Did you know the average paid search account spends $2,500 a month? That should tell you that the majority of companies using paid search are small businesses. Paid search is a great way to jump start your business but without a solid strategy and at least the basics you can really go through your money quickly and find little results. So with a budget this small how do you maximize these dollars? Here are some paid search tips that are a must:
- Choose the right keywords – I can not stress this enough. With a small budget every click counts and by finding the keywords that have less competition you will pay less per click and this will make your money go further. WordTracker, KeywordDiscovery, and the tools provided by Google and Yahoo! are all great starting points. Take a look at this example: The term I used is “Atlanta lawn mower service” and the number one ad leads to this site: This is a perfect example that can break your budget and give you little results.
- Daypart - Paid search marketing is one of the most competitive and tightly managed digital marketplaces that exists today. Yet in this world where daily micro-management of tens of thousands of keywords has become the norm, one of the simplest and most powerful strategies is often overlooked or underutilized. The art of dayparting is to shut down or start your campaign at certain times of the day to give your ads the maximum chance of being clicked by your targeted audiance. Cheryle Pingel, founder and president of Range Online Media, revealed what kinds of shoppers are on the Web and when. Men are generally buying before or at work between 6 and 8 a.m. Women, on the other hand, are shopping in the evening. So, if you’re selling football tickets you might want to boost your listings to a top spot in the morning. But if you run a woman’s shoe store, pause or delete your ad listings until after work hours.
- Go Long Tail - Longer Tail terms are ones that appeal to users searching for very niche or specific items. For example, a generic term from the B2C world would be ‘Teddy Bears’. A Long Tail term would be ‘Big Teddy Bears’ or ‘Big Teddy Bear Delivery’. This will help avoid the high cost generic terms and pick up traffic from people doing very specific searches. Not only will the CPC be significantly cheaper, but you’ll tend to find that prospects know exactly what they want, and the quality and number of inquiries resulting from the clicks will be much higher.
- Explore Content Networks – Personally I am not a big fan of content networks as they generally offer a lower quality visitor and will eat up your budget quickly. You can police and control campaigns to accommodate for these content network traps by building campaigns specifically for content networks.
- Ad Writing – By far the most important thing you can do to optimize your campaign. If your ad copy is stale or less relevant, you may suffer from a low clickthrough rate, which in turn will hurt your quality score (in Google) and make you pay more for your clicks. You can also lose positioning which allows your competitors to have a stronger opportunity to take your visitors. The beauty of this is that you can always have ads rotating, and if your new efforts do not pan out, the major search engines will automatically stick to what was working. Take a look at the ads to the left that came up for me when I used the search term “Atlanta lawn service. These ads lack the necessary attention grabber necessary in my opinion to get visitors to click on them consistently.
- Negative Keywords – A core component to managing your keyword list and saving your budget. Adding a negative keyword to your ad group or campaign means that your ads won’t show for search queries containing that term. By filtering out unwanted impressions, negative keywords can help you reach the most appropriate prospects, reduce your cost-per-click (CPC), and increase your ROI. Take a look at this example: My search was for “landscaping software” and got the following ads: the third ad really needs to use negative keywords! The amount of unwanted clicks (if any due to a bad ad) can crush your budget.