Search engines are indispensable tools for any type of website. For the small business, search engines can mean the difference between success and failure. However, too many business owners do not understand how search engines work, let alone how to optimize their sites to get the best results. In this newsletter, we will discuss pay-per-click advertising and how it can propel your business to new heights.
Before you can determine whether pay-per-clicks are right for your small business, you must understand what they are. Whenever a potential customer or client searches for your business, they use different keywords associated with your product or service. If you do nothing but optimize your website for these keywords, you will receive free organic results. This means that your returns will be based completely on the ratio and relevance of the keywords on your site. While this is a good strategy, it can also be tedious and time consuming to keep up with the ins and outs of organic marketing. With pay-per-clicks, businesses can get an edge. This is especially useful for small businesses that need targeted results without breaking the bank. Pay-per-clicks are paid advertising links. When a search is made, these appear on the top and to the right of the search results page.
Pay-pay-clicks are one of the easiest ways to achieve a page one ranking with major search engines. While most business owners start out trying to rank on the free organic search results, pay-per-clicks are likely the best solutions if you have tried to rank high on free search engine listings and still do not see the results you want. A pay-per-click campaign allows you to pick the keyword phrases that you want to rank high on with a related cost per click. This form of advertising is ideal for small businesses with limited budgets, especially if you have a product or service with low competition and a high profit margin.
Pay-per-click ads are displayed based upon which site owner offers the highest bid to the search engine. To gain a high ranking, you bid on the keyword of your choice, offering a set dollar amount for each click your ad generates. If you win this bidding process, your site will show up in the number one position when clients search for your keyword. Other site owners who bid less will rank in the position that corresponds with their bid amount. Each time your ad is clicked by potential customers or clients, you are charged no more than the maximum of your bid amount, but often less.
Certain features of the pay-per-click model make it ideal for the small business. One of the biggest pitfalls of traditional advertising is its tendency to generate out-of-control overhead. The pay-per-click model offers the ability to cater the program to your budget, regardless of how small it is. Whether you have several hundred or several thousand dollars in your marketing budget, it will work just as well. Pay-per-clicks allow you to select a predetermined budget. Once your daily budget is exhausted, your ad disappears from the results, and no further charge is generated until your budget is again available.
At Seed Technologies, we have invested in pay-per-clicks for over 6 years. We made a concerted effort in the fourth quarter of 2007 to measure the returns on investment of our pay-per-click ads. (This was before we ranked high on the free listings, so we were able to easily measure the results of our paid ads.) During the Quarter, Seed Technologies spent $3,000 toward the advertising campaign. After tracking progress and crunching the numbers, we found that our pay-per-click leads had generated over $100,000 in sales. Not only was the campaign well worth the initial investment, but these new customers continued to generate repeat sales and business for our company. We estimate that the initial return has been doubled or tripled by now. As you can see, pay-per-clicks have exciting possibilities.
Of course, no marketing plan is a home run for every company, and we are not trying to tell every small business owner to invest in pay-per-clicks for guaranteed results. This marketing strategy does work for many business owners. However, if your company deals in products or services with small profit margins, we do not recommend pay-per-clicks as your best option. In addition, it does not work well for industries with a high level of competition, because you are likely to pay too much to secure the number one bid for your keywords. It does not make sense to spend $50 in clicks just to sell a product for $100. Pay-per-clicks are ideal, however, for niche markets or companies with low competition.
By studying your company's previous marketing strategies and the needs of your business, you should be able to determine if pay-per-clicks are right for you. They are not the end-all and be-all to online marketing but, when used correctly, they have the ability to catapult your business straight to the head of the search result line. Give pay-per-clicks a try and see if you notice a difference.
October 20th. We are offering a complimentary seminar on Internet Marketing and Social Media. Give us a call if you would like to attend. 918-742-0028.
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