A recent document reportedly leaked by a Google insider gives fascinating insight into some of the Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising habits by major international corporations, information typically off-limits but allegedly confirmed by various sources with inside information. While this list of big PPC spenders is interesting for various reasons, one of the most important conclusions we can draw from this report is PPC advertising is viewed as important enough that well-known brands are willing to spend millions of dollars per year, and in a few instances, millions of dollars per month to get top positions.
The document reveals AT&T’s $8 million PPC spend in June, presumably to push the new iPhone 4, and British Petroleum’s $3.5 million PPC spend in June to help repair their reputation at the height of the Gulf oil spill. Despite these high-spenders, the report revealed 90% of the 1500 highest-spending PPC clients invested between $10,000-$100,000 per month on Google Adwords for PPC. However, the important takeaway from the report is the perceived value gained by PPC advertising to hundreds of leading national companies, whose brands are already household names.
Besides the obvious benefits of placing your hand-crafted ad in front of people searching specifically for your service or product, PPC advertising is also an excellent tool to supplement your existing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign. Past research indicates most searchers considered a brand to be more relevant and authoritative if they saw both an organic and paid ad from the same company in their search results, resulting in an increased likelihood of clicking on one of those two ads.
Although in most cases, a well-managed SEO campaign is the best bang for your buck, and typically most effective, PPC also offers some advantages over SEO marketing. Some of these benefits include being able to pick and choose the keywords you want to bid on as well as determine your ad copy and the exact landing page for your ads. Another selling point for many advertisers is the ability to get your brand on the first page of the search engines within minutes of initiating your PPC campaign. For those companies who can’t compete with the million-dollar spenders, Google’s Quality Score plays a major role in ad ranking. It allows relevant, well-worded ads and an organized account to get advertisers a lower cost per click.
Many Pay Per Click companies begin with the intention of reducing or eliminating their PPC spend altogether once their SEO campaign is getting them first-page rankings, which is a fine strategy. However, a majority of those marketers eventually see the value in having both SEO and PPC listings and continue paying for ads even after they come up naturally for organic non-paid keywords. The top advertisers on Google’s list are great examples of companies who probably do very well organically, but recognize 27% of searchers only click on paid listings, and therefore make PPC an important part of their ongoing marketing strategy.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not PPC advertising is a good fit for your business, a knowledgeable SEO or PPC agency should be able to direct you to a strategy that is best for you. Search Engine Marketing is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of millions of searchers, and even companies with a very small monthly advertising budget often see big results on PPC and SEO.
Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations