Does PPC marketing really work for SMEs?

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PPC, a marketer’s perspective

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing has been around for a long time, and, while the marketers talk is now all about natural SEO, organic listing and social media, PPC remains big business for many brands, but for smaller or medium-sized businesses will a PPC campaign really work?

In one sense, size does not matter. With PPC (after any set-up and management fees) you only actually pay for the clicks generated to your website, so you really do only pay on results. In fact, even a failed PPC marketing campaign has benefits – it can help you determine which products don’t appeal or help you strengthen your keywords and meta data to align more closely with your potential customer base, helping your organic SEO.

How do you know if your PPC is working?

It really depends what you mean by ‘work’. Traditional PPC marketing campaigns have been measured in conversion rates, and thankfully this is one of the easiest ways to measure the success of the campaign. But the success of your PPC marketing can be measured in other ways too. One is its ability to quickly launch new products or services. You may have a requirement to sell unwanted stock or to promote a new range and PPC can be very helpful here.

For newer websites, too, PPC can ‘fill the gap’ whilst longer-term SEO and social media are either being put in place or taking effect.

Aside from sales, PPC targets might include marketing sign ups, social media engagement or increased brand awareness. Even if you aim to use PPC to drive sales, you should use these ‘visits’ to drive longer term marketing plans – does your landing page have clear ways for potential customers to sign-up or engage? Don’t just keep these opportunities for the home page only.

Another way in which PPC can ‘work’ is by delivering insights into SEO and keywords that can be used to drive longer term web design and SEO activity. A careful analysis of the PPC marketing campaign will offer genuine insights into which keywords deliver sales or brand engagement; conversion rates and onsite activity (time spent, bounce rates) will help you finesse your SEO copy and offer.

Of course, at the end, the success of a PPC marketing campaign will always depend of the offer – without effective page content or a service or product that any consumer will want to buy (whether due to quality, lack of market or poor pricing) there can be no successful outcome to the campaign. Before launching PPC, ensure that where customers land and what they are offered is appealing and credibly linked with your chosen keywords.

With carefully targeted KPIs, proper analysis and a review of your offer and content, PPC marketing can be an effective tool for small and medium businesses.

Image source – Google

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