Marketing is war and in the battle for marketing dollars, SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) are in a constant competition with one another. The common argument is that SEO is free wherein PPC is not. That is true enough but tie into this Google’s constant changes to its search algorithms and what you end up with are companies finding themselves competing against moving goal posts. SEO can be a slow and tedious process, and businesses that are in competitive industries may never be able to hold onto the number one rankings they desire just due to the sheer volume of competition. This is causing more marketing funds to be funneled into PPC Advertising. PPC has the potential to deliver highly targeted traffic, but –and there is always a but, it takes technical know-how to do it properly. Make the wrong move and you can easily spend thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes for zero results. Even trained PPC experts can make mistakes when they enter into a new market, or start selling a new product with PPC. It takes an expert PPC analyst to review every potential facet of your paid search account, looking for opportunities to optimize. If you’re thinking of setting up and running your own Google AdWords account, don’t. There’s a reason PPC professionals, such as MarketingModo, charge a fee for management. If you are a small business your bottom line is of the utmost importance to you so and if you’re new to PPC, you may be unaware that it will cost you less to hire an internal expert than it will to launch a campaign on your own even without including the mistakes that you WILL make. Let MarketingModo give you 10 reasons why you should hire a PPC management expert in house. 1. Keyword Research Isn’t Easy Right off the bat, keyword research is crucial to your success, and it’s something PPC experts spend a lot of time on throughout the PPC process. Pick the wrong keywords and you can quickly exhaust your budget and your campaign will have very poor returns if any at all. Now there are plenty of free keyword tools out there, that anyone can use, but the better tools are usually the paid ones. The paid keyword tools do give you a significant competitive advantage, but it comes at a price. Some of these tools can cost upwards of $100+ monthly on top of your other expenses. At MarketingModo we already have these tools so that extra money can go right back into your pocket. A true PPC expert will not stop at one of these tools, either. They will use multiple data sources to form a more complete picture of the sales landscape. 2. Wrong Ad Copy Can Butcher Conversion One of the greatest strengths a PPC expert has is the ability to perform competitive research. Sun Tzu in his “Art of War” says that he who gathers intelligence on the enemy’s disposition gains the advantage on the field of battle. What worked for ancient warriors still applies today in the world of PPC. PPC experts understand how to find good copy, they study your competition, and they form ads based on what they know works. That kind of copy isn’t something the amateur can do overnight or in a matter of hours, especially when every word means something and with limits on how many characters you can use in your ads, every space counts. The right ad copy can elevate your campaign’s click-through rate and bring you more conversions. Do you really want to take a chance on writing the wrong copy? Bad copy that does not convey the right message, and that is only trying to get you more traffic, will result in poor conversion rates, meaning you just wasted alot of money. 3. Accurate Tracking Requires Technical Expertise The foundation of any good PPC program, or any marketing program for that matter, is its ability to track not only sales, but where those sales are coming from. Good tracking and analysis will show you which placements and keywords are bringing you the most conversions. In addition, tagging your campaigns allows you to see which ones are most effective. Tracking code installation does require some basic HTML knowledge, so if you have no such knowledge then you better leave this to the experts or you may have to pay your webmaster to install it for you. If you would like to track your leads/sales from phone calls, that would require additional set up and expertise. At MarketingModo, we will make sure your tracking is correct so you can gain actionable data and this is all included in your PPC package. 4. CTRs, CTAs and Impressions-Oh My! You may know what PPC stands for, but how about CPM, CTR, CPC, CPA? Give up? What about the difference between Impressions, Views, and Hits? Do you know what retargeting is? Understanding these basic terms is vitally important in the daily management of your paid search campaigns. Until you’re familiar with all these (and many more not mentioned, then you aren’t ready to manage your own paid search campaigns. 