If you are a small business, your website will be the lifeblood and focal point of much of your marketing efforts. It is the one place where you can get all your information, products and services in front of the eyes of the right people.
There are many different methods to do this – blogging and content marketing, social media such as a Facebook business page and by working on keywords through search engine optimisation (SEO).
One option, that’s sometimes left out of the marketing mix, is pay per click (PPC) advertising. Knowing if PPC advertising is right for your business can sometimes simply be a matter of trial and error. But for many of our clients, it has proved to be an excellent source of recurring quality leads and referrals.
In this article, we’ve outlined how PPC advertising works, and some of the advantages we’ve seen of using PPC campaigns with our clients.
What is PPC Advertising?
It’s likely that even if you don’t know much about the ins and outs of PPC, you’ve seen it mentioned, or heard digital marketers talking about it. At it’s heart, is the fact that most people who want to solve a problem, search online (usually through Google) before they pick up the phone, send out an email, or pop into a shop or store
If, let’s say, you wanted to find an accountant to deal with your business finances, but you’re not sure who is in your area that can specialises in small business, you will likely search online. You type “find a local small business accountant” in the search bar.
The results that appear, will have a combination of organic listings (the sites your search engine believes are the closest match to what you’re looking for) and paid listings (the sites that are dishing out pounds to be there).
You can tell the difference between the two because they are at the top of the results page, and are labeled “Ad.” These ads are examples of PPC advertising.
How Does PPC Work?
PPC starts by setting setting an overall budget for your advertising – say £50 to begin with. To get your advertisement to appear in connection with specific keywords, you would have to “bid” on those words. This involves working out what your clients and customers are searching for when they are looking for businesses like yours, and refining them as close as possible to you. So, in the case of our accountant, keywords like, “Stockport Accountant,” and “Small Business Accountant,” would be words to bid on.
The companies with the top bid gets to have their advertisements shown at the top of the search results page. If an internet user clicks on your ad, then you will be required to pay the amount you bid. The price is subtracted from your budget total. Once the budget runs out, the ads stops.
Should you try PPC?
We use a number of techniques for building up our client’s online presence, including blogging, SEO, Social and PPC. All of them have advantages and all work well if used properly as part of the marketing mix. But here’s 5 reasons why we think more businesses should consider a targeted PPC campaign.
1. It is quick and easy to implement and has quick results
SEO campaigns can take months to build your website’s online presence, and to get you onto the first page of results. PPC is capable of sending your link to the top immediately.
2. It is affordable
Because you set your own customised budget, with no set minimum, it’s easily affordable and won’t run into major costs.
3. It’s targeted to a specific audience
PPC advertising allows you to narrow down the audience that sees your ads by location. This means that you won’t be wasting money promoting your accountant in Stockport, South Australia, when you’re trying to target Stockport, South Manchester. PPC allows you to target cities, regions and countries, as well as giving you the option of option of advertising globally.
4. You only pay for actual clicks
Many advertising channels require you to pay for exposure, TV commercials, billboards, radio advertisements, magazine or classified ad spaces, all require upfront payment before they will run your ad. PPC gives you online exposure without having to actually pay anything at all. By simply bidding high enough on keywords, your ads will appear on the first page of Google. It is only when an interested user clicks on your ad that will you have to pay.
5. The results are measurable
Identifying a return on investment is crucial for all marketing activity. Unlike social media marketing, PPC advertising allows you to analyse and keep track of what works and what doesn’t, through the Google AdWords tool. This means that you can consistently test and learn, to make better budget decisions and target your ads more effectively every time.
Is PPC for you?
If you think PPC advertising is something you may want to try, why not talk to us at Search and More. We can help you with a step-by-step guide through the process and get your first campaign up and running in days.