PPC or Pay Per Click usually gets a bad rap. Truth is, PPC advertising can be a powerful tool. Especially when integrated with healthy SEO marketing practices, PPC could be the edge you didn’t know you needed online. Today, we’re busting three myths you thought you knew about our friendly neighbourhood advertising method.

But nobody ever clicks on ads!

The biggest myth that haunts PPC advertising is the archaic and simply, well, wrong idea that nobody clicks on Google ads. Consider the following:

People click. The key with PPC advertising is getting the right people to click. Remember how it worked?  If 200 people per week click on an ad that costs 0.20 cents per click but end up buying nothing, then your company just wasted $150 after a month. PPCs work best with niche areas, since the goal for PPC ads isn’t to gather “curiosity clicks.”

They’re easy to spot

You see the faint yellow border, the telltale slight indent and think- an ad! I’m not clicking on that! Hate to break it to you, but up to 50% of users can’t actually differentiate between ads and organic results if there are no ads displayed on the right.

jan 2 not ads

How? Studies show that searchers are trained to view the left side of the screen as the space where regular, organic results show up. Meanwhile, the right is viewed (and often used) as a place for advertisements.

jan 2 ads

That being said, a coin flip is still a chance too high for search engines like Google and Bing. One solution to this is to simply move the advertisement around. Since 2011, Google has introduced bottom page ads. The goal is to entice searchers either before giving up or trying the next page.

 jan 2 bottom ads

A more direct solution, however, is to acknowledge the visibility and simply make the ads better. Some ads now display the ability to directly call the business. Google+ users can now see which companies their friends had “+1’d” or endorsed. Just this month, Google will display its Google+ users’ name and profile pictures on related ads. Ever +1’d that Mexican restaurant you went to? Well, your buddy Joe will now see that endorsement when he googles “mexican restaurant whitby”. It’s a controversial but highly effective move, since seeing familiar recommendations greatly provides a level of authority that anonymous or unfamiliar comments online won’t.

PPC is a huge waste of money

This one may actually prove true – if you go into PPC without research. You have to PAY per CLICK after all. But this is where PPC shines; success is absolutely measurable. Set a goal, check the results and improve where necessary. Here are a number of ways to measure your PPC campaign:

  • CTR or Click-through rate: this measures how often people clicked on your ad, divided by impressions (how many times an ad was displayed). 5% and up is considered good.

  • Conversion Rate: This can differ from site to site, but typically it’s the ratio it takes to convert visitors into customers. Clicks into revenue.

  • Spend: How’s that budget doing?

To websites with niche services and goods, PPC advertising is absolutely crucial. Have a 14th century scimitar that your online store is looking to sell? Make an ad for that! Because while you might have wasted $150 in January through poor conversions, you’ve reworked your targeted keywords and managed to gain two new regular customers the next month. Not a bad deal, considering the least they could spend in your online antique store is $700 before shipping.

PPC can be a complicated beast to tackle, but those with the patience to figure it out will reap the benefits. Modern SEO campaigns can take months to be fully effective, and frankly we don’t always have the time. Get out there, experiment, and try an ad or two!

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