Online Marketing Basics for Small Business: Week 1 – Introduction to Pay-Per-Click Advertising

ClickThis article is the first in a series of five posts about online marketing basics for small business. This first week will look at paid search engine marketing. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a great way to attract visitors to your business website and target messaging to a specific audience. It’s for this reason that PPC is a key feature of many small businesses’ online marketing strategy.

What is PPC?

PPC is a type of online advertising that allows you to rapidly get visitors to your business website by paying for advertisements on search engines and only when the ads are actually clicked on by users.

PPC advertisements are the ‘search results’ that display at the top of a search engine such as Google or Bing’s results and on the right-hand-side of the page when a search has been conducted. Ads are displayed when users search for a related keyword or term. Each time a person clicks on your ad or paid search result, the search engine charges you a fee – called “Cost-Per-Click” (CPC). You can be in charge of the amount you wish to budget for on these clicks by means of a bidding system. The greater amount you are willing to bid (and therefore the bigger your overall budget), the better the position your ads will have and the more traffic you will receive. Getting your ads to rank highly can also depend on the popularity of the ad and it’s click-through performance over time.

Why Should You Look At PPC For Your Business?

Essentially, it’s always worth at least considering PPC advertising, as it can bring you new business straight away at a reasonable price. As you can set your budget, it’s very low risk however your return on investment will largely depend on the success of your campaign, which can vary significantly depending on your experience. This being said, PPC is well known as being one of the most cost-effective means of online advertising, as it can be very closely measured. In addition, once you have mastered your strategy, you are able to precisely work out a return-on-investment (ROI) figure and assess this for further campaigns.

What Can You Expect From PPC?

With proper setup and implementation, you could expect to gain fresh sales enquiries within your first week of PPC. You will get an understanding of the categories that work well for your business in terms of lead conversion, and you will find areas that need to worked on through your website and other marketing channels. You will also come to an understanding of which segments are most the lucrative for your market. For example, you may see that people looking at your website from an iPad are more likely to make a purchase, so you could optimise your marketing strategy to give priority to iPad-related search traffic over desktop only traffic.

Is PPC Suited To Your Business?

PPC suits businesses with high to average sale figures, or businesses whose clients have a high customer lifecycle value. Although there are exceptions to the rule, it tends to be much harder to achieve positive ROI when the average sale figure is about $50. This is because you’re not likely to break even on the cost per lead investment, or make a significant profit on the lead once the CPC is taken into account. The same logic is applied to a business whose customers are unlikely to generate ongoing revenue and cover the cost of their acquisition.

Other PPC Pointers That Are Worth Keeping In Mind:

Generally it is best that you do not try to set up and manage your PPC account yourself. This is because the expertise of a professional will save you much more time, energy and money than if you undertook it yourself. There is a lot of intricacy involved in a successful PCC strategy, and while anyone can get a PPC account up and running, there are many ways you could actually lose money if you are unsure about what you are doing. A PPC professional has expertise in gearing the campaign in order to have a return on investment for every new lead.

PPC is an excellent place to start if you are new to the online marketing world. It’s also important to recognise the value of investing in the expertise of a professional to establish a cost-effective campaign for your small business. You will achieve the best results and ROI if you have a clear-cut strategy for segmentation, testing, and evaluation.

To read further tips and tricks from the professionals on PPC strategy, take a look at the website of Magicdust, who specialise in online marketing and Responsive web design for Australian businesses.

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