Growing up on a farm, I would often hear my dad or grandpa talking to a neighboring farmer about the weather. I know it’s somewhat of a joke, but it’s true for good reason. The weather plays an integral part in the success or failure of crops. If you plant too early you run the risk of your seeds molding in the muddy ground without sprouting or the young plants freezing once they have sprouted. Plant too late and you don’t get the crop harvested before it freezes or is damaged in the fall. If you don’t get enough rain, crop yield can be decreased. If you get too much rain, crop yield can be decreased.
Farmers talk about the weather so they can make the best possible decisions. If the summer is going to be dry, you might plant more drought-resistant crops. If spring came late, you can switch to a variety that matures more quickly. Understanding the climate is critical to success.
The Current Climate of PPC
I recently received the SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report in my email and it contains a lot of insight into the “weather” that the PPC world is going to be experiencing in the coming year. Below are a few of my observations and how I think they might impact your paid search efforts:
- Companies are spending more on search engine marketing – You thought the $16.6 billion spent in 2010 was a lot? In 2011 spend will go up 16% to $19.3 billion. This most likely means higher CPCs so you’ll need to get more revenue from every customer or convert your clicks better just to keep your head above water.
- Facebook definitely has a seat at the grown-up table – 74% of agencies say their clients run PPC campaigns on Facebook and with over 500 million users you can’t blame them. Have you tried Facebook advertising?
- Even the big boys need outside help – Last year 47% of companies were managing paid search in-house. In 2011 that number is down to 38%. I’ve talked about how complex PPC has become, and the big boys are no exception. I know plenty of companies that insist on having an in-house resource, but you might be hamstringing your efforts.
So how would a farmer summarize the PPC climate?
Looks like it’s gonna be a bit stormy and lots of these young bucks are gonna have a rough ride.
What do you think about the weather?