Is pay-per-click (PPC) beneficial for small businesses?
I'm wondering if PPC is the best online advertising model to use for a small business trying to drive traffic towards their website. My fear is that the cost per click will become too costly for our business if the web traffic increases at a more rapid pace. Has this model worked for other small business owners just starting out?
Everyone here has great answers. Yes you can achieve AMAZING results as a small business. Yes, you should consult with a PPC expert about, at the minimum, setting up your campaign. There are so many nuances that go into PPC (mainly Adwords) about scheduling, tracking, etc.
However, one point that no one has mentioned yet is that all of this work on the PPC side needs to be complimented by the amount of time spent on your website. Make sure you have excellent and information landing pages, be sure all of the landing pages have forms that people can fill out, make sure your website has additional information available if they wish to see it.
I have consulted for lots of small businesses who were doing great on the PPC side but not getting any conversions or lead capture forms filled out.
Zoe: You asked if PPC is the "best" online advertising model to use for a small business trying to drive traffic toward their website. The answer to that depends on the type of business. In your case, to promote an art gallery in NY, I believe the answer is a definitive NO. Unless you are planning to sell art online, you will need to drive foot traffic more than you will need to drive online traffic. If I were you I would speak to the local merchants near you and find out where they advertise to drive traffic. I would also build a PR plan. I would get myself registered in a directory of Art Galleries such as artnet.com. I would also join Facebook groups on Art/Art Galleries (there are over 1,150 groups dedicated to Art Galleries on Facebook with almost 1.2 million registered members. "Arts Gallery Montmartre Paris French" is the largest with 58,119 members followed by The ART Gallery with 44,490 members). I would post and use content marketing tactics to establish myself as an expert in the space and I would try to proactively identify and directly solicit buyers of art and their representatives. I might also try to work with other galleries (for cost sharing and relationship building) to create a "gallery tour" similar to a "pub crawl" but focused on art.
These are just a few of the things I would do INSTEAD of PPC in your situation...and by the way, I used to run a PPC advertising network. If you are interested, here is a link to an eBook I wrote on driving traffic to a website. It's intended audience is for online publishers but you might find something useful in there (http://bit.ly/1zkhmNb).
Best of luck with your endeavor.
Yes they have. When done correctly! I have and know of many small businesses who are getting good results. I recommend that you yourself educate yourself in PPC because no one knows your business and the kind of customer you are looking to reach. So your input is very valuable to the process.
Here is my advice. If you are thinking about using PPC do your research. Know what you competition is doing. Ask yourself how much can you budget for PPC in terms of your profit margin. Realize that managing a PPC campaign can become a full time role. Is your site optimized for mobile? Google Adwords is driving more traffic to mobile.
Too many clients I have worked with all want to be #1 in page rank. That can be costly. It is ok to be #2 if you have a better value proposition.
If Google gives you $100 credit for Adwords it is worth testing it out. It is like gambling with house money.
You have to calculate the number to see. Compare your LTV to your CPA and conversion rate. How many dollars will you be spending compared to how much you can make. Its dependent on your unique business and market.
It works for some businesses and not for others. There is no best, just what works for your business. And that depends on many factors, such as does your market click on ads when searching for a business like yours (or is it more referral based), how well you're doing with organic listings, and how competitive your industry is for search. Figure out some of these issues and you'll have an answer. Another option is to test some ads -- letting them run for a while -- and measure the quality of your website traffic resulting from those ads. Be sure to set a limit on your monthly spending, so it doesn't get out of control.
Hello Zoe, I'm not going to repeat the answers given by many of the people below. I can however share my own experience with AdWords (PPC-campaign) that is running now. My business is 'Translation and language services', more a service than a tangible product such as art. Does the campaign direct more web traffic? Yes, but the question is whether I'm reaching my target audience and if I get conversions (leads and orders)...So far I have had a few orders (month 2 just finished of my campaign) and by far not covered the investment in AdWords. But as both the Google advisers and many of the SEO-Advertising experts on this network will confirm, it takes time (approx. 3 months), tenacity and money to see some results.
The real question is whether you should really invest in on line advertising when a well developed website (SEO-optimized) and word-of-mouth can do so much more for you.
Personally I think that Scott H. Zucker (see answer above) provided the best tips on how to move forward.
My 5 cents: Nurture relationships in the community, leave some business cards in places where potential visitors/buyers for your art gallery might frequent, go to local events and network, ..., and e-marketing wise: strong FB-page, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. pages to establish a relationship with the virtual community.
PS: There are plenty of resources on line to help you with the SEO/SEA part of your web presence, if you need help on the writing part (it's an art in itself) contact a good copywriter that understands both your niche and the SEO narrative.
Good luck with the gallery,
Dutch Translator Belgium
PPC can be a great solution IF you are able to measure your success against other efforts you have going on. If not, then it's going to give you an idea of what you think is successful but you'll never know it. PPC, Organic, social, referral, deals/discounts, etc all need to be measured and compared so you can pick the channels that are working well for you and make adjustments or punt the others. We had to build a tool to do this because comprehensive tools like this are rare and cost a lot of $$$. Also, it's important to make sure you put in a genuine effort to get enough of a sample size to make a good determination. $25/month on PPC is not going to do anything for any business.
“PPC or SEO “This is a common question that every small business owner asked when it comes to drive traffic on the website. If you need instant results, PPC is preferred. PPC is a great way to get visitors on the website. But if Pay per click campaign is not managed properly, it can be risky, cost you high and doesn’t provide any financial return.
There are many factors that will consider to know if PPC is right for small business or not. Small business have limited budget and time, so if you have new products or service to offer then it will be perfect time to invest. PPC can’t help you if you don’t have appealing landing page on your website.
