PPC for Small Business

PPC Advertising Guide for Small Business

The PPC Advertising Guide for Small Businesses

Instead of writing a “Top Ten” list of questions, and having 3 points of filler information, below is a PPC advertising guide for small business with 7 items from the business owner’s side that need considered when researching whether their business is right for PPC.

Businesses of all sizes are willing to pay to play on the Google AdWords and Bing Ads platforms to increase their site traffic and sales. Google has made it very accessible for SMBs to compete with larger entities in a space. For decades, the small business man has had the complaint that larger businesses are coming in and taking over.

Not that those days are over, but having a strong online presence can help reduce the fallout of a big box store shuttering a smaller business.

Should a Small Business Use AdWords Express or Hire a PPC Manager?

One way some smaller businesses have found to succeed in the online space is through Google advertising. Google has created AdWords Express which is an easy to setup interface that’s marketed as an almost “set and forget” platform that will get clicks to a small business website. What Google doesn’t mention is that clicks that cost the business money aren’t always sales.

Someone filling out a contact form, calling your business through the ad or landing page, or buying something from your online store is what you want – true ROI. A lot of times AdWords Express isn’t enough.

What Does It Take for a Small Business to do PPC Advertising?

Generally, to be able to see some return, a small business should plan to spend at least $5-600 per month on Google AdWords ads. Remember, this generally doesn’t cover the fees for campaign setup, management and optimization.

Most small business PPC managers will charge a setup cost depending on how in depth the PPC campaign is as well as a flat rate on monthly spend for reporting and optimization.

If you do want to give it a go yourself, here’s a pretty hefty but spot on checklist on how to setup a PPC campaign and optimize it. By the way, the image below is what your brain feels like after doing keyword research for a couple of hours.

ppc advertising guide keyword research

Once the Campaign Is Running, How Should a PPC Budget Be Managed?

If the campaign is successful, and it’s bringing true ROI, reinvest…grow. Always ensure you can maintain the growth and you keep your customer service reputation strong. It can be scary putting more than $1,000/month into one area of advertising. Here’s a few tips:

  1. Know your profit margin. If you’re able to turn 5 out of 100 people who click on your site into a sale, long time customer, or a one-time client, know what your profit margin is. It will help determine the goal Cost per conversion for your PPC Manager.
  2. Don’t quickly over-invest. PPC is not a slot machine. Just because your $30/day campaign is getting you $300/day in sales doesn’t mean if you crank up the budget to $100/day you’ll get $1,000/day in sales. Throwing money at AdWords doesn’t work. If you want to increase your spend after seeing ROI, speak with the PPC Manager about it. Ask his advice. Any PPC Manager who is worth his salt will pull reports and give you information regarding where and why you should spend more money in PPC. Some of these choices could be expanding your campaign keywords, testing a campaign on another product or service, trying remarketing, video advertising, and increasing geotargeting.
  3. PPC is NOT a Way to Get Rich Quick. If you do throw money at the campaign and expect to get rich quick, don’t get mad at the PPC Manager when the campaign fails. The PPC Manager doesn’t control Google, has no control over the other advertisers bidding on the keywords you’re bidding on, or the cost to get you the highest position. If the PPC Manager determines you can gain more impression share or that investing can create more ROI, then plan more budget into the PPC spend.
  4. Get Involved – but don’t micromanage the process. PPC is not a piece of print advertising where you sign off on a proof and it gets sent to the printer and post office. PPC Marketing is a very direct way of reaching your target audience when they’re searching online. The PPC Manager’s job is to learn your business, the points of your business that make you competitive and stand out in the marketplace and match that with consumers who want your products and services. If you don’t become involved in the process, you set yourself up for failure. A good 40-60 minute conversation detailing your company and who your target market is can give the PPC manager invaluable information which he can use to research the proper terms, ad content, and landing page setup to attract the people you want.
  5. Don’t take chances – make informed decisions. This is not like other forms of advertising like a mailer where you create a huge rush and then it dies down again. Depending on your message, offer, strategy and spend, you can create a nice flow of steady income from PPC advertising.
  6. Don’t “Pump and Dump” your budget. What I mean here is don’t spend tons of money in the first few weeks, see low return and pull out of the PPC game. It’s true that running PPC advertising will get you on the front page of Google in the ad space much fast than SEO, yet there isn’t a marketing solution anywhere which includes throwing tons of money into it and making a 300% profit in weeks. Be wise with your spend. Give the PPC Manager time to do his job. That job being optimizing the account using integral data from your AdWords, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.
  7. If it Ain’t Broke – Don’t Fix It. After serious time and optimization efforts, trying to squeeze more return out of a well-oiled PPC campaign can do damage. Testing keywords from random ideas you think users would search on may drive a truck load of traffic – but very low conversions. Pulling a major amount of spend or pausing a campaign when it is running well will damage your revenue stream as well. Don’t punish your PPC efforts because another avenue of business is suffering.

This covers the basics of PPC Advertising and the dos and don’ts for a small business owner. Just remember, like any other advertising, look at PPC as a long term investment. Use PPC as a part of your marketing plan – not as a standalone solution. Driving traffic, leads, and sales is what any business owner wants. Be sure that you plan accordingly when considering PPC advertising to enter the realm properly.