If you aren’t actively marketing for local search prospects, you are missing out big time.
With close to 300 million searches per day, there is no denying that people use search engines. But do they use them when looking for local products and services?
There is an abundance of public data suggesting that as high as 80% of potential prospects turn to the internet first when looking for a local product or service.
The yellow pages are a thing of the past. The new yellow pages are local internet directories and a new medium called Pay Per Click advertising. If you don’t believe me ask yourself when was the last time you picked up your local yellow pages to find a vendor or to do research.
I know it, Google knows it (the majority of their stock price is a reflection of their anticipated growth from advertising) and if you resist it, there is a good chance your business may a thing of the past too. Microsoft knows it too, for this very reason; Microsoft is attempting to purchase Yahoo.
WHY USE PAY PER CLICK (PPC)
There are many reasons why, as a small business owner, you should consider allocating part of your marketing budget to local search marketing strategies, here are just a few:
- Highly Targeted-Unlike direct marketing and other forms of advertising your ad will only be served (appear) when a prospect is actively searching for your type of business (typed into your pre-selected “keywords”)
- Tracking-there is an old marketing adage that says “I know I am wasting 50% of my marketing budget, but I don’t know which half”. You can’t improve what you can’t measure and Pay Per Click advertising is very easy to measure. With search engine marketing (SEM), you are able to track every aspect of your campaign-keywords, Ad groups, Ads ect. All four major search engines, Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK provide a piece of script that you can put on your websites that give you very important visitor information (that will be covered in an upcoming article), all available in report form.
- Testing-You can quickly and easily run A/B testing for both Ads (to drive leads) and different landing pages (to convert prospects).
- Performance based-It is the only advertising available that you only get charged if a prospect actually takes action (clicks on your ad). This actually is a second form of qualifying. The prospect not only is actively searching for your type of business, but actually liked your ad enough to click on it.
HOW IT WORKS
- Choose your search engine to advertise on. Google, Yahoo, MSN and ASK.com account for 90% of all searches. Each search engine has different demographics for their typical users, so do some research.
- Choose your keywords and key search phrases. In other words, when do you want your ad to appear? For example: if you were to look for an accountant in your area, what would be your search phrase? “Las Vegas accountant”, “cpa in las vegas”, “irs audit cpa las vegas”.
- Choose a monthly Pay Per Click (PPC) budget. Many of the pay per click search engines allow you to manage budgets based on a set dollar amount or by daily or monthly limitations. Choose the PPC budget management tool which best suits your needs.
A word of caution before you run off and start pouring money into your PPC campaigns. Though, there is no denying that, when executed correctly, PPC can be a leading sales driver and profit builder, it can also drain your marketing budget if you aren’t careful.
Read and study as much as you can about Pay Per click and how it works. I would also recommend you start out small and learn what works and what doesn’t and then scale up your budget when you begin to get the hang of it. Be prepared though, Yahoo! anticipates the average advertiser spends nearly 17 hours per month managing their accounts. And that’s just Yahoo!. Add to that Google, MSN and Ask.com and it can quickly become a full time job.
If you believe that Pay Per Click can benefit your company but you don’t have the time, energy or desire to tackle this project on your own, there are many companies that will manage your search campaigns for you- my company being one of them. For more information on how to attract more clients using Pay Per Click (PPC) go to www.stickymarketingsystems.com