PPC marketing is a great way to get traffic and sales. But you can also lose your shirt (and probably your pants) if you do it wrong. It all depends on what you know and what you do with what you know. When done right, PPC marketing can increase your profits, automate your marketing and even help your organic search engine rankings.
But you have to learn about bidding strategies, split testing, landing page design, quality score, geographic targeting and a dozen other idiosyncrasies that make or break your success.
A poor quality score can hurt your organic rankings and raise your price per click to three, four or even five times what it would have been with a good quality score. A bad bidding strategy can leave you paying three or four times as much for traffic. Lack of split testing can cost you hundreds or thousands in missed opportunities.
So why not outsource your PPC marketing to an expert and be done with it? If you’re thinking about doing this, there are three things you should know first about PPC marketing…
#1: Know Enough to Make a Good Hiring Decision
To make a smart hire, you need to know PPC marketing well enough to spot a competent PPC manager when you see one. You don’t have to be an expert, but if you want to hire someone who gets results, you should have a sound knowledge of the PPC basics.
Some PPC marketing consultants are better at marketing their services than they are at fulfilling them. If you know nothing about PPC marketing, it could be hard to see through their clever marketing. I will also be harder to measure their progress and decide whether to keep working with them, especially if things get off to a slow start.
So you should learn as much as you can. You’ll find articles on PPC marketing here on our blog. We publish a couple of them a month. We suggest you set aside some time to read one blog a week, or one a day if you can.
Find some other authority sites on direct marketing and learn about the basics of online marketing and PPC marketing. The more you know, the easier it will be to make smart hiring decisions.
#2: Know Enough to Police their Progress
Even if you’ve hired a good PPC marketing consultant who is getting good results, you should keep monitoring their results, making suggestions and working with them as a partner.
Some business owners outsource their marketing so that they can focus on other things. This is good, but smart management should also be one of your ongoing habits. The more you know about what’s happening with your marketing campaigns, the easier it will be for you to plan new products, brainstorm new marketing strategies and refine the strategies you’re already using.
Being involved in your PPC marketing will also keep your PPC marketing consultant from becoming the “owner of the black box.” The “black box” being any system within your business which is being managed so exclusively by someone else, that you can’t change it, take it over or even get your hands on it without creating a bump in your business operations.
So keep working with your PPC manager and hold them accountable to keep pushing the envelope and producing outstanding results.
#3: PPC Marketing Isn’t Always Profitable Right Away
Unless you’re already hitting ROI with your PPC marketing, you should not expect profits right out of the gate. This is especially true if you’re currently losing money with PPC or just breaking even.
Sometimes, you lose a few hundred (or thousands, depending on your market) in costs per click just to refine your strategy and hit profitability. But if you follow a strategy from the start, you’ll make up for those “lost” profits quickly. So sometimes it’s smart to treat your initial losses as an investment instead of cutting the chord early.
When hiring a PPC marketing company, ask them about what the process of becoming profitable might look like. This is where your own knowledge of PPC marketing will help. If they promise things that sound too good to be true, you should proceed with caution or move on to another prospect. Expert PPC marketers who want to build a strong working relationship with you will be honest and reasonable in setting expectations.
If you educate yourself, if you stay involved and if you treat the first few days or weeks as an investment, you’ll enjoy plenty of long term success and profits by outsourcing your PPC marketing.