Pay Per Click (PPC)-Why You Should Care?

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.


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:

  1. 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”)
  2. 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.
  3. Testing-You can quickly and easily run A/B testing for both Ads (to drive leads) and different landing pages (to convert prospects).
  4. 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.


  1. Choose your search engine to advertise on. Google, Yahoo, MSN and account for 90% of all searches. Each search engine has different demographics for their typical users, so do some research.
  2. 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”.
  3. 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 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


  1. Hi Jeff,

    Great tips – One question – Your PPC ads are sometimes abused by competitors by clicking your ads repeatedly – Hence, losing you money.

    What’s your view on this?

    Thanks Jeff! 🙂

  2. Meredith says

    I realize this post is meant to be helpful but I couldn’t help but notice you left “develop landing pages for your campaigns” out of your “How it works” list. It’s such an essential part of getting great SEM results and so rarely even mentioned when bloggers tell small business owners to do PPC marketing. I realize it’s a more complicated thing to explain in detail than you may have wanted to get into but leaving it out entirely misses an important step in how to run an SEM campaign.

    The good news is you inspired me to write a post of my own that describes, in more detail, how landing pages work 🙂

    So, to all you small biz marketers, if you’re considering PPC marketing, make sure you educate yourself about landing pages before you try it out. You can read my explanation here or read what Google has to say about it here

  3. Also consider researching second-tier search engines, such as You can save money on your PPC campaign, yet receive high quality traffic. Traffic Advisors is eZanga’s fraud detection system, which eliminates click fraud in real time (instead of after the click), thus saving your budget.

    …Something to consider 🙂

  4. Yellow Pages is a thing of the past. I worked out last week that one of my clients is paying $173.74 per conversion through the Yellow Pages but AdWords delivers conversions for just $10.99. We’ve saved them nearly $1500 / month.

    If people aren’t aware of the benefits that PPC can deliver, I feel for them. That said, some people do get good returns on Yellow Pages still – mostly trades though.

    Also, ditto on Noobpreneur’s question.

    @Tina – I’ve checked out some of the smaller engines but I’m afraid I won’t be getting a good return for my time spent setting up the campaign as well as a decent reach. Any stats on that?

  5. The Blogger Source says

    Helpful tips. I have been considering this for some time.

  6. Easy SEO Blog says

    PPC Marketing can definately be effective is used correctly. Never under-estimate the value of testing different ads though. This is one mistake I made early on, ignoring the test.

  7. I have just realized that all of our PPC efforts where a waste of time. Thanks for this post, I need to change the way I am using PPC.