Pay-per-click or PPC has been a popular form of advertising for many years now. It has however had many critics particularly when it comes to click fraud and the costs per click. With the economy in a world wide recession it may be time to rethink your approach to PPC.
Advertisers would not have been happy with the latest statistics showing that click through rates are down and that the amount of traffic coming from paid search has dropped – in fact it has dropped by as much as 26% on average according to Hitwise.
Traffic has been in a steady decline since March 08 apart from the usual little bump over the Christmas/New Year period. What will be interesting is to see whether or not Google’s income takes a similar dip when comparing year on year results.
What does it mean for you the advertiser – or potential advertiser? There are a couple of ways to look at the situation. If you are using PPC as part of your advertising program, you should be keeping a close look at how much traffic is flowing through, the conversion rates of that traffic, and the costs for each click.
One side benefit should be a reduction in costs per click as advertisers drop away. This could pave the way for you to enter the PPC market if you are not in a highly competitive area. Click fraud is reportedly down so if you can manage your daily costs effectively, a drop in the number of click throughs should not affect you. By this I mean, if you put a 50 pound cap on your daily spend, either you receive clicks to the value of 50 pounds, or you don’t which means you have not the spent the entire daily budget.
Sometimes statistics can look bad. What you need to do is to look at your particular situation. Is PPC proving to be effective? Are you getting sales/conversions at an affordable rate? If you are then you need do nothing but watch those costs per click. If you are not achieving your targets – then perhaps it is time to look at other forms of online marketing. Don’t assume that general statistics are going to include your situation – often they don’t.
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