PPC, or pay per click, is a type of online advertising that is often used as part of a wider marketing strategy. PPC advertising is favoured by companies for its cost-effectiveness, as it only presents charges when a user clicks through onto the advertisement and visits your website.
For small, or newly established businesses it makes up a vital part of their initial marketing strategies, as the budget allocation to be set for as little, or as large, as they can afford and there is no worry about wasting money – if the clicks don’t come, the charges don’t either.
However for those unfamiliar with PPC, or advertising in general, the world of pay-per-click can at first glance seem complex and confusing, and although budgets can be set it can be easy to lose money through trial and error.
To help small businesses make sure they’re only paying what they need to and reaching who they need to, here are 6 quick PPC tips that all small businesses should know.
Start small, and slow.
Unless you are experienced in PPC, for any small or new business the best course of action is to begin small and slow.
Start with one campaign on Google Ads. Google’s Ad platform is a hugely popular platform because of its ability to put your business in front of huge audiences. Plus, because Google allows for the creation of refined campaigns through the testing of particular identified keywords at any given time.
Make sure to set up analytics to go alongside your campaign, and take some time to learn each one of the sections. When only running one campaign it is much easier to learn the dashboard and the corresponding effects that tweaking something could have on your campaigns success.
Narrow down into specifics.
One of the common misconceptions with PPC campaigns is that your campaign should be as broad as possible in order to hit as many keywords as possible and generate thousands of views.
This is wrong, and a waste of time and budget.
Narrow down your keyword targeting to specifics that are relevant to your business. For example if you are a shoe store in New York City, “shoe store New York City” will not only likely have a huge cost per click, but is too broad to display to the customers you may want. Whereas if you sell loafers for women in Manhattan, “womens loafer store Manhattan” is a more targeted search that will generate relevant clicks, and cost much less.
Add geographic targeting
As you may have noticed in the example above, targeting by geographical location – also known as geotargeting – can be a huge tool in your PPC armory.
Whilst it may seem counterproductive to advertising’s huge potential, using keywords that relate to the specific area you’re in, town, country or even neighborhood will bring relevant results to your door.
For small businesses, it is likely you will only be able to operate out of, or manage, a certain area so until your business grows there’s no harm in staying in those boundaries. You’ll still reach hundreds of thousands of people that might need you!
Use dynamic headlines
Internet users are targeted by hundreds of ads with every search that they make, and so to actually engage a user’s attention you must stand out from the rest by using strong or dynamic language.
Dynamic headlines could include anything from asking your viewer a question, adding a touch of humour or brand personality, or actively targeting the user intent. Try to avoid plain headlines like “Leather shoes for sale”. It’s display advertising – so display what is great or different about your brand or product.
If you’re unsure of whether your headline is catchy enough, you could ask friends or colleagues or alternatively, run an A/B split test with the original headline and one other. A/B split testing is a section that is easy to find and use on any PPC advertising platform.
Deploy a Call to Action
One thing ads fail to do is include an action for their prospects. Every advertisement is made with a purpose of either engaging a prospective customer, converting a customer, or influencing a buying decision.
For small businesses, this is more important than most. Whilst big brands can use their reputation to get away with leaving off particular actions, small businesses rely on a user’s intrigue being piqued – especially if they may never have heard of them.
Including things like “Call us now”, or “Get your free trial” or “Click for more information” can lead your prospect onto your website and lead to a potential conversion or buying decision.
Reach out to an Agency
Finally, for newly established or small businesses who may not have the time or resources to learn PPC, there is no harm in reaching out to a marketing agency who specialise in ppc management services for small businesses.
Often, agencies will come with a wealth of knowledge and experience and may also afford you the luxury of having come across your niche or sector before. This type of knowledge is invaluable as they will already know the keywords that will get you the most results, and will be able to manage your budget accordingly.