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To PPC or Not to PPC? That is the Question

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, may be on your mind these days.

After all, you can’t talk to a single marketing agency without them recommending that you use it! And PPC does have some significant advantages.

  • It can help you build web traffic quickly.
  • It can help you claim and build awareness around specific branded terms.
  • It is useful for targeting and segmenting audiences.
  • It can help you find more qualified leads.

The first thing you should think about when considering PPC is whether you want to pursue product sales or brand awareness. For most sellers of jewelry, online product sales conversions can be challenging. Few people will click on an ad and spend $1,500 or more from an unknown supplier. It can happen! But just not that often. So getting your ROI on a product-sales PPC approach in fine jewelry can be a stretch.

Of course, you could do PPC just for your lower priced items, such as Pandora. But that runs the risk of creating lots of operational activity (preparing and shipping packages) for a lower price-point item, and if you drive enough volume, you can significantly reduce your average sale price point. We call that working harder – not working smarter! So you will want to think about that before you do it.

However, PPC for brand-building can be a good application. By using PPC to drive traffic to your website using brand phrases and terms, coupled with an email address capture strategy when they arrive at your site, you can see good long-term results from PPC.

Audience targeting is one great way to use PPC to build brand awareness. You can target people based on their geography, interests, passions, and behaviors. If someone has searched for something like your product or are likely to be responsive to your products based on other things they have purchased, you can reach them through PPC audience targeting.

You can also target audiences based on long-tail queries. Long-tail keywords are unique, very specific phrases that have less keyword competition. Think about the way people ask questions. They don’t ask “Cityville Jewelers, diamond, engagement?” They say, “where can I buy a custom diamond engagement ring near me?” Long-tail targeting through PPC can help you find these searchers with a minimum of competition.

One way to use PPC is to bid on your own business and/or brand names. There are pros and cons to bidding on branded terms. If someone searches your business or brand terms specifically, they’ll find them in organic search. They may be 1-3 steps below the paid ads, but they’ll still be on the home page. Some advertisers strongly advise bidding on branded terms to “cement” your brand position. You need to think about this carefully though, because paying good money for your branded terms means you’re not spending that money on something else.

Of course, that’s the big question around PPC. How much do you have to spend on overall marketing, and how much of that budget will you need to spend on PPC in order for it to be effective? Spending too little on a PPC campaign is as bad as spending too much – it can result in a waste of money. As with everything, an ROI rationale should be your final decision-point.

One last thought about PPC – it’s best not to attempt it yourself. It’s kind of like playing the stock market. Anyone can set up to be a day trader, but that’s a great way to lose a lot of money. Unless you have the time and commitment to focus on your PPC ads the way a professional would, it’s better to establish a good relationship with a PPC expert and let them do their thing.