Small businesses are essential to the local economy, and advertising is one way to attract new and repeat customers. Traditional advertising in phone books, newspapers, and direct mailers is still popular, but digital advertising is also important. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are a form of digital advertising that can be beneficial for small businesses.
What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
A PPC ad is one that charges a business a small fee to the search engine (i.e., Google, Bing) each time a person clicks on the advertisement. PPC ads typically appear when a web search is conducted. The ads are located at the top and the bottom of a page of search results and appear in response to specific words or phrases known as keywords. By clicking on an ad, the person searching can be directed to your business website and could become a new customer.
Google and Bing are the two most common search engines in use today. Google is the most popular search engine, as is its PPC advertising. An ad on the Google search engine may appear in local business listings, on Google Maps, or other Google websites. Also, Google allows small businesses or marketing firms, such as Rocket Pilots, to research keywords that can help lower the price of placing ads. Bing has less of an audience as they are the second most popular search engine, and their PPC ads usually cost less than Google.
How Can PPC Benefit Small Businesses?
Small businesses tend to be local, and so are their advertisements. With more people using the internet to find information regarding products and services, PPC can help reach a broader audience of potential customers. The ads can be tailored towards customers in a particular geographical location or to those looking for information in a specific location. This could mean more customers for your local small business.
Commercial intent is when a potential customer is searching on the web because they wish to make a purchase. PPC ads can be modified to target this type of search. The result could be a more significant number of people seeing the ad who are motivated to buy a product or service offered by your small business.
The placement of an ad on a search page is crucial if you want your business to be seen first, just as it is in the telephone yellow pages. With PPC ads, searchers with commercial intent may see ads on the majority of or all of the first search results page. This is especially significant with mobile devices (smartphones) because the searcher can call the business for more information while searching.
Search engines collect significant amounts of data, which can provide insight as to how the ad is working. Individuals who handle marketing for their small business and learn or know how to use PPC advertising can use the data to fine-tune the ads. The data can identify more search terms and keywords as well as interest from other geographical locations. This makes it possible to see what part of the ad most customers engage with, provides some competitive information, and other useful data.
PPC ads allow for specific control over many aspects of the advertisement. This includes the specific search words related to the ad, what page on the small business website that the ad directs searchers to, the geographical locations the ad targets, and adjustments to aid in controlling the advertising budget.
Digital advertising, such as PPC ads can complement more traditional forms of advertising for small businesses. PPC ads offer the ability to tailor advertisements to the small business specifically. Business owners can place the ads themselves or hire a marketing firm to handle the specifics for them. Understanding PPC advertising can be helpful for small businesses.