Maximizing Your PPC’s

If you’re small business marketing to a target market local to you and you are using pay per click advertising, we have news for you: you are likely paying more for your advertising than you should be.  To ensure maximum ROI, you need to make sure that every advertisement in your campaign focuses on local search.  Sounds simple, we know.  But you would be amazed at how many people get this wrong.

Since Google AdWords is the most popular pay per click platform, this is the one we’ll focus on here. But Yahoo! Search Marketing and MSN AdCenter are two other places you can (and should) consider advertising, if for nothing else because the platforms are smaller… which translates into less cost per click.

There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to your Google AdWords campaign:

  1. You need to bid on ads relevant to your area.
  2. You need to bid on keywords that clearly define your product.

Bidding on ads relevant to your area simply refers to bidding on ads that include your city or town’s name, along with surrounding cities and neighborhoods. Also make sure that the ad copy includes local keywords. Bidding on zip codes is another great way to use pay per click advertising. Searching by zip codes hasn’t gone mainstream yet, which yes, means lower search counts.  It also means, however, that the cost per click will be dirt cheap for any of that traffic.  Not too shabby….

Using zip codes is one alternative way of describing where you are locally, but think of other ways to describe where you are as well. Take a Realtor, for example.  Instead of using “Realtor New York City” as a long tail keyword, you might use “Realtor Manhattan,” or even “Realtor The Big Apple.” An online keyword generator can help you figure out which keywords will be best for your pay per click campaign, but you should always be trying to think of what your customers are searching for as well.  Researching keywords from a multi-faceted approach bodes well for long terms success.

In addition to thinking of different ways to describe your business and its location, you also need to consider different ways to describe your product. So while a Realtor might have “Realtor New York City,” as a keyword, they might also have, “condo selling New York City.”  This narrows down search terms and the target audience; and it gets the word out to those closest to you – which is what this game is all about.

Once you’ve properly optimized your PPC campaign for local search, you need to actually start monitoring and tracking your results. While tracking may sound like a simple matter of checking your account daily to see where your ads are showing up, it’s actually more complicated than that. More on that in an upcoming piece.  Stay tuned…