Online advertising, or PPC marketing, is a valuable tool for small businesses that want to get the word out and start generating a steady stream of traffic and new prospective customers. Yet, many small business owners shy away from PPC marketing for two major reasons.
- The pesky “pay” component of ‘pay-per-click’
- Not knowing how PPC marketing works or how to manage a campaign correctly
This discussion will look at how a small business can effectively use PPC marketing to grow their company and acquire valuable new customers.
Since cost is such a common detractor of small businesses looking to get into the PPC game, it’s the first area to focus on.
The first thing to consider is your budget. How much you decide to invest in PPC marketing is crucial. It’s important to realize that you’re going to make some mistakes and waste some of your budget at first.
Thus, start with a conservative budget and understand that you may not see high returns at first. Once you gain a grasp on effective PPC management, you can scale your budget up.
Bids And Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
While your budget determines the maximum amount you’ll spend on Google Ads for a month, your cost-per-click amount governs how much you’re willing to spend on a single click, i.e. one visitor to your website.
You need to take into account what your profit margins are and how much you can reasonably spend on advertising in order for your cost-per-click amount to produce positive returns.
Moreover, you need to calculate what percentage of clicks are actually going to convert. The only way to really know this is to let your ad campaigns run for a month or two and acquire the data.
Again, be prepared for some missteps in the beginning!
Once you can safely estimate your CPC, you know the monetary limitation of your keyword bids.
Keywords are the bread and butter of paid search marketing. You want to place ads for common searches that customers may be making on Google.
As a small business, stick to a small sample of keywords that support a single product or service line. You don’t need to advertise everything you have on offer, at least not yet. If you advertise too much, you won’t comfortably be able to manage your efforts. Plus, you’ll burn your budget like it was soaked in gasoline.
The Ad Copy
Now it is time for the creative aspect of PPC management: writing effective ad copy. There’s no secret recipe for advertising success. It’s part creativity, part science and even part luck. That said, there are a few tips that make writing effective PPC ad copy easier.
- You absolutely need to have your keyword in the ad description and the headline
- Entice prospective customers by including at least one benefit or feature
- Grammar, spelling and mechanics definitely matter
- Test multiple variations of a single ad message and see which one works best
Pay close attention to what messages and offers generate the highest results. These insights can help you write more effective ad copy in the future.
The Landing Page
If your ad copy does the trick and entices an individual to click, they will be brought to your landing page. Similar to creating a compelling ad copy, developing a landing page experience is not easy. It’s near an art form to get right.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Include the same keywords in your ad message on your landing page
- Add value to your ad message by including additional information and content (videos, testimonials, reviews, pictures and so on)
- But, don’t overload your landing page with too much or it will struggle to load quickly
- The offer, product, service, etc. that you included in your ad message needs to be the center of attention on your landing page
- Don’t put too many steps between the landing page and the conversion action
- Grammar, spelling and mechanics matter here, too
- Don’t be afraid to adjust your landing page experience to find out what works best
What Happens Next?
That covers the basics of PPC management for small businesses. However, your job is not finished. As the name suggests, PPC management asks that you continuously monitor and, well, manage your campaigns and strategies.
It’s an ongoing process where you explore new audience segments, try different location settings, test more keywords, develop fresh ad copy and so on. The more time you put towards managing your campaigns, the greater number of customers and leads you’ll acquire and the faster your small business will grow.