Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Search Engine Marketing
The biggest advantage of Search Engine Marketing is its immediacy. Unlike SEO website promotion, with online advertising you go live and start getting traffic within a few minutes.
The dramatic disadvantage of Search Engine Marketing is: money. At one point the price of a click was very cheap, but nowadays every click is painfully costly and in certain businesses has long since passed the break-even point, meaning that campaigns are not cost effective.
Even so, this is the most profitable, effective, immediate and measurable channel for most businesses.
Currently, Pay Per Click (PPC) is probably the best technique for bringing in more focused traffic. Google’s PPC platform is probably the best. With all due respect to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others, Google is still the undisputed king of quality traffic and its AdWords PPC platform is the best in the world. The Disadvantage? Everybody knows of it, and everybody is using it, fighting over the display spots, thus increasing the prices.
Why Should I Use Advertising Experts for Search Engine Marketing? I’ll just D.I.Y. It’s Easy, Isn’t It?
Google AdWords Campaign Manager is indeed simple and so are other PPC platforms like Microsoft’s AdCenter and Facebooks PPC platform, etc.
If it’s so easy, why not do it myself? Why go to a PPC expert?
An expert’s objective is to maximize the campaign – take the budget and generate the most high-quality leads possible, with an emphasis on high-quality leads, since companies often come to us with insights from other marketing companies who brought them such and such an amount of traffic. However, traffic in itself is of little interest, but what is interesting are high-quality leads that can be converted into sales.
A simple example
Say our name is Wisy. Would I want to advertise the term “Wisy” if the term Wisy brings me to the first place on a Google search? And if someone clicks on that ad? Could it be considered quality traffic? Would we not have gotten that traffic anyway?
A more complex example
Say I hold organized tours for observant Jews. The term “organized tour” has 74,000 monthly searches and probably, making a proper appearance under that term, would cost something like $3 per click (it varies of course). On the one hand, a business can advertise under “Organized tours” and get infinite amounts of traffic, which will cost it tens of thousands of Dollars, but there is no guarantee that the campaign is worth anything at all because the business is based solely on organized tours for observant Jews, so most of the traffic it is getting isn’t that relevant. On the other hand, the term “organized tours for observant Jews” has 1,000 searches a month, a click under that term will cost less money and the leads will be more focused.
Let’s dive deeper
Apart from the creative aspect and the format of the ad itself, the landing page and its conversion are immensely important. The landing page isn’t measured based on “I like” or “the page does it for me” rather, it is measured with conversion tools. Which page converts the most and, going one step deeper, not just which page, but which color, button, size, etc achieved the best results.
There are of course, additional, more involved stages. When I (Ido Sela) give lectures to my students, and I can dedicate eight hours to teaching PPC, I always tell them that even if I had 160 hours, I could never touch anything more than the top layer, since this subject is so deep and complex and only a select few really understand the scope of the subject and its complexity and know how to make money out of it.
PPC Advertising – Summary
Any “Tom, Dick and Harry” can upload a campaign on Google in 10 minutes flat, and if you are managing a campaign of a couple of hundred Dollars a month, there is really no point in going to an expert.
However, if you’re managing a serious campaign with a larger budget, then the return on investment to your company will be immeasurable.
Why would I need PPC when there are PPL affiliates who will generate traffic for me?
PPL – Pay Per Lead
Theoretically, in a perfect world: why struggle with advertising if someone can simply sell me high-quality leads which are all I would pay for?
This field has changed so much that it is hard to keep track, and if you want to understand why it isn’t all that perfect anymore, you need to understand the background.
In the past, the prices of media (advertising costs) were very cheap. So all sorts of people who were on top of things would generate traffic for businesses and get a commission for it. For the most part, everybody worked with some affiliate network or other, and it was a perfect world in which you only paid for high-quality leads.
The problem is that media prices went up whereas the price for the leads did not (similar to what happened in Israel – the cost of living went up but wages did not). As a result, in order to remain in business, affiliates had to bring cheaper leads from less reliable sources, such as download sites and so on, so consequently, the entire market has changed direction.
Still, the market isn’t completely lost, but it has become an extremely complex one, suitable only for very mature websites with lots of traffic, that can deal with the lack of quality. The entrance threshold is very high and requires a deep understanding of the environment, the affiliates, the media, in disqualifying partners, in empowering partners and so on. In short, now it isn’t easy and it isn’t right for everyone.