Our colleagues at Bing are currently producing a really interesting series of posts on Pay Per Click Advertising for small businesses. We thought we'd share it with you. If you're at all interested in generating sales and awareness online, then this is definitely going to be a series to follow. Part 1 is below. Keep checking back for further posts in the series.
Why you should care about Pay Per Click
By Simone Shuurer, Bing
For quite some years I helped large retailers advertise their products in our paid search results. As a customer of many small businesses I can’t help but think about how ideally suited paid search would be for those running a company smaller than a national chain store. I know I’m not an independent advisor - working for Bing - but knowing search and knowing people behind many a small business I’d simply like to tell you why I believe pay per click advertising may benefit you.
‘If only they’d start a PPC campaign I could read my book without a worry’
Guaranteed exposure- PPC guarantees your search ads shows up on the search engine results page when a potential customer searches for a certain keyword that you bid on - although obviously your bids have to be reasonable and your ads and landing pages of a good quality too. We’ll explain to you in future blog posts in this series how you can set up a successful search campaign and how any business with any budget can make this work for them. Around 80% of clicks come from the top three search results which are paid for ads. For new businesses PPC also offers the opportunity to be seen alongside more established competitors.
It helps you reach a relevant audience - The user seeing your ad already has a certain amount of intent (as is usually not the case with newspaper, radio or TV ads) because they are looking for the keywords that showed your ad. Pay per click is thus very effective in sending relevant traffic to your website. On the relevance topic; you can even target customers that are a certain distance away from your business and let them contact you by adding your contact details to the ad. How cool is that - especially in a time where many people search on their phone when they look for something to serve their needs nearby?
Immediate results – The same day your campaign is created and live you get exposure. There is no need – such as with search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to wait for weeks to start to see the impact. That doesn’t mean there is no place for SEO, we’ll touch upon that soon! PPC campaigns are also very easy to adjust. For example if you have a sale on with offers changing every day it is easy to adjust your ad copy daily. You can also be very fast to respond to whatever is happening in the market – if there is a sudden demand for a product (wellingtons opposed to paddling pools in the UK this year) you can refocus your advertising budgets and amend your ad copy quickly to benefit from real-time customer needs.
You can work with a set budget – PPC advertising allows you to run an effective and targeted campaign whilst you stay in control of your budget. To start with you only pay for those ads someone clicked on. When you create your PPC account you get a few options on how you’d like to manage your budget. We’ll dive deeper into this topic in posts to come but it comes down to the fact that you can control your maximum spend per month and decide how you’d like to use your budget across that month. PPC can also be relatively cheap. If you offer a niche product for which there is a demand you can generate traffic to your site for potentially very little money.
Return on investment – It is possible to closely measure the impact of your campaign allowing you to improve areas that do not work very well and expand on areas that are really driving new customers, sales, leads or whatever else it is you set as your goal, enabling you to control the return on your advertising investment. PPC allows you to test various ads at the same time which can also inform your other marketing activities on what ad copy hits the spot with your customers – improving marketing effectiveness beyond your PPC efforts.
What about branding? Branding has got a place in the purchasing funnel – how you do it is a decision you should make. Bidding on your brand often targets customers early on in their decision making process which does not always lead to direct sales but tells them you are a player to consider when they are researching and making up their mind. Branding happens also whilst you are after your other specific PPC goals as people will see your brand name in your ads (you should include it!) when they search for keywords you bid on.
So there you have it: I think PPC can help relevant customers find your business, even when they are on the go. New and small businesses can show up side-by-side competitors seducing competitor’s potential customers with their own USPs. You don’t have to wait – you can show the world your ads today and you can measure exactly what works and what doesn’t work, informing you where your money is best spend. It doesn’t have to cost the world and you don’t have to worry about spend spiralling out of control either.
List of PPC Back to Basisc Topics:
If I’ve interested you then follow this series as we’d like to make it easy for you to set up your PPC campaign and help you get the foundations right for PPC success. For a list of all planned topics look here
Examples of how Businesses have used PPC to their benefit:
Have you found other benefits to running a PPC campaign? Share it below!