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Why Early Stage Startups Should Not Engage in PPC Campaigns

Should the two words (startups and PPC) be even in the same sentence?

Early-stage startups are most likely bootstrapped and are still working on customer development, finding Product / Market Fit, and refining their product to get the “Aha” moment.

PPC can drive in traffic fast based on search volume and cost per click. I am a big fan of PPC, I have run campaigns in the past that has worked complementary with all the other marketing activities such as Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. It works and I am all for it.

PPC Ads are dominant in our everyday online search activities when using a search engine. On Google, these are the ads placed on top of ALL the organic search results rankings. These are the ads that hover above everything on the first page. It is clear and It is visible for everyone to see and click.

And for startups trying to create awareness and drive more traffic to their website, it seems like the most logical way to get started and be see - be visible.

And having run and successfully launch multiple Google PPC campaigns in the past, I know it works..but it isn’t for everyone especially for early-stage startups.

Now, there are obviously 2 advantages when running a PPC campaign.


Yes. You read that right. And it does bring in traffic. I have run campaigns in the past where everything works perfectly - the right words, the right copy, the right bids,(all through testing and optimizing of course), and a sufficient budget and we get conversions. It does happen from time to time.

By carefully choosing the right keywords based on search volume, with the bids and budget for your campaign. Traffic will surely come. Now, whether these paid traffic visitors convert or not is another story. (which is more of a CRO story)


If your competitors are solely relying on organic search to get drive traffic, then having your own PPC Campaign will literally put your site above theirs.

For example, this keyword search for “NYC Pizza”.

If you’ve noticed, the whole upper page section is dominated by the PPC ad of Goldbelly Pizza. Immediately that is where our eyes are trained to look and most likely you will scroll down a few times but would go back up to check. (And if we do click, the company is charged based on our activity)

So yeah. PPC does bring in traffic and places your ad above competitors (within the given budget)