Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements have a muddled reputation—some start-ups swear by them while many inbound marketers believe there are smarter ways to spend your money.
There is certainly no shortage of mixed opinions on AdWords and PPC. And while you could certainly make the argument that if something works for you why not use it, we would also like to highlight five reasons why PPC is not worth it.1. You Have To Pay For Them…
You may be thinking, duh, they are paid ads of course you have to pay for them. But while Google AdWords may seem smart and convenient, they are not cheap. You have to pay Google every time someone clicks on the link. Every time—regardless of whether or not that click results in a lead or a sale, regardless of how long that person stays on your site or if they leave after 3 seconds. This can hurt you when people are just browsing and clicking with no intent to buy.
…And, You Have To Keep Paying
Maybe you tried PPC and it seems to be working. That’s great, but what happens when you are running low on funds? As soon as you stop paying for PPC, they cease to exist; therefore, they require a constant available stream of money to work for you. Unless you have a large budget, they are probably not a viable option.
2. Are They Spammy?
Technically, PPC ads are not spam, but that doesn’t stop some people from thinking that they are. When someone searches Google for your business or a specified keyword, the results display the ad version and then, possibly right below it, the organic link to your site. The individual can click on either, and to them it might not matter, but some readers still view that little yellow square with skepticism and click on the non-ad link. Not only do you risk turning off potential customers, you don’t get any benefit from the ad link.
3. They're Not Your Only Choice
Of course everyone wants to get found online, but PPC is not your only option for SEO optimization. You can gain leads and close sales through quality content and proper keywords. Optimizing your content is the best way to get Google to work for you, without having to pay them for clicks. As inbound marketers we believe in drawing your audience to you by offering them what they need, not by paying for them to find you.
4. Tough Competition
As mentioned above, PPC ads are not cheap and that can make it difficult for small businesses—with smaller budgets—to compete with large companies. At its inception, Google AdWords were a viable option for small businesses, but as they got more popular and profitable, the fees went up making it nearly impossible for the little guys to keep up with the keyword costs and the deep pockets of big corporations.
5. Mistakes Happen
We’ve all been there—a small typo can wreak havoc. This is especially true if you are not vigilant with your AdWords campaigns. A typo or error can be very costly—broken links, unresponsive landing pages, and mistyped keywords result in penalties, downtime, and additional costs.
If you use PPC, you must always be attentive. For example, if you are experimenting with a 2-week campaign to measure success, but forget to deactivate ads after that time frame, you still have to pay for every click after that 2-week period until you remember to cancel—this can quickly add up and eat up your budget.
Now that you have read these 5 reasons, what are your thoughts? Do you still think that PPC ads are worth the cost and the risk? Let us know if you have a PPC success or fail story to share.
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