How To Get The Most Out of PPC For Small Businesses

Hate it or love it, pay per click marketing is one of the fastest and most popular ways to drive relevant traffic to your business

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No matter what industry you’re in, PPC marketing helps businesses get the leads and customers they need, FAST.

If you’re a small business looking for ways to increase the amount of traffic and leads you get on your website, then PPC marketing is something you should consider. But with pay-per-click marketing being such a vast topic, where do you start?

Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional to run a successful PPC campaign, and by following some simple strategies, you can take advantage of this incredible marketing tool. No matter if your current marketing budget is £100 or £10,000 a month, PPC is an excellent marketing strategy.

Before we cover the most effective strategies every small business should be using on their pay per click campaigns, let’s learn a little more about what pay per click marketing is.

What is pay-per-click marketing?

Pay-per-click marketing is a form of online marketing in which advertisers pay a fee every time someone clicks on their advert, hence the name pay per click. This fee can vary depending on the level of competition and usually involves a bidding system in which advertisers bid for the top spot. Depending on the PPC network, this can be anything from a few cents to hundreds of pounds per click.

The biggest PPC ad network out there by far is currently Google Ads which serves hundreds of millions of ads every day via its search results and display network. If you want to target users that are searching for products and services that you provide, then Google is the go-to.

With various targeting options available, advertisers can pick from a range of placements to display their ads to ensure they get the best return on investment. With as little as $100 a month, small businesses can test drive the network to see just how much potential it has.

But why would a small business choose PPC marketing over other traditional methods of advertising?

Does PPC work for small businesses?

With so many different marketing options available for small businesses, why is PPC advertising so important? And does it work for small businesses?

The answers are speed, flexibility, tracking, and yes!

Pay-per-click advertising allows small businesses to create ads and start bringing in leads almost instantly. Once a business’s advertisements are approved by Google (which usually takes a few hours), the ads will begin receiving clicks and directing traffic to the business’s website.

Compared to traditional methods of print, TV, and radio, these advertising strategies take significantly longer to plan and produce the final adverts. But with PPC ads taking just a few hours to be approved, you can start receiving targeted traffic much faster, which means less waiting around.

Another massive benefit of PPC for small businesses is flexibility. Since all the ads are digital, they can be quickly edited to reflect any changes such as a change in the phone number, address or can even be turned off if you run out of stock. With traditional methods of advertising, you’d be stuck with out-of-date leaflets and banners which would mean spending more money on getting them replaced.

But one of the best benefits of PPC marketing by far has to be the targeting options available. PPC networks like Google allow you to target users on a range of options including keyword, area, gender, age and device type. With so many targeting options, you can run campaigns that will only target users with the highest chance of converting, thus maximising your budget. What other advertising methods allow you to do that?

An image of Pay Per Click ads

The best PPC strategies for small businesses

Now you understand the power of pay per click marketing for small businesses; it’s time to take a look at some strategies. As with any marketing medium, there are various trends and strategies that many businesses use. If you want to get the most out of your monthly PPC budget, then these are some of the strategies you should be using.

Bidding on competitor’s brand names

What’s the simplest way to target potential customers that are looking to buy your goods and services? User’s who are searching for your competitors!

No matter if you run a local or nationwide business, the chances are you’ll have a competitor nearby. Many established chains and franchises often receive many searches on Google as people are searching to find their nearest store. Being the PPC marketing pro that you are, you could set up PPC ads that display when a user searches for your competitors brand name while limiting it to a specific area.

If you bid enough so that your ad appears in the top 3 positions, you’ll be able to intercept users searching for your competitor and hopefully win them over. Not only is this strategy incredibly effective for getting clicks, but you’ll often experience a much higher conversion rate.

To protect yourself from other companies doing the same to your brand name. Always be sure to set up your own ads targeting your brand name. With a well-optimised page, you’ll be able to secure the top spot without paying much per click.

Copy your competitors’ keywords

When you first start running a PPC campaign, it can be incredibly hard to decide which keywords you want to target. With literally billions of keywords out there, how do you refine the never-ending list to only target the most profitable keywords?

Why waste hours of your time when you can piggyback off your competitor’s success? Using tools such as SpyFu and Google’s Keywords planner, you can enter your competitor’s website and find all the top keywords they are bidding for. You can then extract these keywords and run your own adverts on them.

