PPC for Small Businesses: Winning SEM Strategies to Grow Your Revenue
Small businesses can effectively increase their sales and find new clients with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. PPC is a digital ad model in which an advertiser pays every time a user clicks on one of their ads, driving traffic to the advertiser’s website. Advertisers place a bid to set the maximum price they’re willing to pay for someone to click on an ad. It’s a form of search engine marketing (SEM). PPC can be competitive and therefore expensive for small businesses, but with the right PPC ad strategy, you can reach new customers and grow your earnings.
Explore these topics to master PPC for small businesses:
PPC Strategies for Small Businesses
PPC advertising can seem cost prohibitive to some small business owners, but with the right approach, it can be an effective way to build your business. You can earn an average of $2 for every $1 you spend on PPC ads and PPC visitors are 50 percent more likely to make a purchase on your site than organic visitors. These PPC strategies can help you save money on your ad spend and gain new customers:
Pick Smart Keywords
One of the best ways to maximize your PPC budget as a small business is to be strategic with your keyword selection. If you aren’t selective with the keywords you choose for your campaign, it’s easy to quickly blow through your budget with expensive keywords that might not be the most relevant for your business’s products or services.
For small businesses with limited money, you might choose to focus on hyper-specific long-tail keywords to stretch your budget. Broad, short-tail keywords with higher search volume are likely to be the most competitive and therefore the most expensive to bid on. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, have lower search volume per month, but they tend to have a lower cost per click and can also be more relevant to your target audience. For example, if you have an e-commerce shop, instead of bidding on the keyword “sunglasses” you could bid on “women’s silver aviator sunglasses” for a cheaper cost-per-click and a more targeted user intent.
Develop Ad Copy That Converts
Ad copy for PPC is the text that appears on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and is meant to compel people to click through to your company website. Make sure the ad copy you develop for your campaign is closely tied to the keywords you’re targeting. Here’s the anatomy of a PPC ad for Google Ads, so you understand the copy you need to include and the character limits for each:
Headline 1 (30 characters)
Headline 2 (30 characters)
Description (80 characters)
URL/Path 1 (15 characters)
URL/Path 2 (15 characters)
You want to use language that grabs people’s attention. You can do that by including a compelling call to action (CTA), making a time-limited offer or addressing a specific customer problem. Monitor how your various ads perform. If you notice that certain offers or CTAs are more likely to convert, optimize your ads to improve their performance.
Optimize Landing Pages
After you’ve chosen relevant keywords and created ad copy that sells, you’ll need to optimize the landing pages on your site to make sure people are motivated to purchase once they click through. To optimize your landing pages, consider the following:
- Add a clear call to action
- Show why your business is superior to competitors
- Ensure your page load time is quick
- Include an offer on your landing page, like a discount on the visitor’s purchase
Boost Your Quality Score
Google Ads assigns your business a quality score that rates the quality and relevance of your ads and keywords. Your quality score, in conjunction with your maximum bid, helps determine how your ad ranks in the bid auction. Your quality score is affected by:
- Your click-thru rate (CTR)
- How relevant your keywords are to their ad groups
- The relevance of your ad copy
- The quality and relevance of your landing page
Focusing on quality and relevance can help you boost your quality score ranking.
Use Negative Keywords
One way to save your budget from irrelevant search terms is to use negative keywords. By setting negative keyword parameters, you ensure that your ads don’t show up in the search results of someone performing a search that’s unrelated to your product or service. To use negative keywords to your advantage, build a list of negative keywords in your Google Ads Keyword Planner account. Find search terms that don’t relate to your business, and add them to your negative keyword list. Your ads won’t show up when someone uses a negative keyword. For example, if you own a bakery and sell your cookies online, you might want to add “recipe” to your negative keyword list, since someone searching for cookie recipes is unlikely to buy cookies online instead.
What Are the Benefits of PPC for Small Business?
There are many benefits of PPC advertising for small business. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider adding PPC to your advertising plans:
You Only Pay for Qualified Leads
One of the top benefits of PPC advertising is that you only pay when someone shows interest in your ad by clicking on it in the SERP. In comparison, many digital ad units charge you for impressions, meaning every time someone sees your ad, you pay a small fee.
You Have Complete Budget Control
PPC advertising lets you set a budget according to your business needs and you won’t be surprised by hidden costs or a campaign that grows larger than your budget. As soon as your maximum budget is reached, your PPC campaign will pause in Google Ads. You can set daily or monthly maximums to control how long your campaign runs.
You Can Be Highly Targeted
By using smart keywords, location parameters and tailored ad copy, you can create PPC ad campaigns that are very specific to your target audience. By only targeting customers likely to be interested in your products or services, you can increase your conversion rate.
The Results Are Immediate
With PPC advertising, successful campaigns result in an immediate increase in traffic to your website and a boost in sales. You can get a sense quickly of what products or services sell best through PPC campaigns and which ads are most likely to convert.
You Get Detailed Campaign Reports
Google Ads and Bing Ads both offer helpful tools and detailed reports to help you better understand how your campaigns perform. The reports give you helpful insights into what ads perform best and the demographics of people making purchases. You can also identify irrelevant keywords that aren’t converting and don’t relate directly to your business and add those to your negative keyword list to optimize future campaigns. PPC reporting gives you actionable data to help increase conversions in the future.