We’ve been walking through the various types of traffic you can generate to feed your digital marketing efforts. In the process, we’ve looked at direct traffic, referral traffic and organic traffic. As promised, we’ll complete our current discussion with a look at what many home improvement pros consider the most intimidating way to generate traffic: pay-per-click (PPC).

Chances are, many of you have at least tried PPC advertising with various degrees of success. Unfortunately, I hear horror stories all the time about dealers who have invested huge amounts of precious marketing dollars in PPC campaigns, only to end up with what appears to be little or nothing to show for it.

Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of using PPC as a traffic-generating source for your home improvement digital marketing program.

Pros include:

–          Setting your own budget to control how much you spend;

–          Results that can be tracked over time, with properly constructed campaigns;

–          As opposed to organic SEO traffic, seeing results quicker;

–          Allowing for more geo targeting, ensuring that more of those that see your messages are customers you actually want; and

–          The ability to remarket to potential customers, thereby increasing the chances of getting them to return to your website.

Cons include:

–          PPC can be very complicated, due to many variables, and you could waste a lot of money;

–          At a time when many people have grown skeptical of advertising and advertising agencies, well … PPC is advertising;

–          PPC involves more of an ongoing cash outlay; SEO doesn’t;

–          As opposed to organic SEO work (specifically content) that is available for as long as you have your site, once you stop paying for PPC your ads are gone; and

–          With PPC there are no guarantees that anyone that clicks on your ad will turn into a paying customer.

Even given all this information, many owners of home improvement companies choose to consistently invest in PPC campaigns. What do they know that you don’t?

Here are some ideas and thoughts that can help you wade through the trepidation that comes with considering PPC advertising for your business.

It’s all about balance: If you are investing in organic SEO, PPC can balance out your approach and give you results more quickly than an organic program alone.

Understanding what works best with PPC: While, in general, organic clicks account for more clicks overall in the search results, PPC ads account for 65% of clicks for keyword sets with higher buyer intent (think things like “best home improvement company in ________” or “reviews for _____ company”).

Don’t try this at home: Even the largest home improvement companies know that PPC is too complicated to handle in-house. Find a proven pro.

A lot of people (myself included) have said in the past that “nobody clicks on Google ads.” However, in recent years, Google has done a great job of “hiding” paid searches right alongside organic listings. So good, in fact, a recent study concluded that about half of people couldn’t tell the difference between organic and paid ads.

Done properly, PPC can be an excellent way to generate immediate traffic to feed your digital marketing machine.

So, now you know how to get them there (to your website), next we’ll begin a series of posts that can help you turn more visitors into actual appointments.

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