When it comes to inbound marketing there is often a feeling of shame and embarrassment when when one of our colleagues admits that they are using pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
This idea of paying for attention seems to fly in the face of everything that we inbound marketers stand for: educational content, and attracting prospects through social media, email and blogging.
The concept of having to pay for clicks seems like a shortcut to authentic search engine rank. However, I am here to tell you that there are 5 good and legitimate reasons to use pay per click to grow your business. So let’s get started:
1) Immediate Exposure
One great thing about pay-per-click is the immediacy of it. If you wanted to, you could set up a Google Adwords campaign in a couple of hours. Essentially, you would just need to pick some keywords, write some ads, create your budget and select your target areas. Then, just run your ads, and within a day you have instant exposure on Google!
If you think about this, it’s pretty remarkable, PPC gives marketers the ability to gain exposure almost instantly. You don’t need to worry about any of the typical concerns related to ranking organically like: building inbound links from other “high authority” websites, and optimizing your site for on-page seo. So use pay-per-click advertising if you need to gain immediate exposure for your organization while you work to build momentum for your other inbound marketing tactics.
2) Boost Visibility for Poor Performing Keywords
Another great “use case” for pay-per-click is helping to elevate exposure for poor performing keywords. As marketers we are always working to boost our lower ranking “long-tail” keywords. We do this by blogging and other inbound marketing tactics.
However, this takes a good amount of time effort and energy to create valuable content around these “long-tail” keywords. So by using PPC for a select few low ranked keywords you make sure that you have visibility for all the keywords that relate to your business.
A major reason pay-per-click became an instant favorite for many marketers and advertisers is because of the trackability of this medium. A well managed pay-per-click campaign gives you detailed analytics on every impression, click and lead that you generate. These types of metrics are simply unavailable when compared to other types of advertising. So pay-per-click empowers marketers who need to show granular return-on-investment metrics to company leadership.
Another driver of ppc’s success is the fact that it is so scalable, companies both large and small can use ppc to advance their business goals. For example, when setting up your campaign you can set a budget of 5 dollars per day or 5,000 dollars per day.
This ability of ppc to scale up for enterprise organizations while simultaneously maintaining accessibility for small local companies has driven many marketers to use this advertising channel.
Additionally, pay-per-click can help you build initial customers relationships by driving qualified prospects to your site. The great part is future purchases from the same customer typically happen without the need for ppc. In this sense pay-per-click is a great way to initially scale your business.
5) Geographic Targeting
Finally, pay-per-click is excellent if you want to focus on a narrow geographic area. For example, let’s say that you run a local pizza shop in San Diego, California, and you want to target patrons in a 10 mile radius of your restaurant. Using pay-per-click advertising you can select only that area around your business. PPC allows you this type of granular control over where your ads are displayed.
The Bottom Line
When used correctly, pay-per-click is a powerful tool in the inbound marketers toolbelt and as we've explored, there are definitely legitimate use cases for it. So evaluate the state of your search engine visibility for all your business related keywords. Look for areas of improvement and see if supplementing your search engine optimization efforts with pay-per-click advertising makes sense.
Remember, there is no shame in using ppc to elevate your search visibility so hold your head high while you drive traffic and create leads with your pay-per-click campaigns.
Originally published Apr 25, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023