This post contains older information, but has been left up for historical reasons. For more up-to-date information, please see our Lead Generation Hub .
The chart above shows the effectiveness of PPC objectives according the survey respondents to MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – PPC Edition . Almost 50% of respondents to MarketingSherpa’s PPC survey said PPC was very effective in increasing lead generation. So if your objective is to increase leads, then you should definitely look into PPC. According to this report, the same can be said for increasing website traffic and generating online sale revenue.
But the key here is ROI. PPC campaigns can be costly, both in terms of money spent and time allocated, and you need to constantly keep an eye on what your costs are, even if you’re getting leads, more website traffic and sales.
One aspect of PPC that did not get asked in MarketingSherpa’s survey was the value of PPC in relation to tests. When we’re trying to decide what to call an eBook or a kit, we often test the names in PPC campaigns. This way we can see which title gets the better traction. We test subject lines for future emails to help us get a sense of what catches people’s attention. And we test keyword phrases, and follow the chain from click through to conversion rates. This lets us know where to focus our attention for organic search.
We also think you need to evaluate PPC in relation to industry benchmarks and metrics. For example if you’re getting a 5% click through rate and 4% conversion, is that good or not? HubSpot is sponsoring an excerpt from MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – PPC Edition , and in it you can find out how your company compares in relation to keyword numbers, click through rates and conversion rates. That will at least give you some benchmark from which to decide how well your PPC campaigns work.