Don’t ignore the value of PPC

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If you’re launching a new website this year, chances are you want people to find it straight away. However, Google’s indexing and algorithms mean it can be difficult for new sites to compete for traffic.

Think about it like this – if you open a restaurant on a street that gets no foot traffic, and there are many popular restaurants already on the high street, you’re going to need to get people’s attention on the high street to get them into your new place.

Recently, Sans Frontiere launched a new game site for a long-standing client for a short-term competition they were running. Because the site was set up as a game that is mostly functional, there was minimal text content, making it less ‘crawlable’.

We quickly discovered that despite promoting the URL in all campaign messaging and materials, hopeful entrants were simply searching the competition name in Google. Often this is because Google search bars are set as address bars in browsers, or plain old user habit.

What does this mean? The new website, despite having the competition name as the URL, was not coming up in Google’s search results. Entrants were quick to point this out.

Our client was keen to get people entering their competition as quickly as possible, as it was only running for 6 weeks. They asked us to ‘fix’ it – but unfortunately there’s no magical solution that will get your brand new website instantly ranking number one on Google.

So, we recommended using a Google AdWords campaign to ensure entrants would immediately find their new site when searching in Google. They only needed a very small budget and it worked a charm.

Some think that people never actually click on Google Ads at the top of their search results. However, in our experience, no matter how big or small, the budget gets used up because people are clicking on the ads. There’s no shortage of Internet traffic and searches, and people like to be signposted to relevant pages. If campaigns are costing money – then people are obviously not ignoring the ads.

Many people seem to think of PPC as cheating somehow. To us, PPC isn’t ‘cheating’; it’s a quick win and a vital part of our digital marketing strategies that go hand-in-hand with other activities. It’s particularly essential for new websites or new product launches. Also, it can be key if it is impossible for you to highly rank organically for a search term.

SEO is a slow, long game. It shouldn’t be discounted, because in the end, you will want your website to rank as highly as possible in organic search results. But it doesn’t get immediate results.

If you want maximum impact and are on a limited timescale, or you want fast results for a launch, then PPC should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

Chantal Yeung Dresner is a Digital Marketer at Sans Frontiere. If you would like to learn more about PPC, you can contact her here

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