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Is PPC Becoming the Cheap Beer of The Internet Marketing Industry?

Cheap PPC StrategyAs someone who treats PPC like an exquisite Micro-Brew that goes well with any fine meal, I am somewhat dumbfounded by the lack of strategy and overall mindset of what I am seeing in the Industry. I also cannot blame the clients as they are getting what they pay for. The problem, however, is that the client doesn’t have a clue as to what they are getting, other than they gave this agency $500 and there phone may be ringing a little more. In this article, I will give my view of the troublesome phenomena and will provide some warning signs that an advertiser should look out for.

Lackluster Strategies:
When an advertiser starts spending money in Google, there must be a plan of action, other than just clicks. Their also must be a specific audience and message already in place. The “Use PPC for Clicks” era has ended a long time ago, and as advertisers start seeing their Ad budgets go through the roof, there gonna need more guidance and results. If they don’t, they will STOP. Say GOOGLE Sucks and is broken. A good PPC Marketer will never have that scenario happen to them, unless they have a strategy, well-defined goals and web analytics to back them up. Oh yeah, not to mention the “blocking and Tackling skills” to effectively implement PPC.

Automation is NOT the Future:
I may be an “old schooler” when it comes to PPC Automation and do know and understand the benefits of it. But depending on your skill level and understanding of the account, automation could also be a sign of LAZINESS. In order for many of us in the field to make more money, we need have as many clients as possible without the overhead. The idea of “Why waste it on the human brain, when a computer can do it for you.” This is where I have to draw the line.   If the advertiser or agency relies heavily on automation so that they can handle more clients, they will lose clients or their client will not know what is a success or failure. The Search Industry has a very high turnover rate and this type of thinking is a main result of that.

Overdosing on the Google Koolaid:
This is not a shot at Google (no pun intended), but when Google provides you an automated Optimization recommendation, its to benefit them, NOT YOU. Google has rolled out some terrific new bells and whistles lately: (Remarketing, Ad Extensions, Improved Keyword Tool, Youtube Targeting, etc…) but you have to remember that Google’s company value is based on PPC Dollars and they will do everything they can to get you to spend more money. Noticed a free $100 coupon to get started? That’s because they want you to get hooked on it. However, I have seen countless times when people would turn off Google because they said it didn’t work for them. This is where the advertiser needs a PPC expert to evaluate the account.

Certifications Do Not Meet Squat:
Don’t get me wrong. Being Google Certified is a good thing. But, if you base your requirements on someone because they are Google Certified, it does not make them a Good PPC Marketer by any means. What certified means is that they can understand the platform according to Google and have an understanding of the best practices. The Certification process DOES NOT train you how to increase the ROAS% or identify indirect keywords or even deal with Affiliate Display URL Hijacking. This all comes from experience and motivation to learn from mistakes and tests.

Transparency and Honest Reporting:
Now each agency/firm has different expectations of reporting and communications with the client/advertiser. However, if the advertiser is unaware of where there money went, what worked, what didn’t work or what opportunities they can identify, they SHOULD FIRE them. Remember, the advertiser hired the PPC Agency to manage their money and tell them what is happening. I have heard horror stories of advertisers giving an agency $1000 to manage their account and all they got was a report about Clicks and Impressions. That’s pretty sad. It’s in the interest of everyone, that the advertiser has a clear understanding of the strategy and complete transparency of the results. It’s there money isn’t it?

Google is Not the Only Engine:
Every PPC Advertiser should understand that Google is not the only Search Engine with PPC and not the only opportunity to drive conversions and traffic. If someone is telling you that “just use Google. They own like 75% of the market, it’s easy and don’t waste your time with Yahoo/Bing”, FIRE THEM NOW!!!! Yahoo/Bing not only provides a different audience, but it also is generally provides a less expensive Cost Per Click which would enable more flexibility on the monthly ad budgets.

In Conclusion:
PPC is way of life for many of us in the field. We see things that drive us crazy and little things like Ad Extensions and View Through conversions makes us excited. However, the opportunity that PPC has given businesses and individuals is a double edged sword. It provides a diverse level of talent and experience which leads to high turnover. The biggest problem though, is getting the advertiser to understand how everything works. It’s that lack of transparency that is killing the industry. The more the advertiser knows what is going on, and the better the PPC marketer can leverage the search engine platforms, the more money will flow into Google’s pocket so they can officially purchase the Planet Earth.

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3 Responses to "Is PPC Becoming the Cheap Beer of The Internet Marketing Industry?"

  1. jbg says:

    Awesome points. I have yet to find one of their tools conversion automation tools to be helpful. Rules automation is potentially helpful, but they cripple it to keep bids from being lowered as easily as it should.

  2. As a PPC manager, I try to have a high amount of transparency with my clients. I want them to understand my strategy and I take the time to explain the changes I’ve made and the anticipated effects of those changes. By helping my clients understand PPC, they understand why I’m worth their money.

  3. Great article, anyone can start using AdWords out of the box it doesn’t mean it will be successful or lucrative the problem I’ve seen people spend 60% more than necessary. Get a professional to do it, they have the tools, knowledge and know how.

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