If you own and operate your own small business you have to be online. Your business must have a website that advertises your services and products. That website must have traffic and must generate leads for your business. You can take these last three sentences and carve them into a stone on the side of a mountain. These are the minimum musts of a small business. The first two (being online and having a website that advertises your services) are relatively easy. The last one (driving traffic to your site) is the hardest part. How exactly does a new business with little brand recognition get people to visit its website? The answer is buy it … with pay per click advertising.
Pay per click advertising is the fast, effective way to drive traffic to a business site. It will give your business’ site an injection of traffic while you building your SEO and social media marketing campaigns. This is the point where most small business owners say, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
Not so fast. There are five things every small business owner needs to know before jumping into the fast running waters of pay per click advertising.
1. Pay Per Click Advertising is Not Set it and Forget
This scenario is one you will hear over and over and over and over again in internet marketing circles. A business owner decides that pay per click advertising is right for him. He spends a weekend setting up an Adwords account. One month later he has burned thousands of dollars and does not have one lead to show for it.
This happens because people do not realize that PPC advertising requires constant management. A simple tweak to a negative key term or a bid position can result in hundreds of dollars in savings. Think of pay per click advertising like a garden that must be constantly weeded and pruned. Don’t pay attention? Your garden is going to be a mess.
2. Being Number 1 is Not the Smartest Move
The instinct and drive to be Number 1 is natural, especially if you own your own business. You no doubt have that competitive, killer instinct and a drive to win. When it comes to pay per click advertising that drive to always be number 1 could cost you more than its worth.
Pay per click advertising works on a bid system. The highest bidder is going to end up on the top of the page on Google. For some search terms the top of the page is exactly where you want to be. For other search terms, however, you may see the same, if not better, return on investment in the second or third position. So assessing your position, bids, and ROI is key to PPC success.
3. Pay Per Click Advertising Does Take Time
PPC is like the proverbial rush of blood to the head. It is a quick solution. Where an SEO campaign might take months to see results, a PPC campaign can return results in weeks. But if your goal is lead generation PPC can take time. Most experts will tell you that it takes up to 90 days of tweaking to get the kind of lead flow most small businesses are looking for from a PPC campaign.
4. Pay Per Click Advertising Is Not for Every Business
PPC is a great option for most businesses but it may not fit the needs of every small business. Depending on the vertical, some small business may see better results from a focus on local search and social media. Some small business may see better results from a national SEO campaign.
5. There Is Help
With all of these cautions you may be on the verge of reconsidering your pay per click advertising campaign. Do not let fear drive you away. Instead, get some help. There are dozens of Google Partnered internet marketing agencies that can help a business manage their Adwords accounts. For a small management fee these agencies will help cultivate your ads campaign into a marketing campaign that returns the investment month in and month out.