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PPC Effectiveness – Part 2

To continue my defense of PPC, and in particular, defending the use of the services of a PPC professional, I want to reiterate that I mean a TRUE PPC professional, meaning a person that has advanced knowledge of AdWords and its interface and best practices, someone that takes the time to get to know your business and your goals, and one who follows all the guidelines required by a third party reseller (and is ideally, at least individually qualified in AdWords and/or a Google Certified Partner).  Those criteria shrink the pool of people who say they are PPC professionals, but there are still many who meet those criteria, available in nearly every market at a wide range of price points.

To continue, a (good) PPC professional is going to provide significant gains in each of the following categories that make your PPC campaign more successful, more profitable, more informed, and more efficient:

  • Familiarity with Advanced Techniques – There are a number of high level concepts that PPC professionals understand how to leverage appropriately – from enhanced sitelinks to advanced bidding practices and match types to location or device-based bid adjustments to conversion tracking to product listing ads, and much more.
  • Understanding of the Intricacies of Pacing – In general, I’ve found that a professionally managed PPC campaign is more evenly paced in terms of budget than others.  Whether you set daily budgets, monthly budgets, automatic or manual billing, when someone is monitoring your campaign you’re less likely to run through your budget too quickly and to fully understand your billing and budgeting options throughout the interface.
  • Insistence on Tracking – From phone call tracking to conversion tracking  to tying in with analytics, oftentimes it can be difficult to justify your spend without proper tracking in place. An experienced professional can help you choose the right path for tracking your revenue stream.  If you are able to effectively track your PPC to a positive ROI, PPC spend is never wasteful, never difficult to justify.  However, if you aren’t tracking anything, then you’ll never know what’s effective and what isn’t.
  • Commitment to Keeping Pace with Updates and Optimization – When running a business, the approach to PPC becomes one of set-it-and-forget-it.  You get a campaign running and hope for the best.  PPC professionals, at least, good ones, will continually check, optimize, and maintain your account to maximize performance.  They’ll also keep up with the updates to the interface, to changing policies, and to new features being added to AdWords.

The key here is that it is almost always a much better idea to use a professional for your PPC advertising.  While you can run your own AdWords campaign, using an experienced PPC professional (ideally a Google Certified Partner and/or a member of SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) is going to bring better returns.  The benefits include being able to track your revenue, minimizing wasted spend, not having to worry about changing policies or missing out on new features, among numerous other things.

When you look at your PPC spend, are you looking at it as a marketing tool or just another expense? If you set an account and just leave it, you’re treating PPC as a consumable item – one that doesn’t provide a high degree of value to your business – something roughly akin to toner for your copier.  If you treat it like a valuable part of your marketing, something that will bring in new customers, not just maintain a basic presence, you will see better gains and more effectiveness by putting a professional in charge of it.  I can make a great website by myself, but an experienced web developer can make a much better one.  I can do my business taxes, but I’ll probably miss out on a huge number of deductions and am much more likely to make errors than my accountant is.  I can film a YouTube video myself with my laptop, but it will never look as good as a video by a professional videographer who has professional equipment.  It’s time for small business owners to understand the value of a professionally created PPC campaign.

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