PPC Marketing
By Carrie-ann | Feb 08, 2024 | Adwords/PCC

PPC Marketing for Small Businesses

With a robust and thoughtful strategy in place ppc marketing (pay-per-click) provides businesses of all shapes and sizes with opportunities to connect with their target audience. However, it is worth highlighting that small businesses face their own, very unique challenges when creating, implementing and refining PPC campaigns.

What is the Biggest PPC Marketing Challenge Facing Small Businesses?

Larger businesses typically have larger advertising budgets. In some cases, the discrepancies are significant, so while a small business may have a £2,000 per month ad spend budget, a big company may be spending the same amount every single day.

But while smaller budgets can be challenging, adopting a bespoke approach to PPC can deliver the returns you need to see on budget. There are various tactics that can be employed to do this successfully, including prioritising audiences and narrowing your focus in order to connect with the right people at the right time.

Let’s take a look at a few of these tactics in a bit more detail.

– Geo-Targeting

Although it’s only natural to want to connect with as many people as possible, employing specific geographical targeting tactics will provide you with the opportunity to test your messaging with a local audience without stretching your budget. Then, as you start to see positive results, you can begin to expand your reach over time.

– Long-Tail Keywords

By focusing on specific and/or longer keywords, you will find it much easier to filter out a lot of the unnecessary noise that often accompanies query matching. Plus, this tactic dovetails perfectly with other tactics, including geo-targeting, which will help you to focus on a very specific relevant audience whilst maximising your advertising budget.

For example, a bakery business could choose to target “cupcakes” as a keyword, but this is an extremely broad keyword and is highly likely to lead to wasted ad spend. However, bringing geo-targeting into the mix and instead targeting “cupcakes near me”, better understands the intent behind the search and will allow the bakery to connect with the people who are already actively looking for a specific product.

– Return on Investment (ROI)

Naturally, small businesses need to start seeing returns on their investment as quickly as possible, as there just isn’t the time or budget to wait around for sales and new leads to appear. So, it is important to take a highly proactive approach and ensure that your strategy is carefully designed to tap into the existing demand for your products or services.

Connecting with people demonstrating high intent is key, so you might want to press the pause button on trying to convert those who are at the top of the funnel. Instead, developing a remarketing strategy can drive positive outcomes. However, you will also want to guarantee that your conversion tracking is accurate and reliable because this is the information you will need to determine whether your strategy is driving the outcomes you need to see.

– Volume

It’s no secret that large businesses have higher volume than small businesses, however this doesn’t need to hold you back. Yes, low volume does mean that really getting the benefits from automation is trickier, but this is where strategies focusing on manual bidding come into play.

Manual bidding allows you to retain an additional level of control over the data collection process, which is critical to future automation. Remember, algorithms need high quality data in order to learn and help you to drive better campaign outcomes, so you might want to pay particular attention to elements including CRM imports and offline conversions.

How Can Small Businesses Optimise PPC Campaigns and Tactics?

When it comes to developing PPC campaigns with a lower budget, I always recommend ensuring that existing tactics are properly refined before thinking about expanding. Yes, securing growth is important, however you need to ensure that you are getting the most from your existing ad spend and connecting with the most relevant audience possible prior to implementing any fresh tactics.

But how exactly should you go about refining your PPC tactics?

– Ad Placement

The placement of your PPC ads is critical, so I always recommend opting out of networks that just aren’t central to your success. In practice, this means opting out of things like the LinkedIn Audience Network, the Google Display Network, and Google Search Partners.

I also recommend reviewing your ‘Placement’ and ‘Search terms’ reports on a regular basis, aiming for at least once per month. These reports might illuminate areas for refinement, such as including negative keywords to further optimise your ad spend.

– Test Consistently

Testing is one of the best ways to identify areas for improvement in your strategy. For example, you might discover that a segment of your audience just isn’t converting after seeing your ads. An appropriate response here would be to limit your spend on all segments that aren’t converting, freeing up more of your budget to invest in other areas.

– Optimise For Conversions

Whenever you’re running a PPC marketing campaign as a small business, you need to be able to guarantee that your website is ready to nurture potential leads in ways that will directly lead to conversions.

If your landing pages don’t provide enough information, are poorly designed and just don’t meet the expectations of your audience, you aren’t going to secure conversions, and your PPC campaign will fail.

Don’t waste all the time and investment you have put into refining your PPC strategy only to fall at the last hurdle and neglect to optimise your website for conversions.

Making Every Penny Count

Rather than focusing on the limitations of your budget, I always recommend switching your perspective to determine precisely how to make every penny you DO have count!

I also recognise that making the leap into the world of PPC marketing can be a daunting prospect, particularly as it is often dominated by the big players. However, you will quickly find that PPC is a critical element of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy, allowing you to maximise your budget, target a very specific ideal audience, and secure the all-important conversions that will help you to grow.