Getting Over the PPC Hurdles

Over the years I’ve spoken with several companies interested in running PPC campaigns, but are too gun-shy to pull the trigger. They see great potential in the program but whether it is lack of funds or an unwillingness to break from the current mode(s) of advertising, PPC campaigns are put on hold. Let’s look at both of these problems and discuss potential solutions.

Lack of Funds

I find the number one reason companies shy away from PPC campaigns are the costs.  PPC campaigns are not cheap, no matter what Google tells you:

In my experience advertisers need to at least spend $200 a month on PPC (at the low end) to see results that will allow actionable decisions.  By actionable decisions I mean analyzing enough data in order to make informed decisions about what is and isn’t working.  One of the core components of PPC is testing, whether that is bidding, ad copy, or landing page testing.  The more funds you spend the more data you will have to accurately assess this testing.  Of course the term “enough data” is subjective, but can you really make actionable decisions based off say 50 clicks or less?  I say no.


By no means am I advocating going on a PPC spending spree, but you need to be willing to spend money.  Give the campaign a 3 month trial run with enough funds so it has a legitimate chance to do well.  You might need to save some money before beginning, but allow 3 months with a competitive budget to see what the campaign can do.  During this time period (and all the time) you must bid competitively and actively optimize the campaign.  Features such as day parting, geotargeting, and negative keywords allow you to spend your dollars wisely, but nonetheless dollars must be spent.  Additionally, Google consistently gives away $100 AdWords credits to new customers, further reason to give a campaign a 3 month trial.

Old Habits Die Hard

PPC is a relatively new means of advertising compared to traditional forms such as television, print, and banner.  Companies, especially ones with small advertising budgets, are hesitant to break from the norm, even if the norm really isn’t all that great.  Websites are great sales tools and should be thought of as such, not just marketing brochures.  I once spoke with a business owner who told me the majority of her business came from referrals.  I told her how PPC would bring mostly new visitors to her site, visitors that had never heard of her company before.  This fact intrigued her as it broke from her traditional line of thinking and raised a plethora of questions, not just about the campaign, but the goals of the site.


Truth be told, rhetoric goes a long way when pushing companies to think about PPC.  This mode of advertising should be encouraged as PPC opens up new possibilities.  “People are searching for you” is the message I try and convey.  I speak of the advantages of this advertising medium compared to others and the success stories I have seen.  I speak of how easy it is to track everything and how measurable PPC is.  I also speak of the new features and advances happening in the industry every day.  PPC is a highly innovative medium that companies need to be doing.


There are certainly hurdles for companies wanting to run PPC campaigns.  There are costs and plenty of effort involved to be successful, but the labor is often worth it in the end.  Along with showing results, PPC will open a new road of traffic and help to define your website goals.

How do you help companies get on the PPC bandwagon?

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3 Responses to Getting Over the PPC Hurdles

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Lee, SEMantiks, MnSEM, Andy Groller, Chad Summerhill and others. Chad Summerhill said: RT @Matt_Umbro: New post is up! "Getting Over the PPC Hurdles" #ppc #adwords […]

  2. I would say that $200 is as low as you can possibly go too, but like you say, if you only do that for one month, you don’t have enough data to make actionable decisions. While we don’t have a long-term contract, we ask all of our clients to give us 90 days because it takes that long to work out the kinks, or overcome the hurdles, or however you want to put it.

  3. […] more info on how general keywords can influence buying decisions, our friend Matt Umbro has some tips for getting over the PPC hurdle, and PPC Blog reminds us to beware best […]

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