Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 5D Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Since I mentioned search engine rankings in my last blog, I feel I should mention pay-per-click advertising. While not social media, it can be part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Here are tips on conducting a successful (and inexpensive) PPC campaign.

Continuing a series of blogs on Social Media Networking for Small Business! Recently, I presented a webinar for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. You can watch it here. In case you’d rather read than watch the webinar, I’ve broken it down into a series of blogs:

For Part 1 – Goals, click here.
For Part 2 – Target Your Audience, click here.
For Part 3 – Find Your Promoters, click here.
For Part 4 – Develop Your Strategy, click here.
For Part 5 – Engage Your Audience, click here.
For Part 5B – Bringing it Back to Your Site, click here

For Part 5C – Why Your Company Needs a Blog, click here.  

Engage Your Audience Part D – Pay-Per-Click (PPC) 

PPC refers to advertising that appears on the top and to the right of organic search results. Google, for example, offers Google AdWords. It is designed to display your advertisement based on targeted keywords or phrases.

So, if you owned a luggage store, you might have an ad that displays whenever your specialty – lets say computer bags – is entered into Google’s search engine. You then pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad.

The beauty of this method of web marketing is that it drives targeted traffic to your website much quicker than normal listings, and that you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. You determine how much you will pay by placing a bid. Of course, the more popular the keyword, the more competition you have on having your ad at the top of the results. However, you set limits on what you are willing to pay daily.

Your Google AdWords will show up on Google’s search results almost instantly after being submitted, so they are an ideal strategy if your web site is:

  • waiting to be indexed on Google
  • launching new products
  • short term campaign
  • targeting a specific market

If you go this route, understand it doesn’t always offer the results you may be hoping for.

They refer to this heatmap as “banner blindness.” It is a great example of why organic or natural search results are much more effective than banner ads. People barely even look at them.

Another interesting heatmap they displayed was how eyes look at typical search results. As you can see on this google example, the top five listings on the page get the majority of eyeballs. The red lines are referred to as the “fold” —which is a term associated with the front page of newspapers.  In the digital age, it is the point at which you’d have to scroll down. So, not only is getting on the first page of search results important, getting in the top five is golden.

Here are some tips when conducting a PPC campaign:

  • Be specific when choosing keywords and phrases. Again, it is quality over quantity. You may get a ton more clicks by being broad, but what are you selling? Be specific, so you get the right type of click.
  • Send them to landing pages, not your home page. Lets say you see an ad for a particular product and when you click on it, it takes you to their home page and you are left having to search for the exact item you were originally looking for. Most likely, your visitor will hit the back button and go for an easier route. Providing exact landing pages will provide you better odds the customer will stay on your site.
  • Lose the ego when bidding. I suggest you have a budget what you are willing to spend before you start looking at keywords. Maybe it is $25 a day, which is roughly $750 a month and over $9000 a year. If a certain keyword is too expensive, find a Long-Tail keyword, a type of keyword phrase that has at least three, and some times as many as five words in the phrase, which will give you better qualified visitors at a cheaper rate.

Google Adwords offers a very detailed way to track the results of your campaigns. Here, you can see how each one of your keywords or phrases are performing and can decide whether to eliminate or change your tactics.

This finally brings us to Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 6 Listen and Respond. Here, we will cover how to figure out if all your efforts are paying off and what to do if they need help.


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