Let’s take a few minutes and have quick refresher lesson on paid advertisement. Many organizations, probably including you, are using paid search, also known as pay per click (PPC), to get visitors to click through to your site vs. just finding you through SEO. In fact, PPC can be a powerful search strategy while you are in the process of building your organic search.

Today, Google AdWord display advertisements typically appear at the top and bottom of a search engine result page (SERP). This was not the case a year or so ago when they also appeared on the right-hand side of a SERP as well. The ads were more distinguishable then from organic results too, but things are always changing when it comes to PPC.

You also know about the Google AdWord formula. The critical Quality Score that affects how you rank on the page and how much you pay. While it is an intricate process, in general your click-through rate (CTR) is most important along with your ad text relevance, the relevance of our keyword to the ad group, landing page quality, and your past account performance. Google takes your Quality Score times your Max Bid to give you a ranking position on the SERP.

There’s even more to explain that goes into what your cost per click (CPC) math looks like. But whether you’re doing this work yourself or working with an agency, the point is that with PPC you can control when and where your ads appear, and if you’re doing all the other Quality Score factors well, how much you pay too.

So if you can switch on your campaign and get leads, it may seem reasonable that you can switch it off for a while when you want to. Now, if you’re in start-up mode or a small business or have more seasonal/cyclical sales, it might be tempting to do just that due to any variety of reasons. But having walked through the formula above, can you see why that probably isn’t the best alternative? You may think your reasons justify the action – you just had two of your four consultants quit, it’s off-season, you have more sales than product.

However, when you fast forward to a couple months down the road a few unpleasant realizations may hit you. The very nature of how Google AdWord campaigns are scored makes it challenging for businesses in the short and long term if they shut them off.

In the short term, valuable leads are now going to your competitors. If your campaign is paused, Google is promoting the ads of your competitors when potential customers searched important keywords related to your business. Even if you felt you couldn’t handle the leads, perhaps hiring temporary help may be a better answer than allowing cost-effective, quality leads to go your competition.

Going to restart your campaign, may find you having to pay more for that top position because your Quality Score dropped because you paused your efforts. When you have to raise your bid amount to get that top spot now, it often drives your CPL higher. The other option requires accepting a lower position and in turn usually a lower lead volume.

Ultimately, building a solid, Google AdWords campaign that fits your budget takes time and consistency. Things you may want to consider prior to just shutting off your campaign is scaling back your budget a bit or looking at scaling back other lead sources potentially. Find alternative solutions to your business problems, so you can keep your AdWord campaign working at top performance for your company.

Additional Resources:

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