The marketing game has been known to change venues from time to time. From the spoken and written word to radio and TV ads, companies have shown a willingness to go wherever they feel their consumers are. Recently, more and more of those consumers can be found online.
Consider these statistics:
- Pew Internet estimates that 88% of American adults have a cell phone, while 57% own a laptop computer, and 19% carry a tablet.
- 64% of those who carry smartphones use them to shop online, according to eDigitalResearch.
- According to Epsilon and DMA, triggered messages have a 119% higher click-through rate than typical online messages.
- The OPA reports that the average tablet user spends over 13.9 hours a week online.
Those companies that have yet to jump onboard the online marketing bandwagon risk being crushed by it. Yet upon immediately entering the digital marketplace, many find it to be quite crowded. The key to the success of one’s online marketing efforts is then to find those services that will help to make his or her company stand out in the virtual crowd.
The Power of PPC
One such online marketing service that has seen an increase in popularity in recent years is “pay-per-click” (PPC) marketing. With PPC marketing, companies buy search engine traffic based upon relevant keywords. These keywords are often sold in an auction administered by the PPC network. PPC ads are then separated from those of regular Internet search results, helping to direct traffic to websites.
What to Look For in a Provider
PPC marketing can be a valuable tool for those companies that lack the budget to launch a more extensive SEO campaign. Yet as with all marketing services, the effectiveness of one’s PPC campaign depends largely on the capacities of his or her PPC provider. Thus, choosing the right provider is critical. The selection process needs to be thorough, and should be focused on the following topics:
- Reach: PPC providers in general tend to be tiered. There are those who focus solely on helping businesses achieve the top listings in local searches, while others operate on a national and international scale. Depending upon the size and scope of the company, one should consider which provider’s reach will find his or her target audience.
- Experience: A good PPC provider should be able to provide an extensive list of references and reviews comprised from clients with whom it has worked in the past. Those references should be able to give an unbiased opinion of the overall effectiveness of the provider’s services. It also helps if they are an accredited business listed in bbb.org like this firm which I recently had the pleasure of doing business with.
- Promises: Some PPC providers will promise the moon only to deliver a flashlight. One should be wary of a firm that guarantees a #1 search engine ranking.
- Guarantees: While one should view those PPC providers making exorbitant promises with a certain degree of skepticism, that doesn’t mean that he or she shouldn’t expect to see his or her desired results. A reputable PPC firm will help to make sure that one’s goals are realistic, and then guarantee a refund if those results are not met.
PPC has proven to be a powerful tool for those companies looking to optimize their online marketing efforts. Yet simply by enrolling with a PPC provider is no guarantee that one will enjoy all of the benefits this new marketing medium has to offer. Asking the right questions while one is choosing his or her company’s provider will help to weed out the contenders from the pretenders.