Should a local business use PPC (pay per click) advertising?
For many businesses the use of Pay Per Click is an easy decision. Typically a business that sells to a large market can benefit from PPC advertising. For example a business that sells inventory from a website to a national audience is certainly a good candidate for PPC. But what about a business that sells only to local customers? In this case the benefit may not be obvious.
Consider these 3 things when deciding if your local business should use Pay Per Click advertising.
1. Are you customers looking for your type of business online?
This question applies to any type of Internet advertising. Certainly it applies to PPC. A flower shop, a chiropractor, and a plumber are 3 types of businesses that certainly have potential customers looking for them online. It’s common for people to go to the Internet to search for products and services from these types of businesses. Retirement homes and related businesses that sell primarily to older people may not have much of a market looking for them on the Internet. Their primary customers are simply not looking there.
2. How much competition do you have in your local area?
It’s very common for chiropractors, hair salons, massage therapists, and restaurants to have a lot of competition within a small geographical area. These are only some of the many business categories that have local competition. If many of your potential customers are looking for your type of business online the businesses that show up on the first page of search results are going to get most of the business. It has been shown that more than 90 percent of clicks go the listings on the first page of search results. Very few people go on to look at the second page and click on those listings. If you want to compete online you have to be on the first page!
Pay Per Click advertising can get your business on the first page fast. It’s true that not as many people click on PPC ads but remember, you don’t pay for those ads showing unless they are clicked on! Certainly you want clicks, but not unless those clicks are from serious buyers. That’s where careful and skillful PPC account management comes in. Each search term or phrase that triggers your ad to show indicates the searcher’s intent to some degree. The better one can determine the intent of the searcher the more efficient your PPC account can be. The more efficient your account is the more money it will make for your business.
3. How well do your business website and directory listings rank in search?
If your business already shows up on the top spot when searching for your business type you’re good to go. You may be the only dentist in town. When someone types “dentist” into the search box they will see your business listed on the top. You may have a lot of local competition and still be showing up on page one. That’s good but things can change. To make sure that you are always on page one you can use PPC. There’s no harm in showing up twice on page one. Once as a PPC Ad and once as a search result listing.
As everyone knows, people are using the Internet more and more to search for local businesses. This trend is even stronger with the popularity of smart phones and improving technology. Better technology is making it easier and more convenient to do those searches. It’s more important than ever, if you want your business to be found, to make sure you have those online opportunities in place.
Pay Per Click Advertising offers an additional tool that much of your competition may not bother with. It can be a quick way to get results if your business fits the qualifications listed above. It must be handled carefully. It’s not a “set it and forget it” tool. Pay per click advertising must be monitored and the results must be assessed to determine if it’s a benefit or a waste of time and money.
Over time your account will generate a lot of data that can be analyzed and used to improve it’s performance. It can be fine tuned and modified so that it spends less and generates more business. It can become a strong asset that can guarantee business for you when you need it. Your ads can be turned on or off at any time. They can be set to run on certain days or certain times of the day. Spending limits can be set. Geographical targeting can be applied.
Pay Per Click Advertising isn’t for everyone. It certainly isn’t for those who don’t know much about it. Even experts may have difficulty getting benefit from it. PPC Advertising is only one piece of a larger engine that must have all parts working. The psychology of advertising is involved. Also the analysis of profit and loss and knowing how much can be spent to acquire one customer.
There are several very simple settings that are available when first setting up a PPC account. Some of these settings are defaults set the wrong way. Many people set up their own account which doesn’t work for them because of simple mistakes within the settings.
If you are interested in having a basic PPC Account set up for your business, one that’s set up correctly so that it can bring you customers, contact me here. I’d be happy to help you determine if PPC Advertising is right for you. You’ll also find more free information about Web Design and Internet Marketing.