It feels like Google drops new AI-integrated features into its flagship ad platform, Google Ads, every month.
It doesn’t help that every other search engine also adopts AI features with their own spin.
Despite the rapid change, search marketers can use new platform updates to stay ahead of the competition and be at the forefront of search engine marketing.
Here are some unique benefits of PPC advertising:
- It’s quick.
- It’s measurable.
- It’s trackable.
- It’s omnichannel.
While those are important for strategists and specialists, your CMO might not be convinced without some proof.
If you’re not advertising on search engines, you’re likely missing out by being too slow with just SEO or being too broad with just social media.
Here are just seven of the many powerful reasons to start planning for PPC in 2024:
1) PPC Contributes To Business Goals
This is often the most compelling reason to delve into PPC.
Google Ads and other search engine ad platforms come with multi-touch attribution modeling out-of-the-box, arming you with all the main marketing metrics but also enterprise-grade business intelligence metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) to impress your stakeholders with.
In the era of content marketing and thought leadership, marketers find all kinds of unique and creative calls to action (CTAs). With PPC, nearly any type of conversion can be tracked, such as:
- Email newsletter sign-ups.
- Ecommerce transactions.
- Lead form submissions.
- Phone calls.
- Map directions.
- File downloads.
- Mobile app installs.
- In-app purchases.
Need help getting your data into Google Ads? Here’s our step-by-step guide.
Regardless of your conversion goals, Google Ads makes it easy to see the dollars going in – and, more importantly, the dollars coming out – making it easy to justify your budget to your higher-ups.
2) PPC Tracks Your Users Every Step Of The Way
There’s no mystery behind the curtain in search engine ad platforms. With the combination of tools like Google Ads and Google Analytics, you can see your users’ journey throughout the entire funnel (while still adhering to new and upcoming privacy laws).
Thankfully, search engines collect massive amounts of data, allowing PPC specialists to match a user to a single impression, click, purchase, form fill, or phone call.
No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like PPC can.
On top of this, marketers can use this data to customize their ads, landing pages, and campaigns for increased engagement and decreased wasted budget.
Here are some examples:
- Campaign experiments. You’ve probably heard of A/B testing your ads, but you can also A/B test your campaign settings, such as your budgets, bid adjustments, audiences, and more.
- Keyword insertion. Did you know that you can programmatically insert a user’s search term or city into your headlines? This dramatically increases CTR.
- Programmatic landing pages. For all the single keyword ad group (SKAG) lovers out there, you no longer need to create one landing page per keyword. Scale your ad account by building programmatic landing pages, which auto-generate landing pages based on search terms and target keywords using UTM parameters, behavior signals, and, of course, AI.
3) PPC Is Quick With No Barrier To Entry
Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors in search, you can get a PPC campaign up and running with just a bit of research, copywriting, and button-clicking.
This is a big contrast with starting up SEO efforts, which often take a lot of time and attention to get the same positioning and traffic that PPC offers within minutes of launch.
On top of that, PPC lets you retarget very narrow audiences like your email list or very wide audiences like your website visitors.
When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand.
Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform – from the research to campaign build-out to writing ads.
You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams, aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages.
4) PPC Gives You Unparalleled Control
Despite the launch of a myriad of new AI and machine learning features that sacrifice granular bid adjustments in favor of growing PPC efforts at scale, platforms like Google Ads still offer account managers full control over where, when, and how they show up in Google.
With budgets tightening across the economy and search ads getting more expensive for many verticals, PPC specialists have an incentive to hone in on the keywords that produce measure return for their price point and pause or remove keywords that are unqualified, irrelevant, or simply don’t bring in an audience ready to convert quite yet.
If you see positive results, you can scale up immediately. And if you want to take a break, you can always pause and stop spending immediately.
This is hard to do with other ongoing marketing campaigns, and it gives you the advantage and budget flexibility to move quickly when necessary or desired.
Google Ads’ auction and the algorithm involved have the final say on where your ads will be positioned and what you’ll spend when compared to competitors.
The alignment of relevance between your landing pages and the keywords and ad copy can hurt or help you.
The good news is that you have the flexibility to make quick edits, optimize while your ads are running, and try new tests every day.
