Online pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be a quick and easy way for a small business to increase website traffic, generate leads and boost sales.
Sure, with PPC you only pay if people click. And you can set your own budget. Whether it’s $100 per month or $1,000, you have complete control over how much you spend. What you get for that money, however, depends are how adept you are at creating and executing your online ads. You want to attract only high quality traffic that is truly interested in what you have to offer.
With the right approach, you can focus your energy and budget on a set-and-forget (well, almost) plan that will bring high quality prospects to your business doorstep.
Here are six things you can do to make that happen:
- Promote something specific! (Hint: Not just your “business.”) There are a gazillion businesses out there – and probably many like yours – so you need to ask yourself: “What can I promote that will set me apart?” Consider something free. That almost always works. It might simply be free information in the form of a valuable report. This can serve two purposes. It builds credibility and offers enough advice to be valuable, but not so much that prospects don’t need what you offer.
- Create a killer landing page. The landing page is the specific place on your website where a prospect will land when they click your ad. This should not be your home page. A landing page should serve a specific purpose that’s related to the offer you’ve made in your ad. It should have a great design, catchy headline, bullet points and images to catch the visitor’s attention, plus some kind of call to action.
- Understand your ideal prospect. One great advantage of digital advertising is that it lets you target specific people or groups. Ads targeting just about anyone who shows up online are a waste of money. But first you have to know who you want to target. To figure this out, look at your best customers now and determine if you simply want more of them. Or if you feel like there are other customer segments you haven’t reached yet, define what they are and go after them. Do some types of customers spend more money with you? Which ones are most loyal? Are some groups easier to sell to?
- Research and test the best places to run your ads. Google is the largest and most logical place to put your PPC ads. But you might also want to consider Bing, and social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Advertising in search engines (Google, Bing) can deliver the fastest results. When someone searches for your keywords (search terms and phrases you’ve selected), your ad will show up if you’ve bid high enough and Google believes your ad copy is high quality and fits what the consumer is looking for. In other words, the quality of your ad copy counts. The best advice is to start small and test different platforms, offers, headlines and messages.
- Get your messaging right. Ultimately, success depends heavily on how compelling your ad is. Keep these three things in mind when you write your ad copy: a) Include your best keyword in your title. People are more likely to click when your headline contains the words they are searching for. b) Talk about benefits, not just features. You only have a few characters to work with so make them count. c) Capitalize the first letter in each word. This makes your whole ad look like a headline and grabs the viewer’s eye.
- Define your end game. Think carefully about what you expect to happen once you get someone to visit your website. A visitor is only a partial win. You need to have a plan for how you will turn that visit into a sale, a signup, a new membership or whatever. If you wait to figure this part out until you start generating prospects, you will lose out on business.
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