What is PPC, and Can It Help My Small Business?
This article is third in a series of articles about the basics of digital marketing. These articles will define the marketing strategies we recommend law firms and small business owners implement today to positively impact their businesses.
Our goal is to help you clarify the tasks you need to do to market your business, so you can spend less time performing administrative tasks and more time doing the work you set out to do.
Our next topic is PPC!
What is PPC?
One of the most important digital marketing tools law firms and small businesses have available today is PPC.
PPC stands for pay-per-click and is the process of buying visits to your website. Think of it as being on the other side of the coin as SEO. Instead of designing content that organically lists you higher on search engine results, with PPC you pay for that higher position in the search rankings and are charged a fee each time one of your ads is clicked.
Though advertising in general gets a bad wrap (91 percent of people feel that ads are more “intrusive” than two years ago), 64 percent of online shoppers still click on Google ads, so it absolutely still has value in your marketing strategy. (Hubspot, 2017)
Search engine PPC Google Adwords is one of the most popular forms of paid advertising – it constitutes 95 percent of all paid search clicks on mobile devices. But social sites like Facebook also offer PPC opportunities.
The goal of PPC is to complement other non-paid digital marketing strategies, namely SEO. We rarely recommend it be used as a stand-alone tactic and also caution that certain aspects of your web site – like landing pages – need to be in order before implementing a PPC campaign on a search engine or social site.
How Can PPC Help My Small Business?
PPC can only help your law firm or small business. Here’s how:
One of the most powerful benefits of PPC is its ability to help law firms and small business build brand awareness. According to Google, in 2014, paid search boosted top-of-mind awareness by more than 6 percent. (Google, 2014)
In addition to gaining the attention of your target market, PPC has aided benefits:
- Brand-related keywords are often inexpensive.
- Branded PPC visitors have a higher conversation rate. (Google says double!)
- Visitors who find you by searching for your brand stay on your website longer.
- Branded PPC allows you to control more of what is said about you on the first of a search.
As previously mentioned, PPC also supports a number of other digital marketing strategies.
- SEO: A well-positioned, branded PPC ad will directly impact the attention to your organic search results further down in the search results – for the better!
- Promote special offers: A PPC ad can get the offer in front of the people you want to see it fast and for a set period of time. When the offer is over, just pull the ad.
- Weather the storm: PPC provides extra support while you are building your organic (SEO) presence when a Google algorithm update impacts how your pages are viewed or when trying to get a new product or service running.
Test your next marketing strategy: Perform a comparison test between two different ideas using a PPC ad. Just run two slightly different ads for special offers, blogs topics, headlines or advertising copy for a short period of time, then compare the results.
As Needed or All the Time.
Because PPC is literally something you can turn on and off, you can run a PPC campaign non-stop or only when your private practice or small business needs it.
All the time ads may include:
- Branded keywords
- Customer reviews on your website
- To promote an FAQ or FAQ page
As needed ads may include:
- New products or services
- To promote a grand opening or new location
- Special offers
- To support a new SEO keyword
Determining whether you run a PPC ad all the time or not, should be a decision you make when you develop your marketing strategy.
Now that you know what PPC is and how it can benefit your law firm or small business, what do you do? Choose a search engine (we recommend Google) and try your hand with a small branded PPC ad campaign. Again, these ads are often low cost and have many benefits very. When you feel comfortable, consider running an offer or promoting a piece of content or product.