Updated: Feb 22
If you’ve got the budget, a strategic Google Ads spend is almost always in your favor, even if you have healthy SEO and content marketing programs. That’s because businesses generally earn $2 of revenue for every $1 spent on Google Ads.
But if you’re a small or startup business with limited cash flow, it may not yet be time to invest in paid search (often called PPC or "pay-per-click"). Let's talk about why.
Paid Search Requires an Investment to Get Going
When you start a new paid search campaign you’re entering into a learning phase. Even with the thorough research and ad writing a professional can offer, you’ll need to pay for about 100 clicks per ad group before that group starts giving you good results.
If the keywords you’re bidding on cost $1 per click, that means you need to set aside $1,000 to get going. And you likely will earn significantly less than the 2-for-1 average return during this period.
Once You Start PPC, It's Best Not to Pause
Search trends change, so even after you’re getting good performance from your Google Ads campaign you’ll need to tweak it to keep it fine-tuned. Because of this, pausing a campaign for more than a couple of weeks may mean you’ll have to play catch-up to regain your position.
There are times when it has to be done. One instance I can recall where pausing was necessary, is when one of our clients was getting great results in bringing in new leads, but converting less than 1% of the calls they received. They were burning through their cash fast, and needed to take a huge step back and examine their business model. However, in most cases it’s best to just reduce the spend and keep the campaign running.
What a Healthy Paid Search Campaign Looks Like
So let’s talk for a sec about why PPC is something you should aspire to add to your marketing tools.
There are people out there on the Internet searching for exactly what you do or sell. They want you! But your website may not be ranked high enough to grab their attention.
Google Ads gives you the ability to lift your organization’s name above others in search results, getting you the eyeballs, and clicks, that you wouldn’t have gained otherwise.
If you’ve dialed in on the right keywords, the right ad copy, and an effective landing page, you can’t beat PPC for bringing you visitors that otherwise wouldn’t know you exist.
Three Things You Should Do Before Starting a Paid Search Campaign
#1 Build a Killer Landing Page
The last thing you want to do is pay to send visitors to a web page that doesn’t make them happy. It needs to engage them, give them the information they need to know, and give them an opportunity to do what they want to do.
#2 Build a Healthy Communication Engine
How are people going to remember to come back to your website? They won’t unless you have some way to remind them. And if they don’t come, you have no opportunity to tell them how great you are. That is unless you get permission to reach out to them through email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., and unless you faithfully do so.
Your Killer Landing Page probably has a primary call to action – that one thing you want them to do. Maybe it’s to buy your premier product. Or maybe it’s to request a meeting with you. If you don’t have a call to action, consider adding one!
Most of the time when people show up at your website the first time, they’re not ready to take the plunge.
So give them an easy second option to stay in touch.
Like Us on Facebook
Follow Us on LinkedIn
Sign Up for Our Mailing List
Get them to do just one of these things, and you’ve turned a chance encounter into a budding relationship. Nurture that relationship by offering them helpful advice, discounts, and entertaining content. If they comment on Facebook, thoughtfully respond in a way that continues to build relationship.
Stay top of mind, and always, always give them an opportunity to advance the relationship themselves by returning to the website to look, learn, sign up, or buy.
#3 Tell Them What You Know
A Landing Page is a great way to capture someone’s attention and invite them to act. But it’s narrowly focused on those who are ready to act on that one thing.
A Website, on the other hand, should contain a wealth of knowledge that allows people to get to know the full scope of what you do, why you do it, and why they should love you.
Tell Your Story. Clearly. In Detail.
Doing so will not only allow people to spend more time on your website (a key satisfaction indicator to Google), but it will attract more visits from more people using different keywords.
If your service is “tree removal,” create a page that tells people what you do in a way that will make them want to call you. But don’t stop there. Tell them about your process. Show them you are experts. Talk about a particularly dangerous or humorous situation you have faced and how you dealt with it. Give them helpful tips for staying out of trouble. Tell Them What You Know!
But don’t stop there. Create a page for each service you offer – maybe your constant tree removal has turned you into a firewood supplier. Do you have pine and hardwood? Is it already bundled and ready to go? Should they order a load today to let it season for the winter? Tell Them What You Know.
Put These Three Things Into Practice Before You Spend a Dime on Google Ads
With a great Landing Page you’ll be set to convert as many visitors as you can from your ad campaign, maximizing the return on your ad spend (ROAS).
With a functioning communication engine, you’ll capture the contact information of many of your visitors, and bring them back for a second opportunity.
And with a wealth of content about what you do, you will give visitors the best opportunity to get to know you; and you'll draw organic search traffic from a much wider audience.
Should I Do Bing Too?
Am I being insensitive to ignore Bing in this discussion? Nope. In 2019, Google has 90% of the search market share. It’s true that you’ll miss 2.8% of the opportunities by not taking out paid ads on Bing, but as a small business the time and money you spend managing that second channel will likely be greater than the return. It’s just not worth it for us.
I Just Got This Credit for Google Ads! Should I Use It?
If you just registered your website with Google and got a free offer for Google Ads, fantastic! Hold on to it until you’ve completed the 3 steps above, and until you have the cash to invest in getting a healthy PPC campaign going.
Then go for it!
Yes! Absolutely, you should have a Google Ads campaign if your budget allows.
But before you do, set the stage for success. Optimize your landing page, build a communication engine, and fill your site with helpful, relevant content that will make your visitors thankful they found you.
Do those three things first and you'll get every penny out of your PPC spend.
Ready to begin? We can help!
If you find yourself ready to bring in new traffic through Google Ads, or if you know your website isn’t quite ready for new business, we can help you!
Yardstick Digital Marketing brings you the experience and knowhow of seasoned writers and digital marketers, so you can grow faster! Visit us at www.Yardstick.digital to get started!