PPC (pay-per-click) advertising has been a great way to almost instantly start an online marketing campaign and get immediate returns. The ease at which campaigns can be created and implemented, and even turned off when necessary, has added a necessary dynamic to complement to more longer-term processes of SEO. In fact, for many PPC has provided a much stronger marketing solution, at least for shorter term gains.

Over the years, however, as more and more companies jump into PPC advertising, costs have steadily climbed. PPC, once a great resource for mom and pop sites, has been overcome with large companies who can afford to spend more to get less.

That, however, may be coming to an end. Well, not an end, but the investment into PPC by larger companies seems to be waning. Last week MarketWatch posted a story stating that many advertisers are cutting back significantly on their PPC spending.

Frustrated by the soaring price of Internet-search advertising and diminishing returns from the ads they buy, mid-sized advertisers say they plan to reduce how much business they do with Google this year -- in some cases, significantly.

This is not a new complaint to be sure. I've been hearing about PPC costs being untenable for years. According to the article, PPC costs have gone up as much as 50% for some. This feeds into what I've been suggesting to clients for years: PPC is great as a pre-runner to optimization. A way to build business in the short-term while the long-term optimization campaign gets ramped up. That and for shor-term campaigns as well. Many businesses are starting to feel the drain that long-term PPC campaigns can have on a marketing budget.

As businesses look for other places to spend their money I might suggest search marketing that encompasses SEO, PPC, Usability and Conversions. PPC isn't going anywhere but the amount that some companies put into a PPC campaign can be better spent through traditional optimization. Add to that strong usability and conversion analysis metrics and you have a well rounded campaign that is likely to produce strong results across the board.

The MarketWatch article is an interesting read. You can check it out here.

January 9, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Are We Finally Seeing the Decline of PPC?