Pay per click

A conversation: The business case for buying traffic

Paul Green Uncategorized

I do a lot of Googling for MSPs around the country, and I see a lot of pay per click (PPC) adverts on Google. You know, the paid for adverts at the top.

A couple of weeks ago I looked at some specific examples of adverts. This was to promote my free MSP marketing seminar called 50 ways to get new clients. It’s on 16th May in central London, and there’s a free place waiting for you to claim.

In the last week or so, three separate people have asked me if they should be doing pay per click.

The answer is universally “yes”.

But this is how the conversation normally then goes:

MSP owner: “But it’s bloody expensive. I heard you have to pay £1 every time someone clicks your advert”.

Paul: “More than that these days. Perhaps £2.50, maybe more, depending where you are and how fierce the competition is”.

MSP owner: “£2.50 per click? That’s extortionate! How many clicks will I have to pay to get a meeting with a prospect.”

Paul: “That will vary. Maybe 10… maybe 20. Could be more.”

MSP owner: “20 clicks. Are you insane? Are you crazy! What’s wrong with you? That’s £50. I’m not paying that just to meet a prospect. We only close 2 in 3 meetings. That’ll cost me £150 for a client.”

At this point, I have to stop myself from reminding them that back in the 1800s, they used to spend thousands on adverts in Yellow Pages and newspapers, with no ability to switch the advertising on and off, or pay only for results. But I digress…

Paul: “Let me put it another way then. You have a monthly support scheme, yes?”

MSP owner: “Of course.”

Paul: “OK. And what’s the average monthly spend per client?”

MSP owner: “Oh, I dunno, let’s say 5 users at £20 per user.”

Paul: “So £100 per client, per month. And how long do people stay with your business, on average?”

MSP owner: “Ah, we’re very proud of that. People stay three years on average. Many for much longer than that. We service them well.”

Paul: “Great! OK, just pretend I’ve got a potential client to give you. They’re here in my pocket. Say hello. I’ll give you this client… they’ve got 5 users, and they’ll stay with you for 3 years.”

MSP owner: “I’m excited.”

Paul: “So £20 x 5 users = £100. And £100 x 36 months = £3,600. So this new client – in my pocket – will give you £3,600. How much will you give me now to acquire them?”

MSP owner: “£300… here you go” (opens wallet)

Paul: “Interesting. You’d pay £300 to me. But you won’t pay £150 to Google”.

And that’s the crux of the argument for buying traffic. PPC is expensive, sure. But it’s the price for the highest quality traffic.

Google Ads - Pay Per Click Advertising

Google is where people go to buy. Those are the highest quality prospects.

And Google lets you buy your way to success.

Because Google now hides the adverts in plain sight, more people click them; not realising they are adverts.

Compare what the adverts look like now (above), compared to how they used to look, not that long ago:

Google Ads - Pay Per Click Advertising

(Note: This image was found on, as part of a fascinating article asking whether 50% of adults really do not recognise ads in search results

Hidden! Right in front of us. As evidenced by a massive spike in clicks when Google first made this change.

To get more new clients, you need to get more high quality prospects. To get these, you can’t be cheap about it. You have to acquire tham from the highest quality source, And right now, that’s Google.

If you think you can’t afford to do pay per click, you need to think again. You can’t afford not to.