Paid search marketing provides one of the most cost effective ways to market a small business, so how come many small businesses are not seeing success with paid search? The answer to that question is complex. However, there are clear overall themes that explain why some small businesses don’t succeed while others do.
Be patient. You can’t expect any marketing effort to pay off in a week. If you keep your campaign running for at least 90 days and tweak it during that time, you will see results. You can’t put together a campaign in 5 minutes and expect it to become awesome in a week. You need to run some data through the system and understand what keywords and ad copy are delivering the best results. You just need to work 15 minutes a week in reviewing your campaigns and they will surely produce desired results.
Be relevant. Make sure your campaign is targeting the right keywords with relevant ads in a geographical area that makes sense. For example, if you are marketing “mobile car detailing” and you’re in Tampa, Florida, make sure your campaign is running in Tampa and not in Chicago or the entire United States for that matter. Any click coming to your website for searches for “mobile car detailing” that came from the Chicago area will be wasted clicks as they are looking for a mobile car detailer in Chicago.
Be realistic. You can’t expect to spend $50 in monthly ad spend and receive a ton of leads early on. They will surely come, even at a $50 monthly budget, but a much more realistic budget should start at $150 / month. If you compare the cost of other small business marketing channels to paid search they should be equivalent. For example, yellow pages ads run into the hundreds of dollars per month. Radio and Television can reach into the thousands of dollars. We believe a $150 to $750 monthly budget will generate enough leads to pay for itself in a couple of months.
Be long term. It is better to spend $200 per month for 3 months than $600 in a month. This is because of the sales life cycle. On average, potential sales take anywhere from 20 to 60 days to convert into actual sales. If you don’t look at your marketing from a long-term perspective, you will wrongly attribute sales to the wrong marketing events. Successful search engine marketing is like running a marathon, not a 100 meter sprint.
If you keep these principles in mind, you will be more likely to run a successful search engine marketing program.
Let me hear your thoughts. Would you agree or disagree? Are there any questions? Please comment and let me hear what you have to say.