I often hear resistance to the concept of Pay Per Click advertising. The arguments against it usually come in one of these three forms:

1 – I shouldn’t have to pay for someone to visit my site.

2 – I just want to get free organic traffic from Google.

3 – I tried Google AdWords before and it was a rip-off.


“I shouldn’t have to pay for a visit.”

This particular myth only appeared in the age of the internet. No serious business owner looking to make a profit and stay open for more than a few months would have ever dreamed of planning to NOT spend money to drive interest to their business. In fact, they would have thought they had died and went to heaven to be able to pay for traffic that ONLY targets people that are interested in their specific product or service (like Pay Per Click). Remember, businesses used to have to pay to advertise to a hundred people so that five individuals might see the advertisement. Furthermore, of those five people, maybe one person would have an interest and need for their product or service. The invention of paid search advertising was the single greatest move to level the playing field so that every mom and pop business could compete with the biggest companies in the world. They appear on the same page and can pay for just one click if they want and then disappear for the day once they’ve reached their quota.

“I want to get free organic traffic from Google.”

This is really a continuation from the previous answer. If your business plan requires FREE traffic to your website, then you do not own a “real” business. You are instead hoping to win the lottery. Real businesses budget money to pay for leads, prospects, and sales as an ongoing part of their marketing plan. This business knows their “cost per lead” and how much they can afford to pay to close a sale and still make a good profit. To make this calculation they must know things like average sales and average lifetime value of a customer. Without a decent guess on these amounts, you can’t afford to do any advertising because you can’t evaluate the ROI on anything you do.

“I tried Google AdWords and didn’t get enough business.”

My favorite advertising guru, Roy Williams, has a saying about advertising. He says that advertising just speeds up what was already going to happen. In terms of Google AdWords (Pay Per Click), this means that you have a website that is not good at doing anything of value for your business. More specifically, your website doesn’t convert traffic to prospects or sales at an acceptable rate. So when you start spending money on traffic with Google, it brings this problem to light immediately. Without spending money on traffic, you would have just glided along, without getting any new business and blaming other people and conditions for the failure. When you pay for traffic and still don’t get new business, then you are stuck with two alternatives; either Google doesn’t work, or your website doesn’t work.


10% would change your world.

The reality is that when managed correctly, Google AdWords is amazingly powerful. It has a level of control that no advertiser could have ever dreamed possible twenty years ago. When combined with a scientific approach to testing landing page content, ad copy, and keyword selection, any business looking for leads should be getting between 5-10% lead conversion every day. This covers the description for most business websites – They are acting as a first or second “touch point” for prospective clients. The ultimate goal for all of these businesses should be to get an email or call from that website visit, or in other words, a lead.