How to Make PPC Work for Small Business

Written by - 01/12/2015

Pay-Per-Click advertising like Google Adwords can be an amazingly powerful tool for sending interested, relevant visitors to your website. However, it’s easy to get wrong and without careful thought and implementation it can end up being an expensive exercise for small businesses.

Users search Google over 100 billion times a month, no matter how small or niche your business is, the chances are a few of those searches were for what you have to offer. So in that sense, every business could benefit from PPC, sadly it’s not that simple. When deciding whether to use PPC, there’s a couple of factors to consider;

How saturated is my industry?

The answer to this question will shape how to approach PPC and may even throw up a red flag straight away. Say you sold running shoes, that’s a very competitive and widespread industry. There’s lots of major players who are almost certainly investing huge budgets into PPC campaigns every day. That’s a red flag. Unless you have a really unique approach, the chances of being able to compete are slim and without some internet wizardry, you’re probably not going to see the results you’re after.

However if you sell running shoes for dogs, you’re likely to be up against far less competition. It’s also a more targeted market so the chance of throwing away money on irrelevant clicks is considerably lower.

Where are the customers I want to target?

Are you an eCommerce website who ships worldwide? Are you a plumber who only works within a 25 mile radius? Where your customers are can play a huge role in the success of your PPC campaign. Being able to run highly targeted, localised campaigns not only increases your chances of ranking in the top spots, it also helps increase the quality of inbound traffic.

Is PPC expensive?

The great thing about PPC is it’s scalable. If you’re hesitant about the results you can achieve with PPC, start small, a £5 or £10 a day budget can go a long way and give you a great indication of the potential success of the account. If you earn £2 in sales for every £1 of PPC spend then keep stepping up your budget.

PPC gets expensive when businesses throw a massive budget at something from the get-go without proper planning. You don’t need to dive in head first with PPC, dip your toe in the water and warm up to it first.

How do I avoid irrelevant clicks?

Not all keywords were created equal, properly exploiting the different keyword match types can be the difference between a great account and a money pit. Don’t fall into the trap of using basic, broad keywords and being excited seeing a massive amount of clicks and impressions. An account is far better off with 10 impressions, 1 click and 1 conversion than 10,000 impressions, 10,000 clicks and 1 conversion.

Use the more restrictive match types like phrase and exact match to ensure your ads are only showing when you’re sure the searcher is after what you’re offering. By using broad match types, Google tries to show your ad to as many people as possible, even if their search term differed from your keywords. While this can be a great way of discovering new keywords to target, it can also lead to a load of irrelevant clicks.

Facebook or Adwords?

Most people associate Pay-Per-Click with Adwords, and while they are certainly the biggest exponent of it, ads and promoted posts on social media can often prove more beneficial for small businesses. The pricing model is the same, you pay when someone clicks on your ad, however the approach is different, rather than presenting yourself to people already looking for what you’re offering, you present yourself to people who are likely to want what you’ve got.

Most of the major social networks offer some kind of ad or promoted post service. Which network you choose to advertise on is largely defined by where your target audience reside, B2B companies are likely to see more traction on Twitter or LinkedIn, while Facebook is a good starting point for B2C businesses. Find out more about how Facebook ads could benefit your business by reading our other blog Should You Be Advertising on Facebook?