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adwords localAnybody in online marketing can tell you that Pay Per Click (PPC) can work for you, but unless you know how to use it to your advantage, and how to properly market using this method of advertising, you might wind up spending a lot more than you would like to.

Far too often I see small business owners attempt Adwords, waste a few hundred bucks and quickly call it quits. Be honest, how many of you have made this statement, “I tried PPC… It cost me a fortune and I didn’t get any calls.”? PPC can be an effective and affordable means of advertising your business, but it is by no means cheap. The name itself tells you that every click made on your ad means you have to pay up, so you want those clicks to be worth it.

Check out these tips to help you dominate local search with PPC.

Locating The Locals

PPC has the ability to geo-target your potential customers, making it easy to generate more traffic from local consumers. Whether you run a law firm out of Boston or a Bakery in SoHo you can increase your traffic from locals and generate a far better level of search engine optimization by using strategic keywords and geo-targeting to bring in those in your area seeking out whatever it is that you’re offering to the public.

Startups and small businesses looking to expand can really benefit from this particular method of advertising, because it allows you to not only bring in more locals, but measure the number of locals clicking on your ad without sending out field workers with surveys and samples.

Get Your Ad Up Front

PPC gives you the ability to truly dominate the first page search result screen of high flying engines like Google. The first thing that you learn when studying SEO is that these search engines want to generate organic results from genuine sites with relevant material. Over the years SEOs have told us that no one clicks paid ads. The truth is using PPC doesn’t make you any less genuine and relevant so long as your website content is still up to date and honest. Another truth is that those organic positions have dwindled to a couple nearly impossible to land spots. PPC can boost you to the top of that search engine list right out of the gate and consequently the number of qualified leads.

Depending on your location, local advertising can be super cost effective using PPC to dominate local search with your brand. After all the goal of inbound marketing is to put your business in front of those looking for your services when and where they are looking.

Know Your Target And Your Competition

Using PPC means being in the know, especially if you don’t want to go belly up on your marketing methods. By pulling ranking data from Google Webmaster Tools, and breaking down the top performers in the realm of PPC landing pages via Google Analytics you can get a better grasp on what is hot and what is not in terms of keywords and pages being visited. This helps you get a foot up on the competition, and also gives you a better understanding of your target audience and where they like to lurk online.

This is the best offensive strategy in building better SEO, because if you don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and get a feel for what everybody else is doing then you can’t create an effective plan, and SEO is all about planning. Those marketers and business owners who dive into PPC head first will find themselves hurting financially pretty quickly, because the money you have for advertising can run out fast if you aren’t using it wisely. You wouldn’t close your eyes and throw your money into the air, hoping to catch it on a whim, so why would you enter into the world of PPC and SEO blindly in the hopes of getting a marketing break?

Managing Your Time Wisely

In order to use PPC effectively, you must use your time with it wisely. This means not spending every moment going over copy and trying to reformat what probably already works just fine. Many professionals in the field of PPC will suggest that most of your time in this market be used on bid management, while the rest can be split effectively between copy maintenance and site layout.

Of course, the message and keywords you’re sending out are important, but you don’t want to over-analyze and waste time and money on something that doesn’t require as much effort as you are probably putting into it. Get your copy sorted, and then move on to bid management and other more worthwhile endeavors to best utilize PPC.

Getting Your Ad Copy Right

Here are a couple quick tips on how to get your ad copy right from the start. A common mistake that small business owners make when entering into the local PPC arena is that they simply pick some keywords, add those keywords into their ad copy and send visitors to the home page of their website.

While you certainly do need to pick good keywords, simply throwing them into your ad copy is a big mistake. The best thing you could do to improve your quality score, increase your ranking and decrease your cost per click is to write copy that is relevant and motivating.

Here are a few examples of good PPC ads:

1. The Headline:

Getting the headline right is essential. You need a fine balance of keywords and motivation. You can see that Jiffy Lube has nailed it incorporating “oil change” “coupon” and the price of $5 all in the headline for one motivating call to action. When compared to an Ad with a headline that simply read: “Oil Change Medford Oregon” which one would you choose?
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2. The Description:

Many people make the mistake of simply repeating keywords within the description of their ads. Don’t do that! This is an opportunity for you to clarify motivational points and ensure your call to action is triggered.

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3. Using All Ad Components:

Take an extra 2 minutes and make sure that you’re using all of available components to round out your ad such as; additional site links, your business listing, phone number and call conversions. These items can help bring your quality score up and CPC down.
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Test your ads for 30, 60 and 90 days making sure that they are appearing in the top positions for relevant searches. Track your calls and conversions and test a couple different calls to action. Like any form of advertising you should notice an increase in traction with your brand exposure between 60 and 90 days as more people see your business when searching.

Good Luck!

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