Here’s why looking at keyword cost doesn’t really help you run better ads

This is going to be a controversial one, we can feel it, but we stand by our belief that making a decision as to whether you’re going to advertise or not, purely based on keyword cost, it’s a narrow-minded way to approach paid advertising. 

Harsh? 

Here’s why we totally stand by this. 

First, cost per click rates change for every single ad that enters the auction.

That means, if you had 200 clicks in a day for a keyword, you could have paid 200 different prices, which then averages to the one you see in your ad account that day. This is how cpc bidding works.  

On top of that, you also have to consider the change in cost is not predictable. It can fluctuate up or down because Google said so. 

Could it be because more competitors entered the market? Could it be that the quality of your ads got worse? Is it some other factor of the hundreds that make up what is commonly known as the algorithm? Who knows. 

It’s not an accident that the Google Keyword Planner itself, which is Google’s proprietary keyword cost estimator tool, talks about cost per click as an estimated number!

You’re already starting to see making a decision based on cpc rate isn’t too sound after all. 

keyword cost - not so sure

Second, the cost per click you see is an average for the time period you’re looking at.

Different angle, but it reinforces what we just said above. PPC advertising cost is too volatile for cost to be the reason for using or not using a keyword. Some clicks cost significantly more, others significantly less than the average, and there is nothing we can do about it. 

Third, keyword cost is NOT a business goal. 

Give us an example of any business that has listed ‘cpc cost under X’ as a business goal.  You probably can’t, because again, that’s not a goal. 

Nobody should care about the cost per click, as long as the campaign is generating results – whatever results mean to you. 

It might be that the result you want is to find high quality traffic that signs up to a webinar; guide downloads; enrolling in a free challenge; enquiring about your product or service; buying from your online store; signing up to your newsletter; and many others. 

You get the gist – if the primary goal of the campaign is fulfilled and the cost per result is in line with (or below) the projections, the cost of one click is irrelevant. 

Are you getting from the campaign more than you’re spending? Great. Carry on. 

Are you losing money? Take a step back and reassess. 

Sounds common sense enough, right? 

keyword cost - magic trick

Moral of the story… don’t get caught in the keyword cost hype. 

It’s a battle you can’t win, and what’s worse, it distracts you from what’s really important – your business goals.

As long as you campaign is getting results, you’re doing a good job.

If it’s not generating the results, there are many reasons why this might be, and it’s impossible to list them all here.

We’ve attempted to show all the basics that need to be covered before running ads in the book “Are You Ready For Paid Ads?”, that also comes with £450 worth of free bonuses.

Interested? You’ll find all the info here.

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