Sharp Cookie

When Should You See Results from Paid Marketing?

I had a brief marketing consulting campaign with an attorney today. This attorney contacted me asking for PPC advice. I was not pitching her on services, nor am I affiliated with the company doing her pay-per-click campaign. I was just there providing expert, objective advice on paid marketing.

During this consultation, the attorney asked the most common question I get about paid marketing campaigns.

She asked, “How long before I should start seeing results?”

This is a natural question for a business owner investing thousands in marketing. No one wants to invest $10,000+ in a marketing campaign before getting a customer or client. Ideally, the answer would be “immediately,” unfortunately that’s not the right answer.

From Publish to ROAS – Pay Per Click

On average, you will wait anywhere from three to six months to know if a pay-per-click campaign is profitable.

Google search and other pay-per-click ads represent a huge marketing investment. Even highly targeted PPC campaigns can cost hundreds of dollars a day. Competition for the best keywords is high, and many huge companies are willing to spend A LOT more money than your business is spending.

Very few, if any, pay-per-click campaigns are ‘hits’ immediately after being published. A great PPC marketer will launch a campaign with most of the basics in place. They will have selected the right keywords, written great headlines, refined the audience targeting, and defined the best ad schedule based on their knowledge of pay-per-click marketing. A talented PPC marketer will launch a campaign that gets some kind of results right out of the gate. BUT, to get the best results, they will engage in the process of optimization.

The Role of Optimization in Paid Marketing

Most business owners hear the word “optimization” when talking about search engine optimization. In SEO, marketers test, refine, test, and refine. Optimizing a website for search engines is a never ending process. There’s no such thing as “done” in SEO, and other forms of paid marketing are very much the same.

In pay-per-click, a skilled marketer will:

  1. Launch a PPC campaign using best practices of targeting and copywriting
  2. Wait 15-30 days; review the results
  3. Identify weak metrics in the campaign (low click-through-rate, low ad placement, poor landing page score)
  4. Update the campaign based on their discoveries
  5. Wait 15-30 days; review the results
  6. Repeat starting at step #3

This process continues until the business owner gets the maximum possible results for their PPC campaign based on their budget.

When You Can Expect to See Results from Paid Marketing – Quick List

The process of optimization I outlined above works for almost any marketing campaign with some adjustments.

I want you to walk away from this article with some concrete answers to the question that brought you to this page. Keep in mind that these ranges may change when the marketing meta changes, but this is a good reference point to check against what your marketer says.

  • Pay-Per-Click: 3 to 6 months
  • Search Engine Optimization: 6 to 12 months
  • Facebook/Instagram Ads: 1 to 4 weeks
  • Print Advertisements: 6 to 12 months

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the marketing platforms I’ve evaluated, but it is a list of the most common platforms that I get asked questions about.

If you’d like to learn more or book a consultation, contact me to schedule a time!