Is Pay-Per-Click PPC Advertising a Good Idea for Small Businesses?
If you want to boost the traffic numbers of your small business, one popular option is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. But is PPC advertising good for small businesses, or better left to the bigger companies? PPC advertising can benefit businesses of any size, as long as you implement it correctly.
How PPC Advertising Works
It’s important to understand PPC advertising so you know what it can do for your small business. When you choose PPC advertising, you’re essentially paying for visits to your site. You create an ad on the platform where you’re advertising, and then every time someone clicks on that ad, you pay a certain amount.
The most significant benefit of PPC advertising is that you don’t have to worry about creating an ad, paying for it, and having everyone ignore it. Since you’re paying for each click and not each view, you guarantee that you’re getting site views and the opportunity to make a conversion.
Where to Run PPC Ads
The most common places to run PPC ads are search engines and social networks. Each have their own advantages.
With search engines, your ads will be seen by a much larger audience. The two biggest players in search engine advertising are Google, with Google Adwords, and Bing, with Bing Ads. While Google Adwords is the more popular option, don’t discount Bing Ads, as Bing also gets quite a bit of traffic. Bing also displays your ads on Yahoo, as well.
With social media, your ads may not be seen by as many people, but you can target your ads better. Many social networks allow you to have your ads seen by specific demographics of users. By targeting your ads to a specific audience, you can end up with more conversions.
There are quite a few options for social media marketing, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Which option you choose depends on the target market you’re trying to reach and the type of ads you want to create.
Facebook is the most popular, with a wide range of demographics. Instagram skews a bit younger and works well if you can create effective ads using images. Twitter is great for building your brand’s voice. YouTube works well if you can create informative or entertaining videos.
LinkedIn has more business professionals, making it a great choice if you want to reach that type of user. Pinterest has quite a few female users. Snapchat works well if you can create short video clips, and a benefit of using Snapchat is that many businesses haven’t started advertising on it yet.
Situations When PPC Advertising Works Best
PPC advertising can benefit any small business, but there are a few types of businesses that benefit from it more than others. The higher your profit margins are, the more that you will benefit, because you’re making more money on every sale. If you sell a variety of products, you may want to set up your PPC ads so they link directly to one of your more expensive products to boost sales of that item. Of course, this may also increase your bounce rate, so you’ll need to experiment and see which option works best for you.
If you offer a unique product or service that isn’t easy to find, then PPC ads can help you attract much more business. You may want to focus on search engine advertising, because that’s where people will go first when they’re looking for a hard-to-find product or service.
When your small business gets a high lifetime value out of every customer, PPC ads are worth their weight in gold. Businesses that have a high customer lifetime value include subscription services and any businesses where customers typically come back every few months, such as dentists.
Getting the Best Results from PPC Ads
You need two things to have success with PPC ads. First, you need the ad to entice viewers enough to click on it. If people aren’t clicking on your ad, then the entire process was a waste of time and money. Before you launch an ad on any search engine or social network, do some research on what works and what doesn’t. Figure out what tends to be popular among the audience you’re trying to reach.
Second, you need to convert enough viewers to make your PPC ads profitable. The setup of your site and your sales funnel is what’s important here. Your site needs to be designed to make the sale. However, you should also have email opt-in boxes on every page. Many customers don’t make a purchase or an appointment the first time they make contact with a business. It’s on the second, or the third, or a subsequent contact. By collecting email addresses, you’re able to build an email list and stay in touch with potential customers.
Another benefit of PPC advertising is that you’re able to track the results of your ads, seeing how many people clicked on it, the bounce rate, and your conversion rate. Use this information to tweak your ad and your site as necessary so you can get the best results.
This is also when you can see if your PPC ads are profitable. You should already know how much profit you make on each sale. If your profits are more than you’re paying in clicks, then your ads are a success. Keep making adjustments, though, so you can boost profits even more.
PPC advertising, when used correctly, is a great way for small businesses to boost traffic and sales. It can be difficult for small businesses to reach the top of the search engine results, but with PPC advertising, you can still put your company’s name and message in front of a large number of people. Just make sure you choose the right place to advertise, make a great ad, and optimize your site for conversions.