Top four Reasons for Using pay-per-click Advertising
Competitive Marketing Investigation
The keyword in this phrase is “competitive”. The competitive marketing analysis is a comprehensive study of your business’s competition and the markets available to you in order to ensure your advertising and public relations budget dollars are spent effectively.
In order to achieve strategic planning, it is imperative to know who your competition is and exactly what you are up against to ensure that your market share is sufficient for your business’s success.
Increasing market share is the goal of any competitive marketing investigation.
Identifying the Competition
Who is the competition and how can they be located?
Since you know exactly what products or services you provide, you can find your competition by identifying other producers or providers in the same market that you supply.
This is not a hard task; it does, however, necessitate some research. Competing suppliers are not hiding; they advertise just as you do.
The starting point for competition identification could be the yellow pages of your local telephone book.
Research the Internet searching for press releases and publications which use descriptions similar to your products or services. Government agencies, business magazine features or employment of a private research firm can reveal a great deal about your competition and how they operate.
Shop Your Competition
If you want to know first-hand about your competition, shop with them. For example, if you are in the restaurant business, eat at local restaurants that are similar in price range and clientele to your establishment.
If you are a plumbing business, have someone contact the competition and learn prices of service calls and specific products. Knowing as much about the competition as possible allows your marketing analysis to include important details.
In order to accurately analyse your strengths and weaknesses, you need unbiased sources willing to compare your business and the competition. You can employ market researchers, use surveys, form focus groups to obtain completely unbiased judgments on what you are doing right and wrong and how your competition hold up to your business.
Measure your strengths and guarantee these strengths are maintained or improved upon. Identify your weaknesses and construct a plan to improve those areas considerably.
After you implement your plan, go back to your unbiased researchers and obtain another comparison to ensure that your implementation of your strategic plan has been effective.
Once you have identified your competition and controlled your own strengths and weaknesses you now need to grow your business. And one of the best ways to grow your small business is with a strong online presence.
But how do you get potential customers to actually find you online without breaking the bank?
One answer is pay-per-click advertising, also known as PPC ads. Maybe you’ve try your hand in PPC advertising but didn’t pursue it further because the whole process seemed confusing and overwhelming.
Where do you begin, what results should you expect, and what type of ad campaign is right for your small business?
What is pay-per-click advertising?
Let’s start this off with an example. Say you run a donuts shop in Denver. Whenever someone searches for the keyword phrase “Denver donuts” in a search engine like Google or Bing, you want them to see your donuts shop as a top result.
Here’s where PPC advertising comes into play. In this advertising model, you place a bid for the keyword you’d like to “rank for” in the search results. In this example, it would be “Denver donuts.” If you win the bid, your ad will display prominently in the search results for that keyword.
Notice that I said “bid” and not “buy.” That’s right — you’re not guaranteed ad space on search engines. Search engines will actually consider the quality of your ad (along with where your ad links to) before approving your bid.
PPC ads describe the payment model: You pay when a user clicks. When you win the bid, you’ll then assign a specific amount of money you are willing to pay each day.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say your desired keyword phrase is worth 50 cents per click. You decide to allocate $20 each day to your PPC ad campaign. If you get 40 clicks on your ad in one day, you will reach the limit of your daily allowance.
After this, your ad won’t get shown, although the search engine may allow you to do something called over delivery, through which the ad shows slightly more than your daily budget on days with more search traffic.
Why should I use pay-per-click advertising for my small business?
There are plenty of reasons to choose PPC advertising for your small business. Let’s look at the top four:
It’s quick and easy
Search traffic is another great way to bring in traffic to your site. But it can be slow and painful to develop content and promote your site until it starts drawing serious traffic. Plus, the search engines change their search algorithms all the time. What works one day can totally change the next.
No one wants to be on page two of a search engine result. With PPC ads, you can pay for a top listing where users are much more likely to see you.
