Advantages and Disadvantages of PPC

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2019)

When considering pay per click marketing you really need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of PPC to take the first steps to determining if pay per click is right for your business goals.

The advantages and disadvantages of PPC is foundational knowledge that you need to understand early on. This is where you are going to start to understand if PPC marketing is right for you.

Let’s start by taking a look at the main advantages of PPC:

  • You Pay for Ad Clicks

The idea is that someone shows interest in your business when they click an ad. They found your ad engaging enough to click. Almost 20 years ago, paying for a click was a revolutionary concept. Today, PPC is a standard for online marketing.

  • Measurable

When you market your business online, it is trackable. With PPC you can measure how many people see your ad, click your ad and more. This gives you actionable data that can be used to better understand your customers, what messages they respond to best and is applicable to many facets of your business. The data you gain from pay per click marketing will give you a deeper understanding of your customers, needs, wants and desires.

  • Control

Most if not all marketing channels that offer pay per click, allow at least decent control in how you target your ads and the message you communicate. Not only who to target your ads at, but who to exclude.

  • Speed

Marketing channels that offer pay per click allow your ads to get online quickly, allowing your marketing messages to reach customers fast.

  • Flexible

An advertiser can easily change their message, targeting and anything they like with ease.

Find balance in your PPC machine

Something to note, is that each of these advantages can easily become a disadvantage.

That’s the fine line, dual nature of pay per click. Something positive could turn negative, rather easily. Balance is required.

An example is that you can easily get your ads online quickly. This speed and ease causes many advertisers to enter into PPC marketing without a plan or defined goals. It’s almost too easy to get an ad online!

Too much control and micro management can cause problems with getting usable data, quickly. Not seeing the forest for the trees.

The scenarios where the positives can become negative are many. It takes knowledge and experience to effectively balance the advantages PPC offers.

Disadvantages of PPC Marketing

  • It Costs More to Have a Person Interact with Your Ad Than It Does to Have Them Just Look at It

Traditional marketing is known by the more modern term display marketing. This means advertisers care about how often an ad is seen. Be it a billboard, newspaper ad, mailer, tv commercial, bus stop bench or any other marketing medium, advertiser’s pay for the exposure. The eyeballs that see their ad.

With PPC, advertisers now only pay when someone takes action, Clicking the ad. This is awesome for many reasons. It’s definitely better than just seeing an ad. A person is choosing to engage with the ad!

What many advertisers fail to realize is that it inherently costs more to have a person take action from your ad, than it does for them to just see your ad.

  • PPC Can Be Expensive

As just mentioned, it costs more to get a person to take action on an ad rather than just having them look at it. Additionally, each PPC marketing platform uses their own methodology to calculate how much a click costs. Often times it is an auction. It depends on the channel, but each PPC platform has their own mechanisms in place to determine how much a click is worth.

Compared to other marketing methods pay per click marketing can be on the more expensive side.


  • Understanding PPC Can be Daunting

There is a lot to take in with each pay per click channel. Think you know Google Ads? Facebook is different and vice versa. Each channel has its own features, options, terminology and concepts.

There are many, many nuances for each channel.

Suffice it to say, there is a lot to take in.


  • PPC Has an Intense Learning Curve

If you want to know pay per click marketing well, you will need to stay up to date with the latest changes. Prepare yourself to always learn. There are near constant changes. There is a lot to know to be effective at pay per click marketing.

  • PPC Takes Time to Manage

Sure there are plenty of examples of ways to quickly manage your PPC campaigns. Eventually, you can spend less time on management once a campaign is dialed in.

But to really get to know your campaigns and analyze in a useful way, it takes a time commitment.

How much time depends on a variety of factors, but the bottom line is you will need to spend time on your campaigns.

PPC is almost never “set and forget“.

What many advertisers do not seem to comprehend is that most of the time managing a PPC campaign is performing analysis and making connections in the data. It’s not actually making changes to a campaign.

  • PPC Is Competitive

You’re not the first person to want to promote their business online.

There are limit to the ad real estate available on any given platform and every business wants it.

Generally, you will find PPC to be competitive.

  • PPC Platforms Want Your Money

Whatever platforms you use for pay per click marketing, know this universal PPC truth:

Each platform wants your money and they will do whatever they can to get it!

PPC platforms want ad clicks. That’s how they make money.

There is a seemingly limitless supply of options and features all designed for you to spend money.

You need to always keep this in mind. Never forget this.

  • You Pay For Each Click

Don’t forget this. If the same person clicks your ad multiple times, you pay for each click. It is literally pay for every click.

  • You Need Multiple Skills Sets to Be Successful with PPC Marketing

Arguably any marketing effort requires multiple skills, PPC is definitely one of the worst offenders.

Not only do you need to understand the workings of each individual PPC platform, you need to write engaging ad copy, know how to set up the tracking correctly, how to create a web page that engages users, how to accurately and effectively measure and analyze that data to make improvements, the list of skills need in PPC marketing goes on.

  • The PPC Landscape is Always Changing

There is never a moments rest. In the blink of an eye a new competitor appears, the platform you use changes, new feature releases and old features are sunset. It’s a dynamic, ever changing environment when you do PPC.

The bottom line is, you are not going to get lucky and just stumble upon pay per click success. It takes knowledge, skill, patience and dedication.

Fortunately, with a bit of practice and education many of the disadvantages can be minimized and overcome.  It’s not all doom and gloom!

By identifying the advantages and disadvantages of ppc marketing you can make better marketing decisions such as “Is PPC Right For My Business“?

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