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The basics of pay-per-click advertising

I find it hard to believe there are industrial companies out there which are still spending thousands of pounds a year on magazine advertising, or in directories, or on online banner ads …but are not using online pay-per-click (“PPC”) advertising at all. Look, by all means, if you’re spending as much as makes sense on Google AdWords, and you still have advertising budget left over, then by all means spread the love a bit. But start at the top, for goodness sake. It’s a bit like being asked “Who’s going to win the Premier League?” and replying “I’m going to say it’ll be one of either Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal, because I’m going to completely irrationally ignore Manchester United”.

The 7 Cardinal Sins of B2B Search Engine Marketing is a downloadable PDF document written by internet marketing consultant Todd Miechiels, and it’s a very nice introduction to pay-per-click advertising. He rather ambitiously suggests you need to spend £2,000 a month for three months to get enough data to see if PPC works for you, and certainly if you want real confidence in your data, that’s a good recommendation. But my guess is that most of you are experienced enough to make judgements on less data than that (with much B2B advertising, you’re probably booking it on almost no data at all), so I wouldn’t be put off PPC just because your advertising budget is less than this. The main thing is that you just do it. The response is better than any other advertising, it’s more measurable, and it’s more consistent. If your current advertising is generating dismal response, it’s time to cancel it all and do Google AdWords instead.

If it looks daunting, then there are some good people out there who can manage it all for you, including the team here at Business Marketing Online. We’re already handling several companies’ AdWords campaigns, and I wish I could tell you how delighted they are …and how much they wished they’d taken the plunge years ago.

2 thoughts on “The basics of pay-per-click advertising”

  1. Yes Chris, that’s all very well, but what about those poor magazine and website guys who are trying to provide reasonably unbiased information into their particular niche markets and who rely on the vendor’s advertising to keep ’em going? Surely there is a critical mass here when everyone does Google-ads (Is there really anyone else in the fray?) will the object of the enterprise be defeated?

  2. Hi Eoin – Google AdWords is not inherently superior to other forms of advertising except in one crucial respect: its accountability. If you set up your systems correctly, you can track back the response to the finest detail, and gradually move towards 0% wastage in your targeting – as well as only paying for “results”. Meanwhile, print and online banner advertising, for the most part, just sits there as it did in 1999 (or 1979 in the case of print) and says: “spend money with me and you’ll just have to guess if it was worthwhile or not”. The only way to minimise wastage is to advertise in progressively more niche publications, but few (if any) are prepared to give you the tools or data to work out the conversion figures, so they still provide an inferior service (and I write this sadly, as an ex-magazine editor and website owner).

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