As business owners most of us are all familiar with the common forms of advertising we’ve used year after year that have stood the test of time. Spending money on print ads in the phonebook, sticking up a billboard, filming a TV or radio spot to play in your community, but we are sneaking up on 2015 and the times have changed. Everything is about technology now. Consumers are spending less time looking at the paper or listening to the radio and more time browsing the Internet on their computer, tablet or Smartphone. So how do you reach that client base that has shifted their focus from the outside world to inside a screen? Simply put – you shift your marketing dollars to where they are looking.
There are countless ways to market and advertise online but here we will only be focusing on Pay-Per-Click Advertising or PPC as it’s known by us nerds who feel the need to shorten everything. PPC is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner or a company like Google) when the ad is clicked. These ads can be shown on websites as “banner” display ads (think pretty picture inducing you to click) or if we use Google as an example, text based ads placed at the top or side of your search results. Both models have their pros and cons, but for ease lets use Google PPC campaigns as our example of how your message gets across, the benefit it brings and how much it will cost.
Go to Google and search for basically anything you want. Car dealers, Electricians, website designers or whatever your heart desires. Once your search results come up you will notice anywhere between 1 – 3 listings at the very top of the page that have a little yellow box with “Ads” written on them. Now look to the right side of your computer and you’ll notice a long list also with “Ads” in yellow. These are Google Pay-Per-Click advertisements. Each time someone clicks one of those ads to go to the website they pay Google a certain dollar amount which we will get into later.
Now that you know what Google Pay-Per-Click advertisements are, lets breakdown how you get your business there. If you don’t feel like having a company like us do it for you, signing up for Google PPC ads is very simple and Google will walk you through the process. The important task however is figuring out what keywords you want your ad displayed on when people search for them. If you are an electrician in Myrtle Beach what search terms are important? “Electrician”, “Electrician Myrtle Beach”, “Myrtle Beach Electrician”? What about specific problems people might search for like “lights wont turn on in house” or “my Christmas lights blew a fuse”? Each search term will generate different results and knowing which ones to advertise on is key. What about the area? If you’re a Myrtle Beach electrician then someone searching for an electrician in Wyoming isn’t going to do your business any good. But Google knows that and it allows you to Geo-target your PPC campaign to the areas you want to advertise in.
The cost of PPC ads are based on many different variables and can range anywhere from 35cents to $50 per click. If you aren’t in a very competitive field, the cost is typically lower. If you’re search term are very specific then your cost per click is typically lower. Each industry and search term will land different pricing but most importantly the beauty of it all is Google allows you to set a budget. For instance if you want to spend $300 this month on PPC ads and for easy math your cost per click is $1, then after 300 people click your ad Google will pull it down so you don’t go over your budget. So really, your spend is up to you. I’m not saying all typical forms of advertising are dead, but wouldn’t you love to only have to pay for the people that are interested in your company?
I can go on and on about all the different attributes and bells and whistles of Pay-per-click advertising on Google (or other websites) but ultimately it breaks down to this: You can set a budget you’re comfortable with and change it monthly. You can advertise your website directly to people searching for your goods or services. And most importantly you’re using a Google product and increasing traffic to your website. What that will do is improve your organic Google ranking to where you will hopefully no longer need to pay to be at that top of Google!
I know this was long and probably boring so I commend any of you that made it all the way down here. If you did, then hopefully you learned something and more than likely have a billion more questions to ask, which is great. We would love to sit down with you and go over how Pay Per Click advertising can impact your business.