Pay per click advertising (PPC for short) often intimidates small business owners. There’s something about the idea of paying for people to click to your website that becomes an impossible hurdle - what if the clicks aren’t real? What if I spend too much and don’t make any money? How do I know it's working? But the reality is that these same questions apply to essentially all traditional marketing efforts. Whether it’s an ad on Google’s search results or a more traditional print or TV ad many of the concerns are the same. The good news is that Google AdWords has many advantages over those traditional advertising channels.
PPC and Organic Search: Better Together.
Data indicates that pay-per-click and organic search perform best together -- so if you’ve been spending time fine-tuning your website with fresh, keyworded content to perform better in organic search results, you’ll be more successful if you have a PPC campaign running simultaneously.
As an added benefit, organic terms that convert can be added to your PPC account, so you can regularly tweak your PPC campaign to increase your chances of success.
Particularly for “branded” searches (that is, when someone searches for your company with your company’s name as a search term, rather than one of your offered services such as “energy audit”), it’s important for your company’s information to be displayed as prominently as possible. Organic search results, paid search results, anywhere on the page that you can get another link to your site will give you an advantage over competitors who are trying to capitalize on your site traffic.
Pay-per-click is budget-controlled, so you never have to spend more than you want to. You can control your budget on a daily basis, and analytic information allows you to understand how much you are paying per click, per conversion, and per acquisition. This gives you far more control than most traditional advertising campaigns.
PPC allows you to slice up your targeting in a number of ways: by state, city, zip code, country, time of day, day of week, language, and even mile-radius around geographic points. This allows you to target only those potential customers who are most likely to convert for your business.
Landing pages that are created to coincide with a specific campaign give you a huge advantage over traditional advertising channels, which typically only provide your business’s name or a phone number. The advantage to landing pages is that they give you the power to control the entire user experience after they click the ad: for example, if your ad is targeted towards a state incentive program, you can brand your landing page with a logo representing the program, and information and calls to action that revolve around the specific deal offered.
Landing pages are also conversion-oriented: equipped with a contact form that users can fill out right on the page, they make it very easy for visitors to contact you. Compare this to a print ad, where people will at most see a phone number (which, even if they take the trouble to call it, may not necessarily lead you acquiring their contact info), and you’ll see the advantage.
Rather than risking losing a potential customer to voicemail, or directing them to your generic homepage where they may not be sure if they’re in the right spot, a landing page provides the opportunity to write highly targeted, specific, sales-oriented copy. A short contact form is a low barrier opportunity for conversion, as it doesn’t require a ton of work on the part of your visitors.
In short, pay-per-click advertising can be a very effective, affordable way to drive traffic to your site and increase business.
Any questions? Feel free to chime in in the comments, or to get a hold of us. We’d be more than happy to chat more extensively about how PPC can benefit your business.