Copyright 2005 Log Cabin Rustics
In this age of speed dialing, T1 lines and other forms of high-tech instant gratification, many webmasters find themselves tempted to engage in pay-per-click advertising. After all, if you’ve just designed a state-of-the-art website, there’s nothing quite as gratifying as a steady stream of traffic right from start. Webmasters with open wallets have found that pay-per-click can provide traffic within hours or even minutes of a website’s launch.
Before considering perils and pitfalls of pay-per-click, it’s worthwhile to remember that in some instances, pay-per-click is a good market strategy. A number of reputable SEO firms combine pay-per-click management with search engine optimization as a method of getting their clients clicks they need. Pay-per-click can be an especially effective strategy for:
•companies trying to beat a competitor to market with a new product who want to garner substantial traffic while waiting for their SEO efforts to kick in •webmasters with deep pockets who are more concerned about establishing a quick presence than long-term return on investment •webmasters who are reaping a return on investment high enough to justify expenditures on pay-per-click
Although there are valid reasons to engage in pay-per-click advertising campaigns, there are also enough drawbacks to give any webmaster pause.
Companies considering pay-per-click need to determine primary purpose of their marketing campaign—whether it be immediate sales, building website value, or a combination of two. If immediate sales is goal and a worthwhile return on investment is being achieved, pay-per-click may be strategy of choice—at least until good search engine positioning can be obtained.
Webmasters seeking to build a valuable web-based business should remember that whenever money “spigot” for pay-per-click stops, so do clicks. In contrast, clicks resulting from an investment in search engine optimization will continue for months and possibly years to come.
Return on investment (ROI) is another key factor to monitor during implementation of any pay-per-click marketing strategy. ROI can drop dramatically as market forces change. An increase in competition, when combined with rising costs-per-click and plummeting product prices, can quickly spell doom for a previously profitable ad campaign.