Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be highly effective, but only if you use it right. You may be leaving money on the table by avoiding the expense, or you could be spending a lot of money on something that is not going to help you achieve your marketing objectives.

Here are four questions to help you decide if PPC is right for you:

Are you just getting started?

PPC advertising is a way to get a lot of eyes on your website all at once. If you are launching a new product or just starting the business itself, PPC can help jump start your traffic while you are in the process of building up content to win organic views. Since it can take months for organic traffic to develop, your PPC ads are able to help you keep your revenue going while you get established.

Do you need to A/B test something?

Testing is everything when it comes to creating the most effective marketing. Whether you compare two ads or you tweak a landing page consumers are taken to, data can show you what will convert. CTA above or below the fold? Is red better than green? Only testing can show you. Remember to alter one element at a time so that you can see what is making the difference.

Do you have the means to create dedicated landing pages?

When someone clicks an ad, they need to know what they are supposed to do. Do not send traffic directly to your home page. This is a sure recipe for money wasted on clicks. Instead, create a landing page for every individual campaign. On each page, make sure there is a clear call to action. Whether you want them to sign up for your newsletter, buy a product or join your site, it should be obvious what they are supposed to do. Otherwise, a prospect may wander around your site before heading off to somewhere else. A well-designed strategy is also the most cost efficient since it will affect your Google Quality Score and, ultimately, the price and position of your ads.

Do you have the processes in place to handle an increase in leads?

If your ads suddenly bring ten times the traffic to your site, do you have the bandwidth to handle it? How about ten time as many orders? Before jumping into PPC, it is important to assure that you are ready for any resulting growth. If you get a lot of traffic and it knocks your site offline, that is money on clicks that is lost.

In most cases, the most effective marketing mix includes some PPC, SEO, content marketing and social media in varying amounts. By including PPC in your strategies at the right time, you can get a strong return on your marketing investment.