We’d always recommend search engine optimisation as a long term digital marketing strategy. However, when it comes to small or new businesses wanting to grab an immediate market share pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can massively increase your brand exposure.
If your a small business owner wanting to dip your feet into paid search or paid social media campaigns check out the following tips of why it can be highly effective.
What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
In regards to search engines, PPC advertising is a strategy where advertisers create adverts and complete against other advertisers by bidding to appear to users searching for a particular search phrase. The advertiser inputs a campaign budget and individual bid of each target search term, with them being charged every time their advert is clicked.
The amount each click costs depends on the maximum amount the advertiser is willing to pay and how competitive the search term is. By this we mean how many other advertisers are bidding on the same search term.
Other PPC advertising methods include Google Shopping and forms an important part of paid advertising on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
Pay-per-click advertising is ideal for new websites to gain immediate traction and for lesser known brands who struggle for search visibility to appear alongside big business.
Develop an awesome pay-per-click campaign
The key to small businesses competing with big competitors through PPC is to firstly develop a great website that users can instantly engage with. When you develop your PPC ad you will select a ‘landing page’ – a term you may be familiar with. In simple terms the landing page is where you direct users to but in practice is crucial to not only converting visitors but also keeping your click costs to a minimum.
Your landing page should look great on all devices, be highly relevant to the search the user performed, include a clear call to action and ideally a special offer or promotion. You’ve paid good money for this visitor so you’ll want to everything you can to generate an enquiry or sale.
Google Ads uses a metric called ‘quality score’ which in simple terms ranks your advert and landing page out of 10 using a variety of scores including how relevant and engaging your landing is. Having a low quality score drives you click costs up especially if your competitors have a better one.
Secondly, you must use a variety of research tools and your own understanding of your target audience to select keywords and phrases that will likely result in customer enquiries. With search advertising you will be bidding on keywords against other advertisers, this is where your hard earned money will be spent so ensuring you’re only paying for relevant searches is crucial to a good ROI.
You’ll want to select keywords that high commercial intent, rather than just simply being relevant to your business. Only bid on search terms where the user clearly has the intention to either enquire or buy your services. For example, if you run a hotel in Cumbria you may select “book hotels in Cumbria” as a target phrase rather than “How many hotels are there in Cumbria”. The latter being a user who is simply researching the industry rather than looking to book a stay at a local hotel. It’s very easy to waste budget on keywords that are never going to produce results.