Search marketing remains a useful tool for companies worldwide, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a key part of that often intricate and puzzling process. PPC advertising stands to grow even more complicated with the introduction of new tools like Google’s AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, which rely on contextual information from users, such as where, when and on what device searches are occurring.
A survey conducted in October 2013 by Ascend2 of business leaders and marketing professionals found that only 8% of those polled did not currently use PPC and had no plans to do so in the future.
Of those that either currently used PPC campaigns, or planned to do so over the following year, 54% named increasing lead generation as the most important objective of their PPC strategy. That was followed by increasing the rate of conversion (46%), increasing sales revenue (43%) and increasing return on investment (30%). Respondents showed little concern over reducing their average cost per click or improving the process of bidding.
Almost half of respondents saw increased competition that resulted in higher costs per click as the top obstacle they faced in carrying out PPC campaigns. Just over one-third named the lack of an effective PPC strategy as a major challenge, while one-third cited inadequate budgets. Meanwhile, fewer business and marketing professionals saw the use of multiple devices by consumers, the transition to enhanced campaigns and an excessive amount of PPC data as problems.
More than six in 10 respondents named testing and optimizing as the most effective tactic in carrying out PPC campaigns. Writing call-to-action copy was the second most frequently named strategy that yielded results, identified by 37% of respondents. Interestingly, those polled did not see much use in employing PPC on social media, or in automating their bid management process.