It’s direct and to the point
Your ad can ask and answer the exact pain point or problem the user may be searching for. Because you’re using those specific keywords in your ad campaign, your listing can be ultra-specific and targeted.
You can see what works and what doesn’t
PPC ads are measurable. Instead of shooting in the dark, you’ll see which campaigns are the most effective for drawing customers in. Armed with this information, you can then tweak future ad campaigns.
If you’d prefer a more hands-off approach, try a flexible bidding strategy. With this strategy, you can maximize clicks, target where your ad is located on the page, and boost lead conversion.
Mobile search is growing
PPC ads help with the growing demand to be immediately accessible on mobile search. More Internet traffic comes from mobile devices (like smartphones and tablets) than desktops. Creating a PPC ad can make your listing more useful to a mobile user.
Here’s how: In your advertisement, you can include ad extensions, like the click to call feature, which makes it convenient for a customer to call you with one click instead of manually dialing your number.
It’s the little things that can totally set you apart from your competitors.
Facebook is great at this. Want to advertise to people age 40-60 who likes the Wall Street Journal? Done. College-educated women, ages 20-35? Done. Anyone under 30 within five miles of a given location who likes a certain genre of music? Go for it. The better you know your audience, the better you can hone in on exactly who you’re looking for.
You can use re-marketing ads
Have you ever visited a page, and then later you saw an advertisement for that page elsewhere? That’s re-marketing, or retargeting. It’s a valuable option for businesses who want to cultivate top- of-mind awareness with a user. It’s also a great way to target users who have already expressed an interest in your business. That’s part of why re-marketing can be so effective.
You can remarket to users based on certain behaviors, such as visiting a specific page on your website or abandoning a cart. Your ads display with them and create a bolder impact because they’ve visited your site before and are acquainted with your product or service.
Maybe someone visited your site, looked over what you had to offer and liked it. Maybe they even put it in their cart. But they weren’t ready to make a purchase, so they moved on. Left to their own devices, that customer might forget about your product completely.
A well-timed re-marketing ad, however, can refresh their memory and maybe even entice them with a deal they haven’t seen before. For this reason, retargeting is an especially key strategy when handling larger transactions that customers mull over and research heavily before they decide.
How to get started with pay-per-click ads
There are essentially four steps to creating and succeeding at PPC advertising. You can apply these strategies to Google, Bing and Facebook.
Keep an eye out for deals
Before you sign up, double check for deals. Google offers $75 free to new users, as long as you commit to an initial $25 – not a bad deal. Many website builders also offer Google ad coupons when you sign up for their services.
Bing offers a free $50 coupon to all new users, making it an attractive option for newcomers before they dive into other PPC venues. Facebook used to offer free coupons, but discontinued that promotion in 2015.
You can still sometimes find Facebook coupons for sale on the web, but your mileage may vary here.
Decide on your desired outcome
Do you want to get more visitors to your general website? Would you like to market a specific product? Figure out what you want to happen as a result of your ad campaign.
Learn what your customers are searching for in search engines by using a tool like Google Ad Words Planner.
Ideally, look at the highest search volume with the least amount of competition. This is where you’ll start. For a social media site such as Facebook, think about your target audience and profile them based on age, interests, and other parameters.
Connect the dots
Once you see what keywords your potential customers search for, use that to create a winning campaign strategy. How can you position your ad to be valuable to their click while also promoting your business?
Create a landing page
A landing page is the page you’ll send users to after they’ve clicked on your ad. It should be highly optimized for the content on your ad. While you can send them to your home page, that can be an overwhelming experience.
Instead, send them to a page with limited distractions that contains relevant information about what they’ve searched for.
Pay-per-click advertising is a useful marketing strategy that can bring instant online awareness to your small business. PPC is quicker than organic SEO strategies and can be more powerful if used correctly. Use these strategies to win with PPC ads.
Marc Prosser is the co-founder of Marc Waring Ventures, a niche online publishing company serving the financial and small business communities