Four PPC Myths You Should Let Go of During 2021

A new article on Search Engine Journal attempts to dispel four PPC myths and expose their underlying assumptions, saying they cause paid search campaigns to fail and give the channel a bad rap in general.

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The author says that for as long as paid search has been around, certain stubborn PPC myths have plagued it, and they lead marketers to approach PPC with incorrect assumptions. That causes their campaigns to suffer or even fail entirely – plus; they give PPC an unfairly bad rap.

PPC Myth #1: Paid Search Doesn’t Work When the Decision-Making Process Is Long and/or Emotional

Would you be convinced and suddenly convert from a, “Come have your Mom live with us…” ad? Instead of recognizing that their strategy was off, they blamed PPC. Deciding on a care home for a parent is a long process fraught with emotion. You won’t make that decision based on an ad, no matter how nicely it is constructed. But that doesn’t mean PPC doesn’t have an important role to play here. You could use PPC to introduce your care home to caregivers considering their options.

You can’t reasonably expect to go from zero to a hundred with one PPC ad, which is why PPC must be part of a larger marketing strategy. Any marketing initiative that’s poorly executed won’t work, whether it’s PPC or any other type of campaign.

PPC Myth #2: Paid Search Is Best Used Get to the Top of SERPs in the Short Term

Many startups plan to use PPC to get to the top of SERPs until their SEO “kicks in.” Businesses launching new products often have the same idea. And yes, you often can use PPC to get you on that front page of Google search results. But again, this is flawed thinking.

First, there’s no guarantee that SEO will eventually get you to the top of SERPs, no matter how great your strategy. Many of our clients never reach the first page, and they work with some of the top SEO agencies! Second, even if SEO does get you on the first page, there’s no guarantee you’ll stay there. If Google has to do is adjust their search algorithm, and you could find yourself buried overnight. Third, and most importantly, SEO and PPC work best when they’re used together.

PPC #3: If a Campaign, Ad Group or Keyword Isn’t Converting as Well as Others, You Should Pause It

This myth seems logical on the surface. No one has an unlimited budget, so prioritizing and picking your top performers seems to make sense. However, if you think holistically about your PPC program, you’ll recognize it should consist of a mix of campaign types with a variety of goals. You want to cater to all parts of the customers’ journey and set yourself up for even better results in the future.

To place all your bets on your top-performing campaigns, ad groups and keywords is like investing all your money in the top-performing stock of the day. Sure, you might do great in the short term. But when things change (and they always do), you might find yourself in a financial hole with no way to dig yourself out.

PPC Myth #4: It’s Too Expensive

I think this myth comes from inexperienced PPC managers who jump into Google Ads with both feet without knowing what they’re doing and are surprised when they use up their budget too quickly. When your account is managed by an experienced PPC pro, your spending shouldn’t catch you by surprise. However, I will admit that you sometimes have to be willing to assign a reasonable percentage of marketing budget to PPC to get a good return.