Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: DIY or Hire a Pro?
As a small business owner there is always something else that you have to do – always another hat to wear. It’s not enough for you to be a top-notch dentist you also have to be a business manager, IT professional and marketing guru. Or do you?
There is a reason there are expert professionals in every business industry. It’s because no one can be awesome at everything. There’s just not enough time in a day for someone to become an expert at everything. The problem is we love doing it ourselves. DIY gives of us a sense of accomplishment. Plus, we feel like we’re saving money (that’s not always the case). But before we can make a reasoned decision about doing something ourselves, we need all the facts. When it comes to Internet marketing – more specifically, PPC advertising – we have a few tips to help you make your decision to hire a pro or do it yourself.
Tip 1 – Think about your time. If you have plenty of time on your hands, running a PPC advertising campaign may not seem like a stretch for you. However, if you have a strong Internet marketing plan in place, your patient roles should be growing and your time for anything other than dentistry should be shrinking. Learning Google Adwords takes time. Keeping up with keywords and understanding analytics takes time. Building and managing a campaign takes time. While you’re smart enough to understand and create a PPC campaign, your expertise is in dentistry. A PPC campaign that takes you six months to develop measurable ROI may take an efficient expert half the time. Internet marketing experts generally have better equipment, a better understanding of consumer behavior, and experience with processes that save time.
Tip 2 – Be ready for change. This is related to tip one. An Internet marketing professional’s job is to keep up with the latest changes in the industry. Google Adwords is always changing rules, regulations and parameters. It takes time each and every day to keep up with the changes and maintain compliance within your PPC campaign. Changes mean that there are subtle aspects of PPC marketing that can mean the difference between success and failure. An internet marketing professional devotes time to understanding the changes and finding the subtleties that will lead to success, whether it’s an understanding of Dynamic Keyword Insertion or how to correct a faulty keyword match. As a DIYer you may be able to create and account and run a campaign, but can you take time away from your patients and learning about the new technologies and breakthroughs in dentistry to focus on PPC advertising?
Tip 3 – Do it right the first time. A successful PPC campaign takes quality copywriting, user-friendly landing pages and web sites, bid management, keyword tracking and campaign analysis. Buying the right tools and resources can get pricey, but making a mistake up front can be very costly. I’m sure you have your own story of a DIY project gone badly. Maybe it was a plumbing fix that was supposed to be quick and easy then flooded your bathroom. What began as an easy fix became a very costly one in tools, resources and man hours. In the world of PPC advertising, bad copywriting, confusing landing pages and poor keyword research will lead to low conversion rates and wasted money. PPC campaigns are fraught with beginner mistakes that bleed marketing budgets. Professionals can develop plans to eliminate those pitfalls and offer alternative actions when one arises.
Tip 4 – Size can make a difference. There is an economy of scale at play in Internet marketing. If you have a small annual budget of $500 or less you have to weigh whether paying a fee to an Internet marketing company is the best use of those dollars. Devoting a few hours a week to your PPC campaign may be all you can do. With a small budget your market reach and penetration will be limited, ultimately affecting your ROI. If you have an annual budget greater than $500 it’s probably a good idea to speak with a professional that knows PPC advertising. A professional can help you optimize your budget and campaign to produce maximum ROI. Internet marketing is not an exact science. There is always testing and refining needed for successful campaigns. If you make mistakes early you may run through your budget before the campaign has had enough runtime to be effective. Seasoned professionals can eliminate some trial and error through previous experience and create a more efficient strategy that can deliver over an extended period of time before budget becomes a factor.
Tip 5 – Know the Lingo. Every industry and profession has its own language. May times this language consists of a dictionary full of acronyms. Understanding the language of internet marketing, what everything means and how it fits into your campaign can help keep you from wasting your marketing budget on mistakes and accidents. Think you can handle it? What does PPC mean? That’s an easy one. How about CPM, CPC, or CPA? And how will each one affect your campaign? Do you know what the difference between impressions, views and hits are? Which one should you use for your campaign’s KPI? This is just the beginning. If you didn’t ace these questions you’re probably shouldn’t think about managing your own PPC advertising campaign.
PPC advertising can be a very effective tool in your internet marketing toolbox. A relatively small budget can produce a big ROI in a short time when the PPC campaign is in competent hands. If you think your hands fit the bill, remember that your PPC advertising campaign will take time and effort. If you decide that your dental practice is better served with you focused on dentistry, a qualified internet marketing firm should be able to tailor a PPC strategy to reach your goals.
To learn how ProSites can help you boost build and manage your PPC campaign contact us for a personal consultation at 888-932-3644.