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Small Business Marketing Strategy Why PPC Can't Be Your Only Plan

Small Business Marketing Strategy: Why PPC Can't Be Your Only Plan

Dustin Brackett
April 17, 2016

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Pay per click can be a very effective marketing tactic and it's one that we recommend to nearly all of our clients, but it simply cannot be your whole marketing plan. It can be enticing to think about leap frogging the rest of your competition to the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo or to reach your target personas with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn ads, but planning on it being your long term solution is a mistake.
It can be very effective, but we are going to look at the reasons that it cannot be the only tactic that you're using to promote your small business. We've seen many fall into this trap and it never ends well.

1. Big Competition

You may be able to use pay per click as a good marketing strategy to start, but what happens when a much bigger business decides they are going to dump money into those keywords? Most small businesses simply don't have the budget to compete with big business. For example, if you're a local gym using PPC as your sole marketing strategy, what happens when Planet Fitness comes in and decides to dump $100,000 into pay per click in your area? Uh oh!

2. In the Words of The O'Jays - Money, Money, Money, Money...MONEY!

Pay per click can be very costly. Think about it, every single time someone clicks to your website from your ad, you're paying for it. That could mean up to $50+ when one person clicks through to your site (depending on competition). That doesn't mean that they are going to convert to a lead either, it simply means that they're visiting. You can see how this can become a giant budget suck.

3. Rented Space

Pay per click advertising is rented space. It is available to the highest bidder and is gone the second your funds dry up or someone is willing to pay more for it. Your Adwords campaign today does nothing for your business 6, 12, 24 months from now. It's all about immediate gratification instead of building a long term sustainable marketing campaign. This is why we love content marketing and inbound marketing so much. It's just the opposite. It's based on creating content that will still provide new visitors, leads, and even sales long after the content has been published.

4. Oops!

Did you know that 50% of all mobile ad clicks are actually accidental? That's crazy right?! 1 out of every two clicks on your pay per click ads on a mobile device had no interest in actually clicking it or visiting your site. That really hurts your cost per lead. Those dang fat fingers. ;)

5. Trust Issues

We as a society have trust issues with advertising. We avoid ads at all costs by DVRing our favorite shows, changing the radio station when commercials come on, and even skipping banner and search ads. According to BannerSnack, 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them. People aren't convinced that when they click on your ad that they aren't going to get a virus on their computer or that you won't badger them forever. 


Like we talked about at the very beginning, we  are actually fans overall of pay per click advertising. It is something that we advise almost all of our clients to run at the beginning of their campaigns. The issue comes in when small businesses decide it's going to be their full marketing campaign. It's not a sustainable model for any small business.

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