Google Ads pay per click (PPC) campaigns have a reputation for being expensive and therefore out of reach for many small businesses. While they definitely aren’t cheap, you don’t need to make a huge investment for them to be effective. In fact, this type of advertising is a great way to get your website in front of a larger audience and drive Internet business without breaking the bank.
What is PPC Advertising?
When you search a topic on Google, you may notice listings at the top of the results that are labeled “Ad.” These entries are a result of Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform called Google Ads. Through this platform, businesses bid on specific keywords so that their content appears in Google’s search results. However, the businesses only pay if and when their links are clicked, which is one of the reasons why this model is appealing.
Here we offer some Google Ads strategies to help you maximize the PPC spend for your Internet business on a budget.
Choose Specific Keywords for your Business on the Internet
The world of key words can be overwhelming, especially since the most popular terms are often the most expensive. To narrow your list, start by focusing on specific keywords that relate directly to how your audience searches for your products or services. For example, someone who searches “pizza near me” or “pizza in [city]” is more likely to be looking for a restaurant to go to than someone who just searches “pizza.” If you don’t know what those keywords might be, ask your customers how they would search for your business online.
The smaller the budget, the fewer keywords you should have. Google has a Keyword Planner tool that helps you conduct research and select the right keywords. There are a few metrics you should keep in mind when reviewing keywords:
Google ranks a keyword as high, medium, or low competition. This ranking shows how many other companies are bidding for certain keywords. More competitive keywords are more expensive, so selecting keywords with lower competition can help keep your budget in check.
Keyword Search Volume
It also ranks keywords based on search volume, the number of times a certain keyword is searched within a given time frame. Any keyword with a search volume of under 250/month is considered to have a low search volume. It’s best to identify keywords that have a medium to high volume of monthly searches.
To learn more about how to select the right keywords for your small business, check out this post.
Use Negative Keywords
You can further optimize your Google Ads campaigns by identifying words or phrases that you want to exclude from your campaign. By identifying negative keywords, you can reduce any irrelevant clicks that may waste your daily advertising spend. For example, if your Internet business sells women’s clothing, you might want to filter out terms people use when searching for similar, but unrelated products, such as men’s clothing or children’s clothing. As a result, when people search for those specific phrases, they will not see your ad.
Once your campaign runs for a few weeks, you can further refine your negative keyword strategy through Google’s Search Term Report. This report will show what people were actually searching for when they clicked on your ad. By evaluating this report, you can add any additional irrelevant searches to your list of negative terms. You can follow these instructions to access this report.
Test Your Thinking
No matter how much marketing experience you have, it’s difficult to know how your audience will respond to your ads. Unfortunately, researching best practices from other businesses can only teach you what was effective for them.
Split testing can help you understand which strategies, keyword groups, or ad copy works best for your campaign. In its most basic form, A/B testing is the process of testing two different versions of something to see which of the two performs the best. For example, you can test out two identical ads with slightly different copy to see which drives more response.
A rapid fire test is a quick and inexpensive way to test your campaigns. To run a rapid fire test, launch two different low-budget ad campaigns for just four to five days. After this quick run, evaluate the performance and pause the campaign that isn’t as effective for your business on the Internet. You can then allocate all remaining advertising spend to the most successful campaigns and use your learnings for future advertising.
Set Manual Bids
Google Ads gives businesses the option to set manual bids which allows you to set a firm limit on how much you are willing to spend each day. This option gives you much more control over how much you’re spending and on which keywords.
If you notice that clicks on a certain keyword group are driving more conversions than others, you can increase the bid limit for that group while keeping it low on others. This is a great way to improve the efficiency of your Google Ads campaigns.