When you’re starting an online business, it can take a while before people start finding your website. With paid search advertising – also known as Pay Per Click or PPC – you can place an ad for your website directly on a search engine page, right alongside the regular search listings, where people are already searching for a topic related to your business.
Here’s a brief overview of how paid search advertising typically works:
- You bid on keywords that your customers would typically search for
- Your ads are placed on the results page when people search for your keywords
- You only pay when someone clicks your ad and visits your website
Paid search can be very effective, but it’s also easy to get carried away and spend too much on ads that just aren’t getting sales for you.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Don’t invest money that you’re not willing to lose
PPC is like making a high-risk investment – you have to put money in before you can get anything back, and you can’t always predict what your returns will be.
2. Determine a budget
On most paid search campaigns you can limit the amount of money you want to spend over a certain period of time. For example, if you only want to spend $10/day, the search engine will stop showing your ads once you’ve reached your limit.
3. Research your keywords
The magic to any good paid search campaign is in the keywords. You need to know what people are (and aren’t) searching for when they’re trying to find a business like yours. Also, start with a small number of very specific keywords and then grow it from there. For example, “Toyota brake calipers” would be much better than just “car parts”.
4. Watch your numbers
After you’ve set everything in motion, make sure to keep monitoring your campaigns for effectiveness. See how your keywords perform – do people really search for what you think they do? And, if they visit your site after searching those keywords, do they buy? How much are you spending? If you spend more, will it mean more sales?
5. What works on one search engine may not work on another
Different types of people use different search engines, so what worked well on one might not work quite as effectively on another.
There is definitely a lot to consider when it comes to paid search advertising, but the pay-off can be well worth it.
Looking for more information about PPC? Check out this series of articles from PPC Hero – a great resource for paid search advertisers: Rookie or Veteran – PPC Basics Every Advertiser Should Know and Use