Pitfalls of Cost Per Click

Cost-Per-Click Pitfalls

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Cost-per-click (CPC) advertising is the most lucrative revenue stream for companies like Google and Facebook. Many others have imitated the format. An algorithm auctions ad space in real time based on pre-established thresholds of multiple advertisers. Rather than paying for the display, advertisers who outbid others for ideal position are charged for the click.

In this model, the quality of your landing page is as important as filtering the audience. Clicks can cost anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars. Popularity of the advertised product, service, and keyword increase value of the click. I have seen clicks range from a few cents to over 15 dollars. If the landing page does not convert to a sale, such site visits are significantly more costly than organic traffic.

Contractually, the companies that charge per click do not guarantee any particular results. Some campaigns may not receive clicks because of low spending limits that limit exposure. In some cases the niche market does not correspond to the proper audience. Other campaigns may inundate a site with expensive traffic without compensatory sales. Failed conversion is touted as brand awareness.

Large companies spend hundreds millions of dollars on advertising. A portion of such is routinely relegated to CPC in order to maintain visibility, brand awareness, and generate web traffic. To gain market share from competitors, advertisers increase daily limits or raise CPC. In recent years, AI is commonly used to rapidly establish bidding limits.

Boasting about a high number of clicks is superfluous.

These fluid silent auctions favor the hosts of intangibles more than the advertisers. Applying the Pareto principle, eighty percent of landing pages are ineffective. For the 20 percent that are useful, driving traffic to them is important. With closing a sale on a click being an expensive challenge for short attention spans and bargain shoppers, many advertisers aim for lower hanging fruit—obtaining email or other contact information for further marketing.

Alternatives To Cost Per Click

Boasting about a high number of clicks is superfluous. Advertisers desire web traffic but there are alternatives to CPC. Advertisers of products with potential appeal to the masses may benefit from courting influencers. These are social media-savvy individuals or celebrities with numerous followers.

Posting a photo on Instagram or sending a tweet to millions of their fans can generate significant traffic. Some influencers charge mega dollars for a mention. Others trade for something of value—perhaps a free product sample or exposure by another influencers who could possibly generate more followers.

Flat-rate advertising predates CPC and is still found today within maga­zines and news­papers. Some websites, like ClinicalPosters offer flat-rate advertising opportunities. This allows advertisers to establish a finite budget for promotion of products or services. Like other forms of advertising, the quality of the advertise­ments and landing pages affect results. Each should be tweaked for optimum results.

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