22 Mar Blogging vs PPC for Cost Per Visit
Blogs Or PPC?
Blogging and Pay-Per-Click ads are both smart investments for any company. Each can generate traffic to your site, develop leads, attract new customers, and provide return on investment. Here’s how to determine if blogging or using PPC ads will result in a higher marketing ROI for your business.
The True Cost
Blogging is a great way to build brand loyalty, understand your target audience, and attract new customers. Every post you publish helps drive traffic to your site and convert that traffic into leads. A visit to a blog post can provide long term content that can be reused many times to provide value to your customers. Yet, these benefits come at a price.
The hidden costs of blogging can add up to roughly $840 a month for a single blog post. Even if you remove $100 for boosting, $740 a month per blog post is pricey-especially for small businesses.
In the end, you’re looking at $84 per visit to your website. Keep in mind, however, that if the business owner does all the work, costs go way up.
Want to know more about how we got these numbers? Read about measurements in our blog post: 3 Phases of Measurement for a Winning Blog Strategy.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click is a model of online marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Think of it as a way of buying visits to your sites.
Unlike blogs, Pay-Per-Click ads have very specific goals that happen once. You either catch someone’s interest or they forget about you entirely 5 seconds later.
While PPC ads do generate income, their cost fluctuates by network, campaign and business type, and targeting.
Let’s take a look at some of the common PPC networks:
- Google AdWords: While there are many types of Google ads, these are the most common ads that you see on top of your search results when you use the Google search engine.
- Bing Ads: These are similar to Google ads, but they use the Bing search engine instead.
- Social Media Ads: You’ll find these ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
There are plenty of other social media networks that also offer PPC ad functionality, but we’re going to look at Facebook as we evaluate the cost of bringing a visitor to your site.
Facebook has quite a few campaign types, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Here’s the breakdown on what to choose.
- A Follower Campaign: For new businesses that are still trying to establish their Facebook page, a follower campaign can be an effective way to build an audience and get likes. This helps your organic posts show up in other people’s Facebook feeds so that your posts don’t collect dust. Just remember, we always want quality followers over quantity.
- Traffic Campaigns: If your main goal is to get traffic to your site, this is the way to go. These are the most relevant comparison to our analysis of how much it costs to send a visitor to your website using a blog post.
- LeadGen Campaigns: Gaining popularity, these campaigns are starting to show up on other networks like LinkedIn. These campaigns allow you to use a form within Facebook to collect customers’ information before you even attempt to send them to your website. They work great for building mailing lists, or getting people to sign up for events or consultations.
- Shopping Ads: These ads are for people who want to sell products directly on Facebook. If online ecommerce is part of your business model, these are a wonderful way to get your products seen. Since you’re selling a product, it is really easy to measure the ROI of your ad costs against your sales profit to make sure your ads are always making you money.
Facebook Common Ad Types
There are 4 main ad options in traffic campaigns, as well as most other type of Facebook campaigns.
- Carousel ads: Short and simple, these ads feature a few slides worth of images. Each has accompanying text.
- Single Image Ads: A great place to start! These ads have one image, text above the image, a title and heading below the image, and a CTA button. While other ad formats have flashier features, these often have the lowest cost and end up bringing more visitors and conversions per dollar than the fancy ad types.
- Video Ads: Some ads need more of a presentation to really land with your target audience. We recommend these if you have quality video content.
- Collection Ads: These ads open into a full-screen user experience where they showcase a whole set of images. Collections work well if you’re a photographer, artist, or wish to display a gallery of work or products.
Facebook targeting is impressive. The longer you allow Facebook’s algorithm to run your ads, the better it will automatically optimize them. Here are a few ways to modify your targets.
- Age/gender: These are quick and easy ways to refine your audience if you know whom you’re trying to reach.
- Location targeting: This can get as precise as a one mile radius, which can be perfect for events where you want to only show your ads to people that are close enough to attend them easily.
- Optional settings: If you want to go deeper into your targeting and narrow your audience further, you have the optional interest, demographic, and behavior settings. These can also be combined. For example, you could select business owners, choose an income threshold, or a specific job title.
Keep in mind that as your audience becomes smaller and more defined, Facebook has fewer people to show your ad to, and that can drive up the cost per click. Narrowing your search is usually worth it if your targeting accurately reaches your customers. Your customers are much more likely to follow through, and you end up paying for fewer clicks from people who aren’t interested.
And Now For Our Cost Comparison…
If you follow the traffic campaign options we reviewed along the way, most businesses would spend between 1 and 3 dollars per click to send a visitor to their website. This is considerably cheaper than the cost of a blog visitor based on the math we estimated earlier, but it truly depends on your business and marketing goals.
For some businesses, the endless reuse of blog content can create a following that attracts lots of new people once the blogs gain traction and popularity.
On the other hand, some businesses might not be able to afford to wait for long-term ROI. They just need to get people to see their websites, so they can make their elevator pitches.