5 PPC Tips For Family-Owned Businesses
For family-owned businesses, PPC advertising is very tempting, almost irresistible. It’s very simple to set up a Google AdWords account, pick out a few keywords, set a budget, and voila! — you’re using a PPC campaign.
However, in my experience in helping small businesses that dove head first into PPC, the rate of failure rate is close to 100% … and to make it worse, a lot of those companies wasted a considerable amount of money before realizing that they’ve made a mistake.
PPC is so easy to jump right into, it gives participating businesses owners the vision they’re doing something productive to generate profits. PPC is straightforward, easily tracked, and perhaps most important, easy to recoginize — it’s pretty well known what PPC ads look like, and what happens when we click on them. So businesses gravitate to PPC but fail to appreciate how carefully and thoughtfully campaigns must be executed.
So the million dollar question is, how do you find success with PPC? Here are five tips that will help you gain an edge over competitors.
1. Choosing Keywords That Work For You
If you choose keywords that aren’t targeted correctly, usually you’ll find negative results:
- You’ll blow through your budget because the keywords are too competitive.
- You’ll never use your budget because the keywords you have chosen have don’t have enough search volume.
- You’ll get clicks but not the conversions to match because the keywords aren’t relevant to your service.
Effective keyword selection consists mainly of selecting keywords that are compatible with your budget, having enough search volume, and having keywords that are closely related to your advertised service. There are other factors to consider, but this is a good foundation to start with.
A smart strategy is to look at long-tail keywords — specific search terms that are not highly competitive but particularly relevant (for example, “contemporary Art Deco-influenced semi-circle lounge”).
2. Geotargeting the right way
As a smaller business, an effective PPC strategy is to make more targeted attacks rather than go after established competitors in their stronger areas. In terms of geography, you want to go right when everyone is going left:
a.) If you are selling on a national level, target areas in your campaign the big competitors ignore.
b.) If you sell locally, target geographies adjacent or near your primary market.
Smart geo-targeting of keywords — for example, “contemporary Art Deco-influenced semi-circle lounge in Florida” — further decreases competition. You may not have as many views on your PPC ads, but you may have an increased CTR and conversion rate — which far more significant.
4. Build Data & Adjust To What Is Working
PPC campaigns never start off as efficient as they will get. Smart PPC managers test campaign factors to improve click-throughs and conversions. While there are plenty of variables to test, here are the best ones to start with:
- Keywords — Place more priority on the ones performing best, and drop underperforming ones, and keep testing new ones.
- Deals — If free service isn’t getting action, try a solid discount. If that does improve, think of another offer to test against the prior. This is how you get results from PPC, from testing and adjusting.
- Bidding times — You will find some days of the week will have better results than others. Testing different time frames enables you to steadily focus bids where they have the most potential to generate clicks.
Also, its a good idea to only do one test at a time.
5. Finding A Budget That Works For You
Budgeting for a PPC campaign requires careful consideration of two resources: time and money. We’ll start with money. Many family operated businesses set too small a budget to ever have a hope of making an impact. If you’re thinking in terms of $200 a month or under, I’d advise you to reconsider. Even the successful PPC campaigns have click-through and conversion rates in the area of 5 percent or less. A small budget simply won’t generate enough clicks to produce a substantive number of conversions. With a budget of $500 to $1,000 a month, you have a better chance to succeed and see the results you crave.
Consider time frame as well. One or two months is not nearly enough time to judge a PPC campaign correctly. By giving your adjustments a chance to do its magic over a six- to 12-month period, you may find yourself surprised by the results. Many family operated businesses fail at PPC only because they gave up too quickly, or failed to test over the duration of the campaign.