Submitted by: Peter McEllhenney, Principal Partner, 5G Health Marketing Group

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising like Google AdWords is an effective way to advertise a broad range of businesses.  Here are three questions that will help you decide whether PPC advertising is a good choice for you.

 1. Are your products or services well–defined and specific?

Pay-Per-Click advertising shows people ads on the search results page that are relevant to the words on which they are searching. 

For example, consider two accounting companies.  Firm A specializes in preparing income tax returns for individuals.  Firm B offers strategic tax consulting services to large corporations.

Firm A could use Pay-Per-Click advertising effectively because it could show ads to people searching on terms like “income tax help” or “income tax accountant.” 

People searching on these phrases have probably decided they need help with their taxes, and are looking for the right person to assist them.  So PPC advertising could be an excellent source of “hot” leads for Firm A.

On the other hand, Firm B might need to advertise on phrases such as “tax consulting” and “tax strategy.”  Because these terms are more general, it’s harder to know whether Firm B’s services are truly relevant to what the searcher wants. 

This means Firm B may have to spend more money on their ads to find clients who are good prospects.  If Firm B’s typical client generates a significant amount of revenue, however, then a single additional client found through PPC advertising could make it an excellent investment.

2. Do you have a short sales cycle?

Google AdWords and other forms of PPC advertising are more likely to generate increased business fast if you have a short sales cycle. 

Consider the fictitious accounting Firm A again.  This firm could earn new business with a single phone call or meeting, so a well-designed PPC campaign that delivers “hot” prospects can have a significant impact quickly.

Firm B is more likely to earn business through meetings and proposals.  This means that a lead generated by AdWords is less likely to turn into business, and could take a much longer time to pay off.

Because the prospects PPC advertising finds for Firm B are less hot, a lead marketing program or customer relationship management system is important to delivering a good return on its investment.

3. Is there a large market for your products or services? 

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