But what I have realized is that if you are looking for solid return in the long run, SEO is the best option.
It's a balance of time, money, and effort. When debating PPC vs Free Traffic, a lot has to do with your niche, industry, and audience. In some instances, there might be a better investment of dollars that can produce a greater results than doing Google Adwords or Facebook ads. On the other hand, if you are going to do PPC because you think it will drive traffic faster, then you need to have a strategy in place to convert those traffic once they click on your ad. If you are able to convert them to at least provide you their email address, then you would have gotten something valuable for your ad budget. This is where I agree with everyone else who answered in regards to hiring a professional. It's great to hire someone to manage your campaigns, but you need someone that can take you a step further in helping you convert those leads. The biggest amateur mistake is to throw an ad together and simply link the ad to your homepage. It lacks focus and doesn't necessarily answer the reason why they clicked on your ad in the first place. As a result, people end up blaming PPC not being effective. Lastly, give it at least three months if you can. Otherwise, you might not have enough data to really validate whether something is working or not.
Ka Pang \\ Creative Director \\ VolumeSquared.com
Hi Zoe, PPC is the best Mantra to get some genuine leads, if you are new in the business and this method has proven to many people. All we run to do SEO, but here its better to work on both the sector, PPC and SEO, this will bring more trusts and leads too..
SEO is for long term, once its there you are there for some months..
PPC is just till you manage to have funds..
I would recommended PPC for the start up for a new business, the more you would spend the CPC, cost per click will go down and the CTR will increase.. means more leads..
Let me know if you still have doubts..
It depends on the business; the question should be, is this a PPC campaign at the national, regional or local level? Also when doing a PPC campaign a Display Remarketing campaign has to be considered. PPC will be (in most occasions) the one time that the visitor will be exposed to your add, then the DM will follow the visitor in a non-intrusive way ensuring that visitors are exposed to you more than once and on multiple platforms.
If you know what you are doing - extremely beneficial, otherwise a money pit.
On the other hand, if you are opening an art gallery - you have lots of material for SEO on your website and via social media. I'd work up a good plan for that first, then look into using FB ads to get traffic.
The marketing tactic you will choose depends upon the products or services you sell. PPC is expensive but if done right it can yield high profits on long run. Especially if you are in B2B field. However, its not only set it and forget it. You have to monitor how campaigns are running and fine tuning them.
From my experience PPC is always better than PPV (when you are advertising CPM).
In addition there are numerous other tactics you can choose instead of PPC advertising:
- E-mail marketing (solo emails) - Useful for B2B products and services
- Social Media Marketing (stumbleupon can bring you cheap traffic if you have good content, also reddit)
-Press releases (consider paid press releases- you will be featured in top web sites + you will have backlinks toward yours)
- CPA networks (you pay for subscription to your e-mail list, or revenue share after sale)
-and many many others channels.
Advertising on the web is going to the dogs. Since upgrading to fibre optic broadband, I've been watching more youTube adverts - which play before the movie. If your customers have fibre or 4G, you could put out a youTube advert or a video with a banner advert pointing to it.
It would be arguable, so I will state that it can work very well(particularly for transactional websites), but the key here is sales, and I would advise you to see it that way rather than simply a method for increased traffic with a "hope for the better" thinking in terms of general popularity(there are cheaper methods for that), if you are looking for projection of you brand/business I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a vast branding targeted budget. But better that listening to me would be trying it with some free credit coupon(quite a few advertisement platforms do this). PM me if you need any help, I am happy to help.
The PPC is the wonderful model for the small businesses if you sell per item or service over $20 or if you save at least $5 per sell.
The PPC is the model where you do not require much setup expenses; do not require longer time to wait (unlike organic SEO). you can setup it today and start getting leads in next few hours.
The budget can be as low as $10 per day. You can chat me on whatsapp at +91 99999 81613 or skype / google hangout where my id is SQAGURU.
You can refer our website www.Digitalsalesmen.com or write me at digitalsalesmen at gmail.com
Adwords PPC really works, but a small business needs to be smart about it. In my experience most start-ups think only in terms of traffic volume rather than traffic quality. More visitors doesn't guarantee more sales.
What is your website's conversion rate? Of your visitors, how many transact? And to what value? You have to think in terms of your cost per acquisition and your transaction value to work out a budget, or what to expect from your budget.
Assume a sale is worth $100 and you're ready to invest $10 in your cost per acquisition. If your conversion rate on your website is 5% then you know you need 20 clickthroughs to get 1 sale. Your Adwords bid for each click is: $10 / 20 people = $0.50.
If you Google your business type in your area you'll quickly see how much Adwords competition you have on the results page. Now you just need to establish if you can get a decent placement on the results page with your $0.50 bid using various keyword combinations. You can use the keyword tool that Adwords provides to establish potential keyword combinations, search volumes and estimated bid placement.
If you can't place with your bid, then Adwords/PPC is obviously not viable. On the other hand, if you place too well with your bid and your clickthroughs are going to be too high for you to cope with logistically, then you can always cap your Adwords daily budget to stop your ad from appearing more than you need it to.
Yes. If is done correctly. If you are not sure how then hire someone to mange it for you. We mange Pay Per Click campaigns for our clients. SEO is another option that will get traffic to your site. We can help in the regard as well.
As Darryl says, when done correctly it can produce great results. I would recommend working with a PPC expert to help make sure you're getting the best value. While you'll pay a management fee for them to run your campaign, you'll likely get better returns on your investment and a better managed campaign. You could go ahead and learn the AdWords world yourself but your time is probably better spent managing your business on the ground level and working with partners to help with areas that are outside of your expertise.