How Much Time and Money Should be Spent on PPC Ads (Pay Per Click)?

Many business owners think pay per click (PPC) ads are the be-all, end-all within inbound marketing. Their first thought: allocate $100+ each month toward a pay per click ad campaign in hopes of generating some quality traffic. Comforting to know you can just throw money one way and get traffic in return, right? The truth, however, is less comforting: pay per click ad campaigns don’t generate quality – or meaningful – traffic. And even worse, few people even click on these ads.

Should I incorporate pay per click (PPC) ads into my inbound marketing strategy?

It depends on the size and scope of your business. Small and medium businesses who target a specialized or local market may see a greater benefit from pay per click (PPC) ads because these ads can be targeted to a very specific audience based on location or interests. Google AdWords, for instance, is very good for targeting local markets. You can limit the displaying of ads based on city or neighborhood. More advanced pay per click (PPC) ad solutions offer targeting based on a wider set of demographics and user data.
Large businesses – or businesses with a broad target market should avoid pay per click (PPC) ads, as their broad audience means less relevant clicks and a poor return on investment.

How much money should I spend on my pay per click (PPC) ad campaign?

Small businesses should dedicate no more than 10 – 15% of their monthly advertising budget on pay per click (PPC) ads. Even with extensive targeting of a local market or audience, it’s difficult to see the same return on investment you’d see from organic inbound marketing techniques, such as unique and meaningful content shared over social media channels. Additionally, while spending more than 10 – 15% of your monthly advertising budget may see increased lead generation, the leads probably won’t be relevant or what you are looking for (read: useless).

Why is organic inbound marketing better than pay per click (PPC) ads?

Organic inbound marketing techniques – centered around original content – are better than pay per click (PPC) ads due to several characteristics: uniqueness/originality, virality, relevancy, and value. Organic content generated and shared by your business gives your business an edge over its competitors due to the unique voice and original perspective of the copy. Additionally, if found to be truly original and relevant to your specific industry or niche market, your content will be shared, resulting in great virality (sharing of and interest in specific content).

Most importantly, organic content must create value for your readers or it is useless. If your content is not meaningful to your audience, they will ignore it (read: hide on Facebook). It’s not good for your credibility – or your bottom line.