Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising intimidates many small business owners, but it shouldn’t. In reality, PPC ads can be one of the most effective and affordable advertising tools in a small business owner’s arsenal—as long as you know these seven secrets.
- Set goals for your PPC advertising. Just as with any type of advertising, you need to create measurable goals. Do you want your PPC ads to drive customers to your website to get more information, make a purchase or contact you? You can use Google Analytics to see how well your PPC ads are achieving your goals.
- Know where your target customer hangs out online. You can use keyword research tools to see which keywords get the most searches. Search for terms people might use to describe your products or services, as well as industry keywords or keywords that your competitors use.
- Target your ads. The more narrowly you can target your ads, the more bang you’ll get for your buck. For example, if you own a retail store or restaurant that relies on local customers, you can target your ads to show up only when people a certain distance from your business search.
- Use negative keywords. Negative keywords are another way to save money. Choose negative keywords if there are certain search terms you don’t want your ad to show up for. Suppose you have a landscaping business but you don’t offer masonry services as part of that. You could use “masonry” as a negative keyword, so when people search for it your ad won’t show up.
- Include a call to action. What do you want viewers to do when they see your PPC ad? Make it very clear what action they should take next. (However, be sure you stay away from words and phrases that Google disallows. Learn more here.)
- Create landing pages for your PPC ads. Having users click on an ad only to end up on a business’s home page is a common mistake that makes your ads less effective. Customers will feel lost and likely click away. Instead, create specific landing pages that are relevant to your goals and have a call to action. For instance, if that landscaper I mentioned wants PPC ads to generate leads, the landing page could include a contact form users fill out to set up an appointment with the company to get an estimate.
- Test results. One of the great things about PPC ads for a small business is you can instantly see what works and what doesn’t, in terms of wording, targeting, CTAs and more. Take advantage of this ability to test different messages and adjust them immediately. Isn’t it great to know exactly what ROI you’re getting on your ads?
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.