The UK’s economy is in a right old pickle.
Growth is non-existent, and the green shoots of recovery promised have simply failed to materialise. We’re in the doldrums and unlikely to get out of them for quite some time. So, now is probably the worst time of all to be small business owner. Many economists would argue that there is only so much that can be achieved through austerity and that the only way to ever escape the recession is to spend. However, that philosophy offers little encouragement to owners of SMBs who are already stretched to the limit. They can’t afford to plough any more valuable resources into advertising and promotion. So what can they do? Well, what they should be doing is making sure that their existing search engine marketing strategy is delivering and is cost-effective.
If there’s one major advantage that the internet has brought, it’s the ability to analyse and measure online advertising. Everything in life is measurable in one way or other. Online advertising is no different. The internet has given businesses the ability to assess what’s working in terms of SEM and what isn’t, yet it’s surprising just how few businesses use this ability. If businesses analyse their search engine marketing data and find that, despite their best SEO efforts, it just isn’t working, then the time is ripe for change. If an SMB wants to make its online advertising cost-effective then it has to ensure that it uses all the statistical information it can lay its hands on.
Test and re-test.
How do you determine whether your advertising is working as it should be? The answer is simply by measuring its effectiveness. Small businesses owners should measure everything, whether that’s landing pages, calls to action, advertisement placements or the effectiveness of business blogs. They should also carry on testing regularly to measure what, if anything is changing. The more a business tests, the more successful its marketing campaigns will be.
Using smaller advertising networks can help to extend your budget.
Google and Bing are the market leaders in the online advertising sector and generally deliver that they promise to deliver. Unfortunately the caveat to that is that because they have such respected reputations they tend to be the most expensive to advertise on. However, there are other cheaper networks, such as long-tail advertising networks that are capable of delivering a similar number of clicks at a much lower price. SMB owners who use these sites will be able to extend their advertising budgets without seeing a significant decrease in quality either.
Make sure your advertising network thoroughly vets its content.
It’s fine to use cheaper networks to generate traffic and it makes absolute economic sense, but it’s equally important that SMB owners establish that the traffic these networks claim to generate is genuine. Therefore owners should make sure the online advertising network thoroughly vets traffic through third party, independent traffic cleansers. The majority of advertisers are happy to do this and will confirm that you’re getting genuine clicks from genuine people, not from bots or adult sites.
Advertising prices are also affected by recessionary forces.
Every small business owner has to do what’s best for the business, even if that means taking actions that will impact on other people’s businesses. Unfortunately there’s no room for sentimentality n recessionary times. SMB owners should look for best and cheapest advertising deals available. Advertisers need to attract custom, and during stagnant periods, they tend to do this by reducing prices to pull in the business. If you can get more clicks for less of an outlay, then grab it. If you don’t, others certainly will.