What Is SMB PPC Advertising and How Can It Benefit Your SMB?
SMB paid advertising drives up your revenue
Jan is searching for a bakery in her area to make a birthday cake for her son, so she visits Google. There she sees site results for you and your main competitor, both local bakeries. But the thing that catches Jan’s eye is a paid ad you’re running at the top of the page.
In the above scenario, you and your competitor both had content ranking in organic results, but it was your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that attracted Jan’s interest. While your small- to medium-sized business (SMB) may not be a bakery, it can still benefit immensely from using PPC.
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What is SMB PPC advertising?
SMB PPC advertising is a digital marketing strategy that involves showing paid ads in different locations online. These ads can take different formats depending on where they show up, like text ads and banner ads.
One thing all PPC ads have in common is that they consist of two parts: The ad copy and the landing page. When users click on an ad, it will take them to a landing page where they’re encouraged to convert.
Why do you need PPC for SMBs?
PPC isn’t the only form of digital marketing out there, but it’s certainly one of the most effective. Paid advertising is incredibly versatile — you can display ads on Google, third-party websites, mobile apps, and more.
Additionally, SMB paid ads can start driving clicks immediately. In contrast to search engine optimization (SEO), which takes time to gain traction and rank higher in search results, PPC ads can start appearing at the top of search results and driving clicks the second you launch them. PPC is an excellent way to start driving traffic and leads while your other campaigns are still warming up.
Finally, PPC tends to be very cost-effective since you only have to pay when people click on them. Your ad budget goes towards leads most interested in what you offer.
Types of SMB paid ads
As previously mentioned, PPC ads come in multiple shapes and sizes, and appear in different locations across the Internet. There are four main types of PPC ads.
1. Paid search ads
The first type of PPC ad is paid search ads. These ads appear at the top or bottom of Google search results pages. They look similar to organic results but have an “Ad” label in the top corner.
To launch paid search ads, you use Google Ads. You bid on specific keywords you want to target. If your ads are high enough in quality to earn a high Ad Rank — and if you have a solid bidding strategy — your ads will appear in search results for the keywords you target.
2. Display ads
Another type of PPC ad is display ads, or banner ads. Display ads show up on third-party websites, usually in the form of boxes or bars in the sites’ margins.
In contrast with paid search ads, display ads are visual, not text-based. Any text in a display ad is part of the graphic, image, or video used in the ad.
To run display ads, you must operate through a display network — for example, the Google Display Network, which you can access through Google Ads.
You can choose which sites your ads appear on, at least within the options provided by the display network you’re using. That means you can set up your ads to appear on websites your audience browses, so you can reach the right people.
3. Social media ads
Social media ads operate similarly to the other two types, but they appear right in users’ feeds. They look like organic posts, but with the word “Sponsored” or “Promoted” attached to the ad.
Some of the social media platforms that you can advertise on include:
One of the best things about social media ads is that you can target them to people based on demographics like age and location. That means you can reach the ideal audience for your SMB.
Like regular posts, social media ads are relatively flexible regarding format — some contain only text, while others feature images or videos.
4. Google Shopping Ads
We’ve already talked about one type of paid search ads. However, there are also alternate versions of paid search ads, including Google Shopping Ads.
Google Shopping Ads don’t look like regular search results, but instead appear as a horizontal list of cards you can scroll through. The cards show images of specific products with prices listed underneath.
4 SMB paid advertising tips
PPC for SMBs is an excellent marketing strategy, but only if you know how to use it effectively.
Here are four ways to boost your SMB paid advertising campaigns!
1. List negative keywords
We’ve already covered how paid search ads let you target specific keywords to rank in relevant search results. But you can also list negative keywords, which do the exact opposite — they tell Google which searches not to target.
Negative keywords help you avoid wasting your ad resources on irrelevant audiences.
For example, if you sell school science lab materials, you might target the keyword “microscopes for sale.” Google might target variations on that keyword, leading it to show your ads for “scanning electron microscopes for sale.”
That keyword would most likely cause your ad to show up to professional lab workers, not schools, so it’s not relevant to you. To prevent your ads from appearing in that search, you could list “scanning” and “electron” as negative keywords.
2. Create custom audiences
We mentioned earlier how social media ads allow you to target specific demographics to reach the audience you want. That ability isn’t limited to social media. You can do something similar with paid search and display ads — namely, you can create custom audiences.
Custom audiences are a feature of Google Ads that lets you select from a list of traits you want to target with your ads, including:
- And more!
With custom audiences, you can plug in all the traits that match your target audience. That way, your ads will only appear to those people, so you don’t end up advertising to people who don’t have any interest in your business.
3. Harness RLSA
Another fantastic feature Google Ads offers is remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). Remarketing is a strategy that involves marketing to people who already visited your site or expressed interest in your business, and RLSA is a type of remarketing specific to paid search ads.
With RLSA, you can arrange for Google to track traffic to specific pages on your website. When people visit those pages, Google will begin targeting your ads toward them in search results.
The reason RLSA is so advantageous is that you’re marketing to people who have already shown a clear interest in your SMB, making them more likely to return and convert.
4. Monitor results
Finally, it’s critical that you monitor the results of all your PPC campaigns. You don’t want to launch your ads and then ignore them, assuming they’ll drive results. It takes time to optimize your ads to drive the traffic, leads, and revenue you desire.
In Google Ads, you can track your ads’ performance through metrics like click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. You can try to replicate the success of ads that are driving results, while reoptimizing or removing ads that aren’t doing so well.
Monitoring your ads will also show you how to manage your budget. You can devote more money to the most successful ads, while spending less on the ads that generate a lower return on investment (ROI).
WebFX can drive results for your SMB PPC ads
Ready to start generating revenue through your PPC campaigns? WebFX can help! We know PPC for SMBs, and we have over 1020 client testimonials speaking to drive superior marketing results across the board.
With our paid advertising services, you’ll get help optimizing for each of the tips listed above and more. Our SMB digital advertising agency is Google Ads Certified, making us perfectly qualified to manage your paid advertising campaigns.
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