You CAN afford pay-per-click advertising

If pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is not part of your marketing strategy, the question is, “Why not?”

There is so much you can do with PPC today—don’t miss out on opportunities because of a malnourished paid online presence.

With remarketing, you can target people who have visited your website—only reaching the people who have visited certain pages or taken specific actions, such as downloading a PDF or filling out a form.

Display advertising can help you reach a broader audience who may be interested in your product or service. With display, you can really hone in targeting, so you aren’t just throwing mud at the wall and hoping it sticks. The Google Display Network (GDN), for example, helps advertisers reach people who are in the market to buy a particular product, those who visit websites related to specific topics and keywords, audiences “similar to” their own remarketing lists, people with very a specific interest and more. The list of targeting options goes on.

There is also keyword targeting in search, the most basic form of PPC advertising. This is a great option for most advertisers as it lets them bid on general, branded and competitor terms. When done right, your brand or company can show up at the top of Google Search when a query containing your key products, services or brand name is deployed. Layer location targeting and ad scheduling on top of that, and you can guarantee your ads will only show up where and when you want them to.

Ideally, your business has a large enough marketing budget to enlist the support of a professional advertising agency, one that can manage paid media for you. They have the expertise to get the job done quickly and effectively. But let’s say you don’t. Let’s say your marketing budget is extremely limited and you’re trying to comprehend paid advertising and the nuances of different platforms on your own.

Here are a few things you should consider, things I learned from years of experience, to save time and headaches:

1. Determine a budget. Your budget should be big enough to cover your desired geographic target and support the channels you want to advertise on. Budget can vary widely based on what keywords you bid on, the location you target and the quality of your landing pages. If PPC is driving a profit, in theory, you should never take your foot off the accelerator. This is where having metrics in place to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising comes into play. If your budget is small, you can get creative and tighten up your targeting. Maybe you only want to advertise to past website visitors who didn’t convert, or bid only on exact-match keywords as opposed to broad keywords, which can improve the quality of the traffic by cutting out irrelevant impressions.

2. Set account up for success. The key here is segmentation. At the end of the day, you need to be able to analyze your account performance. Proper segmentation will make this easy. There are many ways you can segment an account. For starters, I recommend segmenting campaigns by network (search vs. display vs. remarketing) and intent. For example, branded search keywords can be lumped into one campaign and general keywords into another. Often, when setting up your campaign structure, a good place to start is your website’s navigation. Other segmentation I like to use is audience, keyword match-type, and—when it applies—device.

3. Measure effectiveness. Paid media performance should be evaluated by the number of leads or sales it generates. Conversion tracking will help you measure performance and make ongoing optimizations. Having a goal and means for measuring success is paramount to any paid advertising program.

The precision with which you can advertise online is much greater than any other form of advertising. It’s really a no-brainer in today’s digital world, and it doesn’t take a six-figure marketing budget to make a dent.


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