The (Alleged) Miracle of Pay-Per-Click Marketing



By Meredith Smith

Online store not selling so well? No problem! Just slap together a pay-per-click campaign and you’ll be sure to sell out in no time!

Not getting as many online leads as you would like? PPC can fix that too!

Clients skipping out on their bill? PPC can fix ANYTHING!

At least, these are the sentiments that seem to be floating around the virtual water cooler. PPC marketing is often approached as a magic wand that can make all of your marketing woes disappear with a flick of the wrist and a theatrical “poof” of smoke.

Wouldn’t that be great? No wonder people like to believe that all-too-tempting idea!

I’ve seen instances where pay-per-click campaigns really do seem to work magic for clients, but in every case these clients were willing to work at it. They were willing to build a really great PPC campaign and support it with other efforts.

And trust me, it was hard work.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for PPC! In the end PPC is just another piece of the marketing puzzle, and when you hope against hope that a lone PPC campaign will prop up a failing business or product then it’s bound to come crashing down like a flimsy house of cards.

So what steps can you take to make sure that your PPC campaign has the best chances for success?

#1. The first step is to know what is going on with your marketing efforts, offline and online. When I say “know what is going on”, I mean having solid, factual data on what is going on behind the scenes – proof about what works and what doesn’t.

For this, you need a web analytics package. There are a lot of solutions available in every price range. Of course, Google Analytics is a popular choice considering that it is free (always a great selling point!), easy to use, and powerful.

I work for ROI Revolution, which offers a pretty neat free 60-minute informational webinar on Google Analytics if it just so happens you are interested in exploring that web analytics solution.

Once you have web analytics up and running you will be gathering important information on what is going on with your marketing efforts. When you know what is going on, you’re in control!

#2. The next step is to work like a dog and try everything your mind can feverishly conceive to get your marketing to work better. Doesn’t sound like a day at the beach, does it?

Maybe not, but in the end it really pays off! When you use your PPC campaign with your web analytics to test, test, test different variables, options, and price points you will find things that you can prove work better than others. That’s extremely satisfying, and it’s the best way to claw your way to the top.

Thomas Jefferson said “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” With a little “luck” maybe you can turn that PPC campaign into a magic wand, after all.

[The above article is a submission for Marketing Pilgrim’s Search Engine Marketing Scholarship Contest. Each Monday in October, entries will be published and the most popular article of the week will qualify for the $5,000 grand prize. If you’d like to submit an entry, please view the contest entry-requirements and guidelines.]

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