So, in our last article, we went over all the pros and cons of SEO, and in this one, we’ll be looking at PPC, and PPV. These are both paid traffic sources, as the name would imply, and all paid traffic sources are very different from free traffic, with very different Pros and Cons also.
Traffic Source: Pay Per Click Campaigns
So, there are many different ad platforms that you can use to generate traffic with PPC. In this article, we’ll be looking at the three major ones primarily. That is: Google AdWords, MSN adCenter, and of course, Facebook Ads.
So, first and foremost, is the big appeal to PPC, and that is, the very fact that it is “Pay Per Click”, which means, guaranteed traffic. If you don’t get any clicks, then, you don’t have to pay a dime, it’s that simple. Another advantage to PPC in general, is the fact that you have a great deal of control over how much you spend, and how much traffic you get.
You can put a daily spend amount on each campaign, and it won’t typically go over that amount (or not by much), and this is typically one of the advantages with paid traffic in general. Since you have full control over how much traffic you want, and where that traffic goes, you can do quite a bit of split testing to figure out what combinations work best. This will allow you to keep getting your clicks cheaper and cheaper, as you increase your Click-Thru Rate (CTR), and of course, get conversions cheaper and cheaper as well, as you enhance your landing page’s copy.
Additionally, using PPC is very easy to scale. All you have to do is increase your budget, and target more keywords. You just “turn on” the traffic, and it starts flowing, just like a faucet. You spend more money, you get more traffic, and you can do it very easily. An additional benefit with the search engine PPC, particularly with Google, is that you still get some authority for showing up in the search engines, and some of the trust that people put into Google is transferred to you. People still know you’re an ad, so you don’t get as much authority as you would with say, SEO, but still enough to make each click, that much more valuable
So, while there are a lot of nice advantages to PPC, you also do have to face some pretty big difficulties as well. The main difficulty that you’ll tend to run into with PPC, is making your campaigns profitable. With SEO, if you’re doing all the work all by yourself, even though it’s taking a lot of time, everything you get is really a profit, since it’s technically free traffic. Not so with PPC, and other types of Paid traffic sources. Especially with Google AdWords and Facebook ads, you’ll find that the clicks can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re a new marketer, and don’t have a huge budget to spend on advertising.
Facebook will provide you with a “recommended bid” per click, which can be helpful, but mostly it’s there to jack up the price. Their recommendations tend to be very high, and you’ll rarely find them at less than say, $2 a click, which will prevent most campaigns from becoming profitable.
An issue that you’ll tend to have with Google AdWords, is of course, the “Quality Score” (QS). QS is an algorithm that Google uses to determine how “quality” your ad is, and, if you manage to get a very high QS, then you will get traffic at a reasonable price, and, if not, then you’ll end up paying a bloody fortune for traffic, which, in turn, will make it nearly impossible to get traffic. adCenter doesn’t have these issues generally, but just getting any traffic at all from them can be quite a challenge. You usually have to bid on 1,000’s of keywords to get decent traffic, and scaling, of course, is a huge issue with them, all the time.
Another problem you’ll run into with PPC in general, is that ultimately, somebody else has control over your campaign. There’s been countless instances where someone had a campaign that was performing extremely well, and, out of the blue, it got shut down, for one reason or another. Ultimately what will get a campaign shut down? If the company that owns the Ad Platform, for one reason or another, just doesn’t like it. You can be making $1,000 a day, and it can just disappear, with only a few clicks of a mouse from an employee at Google or Facebook (who may be on the other side of the planet).
With Google, you’ll have the problem of dealing with the famous “Google Slap”, where all of the sudden, your cost per click shoots through the roof, to $10 per click or more. With Facebook, you have to submit countless ads before getting one that’s ultimately approved, and either of these guys can delete a campaign for any reason. So, there’s always a risk involved when dealing with these major PPC platforms. Don’t rely on any of them too much
Traffic Source: Pay Per View Campaigns
We’ve already gone over many of the Pros and Cons of PPC, and to tell you the truth, most of these apply to PPV as well. I’ll go over some of the differences, and Pros and Cons now.
Because fewer people use PPV, it’s generally less expensive overall than PPC. Each individual “View” (which is when someone’s browser automatically redirects to your landing page) is much less valuable than an actual click, but also, WAY less expensive as well. Because there are many different PPV platforms, whereas there’s really only the three major PPC platforms (for the most part), you’re not putting all your eggs into one basket, or a few baskets, but you can branch out to many different PPV platforms. Also, PPV platforms tend to be much more lenient than PPC platforms, so, that means less ads getting deleted, and, all in all, less issues for you.
Overall, there’s much more PPC traffic available all in all, than there is PPV traffic, so, you might run into some scalability issues with PPV. Also, because you’re generally working with so many platforms, tracking and managing all your campaigns, on several different platforms can be far more time-consuming, than just using Google, or just using Facebook. Like MSN adCenter, with some PPV networks, you might have a very difficult time getting the traffic you need as well. Lastly, some platforms are better than others, so you might find yourself spending a whole lot of time finding out which ones work best for you. There’s LeadImpact, TrafficVance, and many, many more, so expect to spend a lot of time learning all their different systems, which ads the different ones will let you promote, etc.
Well, that concludes part 2 of the series. In the third, and final part, we’ll be going over the last two major traffic sources; Media Buying, and Real Time Bidding (RTB).