Look we get it – the prime reason you run PPC ads is to generate money directly.
Common sense tells you that you should discard all the PPC ads that aren’t bringing the $$$ in and move onto other ads.
But sometimes common sense is wrong.
PPC ads can make you a lot of sales. They improve the visibility of your website in the SERPs, and they ensure that you don’t lose out to your rivals who are already using them.
And while it seems like a no-brainer to kill all PPC ads that aren’t generating direct ROI, it’s worth noting that the sheer visibility that a PPC ad gives you is itself worth its weight in gold – for many reasons.
Let’s explore why there is more than one thing that makes a PPC ad a success.
Brand exposure is everything. If no one has heard of you, no one is in a position to trust you enough to want to buy from you.
Without PPC ads, you might be languishing in page 3 of Google’s search results. And as the stats show, only 4.8% of us make it to page 2, while just 1.1% of us make it as far as page 3.
Not just this, but brand perception plays a key role here. If your business is stuck on page 3, it doesn’t look good.
The experts – the brands’ people trust – are on page 1 of Google. If only to make people familiar with your name and to boost your credibility, PPC ads get you on page 1. In an instant, they improve the way people perceive you.
Click-through rate refers to the number of clicks that your website has received.
This is a key metric, not simply in terms of how great it is that lots of people are clicking on your website, but in terms of PageRank.
PageRank is how Google decides how authoritative a website is, and thus how it should rank. The higher your page rank is, the higher you will rank.
Google takes a lot of things into consideration when it comes to assessing a website’s PageRank score, and one of these things is its click-through rate.
Websites with high CTRs indicate to Google that the site in question is providing the best answer to a specific query. Thus, it starts to rank higher, which improves its visibility.
As you can see, if your website is languishing on page 2 or 3 of Google, your CTR will be low. As a consequence, your PageRank will remain low and your website will remain practically invisible.
PPC ads can bump up your CTR rate, and thus your PageRank and visibility. And once you start to rank higher and higher, you can then spend less on your PPC campaigns.
PPC Ads Let You Know What’s Working and What Isn’t
Following on from the above point, let’s imagine a situation where you’ve run a PPC ad with the expectation of improving your click-through rate … but it’s barely improved.
This can be a real bummer because you know your ad is at the top of the search results. Why is no one clicking?
It could well be that your meta description isn’t compelling enough. And this is what a PPC ad lets you experiment with.
A meta description is there to let people know what to expect from your website, but it’s also there to draw people in. It has to be informative, compelling and engaging. Here are some tips:
- Know what the customer wants. Once you know what they want, you can offer it to them in the meta description.
- Add a CTA. A CTA – such as the offer of a free trial is an easy way to boost your click-through rate.
- Make this look seamless. A good meta description typically includes a main keyword, but you need to fit the keyword in so that it looks seamless.
Next, let’s imagine that your PPC ad has improved your CTR rate – but that your bounce rate is really high.
Because Google uses bounce rate as a ranking factor, a high bounce rate can have devastating effects on your position in the SERPs. So while a PPC ad might be driving traffic to your website, it can show you that something needs fixing.
If your bounce rate is high, check your analytics to find out why. It might be that your landing page isn’t compelling enough, or it might be that you’re using the wrong keywords to drive the wrong traffic.
Traffic for the sake of traffic is irrelevant – it becomes a vanity metric that serves no real purpose.
And while social media can land you more leads, people use social media to be social. In other words, they’re not actively looking to buy.
SEO – and PPC ads – is different. When people type in a search term, they are actively looking for something. This means that if your keywords are right, you can eat up more conversions and sales.
PPC ads allow you to grab more of the right traffic. Even if a person doesn’t make a purchase from you there and then, you can use your website to capture their email address, offer them a free gift and so on.
Moreover, PPC ads give you a great chance to refine your keyword strategies so that you drive more high-quality traffic to your page.
If you’re using PPC ads but they’re not generating direct ROI, it’s a tad disheartening.
But at least you’re driving traffic – and that has to be better than spending zero $$$ on PPC ads and having no traffic.
Once people are on your page, you’ve got their data, which you can then use later to remarket more ads to them.
Google allows you to do this, and you can find more information about remarketing here.
In a nutshell, remarketing gives you a chance to bring past site visitors back into the game via a solid remarketing campaign. These site visitors have already expressed an interest and just need something to nudge them in the right direction.
As you can see, even PPC ads that don’t generate direct ROI are vital. They drive traffic and help you discover more about your audience, as well as what’s working and what isn’t. Over time, that ROI will come. For now, you just need to be a bit patient.