Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most accessible forms of marketing for startups, agencies, and small businesses. But while almost anyone can set it up, if you want to do it well and maximize your return on investment, it does require a highly-developed set of skills and knowledge.
If you don’t have personal experience with PPC, then the most economical way of ensuring your advertising is being expertly handled is to outsource it.
In this post, we break down each step of what this means, how to do it right, and how to maximize your ROI at every point of transaction.
What is pay-per-click (PPC)?
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a method of advertising on the web. It’s an agreement in which certain websites, search engines, and social media platforms post your ad, but you are only charged each time a viewer clicks it. Hence the name, “pay-per-click”.
Sometimes the site you’re advertising on will have a fixed price per click.
However, in many cases, you will be asked to set a bid price.
A bid price is how much you’re willing to pay for each click as compared to others competing for the same advertising space. You can also set a ceiling, so that you won’t end up paying more than a certain amount of dollars in advertising per day.
Is PPC a good option for you?
In almost every case, the answer is yes.
PPC is used by everyone from the one-man-band, to the biggest corporation. It can very effectively be targeted to your exact audience, boasts amazing ROI (when done right), and it’s a tool accessible to almost any budget.
The only time you may want to consider an alternative option is when your budget is so tight, you literally don’t have a penny to spare for advertising. In those cases, look into organic content marketing, which can include writing blog posts, setting up social media campaigns, and just generally developing shareable social content.
But in all other cases, PPC is a smart, economical, and effective method of advertising.
How to maximize your PPC return on investment
There are two main factors that influence what each click will cost: the quality of the ad, and the bid you set.
Setting these two factors to maximize exposure while minimizing spend is a delicate balancing act, and one that takes years of experience and constant monitoring to perfect.
Bid too high and you may be needlessly overcharged for leads.
Bid too low and you’ll lose out on exposure.
Furthermore, knowing which ads demonstrate the highest quality may not always be intuitive. It’s something that requires extensive testing and adjustment along the way, as well as the ability to use and interpret tools that demonstrate the ads’ performance.
For these reasons, the best way to maximize ROI with PPC is to either become deeply knowledgeable and experienced in the arena of ads and data metrics yourself, or to outsource your work to an individual or service that already is.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is contracting a service or individual to complete a certain task, recurring task, or set of tasks for your business. The individual(s) completing the task(s) will not be on your regular payroll, and their contract will expire upon completion of the designated assignment.
While outdated stereotypes of outsourcing bring up images of far-away call centers, this is no longer the case. Outsourcing can be used to complete all kinds of tasks, with services being carried out by individuals from as near as your own city, or as far as across the world, who are ready and willing to work for you.
Like PPC, outsourcing is a particularly great avenue for startups and small agencies. It allows you to scale your business, completing far more work than humanly possible as an individual, but costs much less than hiring regular employees, something which may not be feasible in the early stages of your agency or business.
Furthermore, outsourcing enables you to take advantage of the skills and expertise of professionals trained in more niche fields. For example, you may not know much about SEO or PPC - why waste the time (and money) stumbling through doing it yourself when it would actually be cheaper to contract that work to someone who already knows what they’re doing (and will do it much better than you could just starting out)?
Are there alternatives to outsourcing?
There are basically five methods of getting done all that your business needs to do. These include:
DIY: doing the work yourself
- When you do the work yourself, you know you’re getting it done exactly the way you want. However, doing everything yourself is not feasible if you want to see your company grow - or if you want to have a life. Additionally, no one is truly a jack of all trades, and it can be beneficial to bring in professionals in an area you are merely an amateur in.
- As your company grows (along with your budget and workload), you may feel it’s time to expand your team. When you have the resources to do it, hiring employees lightens your load, increases the creativity and expertise being dedicated to your project, and provides stable and sustainable energy to the machine that is your business. Yet, while hiring employees can be worth the investment, know that it can be the most expensive way of delegating work. This is because employees often require benefits, office space, and other resources that you’ll be expected to provide as their employer.
- Truth be told, there are some differences in opinion between what counts as outsourcing and what counts as a virtual assistant, but a broad definition is that a virtual assistant is a remote worker who is contracted to complete certain tasks for your business, generally with an understanding that they’ll be working for you on a regular salary or on a long-term contract. Hiring a virtual assistant has many of the benefits of hiring a regular employee, except that they are remote workers, generally cost less, and don’t require the usual benefits expected with regular employment. For more information on VAs, read our article The Best Virtual Assistants to Hire.
- It’s no secret that computers and their software are getting smarter everyday. That’s why it should come as no surprise that there are many simple and not-so-simple tasks that can be completed without human help - as long as you have the app or software for it. To learn more, check out these resources for information on Marketing Automation and Sales Automation.
What makes a good outsourcing service?
Any time you are outsourcing, the first thing to check is reviews and credibility. Check to see how long the individual or service has been established, and research review sites for reports. Don’t just trust what they’ve got posted on their own website.
Do a Google search of the service and see what comes up. Do they appear anywhere else on the web? If not, that could be a red flag. Are all the reviews posted on their own site glowing, but the ones posted everywhere else problematic? Another major red flag.
Remember that outsourcing can be a case of getting what you pay for. While there may be dirt cheap options out there, they may end up losing you money in the long run if they’re not running your advertising effectively.
Even if a service costs less, the ROI will probably be better if you invest a little more.
That being said, the cost of outsourcing is often significantly impacted by the location you’re outsourcing to. If you prefer to outsource domestically, this will often cost more. If, instead, you outsource to the Philippines or to India (two of the most popular outsourcing countries) you will likely pay much less.
If you do your research, both domestic and international outsourcing can be great options. It’s then up to you to weigh the pros and cons and determine what fits best with you and your agency.
Who should you outsource to?
At Vendasta, we offer a range of support services that include automation tools, outsourcing options, DIWM (do-it-with-me) services, and assigned support professionals that build a long-term relationship with you and your agency. Check out what we have to offer, or talk to our team to learn more about what we can do for you.
That being said, there are also other options to choose from. Here are a few to look through:
Everyday, technology makes it easier to grow your business.
Harnessing that power through the use of PPC and outsourcing may just be the boost your agency or business needs to take it to the next level.
With the information above, and the right people on your team, you can feel confident that you’re armed with the knowledge to see PPC work for you and your clients.