Finger in the air PPC – How PPC has been miss sold

For a long time – and I assume as a result of agencies selling traditional forms of media; or perhaps because clients, knowing no other way, demand PPC is sold in this fashion, the fact remains – PPC is being miss sold to clients a lot of the time.

What do I mean about being miss sold?

Well, in my dealings with various clients and agencies I am in a privileged position to see the different ways in which PPC is sold to the client and how this is received by the client.

The standard selling process is as follows:

– You need to spend £X

– This will get you X impressions and X clicks over X time period

– Our fee is: £Y

– The total is £Z

On the surface this may seem like a reasonable proposition, and, as I have said before, the clients are used to the way “traditional forms of media” is sold to them. PPC is not what would be classed as a “traditional form of media” (yet). It is dynamic, everything about it changes on a secondly basis. There is simply no way to say what you are going to get for that spend. At this point people will be thinking about Google traffic estimator and similar tools. These tools are very limited in regards to accurate predictions.

The main issue with this form of selling is that towards the end of the agreed time period, if the total number of clicks and impression numbers given by the agency are not met, less relevant keywords are added to meet these figures.

There is another way which we try to use when dealing with our clients. We simply don’t give them a figure on how much traffic it will generate. Why? Because we simply don’t know and neither does anyone else.

We often recommend a pilot campaign in which we take £XX amount of money to spend on ad fees plus our fees, and at the end of this pilot we will report back to the client with more accurate estimates on traffic, copy recommendations, keyword performance stats, etc. When the full campaign goes live, it hits the ground running and there is a lot less wasted budget on irrelevant traffic.

This in our opinion is the most accurate and effective way to set up and manage a PPC campaign.

Blog written by Luke Quilter