Top 5 Easy PPC Tips for Small Businesses

Ian O'Rourke Posted by Ian O'Rourke

As a small business, how can you maximise your time, optimise your PPC workflow, improve visibility, and reduce spending? These PPC tips will help you to market and grow your business online more effectively.

Marketing is a science and PPC is no different. Much research has gone into consumer behaviour and optimising PPC campaign budgets for search engine algorithms.

Here we present some of the findings in easy-to-digest nuggets of information, perfect for small businesses to integrate with their existing strategies, thereby enabling them to compete with larger companies while still keeping costs under control.

Research the Competition: Adthena

The basic rule of business is to know your market and know your competitors.

Start by researching your online competitors using Adthena’s competitive intelligence for search platform, which allows you to monitor your competitors’ PPC behaviour and insights into their SEM tactics.

Information like when they run their ads, their estimated budgets, and which keywords they are bidding on can all help shape your own PPC tactics.

In addition to looking into competitor intelligence, it’s also a good idea to perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, although you will need to keep on top of this and update it regularly to make sure your information is as useful as it possibly can be.

Keywords: Long Tail Leverage

Think of the universe of keywords as if it was an iceberg, with the short keywords such as “PPC Tips” and “SEM optimisation” being the part that floats above the water, comprising just 10-15% of searches.

The rest are medium and long tail keywords, and they sit below the water. A search phrase like “Long tail keyword PPC optimisation for small businesses” is a long tail keyword, and these comprise up to 75% of online searches. Medium length key words make up around 15-20% of searches.

Long tails deliver more focussed clicks, as they are used by customers who are further along the buying path and are either avidly researching or looking to buy a product that you sell.

It also makes sense that if there is less competition on bids for long tail keywords that the cost of bidding on them will be lower.

More commonly, however, campaign budgets will be maximised by Google, but long tail keyword ads will place higher in rankings than short keyword ads of the same budget. This is backed up by several sources, including a study by Calculate Marketing.

The time required to research and implement a long tail strategy is significant if done properly, but the results can be dramatic.

Proximity Targeting

Targeting your ads to specific physical locations allows you to control which groups of people see them. This is especially relevant for small businesses that have few locations, or only ship products or offer services within their home country or town.

Targeting specific location reduces unwanted impressions and will give your ads a more relevant audience. Use Adwords’ Proximity Targeting features to set the default location targeting of ads, which is done across all ad groups at campaign level, and eliminate the hassle of setting each new ad’s location when it is created.

Matching: Exact and Phrase

Broad match is only for the rich and/or lazy, as it displays ads even when a search query could be relevant. This means a search query may be completely irrelevant and an ad will still display.

Before the day is out your campaign may have hit its budget cap, and your ad will no longer display. Wouldn’t you rather decide which queries are relevant, instead of letting Google do it for you?

Although Google has now stopped allowing exact match searches, which was previously the way to guarantee your money was being spent on a 100% relevant word, opening bidding to close matches, allowing bidding to be targeted at a wider range of terms that are similar to the specific phrasing.

Search Extensions

Search extensions are free, they increase the space your ads occupy in the SERP, and they can help increase your business’s authority. They consist of additions beneath PPC ads, including links to different areas of your site, search boxes, social media buttons, and other useful features.

Optimise your SEM campaigns by implementing all the above PPC tips, and your small business will be well on its way to competing with companies with much bigger advertising budgets.

(Main image credit: Dhinakaran Gajavarathan/flickr)

About the author

Ian O'Rourke
Ian O'Rourke
Ian is the CEO and Founder of Adthena. He has been involved in technology businesses and start-ups for over 22 years and has built businesses across the globe including in Silicon Valley, London, Australia and Taiwan. Ian has grown Adthena since 2012 to its current position as the premier global provider of competitive intelligence. Ian likes to foster a culture of great products, getting things done, responsibility, freedom and continuous improvement.