5. Campaign Settings Can Be Confusing There are several potential settings you must adjust in order to get optimum exposure for your PPC campaigns. For example, geographic settings can help you target a specific part of the country or to exclude a specific location. Scheduling settings allow you to control when your ads show. Don’t want your ads showing after 6pm EST? This is the place to set it. Should you target locally, statewide, nationally, or worldwide? Should you set up different ad groups for each? Should you opt-in to partner/affiliate networks and if so should you bid the same as the search network? If you choose the partner networks, should you filter out some specific sites? As you can see there is a lot you can do with your campaigns but without a clear understanding of these settings, and how they may benefit you, you might be paying too much for the same traffic that a similar marketer pays pennies on the dollar for. Without expert advice or some experience, you would never know. 6. Do You Know What a Good Landing Page Looks Like? Relevance isn’t just a term found in SEO, it’s just as important in PPC marketing. The less relevant your landing page to the keywords you have selected and the ad you are running, the more money you’re spending on conversions. PPC experts understand not only the principles of landing page design, but also how to test those principles such as with A/B testing. A/B testing is a tactic PPC experts use to compare different landing pages and improve conversions. That testing can mean the difference between a 1 percent and 5 percent conversion rate and while that may not seem like much little changes can sometimes have dramatic effects. Say that you have 1,000 visitors coming to your landing page. At 1% conversion you get 10 new clients. With a 5% conversion you get 50. Nice pickup huh? Oh, and by the way. Most of these A/B testing tools are also $100+ per month so you can add that to other expenses on top of the keyword tool costs. A good analyst, such as those at MarketingModo, have familiarity and access to third-party A/B testing software. 7. Prior Experience With Similar Clients Often times a PPC expert may have worked with other clients in your industry and have competitive knowledge he can apply to your account, this is worth its weight in gold as it can save you thousands of dollars. In paid search it’s beneficial to hire a person or a company that has worked with one or more of your competitors before. Most paid search companies probably won’t take on direct competitors as clients at the same time – if they do, then that’s probably not a good idea – but if they have worked with your competitors or similar companies previously, then that would be a plus. 8. Is There Click Fraud Going On? Click fraud, the ugliest word in the PPC glossary. If you’re a beginner, then you probably don’t know what click fraud is nor how to monitor for click fraud. You should expect that there is always going to be click fraud. It’s like a bad penny and always turns up. That is no reason to be paranoid about suspicious clicks in your PPC campaigns. There may be some auto-generated clicks to your ads that have nothing to do with click fraud, but may be a bot trying to spider your site for whatever reason. You need an expert like MarketingModo that can tell the difference! You need to be able to watch your stats and log files for suspicious activity and when you feel there is click fraud going on, you can report to the search engine and request a refund. Although search engines try to block click fraud, from time to time they will do audits and may give you refunds months later, but this is not to your benefit. You need to take control of this aspect. If you aren’t an analytical person or don’t have some technical expertise in this area, then it’s best to leave it to the experts. 9. Keeping Up With the Latest Changes Change happens and it happens frequently especially in the marketing world. All good online marketers stay up to date with the latest trends by reading online news, journals, and/or forums. They may also attend industry trade shows several times annually or attend networking events, and will also have a few friends and peers they could reach out to for expert advice or comparing notes on the latest trends. If you don’t think you can do all these things, then it is best to hire an expert like MarketingModo. 10. You Are Already Busy, Do You Really Have the Time? If you’re a business owner, you’re probably busy with a million of other tasks every day. Do you really have the time to manage your own PPC account and give it the detailed attention that it deserves and requires? Many marketers approach PPC with the attitude that it’s less complicated, or somehow easier than SEO. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that PPC costs you money every time you use it so you better be using it well. With PPC rates skyrocketing, most companies don’t even see returns right away and have to count on repeat customers or referrals. So every little factor that can improve your ROI would be beneficial to your bottom line. Conclusion Unless you have some prior PPC experience yourself, then you shouldn’t attempt to do this yourself. Fortunately you have the PPC team at MarketingModo to handle things for you.