One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to market your business online is by starting a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.
A PPC campaign is a technique used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It allows you to reach millions of potential customers, targeting your ads to the people who are most interested in your product or service.
Beginners can launch a small-scale PPC campaign but for larger efforts, hiring a consultant or agency is recommended.
We recently caught up with pay-per-click expert Robert Brady to get his take on how to improve your advertising results.
Brady has a degree in business management from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.
In addition to dabbling in farming and irreverent T-shirt making, He's a Google AdWords Certified Partner and a PPC management services consultant who can help businesses with everything from a one-time audit to ongoing management and optimization.
Here's what he had to say about maximizing your pay per click performance:
How did you become interested in PPC?
While taking an internet marketing class in college my group was given a $500 Amex gift card and we set up and ran an account for a local business. Looking back, we didn't do a great job, but it started me on the path.
I'm a small business owner who's never done a PPC campaign, why should I try it out? At minimum, how will I benefit?
SMBs should try PPC because it allows you to only advertise when someone has expressed a need and is currently looking for a solution. On top of that, you only pay for clicks. Add in the conversion tracking and you'll know quickly if the channel is profitable and at what level.
Where's the best place to find a PPC consultant?
Getting a referral from someone you trust with a successful program is the best place to start. Also consider looking at the AdWords Certified Partner directory or the Microsoft Accredited Professional directory.
What questions should you ask the consultant before hiring him?
Ask a few questions to validate their subject knowledge. If they use too many buzz words or don't explain it so that you can understand, that's a good sign that you'll have communication issues down the road. Also ask them if they've managed accounts in your industry before, if they're currently managing accounts in your industry (you don't want a conflict of interest), and ultimately ask for references that will vouch for their work.
What's the best way to optimize the landing page?
Test, test, test. Use your existing page as the control and then design a new landing page with a hypothesis in mind. Don't just change the button color and see if one gets a better conversion rate. Test having an image vs. no image to find if the image is distracting or beneficial. Then, when the test is over, you've learned something about your users that you can implement other places on your site.
What are some tools you can use to measure your ROI?
A calculator. Maybe even a pencil and paper if you don't have a calculator. In all seriousness, though, once you have the data, ROI is just a simple calculation away. The hardest part for most businesses is having their analytics set up to track revenue and costs by channel to get more granular ROI.
Additional tips for maximizing campaign performance?
Test, test, test. Going with your gut may be great, but with PPC you have all the metrics you need to test that gut feeling and either validate or invalidate it with real data. Once you've found something that works, expand on it and test some more. Never stop testing!
Learn more about PPC marketing from Business.com's resource hub for all things Online Marketing