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The Potential Danger of Using Pay-Per-Click Ads

Pay-per-click ads (PPC) have been around for years now. They have proven to be an effective way to increase targeted traffic to your website. While there are a lot of immediate benefits to using PPC ads, particularly the ability to gather better keyword and search data, there are also some potential dangers.

The problem many marketers face revolves around instant gratification. The risk we face is becoming reliant solely on a PPC approach while ignoring other long-term opportunities to create more substantial search traffic.  The fact is that there is no real SEO equity in pay-per-click ads.  Once you stop paying, you lose your place in line.

Take this analogy, for example. Pay-per-click ads are like renting an apartment while building long-term, organic search authority via blogging and other forms of content creation is like building a home.  Sure there are a lot of nice perks to renting, you can move right in, it may be furnished, have great amenities, but the fact still remains. Once you stop paying your rent, you’re out looking for a new place to live.

Creating content, however, creates long-term equity. The more pages and content that you create, the more you add to the structure. Eventually, you build something that is simply too big to miss when walking down the street. Plus, once you have put in the effort, the bricks stay in place no matter what.

The second danger is that PPC ad programs like Google Adwords are built around an auction system where you are constantly bidding for words. This system can get expensive fast. You may be able to get a few words you like for a reasonable price, but what happens when your competitors are using the same words?  Then it comes back to analyzing your data to determine the cost per lead. If the AdWord prices increase to a level where it simply doesn’t make sense to buy these words, you miss out.

Additionally, there is nothing to stop your competitors from outbidding you even if you can afford it. You are always vulnerable to the competition for your keywords’ demand and the prices will change accordingly based on this competition.  Unless you have a real strategy and understand the keywords that work for your customers, you may find yourself throwing money into a black hole with no return.

Our advice is to be careful and to balance your marketing efforts with a combination of paid ads and an organic SEO strategy. This is especially true for clients just starting out. Building up SEO using content creation takes time, so using PPC can help get you started.  It just shouldn’t replace long-term efforts.  If you could create a content powerhouse to give you the same first page rankings for a fraction of the cost, wouldn’t you want to make the effort?

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