There’s been a long-standing myth in small business marketing that engaging in an AdWords or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is sort of like printing your own money. The clicks are cheap, they say; you’ll be at the top of the search results, they say; you’ll get more leads than you know what to do with, they say.
Unfortunately though, the reality of many PPC campaigns is very different. The clicks aren’t that cheap anymore. You will get on the first page of search results if you bid enough for your keywords, but remember that you’re competing not only with other advertising results but also the more trustworthy organic results which account for about 97% of the clicks on any given search engine results page.
And you will only have more leads than you know what to do with if you are VERY smart about how you run your campaign.
These 5 tips will help:
Traditional mass media advertising is usually a wasteful endeavor. It’s difficult to advertise in a magazine, for example, that reaches ONLY your prospects. You reach out to a wide population hoping to attract the attention of the segment you are looking for and then hope that your message resonates with a significant percentage of that population. AdWords and PPC, however, let us target an audience as finely as we want based on a combination of geography and specific keywords. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to be specific. Avoid broad keyword searches that are likely to attract the wrong kinds of people and be prepared to do some experimentation.
2. Jump in feet first
Many small business owners try to “dip their toe in the water,” with AdWords; spend a couple of hundred dollars and see what happens. In most cases, however, that strategy ends up being a complete waste of whatever test budget the business owner sets. AdWords is a game of numbers and – unless you’re terribly lucky – the math just won’t work out on your $200 tester budget to get any real impact. If you’re not drawing enough traffic that a 2-4% conversion rate on your landing/offer page won’t be meaningful, your AdWords spending is almost guaranteed to be wasted. If you want to try this, be prepared to go all in for a couple of months at least – it’s the only way you’ll get any real idea of what your campaign is really capable of.
3. Use a dedicated landing page
Imagine walking into a car dealership knowing the exact model and color of the vehicle you want to buy. But when you ask to see one, the salesman instead gives you a full tour of the showroom, explaining the features and benefits of all their cars. You’d be annoyed and would probably take your business elsewhere. That’s how your visitors will feel if they click on your AdWords link and end up on your home page. They are looking for information on something very specific and your ad told them that you might be a good fit…. So why waste their time? Create a landing page that explains exactly why your business/product/service is a good match for them and provide a CLEAR call to action for next steps.
4. Support your claim
You know that you offer a great product or service but most small businesses don’t enjoy the kind of brand recognition that big businesses do. There’s a reason that most business people know the old saying, “Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM” but very few have heard “Nobody ever got fired for hiring Jim Bob’s Discount Computer Shack.” You only have a limited amount of real estate on your landing page, so don’t waste a disproportionate amount of it going on about every little thing that your product does, focus on why people should buy it and, just as importantly, why they should trust you with their money. Often that means providing meaningful supporting material. Here are some items you might consider incorporating:
- Customer testimonials
- A white paper, article or eBook download
- A video
- A SlideShare presentation
- Any trust seals that you are allowed to use (i.e., Better Business Bureau, Web of Trust, Authorize.net, etc.)
5. Consider using online chat to boost conversions
Often people leave your website or landing page because they never really belonged there. Your product or service just wasn’t a good fit and that’s OK. But sometimes visitors leave for the WRONG reasons: a minor misunderstanding about what your product does, a feature that isn’t explicitly listed, a very specific question that your web copy didn’t overtly answer. Often, these visitors won’t take the time to call, nor will they fill out your email form and wait for a response. But many will engage in a live online chat with an operator who can help answer their questions. I will disclaim that my firm helps manage online chat programs for clients, but in our experience it’s not uncommon for chat to boost conversion rates by 15-25% or more. We’ve even seen extreme cases where chat has increased conversions more than 50%.
By following these 5 tips, you can more accurately focus your AdWords campaign on a strategy that won’t leave you wondering why you spent that money in the first place. Good luck with your campaigns!
4. Web of Trust
He is also the founder of Zero-G Creative, an Atlanta-based online
marketing agency serving small (and growing!) business clients
Latest posts by Erik Wolf
- 5 Tips to Increase Lead Generation in AdWords Campaigns - April 22, 2012