running for lamp shades, car shades, camaro car shades, solar shades…and Ray-Ban shades! The key to focusing your investment and limiting your spend is to add negative keywords like lamp, car, solar and Ray-Ban. This technique prevents your ads from showing on search phrases with the negative keywords.

Google says they’ll create and run our B2B AdWords account for free. Why should we pay someone else to run it? 

The old adage of the fox guarding the hen house comes to mind whenever we hear this question. And it’s not just Google. Several paid search marketing platforms very “generously” offer to make all of the decisions for you. And then to bill you for all of the clicks they generate. Unfortunately, their motive is never to get you the most results for the lowest possible spend! Nope. While we’d never say that they’re not being honest, we will say that the choices made by these programs usually (okay, always) result in higher spends overall and higher costs per conversion than you could get with a well-run agency plan.

We’ve tried PPC advertising, and it just didn’t work for us. Either we had no clicks, or lots of clicks and no sales. Why should we try again? 

It’s so easy to start a paid search campaign. And so easy to get off base, too. Some companies start by including every word in the book, including single terms like “booking”, “custom” or “wholesale.” That approach can quickly run up the costs…and the bounce rate! Scary stuff!

Others stick to in-house phrases, industry jargon or acronyms only employees and vendors know, and then give up on AdWords when impressions and clicks are nearly non-existent. Some forget about landing pages, and others create a single ad to use over and over, regardless of the ad group or keywords.

But don’t feel bad if AdWords or social media PPC didn’t work for you. It’s a lot more complicated than it first seems — which is why you probably need certified, experienced professionals to sort through all of the details.

Does Paid Search work for B2B businesses?  I thought that was just for retail.

Actually, paid search is a great choice for B2B marketing. Busy professionals need answers, resources and solutions NOW, and they often don’t have time to dig through pages and pages of organic results trying to find what they want. Paid search lets you put your products or services right there in front of prospects, complete with handy links, phone numbers and a landing page designed just for them, based on their search. What could be better?

What kind of B2B businesses can use paid search?  

The answer is just about all of them.  Yes, there are industry regulations and the governmental messaging limitations imposed on companies in legal, medical and some financial specialties.  But chances are, there is some aspect of paid search that will work for your company, whether it’s for sales, lead generation, brand awareness or sharing things like white papers or webinars.

Stay tuned for our next edition of “Fun with FAQs” sometime down the road. Have we answered your questions? If not, let us know so we can include your ideas next time.

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