There’s not a long cycle from edit to deployment like you see in other mediums – and if an ad stinks, you can pull it without having to let it finish out a contracted media cycle.
Whether you have a quantity of leads goal, a ROAS goal, a spend goal, or other specific goals, you can manage toward them and track them with data that is fresh within a day.
5) PPC Works Well With Other Marketing Channels
Content marketing has taken over the digital marketing world, and content plans and calendars are the norm in most businesses now.
With the investment in producing original and unique content to support the customer buying cycle and establish thought leadership positioning, Google Ads is an engine that can drive visitors to content more quickly and improve the ROI of your content investment.
PPC and SEO work well together as the impressions and opportunities for traffic are often to the same audience – the people using Google to find information, services, or products.
The performance data of impressions, clicks, and conversions from Google Ads can provide great insight and direction on a keyword-by-keyword basis for prioritizing SEO efforts.
On the flip side, organic traffic performance data and SEO strategy can also advise PPC if the data is available.
All of this helps align with content marketing and ensures that efficiencies are gained and business end goals are not siloed.
Google Ads remarketing is a great avenue to keep site visitors engaged, regardless of how they found your site.
Remarketing ads are shown to people who visited and left your site and are based on specific rules or audiences you select.
If nothing else, remarketing can be a great place to start running PPC campaigns as well, as it is cheaper and lower in the funnel than prospecting and brand awareness steps tied to ads.
There are other cases where PPC can help provide data or an alternative to traditional direct marketing activities.
PPC can also be directly compared to traditional mail with costs per impression and conversion.
If you can shift away from more expensive traditional marketing to methods that provide real-time data and have better tracking, it can be a big win.
6) PPC Has Incredible Targeting Options
Many advertisers take a multi-layered approach in Google Ads to test and ensure full coverage across the networks and targeting types that can gain brand exposure.
This ranges from targeting keywords through responsive search ads to running display ads through remarketing based on their past behaviors or focusing on specific audience demographics on various display networks, such as:
- Google Maps.
- Google News.
By testing and trying out a mix, you can ensure the full scope of Google Ads is leveraged and that you’re getting as many impressions as possible while staying targeted to the personas in your prospective audience.
Going back to the business goals conversation, you can also see what performs best and set expectations on what the tolerance is for cost per click and cost per acquisition to compare the different targeting methods with each other.
Ultimately, the biggest benefit of the PPC targeting options available is that you are able to reach people who aren’t already in your audience, as well as those who have been exposed to your brand.
You have many options for how wide of a net you want to cast.
7) PPC Gives You A Wealth Of Marketing Data
While there’s a lot of data and performance information directly available in Google Ads, the value of information gained goes beyond just PPC performance.
Impression, click, and conversion data for each keyword can be used to advise SEO strategy and content marketing efforts.
Beyond that, you can use the built-in keyword planner and display planner tools to find where your audience is.
You can also cross-reference where your competition is through third-party tools like SpyFu, KeywordSpy, and iSpionage to build a solid profile of what you’re up against and what market share you can gain.
Plus, you can still manually look at the search results and gain insight as to what the searcher will see.
Still Not Convinced About PPC?
Run your own projection to show the risk of Google Ads compared to other organic and paid traffic sources you’re currently utilizing.
By looking at what the cost will be for media, management of the campaign, and any content that must be created, you can put that cost up against what you’re currently spending for similar management and development activities in organic search, email, social, and offline marketing channels.
Additionally, you can take some simple inputs, including your current or projected conversion rate, and project with the keyword and display planner tools to see what traffic is out there.
From there, you can look at what the projection is if you were to increase by certain amounts of traffic, putting the cost of that traffic against the investment required to get it.
PPC advertising has proven to be a reliable and profitable channel for tons of B2B, B2C, nonprofits, and other companies seeking quick, quality traffic and conversions.
Considering all the benefits PPC offers, there’s little risk in testing it out to see where it can move the needle and gain a wealth of valuable data to inform your other marketing and optimization efforts.
With a little-to-no barrier to entry and incredibly measurable results in real-time, it’s always worth testing now and again to see if it can give your marketing program a much-needed boost.
As you plan for 2024 and start budget conversations with clients and higher-ups, put PPC on your channel list.
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