Should I Be Using PPC Ads Or Classified Ads To Set My Business On Fire?Kenneth Nel
PPC, SEO, DUI, DIY, BYO – the world is awash with acronyms, and the digital marketing realm is guilty of a large chunk of these. For clarity, these terms are not meant to confuse the public. Although that does sometimes feel like the sole reason for their existence. If you are not a digital fundi and you don’t know your PPC from your SEO, then it will be our pleasure to shed some light. PPC ads, in particular, are a misunderstood beast and a great place to start.
What Are PPC Ads?
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is, as the name suggests, an advertising form which allows you to pay for results – or, clicks. Google has a phenomenal system which allows companies to advertise their products and services in a concise and manageable way and only pay when a user clicks on their ad. As you can imagine, this is a fantastic tool which makes use of a targeted approach and completely blows the spray-and-pray advertising methods out of the water.
As great as this sounds, there are still many advocates of traditional classified advertising. Classified ads have been around for as long as newspapers have, and they have certainly served their time. From property to jobs, births, deaths and personals – classifieds have been the go-to place for anyone looking for pretty much anything. (“If you like Pina Coladas…” )
The argument for the efficacy of newspaper classified ads versus PPC ads is no longer a topic up for debate. The Internet wins, hands down. However, there are a host of online classified sites which act as our modern-day newspaper and a really clever directory service – available worldwide. And best of all, many of these are free!
So the question now is, why should I use PPC ads when I can advertise for free on these online classified directories?
Excellent question! Let’s explore that in more detail.
Who Is Your Audience?
One of the key strengths of PPC ads is the advertiser’s ability to target their audience with remarkable accuracy. You can select from a number of matrices including gender, location (down to a 2 km radius or a particular road, if needs be), age, economic status, device, interests, education level, expected or recent life occurrences (such as weddings or childbirth) and a host of other factors. As creepy as it sounds (that’s a conversation for another time) for companies that know who their audience is, it’s a pinpoint accurate way to find them online and deliver their message.
While some classified sites operate in a particular niche such as engineering or parenting, there are many global sites which simply list everything. Some of these directories (Craigslist.org, classifiedads.com) have been around for a while and enjoy a good reputation with Google and other search engines. This gives classified advertisers free access to a massive audience in a clear and concise manner, can produce decent backlinks to their website and is pretty much a set-and-forget situation. Classified ads can’t target your audience, but they are easy to find if the directory is set up well.
PPC Ads vs Classified Ads
Another peachy offering from PPC ads is their ability to track their success rate. PPC ads are displayed in response to search queries or keywords. When properly configured, a savvy business owner can see how many times the ad was viewed, the demographics of his audience, how long they spent on the site, where they went, if they bought anything online, and so much more. The Click Through Rate (CTR) of ads is available in real time making it super-easy to pause non-performing ads and add more funds to others. Your ads can be set to a budget, a time scale, a particular time of day, pointed to a particular web page, a download, a form, a link a contact number… it’s actually a bit of a rabbit hole!
Classified ads are admittedly a lot simpler to configure, but there are no guarantees. In advertising – all too often – you get what you pay for. Classified ads offer no guarantee of traffic – PPC ads offer an immediate return on your time and investment.
We are of the opinion that, the more lines you have in the water, the better chance you have of catching a fish. If you have a new business, then you should definitely be looking to PPC ads to get immediate, targeted traffic to your website. Adding your deets to a directory site is a good idea anyway, but it should not constitute your only form of advertising. Long-term projects like good, solid SEO and blogs are sure-fire winners and should ideally be started as soon as your website launches.
So in the PPC ads versus classified ads debate – who wins? Well, done right, the advertiser wins. We’d like to show you exactly how! Contact our digital team now and let’s launch your business into the digital ecosystem.