Internet Marketing 101: Pay-Per-Click

Have a look

Why You Need This Old-School Strategy For Your Marketing Strategy

PREVIOUS: Internet Marketing 101: Social Media

Have you heard about those huge enterprises that use custom tools to bit on hundreds (if not thousands) of keywords every day? Do you think there’s no way for you to compete with that kind of buying power? Or do you just think that Pay-per-Click (PPC) marketing is just going to be too expensive?

Hopefully, your answers to those questions should be: yes, no, and no.

Paying to get your ad listed on the search engine results pages isn’t just for the big, rich enterprises. Small businesses can still use this marketing channel to drive highly targeted traffic to their websites. It’s not a question of beating the large enterprises by paying more money – chances are you simply can’t pay enough to compete on that level. You can, however, focus on targeting a very specific audience that is looking for your products or services right now.

I’ve Got SEO. Do I Really Need PPC?

When you do a search, you may notice how more and more of the first page of results has been given over to the paid results. They run down the right side, across the top, and there may even be a carousel of shopping ads pushing the organic results further down the page.

SEE ALSO: What Google AdWords Can Do For Your Small Business

Paid listings work hand-in-hand with your SEO efforts because they help you claim more front page real estate for yourself and drive traffic to your website long before your organic rankings build up enough to be truly effective.

What Does a PPC Ad Campaign Involve?

While PPC ads are a great way to get some clicks, traffic, and exposure, it’s not something you want to just jump into without a definite plan. This is not a game you can win by guessing or “going by your gut.” In general, an ad campaign will involve:

  • Keyword research: You must find the most relevant (and useful) terms for your company/product.
  • Bidding: Next you can set how much you’re willing to pay for a click. These bids (along with some other factors) help determine where your ad will be listed.
  • Writing ad text: It won’t matter where your ad is listed if the ad text doesn’t appeal to the right audience.
  • Measuring the results: In order to maintain a profitable ROI, you need to pay close attention to what is working and what is just wasting money.

A Word to the Wise

While PPC has a huge potential for driving traffic, when the campaign isn’t managed correctly, it can just as easily wipe out your budget without providing any returns.

SEE ALSO: How To Stand Out Among Your Competition

You need to know what metrics to watch and then keep a close eye on the progress of the campaign. If you’re bidding on the wrong keywords, or your ads aren’t intriguing enough, or the number of customers who make a purchase just isn’t covering your expenditures, then you need to make some changes. Just remember that those tweaks should be based on hard numbers, not a general “feeling” that a different keyword will perform better.

The key to PPC, then, is not trial and error, but test and develop. Test every element carefully and thoroughly because the smallest things could have a biggest impact on your results. Set your control pages, test your variables, and make the necessary changes to build a profitable ROI, even on a small business budget.

This mini-series is based off of this e-bookInternet Marketing 101: How Small Businesses Can Compete With the Big Guys, written by Rapid Advance. Interested in writing a mini-series for Firmology? Get in touch with the editor!

RELATED: How Important Are Facebook’s Video Ads?

About The Author

Mark Cerminaro is Chief Revenue Officer at RapidAdvance, a leader in alternative financing. Mark has spent his career advising business owners on investments and helping them access the capital they need to grow. Connect with Mark on Google+ and Twitter.