Is PPC Changing?

Well that’s a stupid title…it’s always changing, however what I mean is – is it changing substantially enough for us to sit up and take notice. In my last post I wrote about mobile search and this week’s mentions it again. A blog which came out in November on SEOmoz analysed a massive $1 billion in Adwords spend…which apparently equated to a reduction in Google’s revenue somehow! But now I’ve finally caught the mobile bug I can’t stop investigating…here’s an excerpt:

“According to Google, CPC’s were down by “approximately 15%” and year over year advertising revenue growth rates declined from 21% to 16%. Industry analysts are placing the blame for slowing ad revenue growth rates squarely on mobile search, which is said to monetize on average at roughly half the value of a desktop search.” Read the complete post here.

Chart SEO ConsultantsReduced Ad Clicks on Mobile
This whole blog puzzled me until this insight made the lights finally come on, with so many people searching on mobiles now (obviously this varies greatly, B2C I imagine has far more traffic than B2B on mobile) but if someone’s searching, they’re intent is arguably even greater than on desktop. If you’re on the move you’re not likely to be browsing, you’re going somewhere for something – hence, why would you apathetically click on an ad you see just because you fancy it?

As a side note mobile search is expected to exceed desktop search…and soon, as in two years soon! #situpandtakenote.

Here’s hoping the mobile optimisation “how to” guides for those without the budget to create an entirely new mobile site come out soon!

Small Businesses
From my own research into various PPC campaigns I’ve found that for small businesses (between 1-8 employees) it…er… isn’t great. Sure it drives traffic but for smaller businesses who perhaps can’t afford to monitor it 3 times a day and adjust accordingly, who don’t have the bigger budgets sure it generates traffic but from what I’ve seen this is empty traffic. (Feel free to tell me how better to optimise client PPC campaigns by the way – all tips welcome!)

My Research
Based on client research when I compare what I perceive to be quality visits I find PPC to not overly deliver. To average the numbers out between the PPC accounts I have access to I would say PPC visits are of a duration less than thirty seconds and yield no more than 1.5 pages per visit. Compare this to organic visits which appear to be an average of between 3-5 pages per visit depending on the site and goals and of duration well in excess of 1 minute 30 seconds and I’m struggling to see the PPC benefit for small businesses. I’ve found a blog post that supports this idea beautifully…read it here.

 So, PPC for small businesses when bringing mobile into the equation? Hmmm – not sold!