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What Are PPC Ads And Why Are They Perfect For Contractors?

Not too long ago the typical advertising experience would go something like this:

  1. You pay up-front for an ad to run in your local newspaper, magazine, radio station, billboard, etc.

  2. Your targeting capability was more like a shotgun approach

  3. You hope that your ad gets seen and you get a lot of calls for contractors

Sound familiar?

pest control advertising
digital advertising trends

Gone are the days when business owners used to spend thousands of dollars on traditional advertising tactics to promote their products and services.

Instead, it's the era of digitalization, and contractor companies who are winning the market share game are focusing their efforts on running digital PPC campaigns.

This doesn't just apply to a contractor either, in fact, according to a recent study, nearly $130 billion was spent on paid search and paid social campaigns the past year.

What Are Digital PPC Ads?

Before we get into all the reasons why digital PPC ads should be a larger part of your marketing budget, let's take a moment to define what a PPC ad is.

PPC stands for "pay-per-click" and the meaning is pretty close to what is sounds like. When you run a digital PPC ad, you only pay the publisher when someone takes action on your ad like clicking on it.

Allow me to pause here for dramatic effect...

Compared to traditional advertising where you pay for the ads up front not knowing if your target audience will see your ads, let alone take action on them, PPC basically guarantees your ad is seen AND action is taken.

The ability to measure and optimize your campaign in real time is key to lowering your cost per lead.

PPC ads can take many forms. They can be text ads like paid search result listings or they can be banner ads like what you might find on Facebook or other websites.

Why Are PPC Ads Perfect For Contractors?

Don't get me wrong, I believe every media type has a use case that makes them perfect for different scenarios. However, the average contractor company doesn't have millions of dollars to invest in advertising, which means every dollar counts.

Contracting isn't like buying a car. Your average residential price-point isn't in the thousands of dollars and the purchasing cycle is usually pretty quick. So, spending thousands of dollars up front on traditional media for branding isn't usually not your best bet.

PPC on the other hand is the perfect starting point for contractors for these reasons:

  • You Don't Pay For Impressions

  • PPC Advertising Is Less Risky

  • PPC Ads Are Highly Targeted

  • Flexibility & Measurability

  • You Can Get A Great Cost Per Lead

Let's take a closer look at each of these points.

You Don't Pay For Impressions

When you buy traditional media you are typically paying for impressions. Impressions are basically defined as the opportunity your target audience will be exposed to your ad, not necessarily that they will see your ad.

pest control magazine ads

To illustrate this point let's use an example of a magazine ad. When you buy a magazine placement for your contractor service you are paying for the opportunity that the reader will scan through all the pages and see your ad. In reality, not all readers are going to do this so the publisher can’t exactly guarantee your ad will be seen. Instead they will guarantee their circulation (how many copies they print) which can sound like the same thing but really isn’t.

With PPC ads, you don’t pay the publisher for impressions, you pay for action on your ads. Here’s where this gets even better. Impressions on your ads are still tracked and reported because they still carry a lot of value even if they didn't click on your ad.

In fact, most people who see your ad won't click on your ad, but what they might do instead is Google your business and get your contact information from your Google my business profile or directly from your website. If you think about it, you have probably done something similar.

This is why it's important to look at both direct and indirect indicators of campaign success when running advertising campaigns.

PPC Advertising Is Less Risky

This point is actually very closely related to the point I made on impressions. When your advertising investment is based on people who have taken action on your ad instead of just impressions, you are only paying for results.

While no advertising method can guarantee sales, you can at least be assured that the individuals who click on your ads are more qualified because they have taken action. And guess what, if no action is taken on your ads and you don't pay anything. That's why I like to refer to PPC advertising as less risky than traditional advertising.

Now, all of this is not to say that PPC advertising is necessarily less expensive. In fact, in the hands of an unskilled or overzealous campaign manager, you can quite easily burn through your entire budget quicker than expected if you are not careful.

Choosing a partner who is experienced in PPC advertising campaigns and has a proven track record of success can make a break your campaign.

PPC Ads Are Highly Targeted

In the case of PPC ads, you will be able to segment and target your audience on the basis of various factors like estimated income, home ownership, geography, etc. What this ultimately translates to is less wasted impressions and more budget efficiency.

pest control ppc ads

So, what do I mean by waste? With most traditional media, you are advertising to their entire audience which may or may not overlap with your target.

Take geography for example. The local TV station might have a service area that fall's well outside your own service area. Therefore, the areas where your service area and the media's service area don't overlap should be considered waste.

Flexibility & Measurability

One of the major advantages of running PPC ads is that you will always be able to see how your campaign is performing. You will have access to a wide range of valuable information at your fingertips.

Based on this information, you will be able to figure out whether your PPC ads are working miracles or simply failing. And that's not the case with traditional advertising. Once the ads are telecasted, circulated, or aired, there's no way you will be able to make changes. You might not even be able to calculate the exact outreach, as you won’t have such flexibility of taking a look at the number of people who viewed your ads.

Your magazine or direct mail copy can't be changed on the fly. However, digital ads can change nearly everything about them so you can test what copy works best or what image people are responding to more. This takes a little guesswork out of your advertising equation because you can see how they are reacting to your ad.

The ability to measure and optimize your campaign in real time is key to lowering your cost per lead.

You Can Get A Great Cost Per Lead

Another reason PPC ads have a leg-up on traditional media is it's overal impact on your cost per lead (CPL).

As we examined above, you will be attracting high-quality targeted leads who are in the market for contractor services. These are individuals who have shown buyers intent and self qualified themselves.

You will be able to optimize the campaigns be testing ad variables and make decisions in real time depending on their performance. This will indeed lead to a higher conversion rate, thereby increasing your return on investment.

However, as we expressed, testing and performing campaign optimizations with traditional media is difficult at best and very expensive.


In the world of digital marketing, PPC ads can help you attract a wide range of your target audience quickly and effectively.

If you haven’t already given it a shot, you're missing out. But keep in mind that PPC is just a marketing tool. And, as with any tool, it needs to be used in the hands of a skilled worker to get the best results.


If you're looking to grow your contractor business, take the first step today, and learn how we can help with our all-in-one contractor marketing platform.

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