How to Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising for your Small Business

What Small Business Owners Should Know About Pay-Per-Click Advertising

While search engine optimization is an important marketing strategy for all businesses, big brands and companies receive the most hits because they rank higher in searches for wide-ranging keywords.

Google doesn’t feature small businesses and smaller brands on the first page of results very often. Since Google users typically don’t bother clicking past the second page of their search results, now is the time for small businesses to increase their exposure with the use of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. If you’re a small business owner who is ready to enhance your business’s digital marketing strategy, check out the following ways to build your PPC campaign.

What Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

PPC advertising is a marketing strategy where companies develop ads and bid on specific phrases. Every time a user clicks on a company’s ad, the company pays a small fee to the search engine provider. People see PPC ads in search engine results and in a range of ways on social media outlets Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With PPC, businesses pay when people click on their websites or landing pages.

Choose from the following platforms:

  • GoogleGoogle AdWords. Google is by far the most popular search engine and PPC ad platform option; it allows companies and advertisers to research optimal keywords to offset the PPC fee.
  • Bing – As the second-most-used search engine, Bing ads typically cost less than Google ads and appear on the Yahoo search engine.
  • Facebook – As a social media platform for PPC campaigns, Facebook is by far the most used.
  • Twitter – Twitter can be a useful tool to promote deals, share content, and enhance company exposure in as few as 160 characters.
  • Instagram – If your small business can create visual images as a means of putting forth an important message, Instagram may be a great platform for your PPC campaign.

Develop Your Strategy

Pick the best keywords. The key to a good PPC campaign is to utilize your understanding of your target audience to pick relevant keywords and phrases most likely to reach them. Because algorithms use the keywords you pick to show your ads to people, the best idea is to do keyword research to determine the optimal words for your campaign. There are several keyword research tools available, including SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, to help you.

In addition to being relevant to your audience, selected keywords should be directly associated with your products or services. Picking keywords with high commercial intent, meaning the intention of the searcher is to make a purchase, is a great method to get the most value out of your PPC campaign. As an example, if you’re a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll be better off picking specific phrases relevant to your area and your services, like “Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer” rather than a broad phrase “criminal lawyer.” You might also want to incorporate stemmed and latent semantic keywords. Keep in mind that these keywords are likely to change as time goes on, so it’s important to do keyword research on a regular basis to ensure your campaign yields the best possible results.

Optimize Your Landing Pages

If users click on your ad, it will direct them to a landing page, so it’s crucial for your landing page to encourage viewers to act. When developing your landing page, review the following tips:

  • Create a landing page with a distinct call to action, whether it is scheduling an appointment, buying a product, subscribing, calling for a consultation, or beginning a free trial. Ask yourself what you ideally want viewers to do after viewing your page and be clear about it. If you want viewers to download a free trial, include a call to action that says, “Download your free trial today!”
  • Use your landing page to tell viewers what makes you and your business special and to convince them to pick you over the competition.
  • Statistical research shows 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% of viewers leave a website with a loading time of more than three seconds. So, make sure your page loads within one or two seconds to avoid missing out on potential business.

Be Aware of Your Quality Score

If you use Google AdWords, checking your quality score and continually striving to enhance it can help you increase the value of your PPC campaign. Google decides your fee, as well as what ad it shows and where it shows the ad based on your ad’s quality score. So, an ad with a higher quality score earns lower costs per click and higher exposure rates. Google measures these scores with ratings from 1 to 10 and considers click-through rates, relevance of ad text and keywords, relevance and quality of a landing page, and earlier AdWords conduct.

Increasing your quality score enables you to get more value for what you pay per ad click and enhanced exposure, so tracking your score on a regular basis and readjusting your keywords for better results is an excellent way to access these benefits and get an edge over your competitors.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

One Reaction
  1. When advertising on social media, the targeting will be mostly audience-based so you’ll have to think about who your customer is, not just what they search for.

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