If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, pay per click advertising can be very useful. A variety of services will allow you to put your business in front of loads of customers through banner ads and promoted search engine results. However, while PPC advertising is great at attracting attention, having to pay for every single visitor that a campaign brings in, regardless of how many of those visitors actually made purchases, makes it a sales tool that must be handled carefully. Here are some best practices that will help maximize the effectiveness of your pay per click advertising campaign.

Keep your costs down
As this comprehensive Portent article explains, the success of a PPC campaign lays in creating a sensible budget. You need to determine how much each conversion is worth. If the purpose of your campaign is to increase online sales, you need to know two pieces of information before your big launch. First, you need to know how much profit you make on your average online transaction. Second, you need to know how many people visit your site as the result of a marketing push through a different channel, say an email blast. You will only see a meaningful return on your investment if the monthly cost of your PPC campaign doesn’t exceed the amount of money it brings in. As such, you should make sure your first PPC campaign is as cheap as possible.

Know your audience
If you sell guitars, you’ll probably get a better return for your money if you advertise in Rolling Stone instead of Reader’s Digest because you’ll be targeting an audience that you know has an interest in your product. You’ll want to make sure your PPC ads are similarly optimized. Before you launch your campaign, you need to decide if you want Google, Facebook or Bing to be your advertising platform. You also need to know what time of day your ads will run, on which devices they will appear on and in what geographic area. If you don’t have a plan, you might as well take the money you plan to spend on your PPC campaign and set it on fire.

Stay on target
This Entrepreneur article has a number of useful tips on how to construct a viable PPC campaign, the most pertinent of which is the section regarding keywords. While you may feel the impulse to send your message to the largest audience possible, you’ll get better results by narrowing your focus. For example, if you operate a dog grooming business, you want to refine your campaign so that people entering phrases like “dog adoption” and “dog breeder” into a search engine don’t see ads for your business. You just end up paying for for click-throughs from people who aren’t interested in your services. As the article explains, by using negative keywords, you’ll be speaking to a small but appropriate audience.

This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse


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