How Effective Is Pay Per Click Marketing for Small Businesses?

Small businesses, whether you’re online or brick and mortar, need to invest in digital marketing if they’re going to survive in this connected world. There are many options available from social media management to search engine optimization.

Pay per click is a type of online advertising that many businesses use to drive qualified traffic to their website, but many small businesses are afraid to try. PPC requires an investment and if you’re not familiar with the platform then your investment can quickly disappear with little results.

We’ll examine pay per click advertising and how small to medium business owners can use it to improve sales and website conversions.

What Is Pay Per Click Advertising?

When you look at the Google search results and see ads at the top, that’s pay per click. As the name suggests, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website. There are several types of pay per click ads.

Search ads are commonly seen at the top and bottom of search engine results. This is valuable real estate, especially the top because they’re seen before anything else on the search results. If your page ranks on page three naturally for a search query, then you can still be on the front page with PPC advertising.

Display ads are commonly seen on websites and can be text-based, but most commonly are a picture located at various places on the page. When people visit these pages, even if they are your competitors, then they can see your ad, click on it, and go to your site.

Video ads are like commercials on websites like YouTube. When people watch a video, your ad can show up in the beginning, middle, or end of the video. Video ads can be as short as 15 seconds or several minutes.

Shopping ads are shown at the top of Google search listings usually when someone looks for a type of product. These ads show many products the customer searched for. For example, if you look for a new toaster, then the top of the search results will be filled with a line of toasters from different companies.

Google is the most popular platform for ads, but Bing and several social media sites also feature PPC ads.

How Does Pay Per Click Work?

PPC is like an online auction where you bid for the placement of your ads. You first need to set up an account on your chosen platform. You create an ad campaign based on various keywords you want your ads to be seen for.

You then create the ads and add them to your campaign. Every ad campaign must have a monthly budget. Your budget and how much you want to pay per click determines where and if your ad is shown.

When someone uses a keyword the ad platform believe connects to your ad, you go into an auction with other competitors for that keyword for placement. If your ad is placed and someone clicks on it to go to your website, then you’re charged.

Once your monthly budget is done, your ads no longer enter the auction. Since many small business owners usually focus on a specific geographic area, you can target who sees your ads based on location. This way the only people that see or can click on your ad are within a specific geographic range.

The key to PPC success is creative ads and proper targeting. Depending on the platform, you can target by radius, interest, financial status, and more. Retargeting follows people who have been to your site and shows your ads on pages they visit afterward to keep you at the front of your mind.

Each platform requires its own budget and ad creation. You can create a page on your site created specifically for ads to draw people to buying something or visiting your store, this is called a landing page.

How Successful is PPC for Small Businesses?

There are two types of small businesses for PPC. Businesses that sell items on their website and those that have a website, but only sell items or services at their brick and mortar store.

The most successful PPC businesses are those that sell items on their website. Unlike SEO, where it can bring in general traffic, PPC brings in people interested in your business or product. They clicked on your ad, so they’re interested.

They are usually ready to purchase a product or service and it’s easiest if they can do it for your site. It’s still very productive for the other type as well. For example, if you are a heating and cooling service, then you can create ads that encourage people to call you for appointments.

PPC is ideal for getting people to call your store for more information and getting people into your store. While the platforms allow you to see how many people visited your site from what ad and if they purchased something or called your office from the ad, it’s more difficult to predict return on investment for walk-in visits from PPC ads.

How to Create a Profitable PPC Ad Campaign

Every PPC platform is different and it doesn’t make sense to use them all. It’s best to examine which would be the best option for your business. If you’re active on social media, then you might want to try Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

If you want to get the most reach, then choose Google or Bing Ads. You’ll want to create a targeted keyword list to use but manage it carefully and create your ads based on the best practices of the ad platform.

Target your ads as specifically as possible to limit the number of people who might go to your site but aren’t interested in your product. Create a manageable budget and keep an eye on your campaigns to see how they do and don’t be afraid to change them to improve efficiency.

PPC for Small Businesses

Pay per click is a vital part of digital marketing for many businesses. It should be a part of your digital marketing strategy along with SEO. PPC can create results fast, but SEO takes time to be effective. If you are worried about creating your own PPC strategy, there are companies to create them for you.

If you want to learn more about PPC or other methods of digital marketing, please contact us today.