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May 23, 2013

Pay Per Click Advertising: A Strategy for Better Profits

In recent years, pay per click (PPC) advertising has become wildly popular among small business owners seeking to increase their online traffic and improve ranking in search engine results. Knowing how to keep your costs down, while at the same time meeting your advertising goals, is an important component of a successful PPC campaign. Here are some key factors to consider before launching a pay per click advertising campaign of your own:

1. Enticing Advantages

For business owners looking for a cost-effective way to drive more traffic to a website, PPC offers many advantages:

  • You set your budget and enjoy low start-up costs – (search engines do not charge to insert a PPC advertisement; but an initial set up cost may apply).
  • Real-time trackability gives you immediate feedback on how your ad is performing; this feature allows you to make responsive parameter adjustments.
  • PPC provides an opportunity for any business anywhere in the world to gain increased visibility through ads that appear on the search results page.

2. Pay per Click vs. Offline Advertising

With the advent and wide acceptance of mobile devices, pay per click advertising offers customers the opportunity to view your ad any time of the day or night. In addition to the convenience factor, PPC delivers other features that offline advertising just can’t do. With PPC:

  • Customers are in the driver’s seat informing themselves about your brand at their own pace. Further, PPC allows for a greater range of engagement, such as:
    • Direct sales options;
    • Links to read or to post a review;
    • Instant social media connections through tools like Twitter and FB.
  • Site names are easier to remember and can be instantly bookmarked for later browsing (which then travels with customers on their mobile device unlike print material which is rarely available when you really need it).
  • Contact information is kept current and easily accessible; your business location can easily be mapped while the customer is still interacting with other features on your site.

3. Tips to Jumpstart your PPC plan

Paid search options for digital marketing can be effective for business owners seeking an increase in search engine visibility, but sometimes PPC campaigns can be frustrating and costly. To avoid the common beginner pitfalls, here are a few pay per click tips that can help you get the most out of your time and money.

  • Set a reasonable budget or roll out your plan in stages.
  • Narrowing keywords down (making them very specific) should lessen the competition for them.
  • Check the default settings and then check them again; all of Google’s default settings may not be best for you and can cost you more than you intend to spend.
  • Focus on geographic areas where you will most likely get conversions.
  • Take advantage of “day parting” where you have certain ads run at various times of the day; just be sure to adjust for time zone differences.

Put part of your budget into developing metrics to enhance your PPC results and adjust parameters according to usage.

4. Pay per Click isn’t right for every situation

While PPC can be highly profitable when clicks convert to sales; there are times when pay per click is not the right choice. Here are some of those times:

  • Your target market does not typically buy online or is not Internet savvy.
  • You are in a highly-competitive, fully-saturated niche — (most likely you will end up paying too much with little ROI).
  • You are selling something so new that people are not yet searching for it; social media would be best to create a “buzz” first.
  • Your profit margins are small; the average click costs $1 to $2. Depending on the conversion rate for your product you may need lots of clicks to bring about a sale.

Knowing when PPC is right for you and how to plan out a strategy to maximize results is worth the time so that you do not waste valuable resources. Taking time to understand the whole pay per click landscape including the pitfalls can help you make wise decisions.

5. Conclusion

Trends and developments in digital marketing continue to unfold presenting both opportunities and challenges for business owners looking to improve website effectiveness and develop a profitable digital marketing campaign. While some business owners hire consultants, other savvy professionals enroll in Internet marketing training through online programs. Reputable online programs offer business leaders the opportunity to stay ahead of trends in search marketing and further develop valuable Web analytics skills. As the range of online tools available to promote a small business continues to evolve, business professionals who know how and when to use strategies like pay per click will remain ahead of the competition and will be better prepared to leverage future trends toward increased profitability.

This guest post was provided by Dean Vella who writes for University Alliance on topics pertaining to the subjects of Internet marketing strategy and online social media courses.