One of the most effective inbound marketing tools for a small business is search engine optimization or SEO, which uses keywords, linkbacks and other tools to ensure that your website moves up higher in search results when shoppers are looking for what you sell. You’re probably already using SEO, but another way to grow your website traffic is by using paid search advertising.
In paid search advertising, you pay for ads that show up online whenever Internet users type certain keywords into search engines. You can choose the search terms (keywords) you want to pay for. Each major search engine, such as Google and the Yahoo/Bing network, has its own paid search advertising program.
With consumers these days turning to the Internet first whenever they’re looking for a business to patronize, learning to use paid search effectively can really get results for a small business.
To begin, go to the search sites and register your company. You’ll generally be asked for basic information including a list of the keywords you want to be listed under, a description of your business and website and your business credit card information.
You’ll typically need to write your own ad for paid search, but don’t get scared—it’s pretty simple. To get the most clicks, use your keywords near the beginning of the ad, include your company name and make a special offer. You should also hyperlink to a landing page that is tailored to that ad and includes a call to action, rather than linking to your website’s home page, which may leave shoppers uncertain what to do next.
For instance, if you run an online shoe site and you want customers to see your ad when they search for women’s rain boots, you should use that term in the ad, offer discounts or free shipping on women’s rain boots and take customers to a page that displays all the women’s rain boots you sell.
Generally, you should use the same keywords you use in your SEO efforts. You can use Google’s AdWords tool to see which keywords you’re considering get the most searches. However, you’ll need to pay for keywords, or “bid.” The company that bids the highest for the keyword will show up at the top of the search results. Because popular keywords may be too expensive for a small business to afford, try using very “niche” keywords instead. These are not only likely to cost less, but also to attract more shoppers who will actually buy your particular product—for instance, the 300 people who might actually want size 12 women’s narrow rain boots as opposed to the 13 million shoppers just looking for women’s boots.
The best news about paid search for small businesses? It’s easy to experiment without spending a bundle, because paid search allows you to put a limit on your spending so you never go over budget. And since you can see exactly which ads are getting clicks, you can discover quickly what works…and what doesn’t.
Web.com’s paid search experts can make it easy to grow your business. Learn more about Web.com’s paid search solutions.