Internet / Marketing / Small Business

7 Steps to Managing Pay Per Click Ads for Small Businesses

Pay per click ads are an excellent opportunity for small businesses to get the word out on their business and products. With a small investment, management can reach a large audience based on their interests, geographical location, as well as other key demographics. While the rewards for strategic pay per click (PPC) advertising can be significant, businesses can quickly burn through their entire budget without seeing a return on their investment unless they strategically plan their PPC advertising strategy. By developing a strategic advertising plan, the small business can minimize risk and optimize the return on their investment.

1. Define Your Goals

The first step in beginning any advertising strategy is to know the intended goal for the advertising campaign. Pay per click ads can be used to announce a new company or a social media page. Many advertisers use Facebook ads to drive traffic to their Facebook page or website. Google pay per click ads can be used to present a product or service to individuals who search for certain keywords. The goal could also be to generate leads that will be followed up on by driving visitors to a landing page for the product or service.

2. Set Your Budget/ Set Your Budgetary Constraints

Once the goal is determined, the second factor management must consider is the budget. This is often the area that will most limit your advertising potential. With pay per click ads charging a predetermined rate per click, the number of clicks will be limited by the budget. Along the lines of setting the budget, the flow of ad presentation is also important. Would you like your ad to be presented as quickly as possible or would you like the ad to be titrated over a certain amount of time? An ad campaign of $300 could be used up in one day if enough clicks occur. By setting the ad campaign to a certain budget per day, the advertiser could limit the campaign to $30 a day and ensure at least 10 days of ads.

3. Determine Your Demographic

A primary failing of many advertising campaigns is the improper determination of demographics. If a service is primarily geared towards men, the ad presentation can be limited to men only. If certain ages are the key demographic, the ad can also be limited to this range. By removing demographics that are less prone to respond with a sale, the advertiser can maximize their marketing budget.

4. Determine Your Keywords

Ad presentation is based on keywords either in the search terms for search engines, such as Google, or the profile of social media sites. Keyword choice is one of the most critical decisions, management will make in the advertising campaign. Certain keywords will cost more than others to target, making it important to use long-tail keywords that are as likely to generate responses but will ultimately cost the advertiser less money. A hybrid car dealer in Atlanta, Georgia, could use “hybrid car” for a premium cost or “hybrid car Atlanta, GA” to both reduce costs as well as more finely target their audience.

5. Determine Your Pay per Click

Pay per click ads are based on a bidding process where each advertiser sets a maximum cost per click. This cost per click will be used by the ad presenter to determine which ad will be presented. An advertiser who bids $4 per click will see their ads shown before one who bids $3 per click. As mentioned previously, some keywords have a much higher cost. This may necessitate raising the overall budget, choosing longer tail keywords, or abandoning a keyword that is too expensive to compete on.

6. Create Multiple Ads

Despite all the effort put into an ad, the consumer will respond to some ads and fail to respond to others. Often the difference between a successful ad and one that fails to gain attention is purely subjective. Most pay per click services will allow you to create multiple ads under the same campaign. By varying the terms in the ad, images, demographic constraints, and keywords, you can test out multiple ad strategies.

7. Follow the Metrics

Knowing which ads are performing and which are not will allow the advertiser to revise struggling ads. The ad campaign metrics will provide management with information regarding the number of views, the number of clicks, as well as other key advertising metrics. This data will allow you to fine tune ads to better target your core audience.

By carefully planning your pay per click ad campaign, you will be able to control costs, track response, and as importantly, track your return on investment. Pay per click advertising can quickly benefit the small business management team by opening up new advertising opportunities for small businesses looking to expand beyond their traditional direct marketing campaign.