There are many small to medium business owners that kind of know what pay per click campaigns, namely on Google, are all about and that they want them.  And rightfully so, because the return on investment for them is still generally pretty good if the campaign is set up OK ( like you did a 4 or 5 out of 10 job with them), especially within certain industries.  I’ve spoken with friends that said real estate and hospitality related ads could draw in a 40 to 1 return, which of course is absurdly respectable.  Even legal, which is extremely competitive and expensive, can still provide a 6 to 1 ROI which looks good compared to other ROI sources, such as directories or display ads for the service industry.

The painful part is typically the start up for owners.  They think of a number that seems pretty good for the month, which is like 200-300. But when you break it down by day, which is really how the campaign works, you’re looking at 8-10 bucks a day.  Frankly, that amount isn’t going to generate too much movement.  Even if you say to yourself “well I only want  it to run during business hours on the weekdays,” you’re going to get 3-6 clicks a day, which may convert at 20%, and then you’re looking at 0-1 leads a day from PPC.  That basically means you won’t know how your campaign is doing for possibly 3 months.

The beginning of a pay-per-click campaign is an experimentation period, which requires many different tweaks and adjustments until you fall into a flow where you really start seeing what is working and what isn’t.  That means that even as a small business owner, you’re going to want to start with a somewhat substantial investment, even if it seems painful at first, because it is simply going to expedite how quickly you know what will work for your campaign and what won’t.

What do I mean by finding out what does/doesn’t work?  Very simply, having a campaign that immediately supports multiple clicks a day will help hasten how fast you find out:

  • What keywords are really working
  • Where people are clicking from
  • What ads you’re displaying are best
  • What day of the week your ads are most effective in
  • What time of the day your ads are most effective in
  • What negative keywords you need to identify

That’s just the ads alone, which may not even be half the battle.  Your landing page has to be effective on both mobile and desktop with clear messaging, ease of conversions (ability to fill out form or make a call easily), and create some sort of offer or sense of urgency.  A poor landing page will result in no conversions even if your ads are set up perfectly.

Now, is it impossible to get in the game without a huge budget?  Not necessarily.  First it depends on the industry.  If we’re talking air boat rides in a relatively large radius, it could be a buck.  If it’s the legal industry in a saturated market, it could be 60.  Google’s Keyword Research Tool can assist you with this, or getting into AdWords and just messing around yourself. Also, Google is pretty good about throwing you 100 bucks to start and try it out.

Ultimately, the pain from “pain-per-click” is alleviated the most by building a very good pay-per-click campaign. Most likely you will connect with a Google AdWords Account Manager who will genuinely help you get started with your account, which has many facets, and can be a creative and interesting experience.  But that’s another blog. Don’t be afraid to contact us to learn more about PPC and how it can help your business.