While I don’t think PPC is a complete waste of time, I also don’t think it’s for everybody. It costs more because you pay for every click on an ad. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee your return on investment; it doesn’t always mean those clicks will convert!
According to a study, 4 out of 5 search engine users report that they never click on PPC results. I can attest to this. I have put on blinders to most ads and I rarely click on those I do see. Most users of the Internet today are pretty savvy. They know an ad when they see one, and only 30% of those folks will actually click on it.
However, there are benefits to PPC programs and paid search certainly can work for some businesses – if done correctly. If your bid for the appropriate targeted key words is successful, you’ll land on page 1 of a Google search. This can drive a lot of relevant traffic to your website all at once. But ultimately this is where usability, good copywriting, and calls to action really need to kick in! You still need to entice and encourage people to contact you or to purchase when they’ve landed on your website.
In summary, I feel a decent balance of good old fashion SEO and internet best practices, in conjunction with a PPC campaign, can drive targeted and qualified traffic to your site.