Understanding the “Misunderstood” in PPC Marketing

It’s very easy to draw the line between success, failures and misunderstanding in PPC Marketing. Advertisers who are not “in the weeds” of this stuff everyday, are often tantalized by Books, Case Studies and Press Releases about how successful PPC Marketing has been for their business. However, that does not mean that your business will see the same result.

In fact, it’s a good idea to sort of “calm down” the hype that PPC Marketing is going to instantly and  “cost effectively” grow businesses overnight. Sorry, It simply does not work that way.

In this post, I will discuss a few important factors that go into what is a success and what is a failure, as well as “debunk” some of those common myths about PPC Marketing.

What is PPC Success?

The face of success…

Every business is different and requires different business models, and that is entirely up to the business owner’s goals and objectives. In order to identify success, we usually refer to the most common KPI’s, such as:

  • Cost Per Conversion
  • Conversion Rate
  • Average Order Value
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Cost Per Click

Along with these mentioned above, others could include:

  • Overall Brand Awareness
  • PPC influence to other channels
  • Increasing “non-branded” conversions
  • Increasing Social Media interaction

There is also the “Expectation Factor” that needs to be carefully reviewed, especially if there is an outside PPC Agency managing the account. Too many times, business owners set a false expectation of success when they create formulas based on CPCs, Budgets, Conversion Rates, AOV, etc… It may be a terrific business plan on paper, but what happens in the highly competitive search world is completely different.

Why Does PPC Fail?

Many businesses fail in PPC Marketing for various reasons. Sometimes, the business plan was too aggressive or the PPC agency created a false set of expectations, or the PPC accounts were simply not managed properly.

Whatever the reason, it all comes down to understanding the success metrics and continuous optimization based on those metrics alone. Here are some common points of confusion on failed PPC campaigns.

1. Google recommended it, so it should be better, right?

When Google recommends “new opportunities” please DO NOT immediately click the “APPLY NOW” button because if you do, you are throwing more money into Google’s Cafeteria budget. Google does a great job telling their advertisers to follow the best practices of Quality Score. What they don’t tell you is how to be successful at it. Quality score does not mean success. It just means that Google’s thinks it’s a success.

2. Why is my Formula-driven Forecast Model not matching up?

Creating formula based forecast models is a great way to get a rough idea of what performance may look like. However, it can be deadly to both the advertiser as well as the PPC Agency. Companies that assume Conversion Rates, Cost-Per-Clicks, Budgets, etc… should consider these as just ballpark figures. There are so many factors that can influence these forecast models including some of the following:

  • Competition
  • Lack of brand awareness
  • Product pricing and shipping costs
  • Technology “mishaps” with the website
  • Overall saturation of the specific market, etc…

3. How can I have an Adwords Quality Score is a 10, but no conversions? Google’s Quality score is just a score provided by Google and nothing else. Relevancy is highly important in the best practices of PPC, but it means nothing to a business owner. The business owner wants to make money not only from Google, but also the person/agency managing the account. Optimizing for conversions should be the only thing to focus on.

PPC Success & Financial Success

Getting the most out of PPC Marketing comes down to the basic principles of identifying what is success and what is failure. We all get distracted by optimizing what Google portrays as successes and forget what truly matters most. Financial Success.

The PPC Buzz words: Quality Score, CTR% & CPC’s mean NOTHING, unless it benefits the advertiser’s wallet. So the next time, you are about to launch a new business or client, keep in mind that implementing and optimizing the industry best practices only matter if the cash register is ringing.



Greg is a well-versed Internet Marketing Expert who has helped companies both large and small achieve success in Search Engine Marketing through proven strategies and effective implementation. Since 2004 he shifted his focus to Search Engine Marketing Industry, especially Pay-Per-Click- Marketing, where he has helped both Fortune 500 companies, as well as Start-Ups to improve branding, increase online and offline revenues, cut costs and succeed online.

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