As an owner of a small business, it’s likely that you will have established marketing methods for attracting new customers. For a few years now, SEO has been a firm favourite with many small businesses. It costs very little, is simple to understand, provides solid results and search engine long-term presence.
So surely this is the golden ticket for business prosperity online. Well, it definitely contributes to building a presence and gaining new customers, but it isn’t enough if you really want to succeed in your niche. PPC (pay per click) is quickly becoming one of the most influential online marketing tools available.
The main thing holding people back from setting up a PPC campaign through Google Adwords is cost. Business owners think that PPC is too expensive to set up and maintain for a business with a limited marketing budget.
The fact is, more and more small enterprises are branching out from SEO and traditional marketing to PPC. Yes you will spend a little bit more; you pay Google Adwords every time your ads get clicked on, but the benefits are too good to ignore.
Online advertising is generally more cost-effective and more effective, period, because you’re able to target your advertising budget at a more select group of people, and closely measure how that audience responds to your advertising.
One of the most measurable forms of online advertising is paid search marketing, a system that allows you to place advertisements in the search results when people are searching for products or services related to what your business offers.
You then pay a small fee to the search engine every time somebody clicks on one of your ads. For this reason, paid search marketing is also known as PPC, or pay-per-click marketing.
Why Small Business Owners Should Choose PPC:
Reason 1: New Start-Up Businesses Can Hit The Ground Running
Do you think PPC is just for established companies who have a broad market influence? The reality is that brand new businesses and international giants alike, can get fantastic results from their Google Adwords PPC campaigns within days!
This is because even the smallest campaign tweaks will affect ad performance instantly, using Adwords’ live bid auctioning format. For example, your ads will be displayed at the top of the search results, providing you make smart PPC bids and closely match your ads with keywords and landing pages. With other forms of advertising, it takes months or years to see significant progress if you’re a new business.
How you benefit: Being at the top of the search results will increase your online presence, website traffic and sales. Achieving this early on allows your new business to become profitable very quickly and opens up new avenues for growth – while other start-ups struggle to find their feet.
For more guidance on maximising your website’s profitability and beating your competitors, you can sign up for a FREE “Profitable Website” report.
Reason 2: You Can Do More Selective Targeting
Appearing high up on the SERP (search engine results page) may be cheaper and reach a wide audience, but it takes time to accomplish. That is why this is not always the best option for small businesses.
In contrast, with PPC, you can selectively target PPC ads to focus on only the most valuable ad impressions and visitors. This is done using a wide range of settings in your Google Adwords account, including:
- Geo-targeting to ensure your ads are only shown to visitors in a specific location.
- Ad scheduling to adjust the amount you bid when ads are shown at certain times.
- Altering your keyword match types to control which searches your ads are shown for.
- Setting separate CPC (cost per click) bids and specialist ads for PCs and mobiles.
How you benefit: Having a higher percentage of visitors converting to customers will naturally increase your profit and, eventually, your ROI (return on investment). These are two very important benefits that add great value to a business with a smaller client base.
Reason 3: Google Adwords’ Market Research Tools Are Built For Small Businesses
Whoever said PPC campaigns on Google Adwords were more suitable for large companies with big budgets clearly didn’t know much about Adwords’ marketing tools.
The Keyword Suggestion Tool, Keyword Niche Finder and Negative Keyword Tool are specially created to make PPC campaign management quicker, easier and more effective for small businesses.
Customer research should drive all marketing efforts in any business, such as knowing which keywords your customers use when searching for your products/services online. These tools give you the best keyword suggestions for your purpose (broad or niche) and allow you to eliminate irrelevant keywords (negative).
How you benefit: You might not have the time or resources to do in depth market research. In an Adwords PPC campaign, you have all the best market research tools all in one place for maximum efficiency.
Reason 4: Closer Customer Interaction With Customised Ads
If you target your local area, you will probably want to build close relationships with your customers and make your business accessible. You can encourage initial contact easily, using ad extensions in your PPC ads. For example, call extensions enable you to place your business telephone number under the ad, while location extensions show your full business address under the ad. When Internet searchers see ads with these helpful points of contact, they are more likely to trust your offer and perceive the business as credible.
How you benefit: If more searchers see your ads as trustworthy and credible with open points of contact, you will get more clicks and potentially more conversions to sales.
Reason 5: You Don’t Have To Spend The Most To Get High Returns
One of the most appealing features of Google Adwords PPC is that you don’t have to out-bid your competitors to get to page one of search results. This is great news for small businesses with limited budgets.
A more sustainable way of staying at the top of Google Ads is to have a high Quality Score (QS), which is measured on a scale of 0-10. You gain a high score by maximising the relevance, clarity, consistency and quality of your keywords, ads and landing pages.
If you have a higher quality score (e.g. 6-10), Google rewards you by placing you higher in the rankings
– without having to spend a penny more.
How you benefit: You will save money whilst maintaining a valuable ad position on Google, therefore increasing profit and reducing cost per acquisition.
As a small business, you can enjoy all the benefits of PPC by outsourcing PPC campaign management.
An experienced and credible digital marketing agency will optimise your campaigns, whilst working closely to your requirements, to generate even greater value – saving you time and money.
PPC Small Business Strategies
Bidding on keywords with high intent
Only place advertisements on keyword searches that reveal commercial intent, or intention on the part of the searcher to buy something.
For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you’ll get more value out of people searching for specific phrases like “boston 2 bedroom apartment available now” than something broad and generic like “vacation rentals”. Keyword research will help you find those “sweet spot” keyword terms.
Using various targeting methods to focus your budget
For example, you could use targeting parameters to only show ads to users in a certain demographic (such as women or people with high incomes), or to restict your ads so they only appear during your small business’s active operating hours.
Working to improve your Quality Score: Google assigns every keyword in your account a Quality Score, which is a “grade” between 1 and 10 that assesses how relevant your ads are to people searching for that keyword.
The more relevant your ads, the better your score, which means that Google rewards you with higher ad rankings at a lower cost per click. Accordingly, businesses that take the time to create high-quality ads can get more exposure for less money.