Whether you’ve been in business for years, or you’re getting started in 2021, make sure you harness the power of search engines to get new customers and unlock new sources of revenue.
It’s no secret – most customers who want a service will search online for it.
Over 70% of consumers use internet search engines when they need to find a new business, even in their local area.
If you don’t take advantage of what Google offers, you could miss out on thousands of prospective customers near you.
Besides optimizing your web content to rank higher in Google searches (more on that in the weeks ahead), you can also run paid ad campaigns using Google’s platform, Adwords. This is the most common PPC platform, and the one we recommend starting on.
If a business near you runs an Adwords campaign, then their results will show up first for the search terms they bid on. In the above search, the businesses likely bid on the term “law.”
These campaigns are called Pay-Per-Click (PPC) because the business only has to pay for actual clicks from customers. If nobody clicks on your ad, then you don’t pay a dime. Of course, the goal is to generate as many clicks as you can afford, and for those clicks to convert into customers.
Why PPC Campaigns Are “More Than Meets the Eye”
A high-performing PPC campaign requires both art and science.
The art required is good copywriting. In a Google Adwords ad, you get only 300 characters. A good copywriter can harness the power of language to convince people to click on your offer.
Selecting the terms to bid on requires research and intuition, especially during the early “test phase.”
The test phase is where the science side comes in. The best PPC campaigns aren’t “set it and forget it.” They require constant attention and tweaks.
Campaigns can quickly become a scientific study, changing one variable to see how the desired result (clicks) increases or decreases. Behind the best ones, you will find long spreadsheets filled with numerical data about performance.
Of course, the art and science take time to perfect. Occasionally, results come instantly, requiring no further attention. But most campaigns require a few iterations. While some expect results in a matter of hours or days, it’s more realistic to expect a good PPC campaign to take upwards of 1-3 months before everything … “clicks” (pun intended).
For help getting started on a PPC campaign of your own, don’t hesitate to connect with us for a free strategy call.
Three Pitfalls to Avoid In Your Campaigns
Now that you know some of what to expect in your PPC campaigns, here are some of the main traps to avoid.
- Too Many Changes
As mentioned before, learning how to target your audience typically requires trial and error. When we take on a new client for PPC, we take time to study the most effective strategies, and tweak our campaigns accordingly.
The trouble comes when you make too many tweaks in a short span of time. If you change more than one variable at once, you won’t know which change actually improved the results.
If you change things before your current variation has time to breathe, you won’t know if the changes are due to the new variation or the old one.
A good rule is to let each iteration of the ad run for a few days, and collect results over the span of a month. This requires investment on the front end, but it pays off when you come out with an optimized campaign.
- Too High Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
Remember the law office example from before? I chose that because “law” and “lawyer” are traditionally the most expensive terms to bid for, sometimes costing more than $50 for a single click. Thankfully, most terms range from a few cents to a few dollars.
But sometimes a new business chooses terms that cost more than they can afford, when another, less expensive word would perform the same or better.
This leads to a PPC campaign getting cut dramatically short as the business’s budget dries up. Go for cost effectiveness rather than the flashiest term you can find. Again … it takes time, trial and error.
Finally, some businesses fail to take advantage of the tools at their disposal. PPC campaigns provide real-time feedback, with the ability to make adjustments on-the-fly. Some campaigns get set up… and then stay the same for weeks or months, even if they don’t perform.
This is the opposite of overly tweaking your campaign, while it’s in motion. While that is ineffective, it’s better than forgetting about your campaign altogether.
At a minimum, be sure to check in daily, and make adjustments every week or so. At maximum, bring in an agency to write copy, track your metrics, and get the most out of your budget.
PPC campaigns take more time and money than businesses usually expect. But they can become a powerful marketing tool when utilized properly.