With the ability to target specific keyword intent and measure return on investment, pay-per-click marketing is incredibly appealing for any business. However, PPC strategies for small businesses are a whole different ball game compared to those nationwide, enterprise-level tactics.
In this article, we will go over specific (and practical!) strategies for local small business owners. Learn how to get the most out of your budget and avoid common mistakes.
What is PPC Marketing?
PPC, short for Pay-Per-Click, is an online advertising model businesses can leverage to reach their target audience and drive revenue. You bid on specific keywords relevant to your products or services and (as the name suggests) only pay when users click on your ads.
For local businesses, Google Ads and Microsoft Ads (Bing) Ads are the most popular PPC advertising platforms. If you choose to create a PPC campaign with either of these platforms, your ads will be served on the respective search engine. With millions of searches conducted every month, this is a sure way to get your business in front of the right people–if you strategize correctly.
6 Practical PPC Strategies for Small Businesses
1. Start With a Reasonable Budget
Starting with an excessively tiny budget is one of the most common mistakes that many small businesses make.
While it’s natural to be cautious with your budget, PPC does require a significant initial investment to be effective. A measly $100-200 budget isn’t enough to see any traction in your campaigns, especially if you are in a competitive geographic area or industry.
That’s why starting with a reasonable budget is important.
The key to a fruitful PPC strategy lies in data-driven decision-making. Allocating a decently sized budget allows campaigns to gain momentum, so you get valuable data and insights into audience behavior, refine ad performance, and identify top-performing keywords.
These insights empower you to make better decisions on how to improve your campaign.
Striking the right balance is crucial. You don’t necessarily need to start with tens of thousands of dollars, but you have to have enough money to be competitive. Sometimes cost-per-click prices can be $20 per click!
If you need help determining a good starting budget, check out our blog.
2. Target High-Intent Keywords
One powerful strategy that can make a significant impact is leveraging high-intent keywords. But first, let’s understand the difference between high-intent and low-intent keywords.
High-intent keywords are terms that indicate a strong likelihood of the user being ready to take action or make a purchase. These can be terms like orthodontist near me or emergency key replacement in san diego.
On the other hand, low-intent keywords are more general and informational in nature, showing a user’s intent to gather information or explore options without an immediate intention to convert.
An example of these keywords can be how to stop a leaky faucet or how to paint the interior of my home. These are likely to be searchers looking for DIY research instructions rather than a professional. Even though it’s possible they will reach out to a professional later on in their journey, you would not want to waste money on these keywords if you have a limited budget.
For small businesses, high-intent keywords combined with location-specific terms are a great use of your budget and the best way to get in front of people that are most likely to convert.
To uncover these valuable keywords, use keyword tools like the Google Keyword Planner. It can provide insights into search volumes, competition, and suggested bid estimates. Additionally, SEMrush and Ahrefs are valuable tools that can help you identify high-intent keywords that your competitors may be targeting successfully.
3. Incorporating Uniques Selling Points (USPs)
One crucial element that can make a significant impact is incorporating Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) into ad copy. Highlight what sets your product or service apart and why it matters to your audience. A few examples are a unique warranty, discount, credentials/experience, or a free consultation.
Use action-oriented verbs and phrasing to create a sense of urgency and hit on their pain points. If a prospect knows you understand their pain, then they will be more likely to convert.
4. Creating a Dedicated Landing Page
One powerful tactic that often gets overlooked is the creation of dedicated landing pages (LPs). However, many small business owners shy away from this strategy, either due to time constraints or a lack of expertise.
Unlike generic website pages, LPs are designed with a specific goal in mind. They provide a seamless user experience and a clear call-to-action. By focusing on a single offering or campaign, you eliminate distractions and guide visitors toward the desired action. This can be making a purchase, signing up for a service, or filling out a form.
Some LP best practices include incorporating the targeted keyword in the headline, using a mobile-friendly design, and keeping external links to a minimum to reduce the likelihood of someone leaving the LP.
A well-crafted LP should reinforce the message and value proposition presented in the ad, building trust and credibility with the audience.
5. Never Ever “Set and Forget” Your Campaign
Another common mistake is that many small businesses “set and forget” their PPC campaigns. Just because you had a great first few months, it doesn’t mean it will continue forever.
Active management is key to continued success. Seasonable trends, additional competition, and changes in consumer behavior can affect your campaign.
For example, using automated bidding strategies can seem like a timesaver, but they can also be a double-edged sword. If you aren’t watching carefully, it can drive up your costs and eat up your budget early on in the month!
Neglecting to keep a close eye on daily budgets can also lead to unwelcome surprises at the end of the month. It’s crucial to regularly assess your budget allocation and ensure that you are pacing correctly for the entire month. Running out of budget halfway through is leaving a lot of leads on the table.
These are just two examples of some PPC maintenance tasks. There are multiple things you can do on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis to maintain the health of your campaign.
6. Consider Hiring a PPC Professional
While it may be tempting to tackle it all on your own, there comes a time when you need to consider the expertise of a PPC professional. As mentioned, managing a PPC campaign involves constant monitoring, strategic adjustments, and staying ahead of the competition.
Small business owners already juggle multiple responsibilities, so it’s common to see PPC campaigns fall by the wayside.
By enlisting the services of a PPC professional, you are not just paying a fee; you are investing in peace of mind and invaluable expertise! Trusting a professional with your campaign allows you to generate more leads while you focus on core business activities.
If you are looking for professional PPC services, contact Level 28 Media for a free discovery call!
Michelle Kop is a marketing consultant and award-winning pay-per-click marketing strategist. She has over 8 years of professional paid advertising experience in Google and Microsoft Ads, with a specialization in lead generation for B2B and B2C companies.
After working in corporate marketing with Fortune Global 500 Brands like Toyota and BP, Michelle founded Level 28 Media, a lead generation micro-agency for small to medium businesses.