If you’re a small business owner, you may have considered PPC marketing at one point or another, but certain things kept you from moving forward with it. Most business owners are turned-off by PPC for several reasons. The four main reasons are: 1) They don’t believe it works, 2) They are afraid of the pay per click advertising model, 3) They are old school and only feel comfortable marketing by traditional means, and/or 4) They don’t have the time or resources.
For people that fall within any of these categories, I would urge you to at least try it out. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, try looking for an affordable PPC management company or freelancer. As with any type of advertising or marketing campaign, there is always a chance of it not working. That goes for traditional offline marketing as well. But, if you don’t try, you will never find out.
I have managed various PPC accounts and campaigns over the years – some small and some with medium-sized budgets. I once took over a PPC campaign that was spending close to $30,000 per month. After I optimized and fine-tuned this campaign, the spend was cut down to $10,000 per month, while maintaining the same level of conversions. My point is – you can improve ROI by optimizing your campaign over time.
PPC, the Past
PPC marketing was first introduced in 1996, but Google wasn’t the first. It was actually started by a web directory called Planet Oasis. Then in 1998, Goto.com, created the first PPC advertising system, which later became Overture, then acquired by Yahoo. It wasn’t until 2002, that Google launched its Adwords platform based on the PPC model.
PPC, the Present
Today, there are many PPC providers. Companies like Google and Bing have dominated the PPC search market for years, but there are some other big players that offer content-based PPC advertising… such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Advertising.com. Just to be clear, Google and Bing also offers content-based PPC advertising as well. There are also some 2nd tier PPC providers out there, but if you want quality traffic, stick with the big boys.
Why Small Businesses Need to Strongly Consider PPC in Today’s Market
SEO has changed quite drastically in the last 5 years. Years before, it was possible for a small business to compete against the big boys if they had all the basic SEO elements. Now, unless you’re on top of your SEO game, it is very difficult to rank on page one for your target keywords. And, here are some reasons for that: 1) Search engines favor big brand and authority sites, 2) You face more and more competition, 3) More and more competitors are doing SEO, 4) SEO takes more time and effort than it used to.
Trust me, I remember the days when you could write a mediocre 500 word article, publish it, and you could land on page one within a day or two. Now, mediocre doesn’t cut it. You need compelling/engaging/awesome/super content. Whatever you want to call it!
With all these things working against small businesses, you really need to think of other ways to drive more quality traffic to your site. PPC is a good starting point. In fact, there have been many studies that show PPC marketing converts at a better rate than traditional offline marketing.
Businesses need to focus less on metrics like PR, rankings and traffic, and worry more about the bottom line, which is sales and profit. It’s true – you need traffic to generate sales, but if the traffic isn’t converting, then it’s really pointless. Imagine this scenario… would you rather have 100 visitors per month that results in 5 sales, or, would you rather have 10,000 visitors per month that results in 3 sales? Traffic numbers are worthless if you’re not making money with it.