If your competitor is bigger than your business, then the chances are they’ll have a dedicated PPC team whose job it is to manage their campaigns and ads. Since they’re spending money on PPC professionals and tools, you can piggyback their success without having to spend a cent on research.

Showing the research of PPC ads

Structure your account and campaigns correctly

To get the most out of your PPC campaigns and budget, you’ll want to be paying as little as possible for your clicks. Not only will this mean you can get more clicks for your budget, but it should also give you a higher return on ad spend.

Google uses a metric known as the quality score to decide how much an advertiser should pay per click. Advertisers who have more relevant and optimised campaigns pay less per click compared to those who don’t. To get the most out of your monthly ad spend, you should be organising campaigns into the correct ad groups and pointing them to relevant landing pages. Even if it means making ten new landing pages for each ad group, you’ll be saving lots of money in the long run from the savings.

Write captivating ads

There’s no point spending money on PPC networks such as Google Ads, just to bore people to death with drivel. If people aren’t interested enough to click on your ad, then you won’t get any leads or sales and could be losing out to your competitors.

Depending on what type of ads you are running and what industry you are in, the average click-through rate can range from 2.09% to 6.05%. Moreover, since the click-through rate has an impact on your quality score and sales, making sure it is as high as possible is essential to your success.

To boost your click-through rate and attract more clicks, your ads need to be attention-grabbing and stand out from your competitors. This means making the ads straight to the point while also including any benefits such as warranties, free trials, money-back guarantees or free shipping into the ad copy. The best place to get inspiration on what to write and include is by looking at your competitor’s ads or other Google Ads examples. It might take a bit of trial and error, but once you master the art of writing captivating ads, the difference will be clear as day.

Limit your budget

As a small business, when you’re first starting in the world of pay per click marketing, you should take things slow and steady. The last thing you want to do is accidentally blow through thousands of pounds and have nothing to show for it! With some clicks on Google Ads costing tens and even hundreds of pounds per click, ensuring you know what you’re doing is crucial.

Luckily, ad networks such as Google Ads let you set daily budgets to be safe. This means that once you reach your daily budget, your ads will be paused for the day and you won’t spend any more money. This is great when you’re first starting out as it allows you to not go over budget, while also not blowing through all your money in a single day.

Once you have a profitable and successful campaign that is generating your leads, you can then start to increase your budget slowly. By following this simple strategy of having a daily budget, you’ll be able to get the most out of PPC marketing without wasting all your money in a day.

Small business are open for business

Protect your ads from click fraud

It’s no secret that the world of PPC is exceptionally competitive. With hundreds and sometimes thousands of businesses bidding on the same keywords, everyone wants to be number one. This competitiveness often leads to some shady tactics, which include competitors clicking on your ads.

By clicking on your ads, you’ll still incur a charge for the click, but you won’t receive any sales or leads from it. Now imagine your competitor doing this to you every single day, your monthly ad spend will quickly be exhausted.

To stop this from happening, it’s crucial you protect yourself from the harmful clicks by using click fraud detection software such as PPC Protect. Not only will the software monitor all the clicks your ads receive, but it will also automatically fraudulent users from seeing your ads in the future. In the long run, this saves you money by only showing your adverts to legitimate users.

Save time with tools

Once you get to the point where you are spending a few thousand pounds a month on PPC ads, it can become incredibly tedious to manage your campaigns and individual ads. Especially if your entire PPC team is just one person, who works part-time.

Luckily, there are plenty of PPC automation tools out there that will save your hours of optimisation and adjustments by doing them all for you. Tools like Adzooma help automate the boring stuff and provide a range of suggestions to help optimise your ads. No matter if you’re trying to make sense of your Google Ads reports or trying to reduce the money spent on low converting keywords, AdZooma can help. With a range of automated features, you’ll save yourself hours managing your PPC campaigns which you can spend on more important things, such as running your business!

Now you know some excellent PPC strategies for small businesses, what are you waiting for? It’s time to go out there and put this all into practice.

Author:
Sam Carr
I currently spend my time writing about all things PPC and click fraud related over at PPC Protect. Having previously worked at a digital agency, I now spend my time helping people get the most out of their PPC campaigns and avoiding click fraud! Away from the screen, I can be found exploring various countries around the world.