Most small businesses have some sort of online marketing strategy and PPC forms a big part of that strategy. However, very few business owners or their managers have the time or the resources to manage their PPC campaigns. Silly and strategic mistakes inadvertently cause a substantial wastage of their paid search budget.
A recent study conducted by a paid search software firm threw up some interesting results. The study reviewed the practices of close to 500 small businesses that had AdWords accounts. The study found that most businesses had a conversion tracking system installed on their webpages, landing pages to be precise. Most businesses were having a PPC campaign to generate leads or phone calls and yet close to 95 percent businesses do not have call extension set up. The study showed that close to 25 percent of PPC budget was wasted, and it was due to inefficiencies and neglect of their campaigns. This raises a few questions the answers to which we will deliberate.
Is it really that hard for small business to manage paid search account?
The short answer is YES. Most small business owners are hard-pressed for time and with the frequent changes in AdWords find it difficult to keep up with all the developments. Although most understand the basic concept of PPC they don’t really appreciate the context and are thus not in a position to leverage all the functions and features of AdWords.
How small businesses budget their PPC campaign?
Cost per lead – Small businesses fix a marketing budget and try to get the most out of it compared to other marketing channels. They generally go on spending till such time that the cost per acquisition of a lead is less than other channels like Yellow pages or Groupon.
Cost per lead and average value per lead – Businesses do some research and try to figure out how many leads eventually lead to sale. They then compute the average sale generated by each lead and then see if it matches their targeted spend per lead. This eventually leads them to try to get as many leads at the target cost.
What should small businesses ideally do?
Focus on few campaigns that generate more conversions. Other campaigns can wait till such time businesses have given the top lead generating campaigns sufficient time. Set up a timetable so that business owners and their managers can spend a few hours each week analyzing and optimizing their paid search campaigns. Identify long tail keywords, negative keywords and focus your attention on them. Pay attention to the quality ad copy to achieve lowest cost per click. Continuously test and optimize PPC targeted landing pages. If possible start mobile ads, but be sure you have call extensions to nail all the phone inquiries.