Pay Per Click Marketing - newsA recent report by YouGov states that less than a fifth of SMEs using Google Adwords recoup their costs, and the remaining 82% do not appear to know whether they are getting any benefit from PPC or even recovering their ad spend in sales.

One of the problems is undoubtedly that many SMEs use Pay Per Click as a marketing tactic before understanding what needs to be achieved and how to do so. Whilst PPC is a potentially effective strand to any marketing bow, the temptation may be to rush in before fully understanding how the system works, and then it is also undoubtedly too simple to presume that you can use it as a “Set It and Forget It” service.

Yet, PPC is like anything in that it improves the more time you dedicate to it. So, a mere 30 minutes per week to review your campaign and try out new ad ideas and text/copy can pay dividends.

The fact that such a large number of businesses do not appear to be recovering their costs is not reflected here at ClickThrough Marketing amongst our clients. Amy Bott, Head of Paid Search & Affiliates at ClickThrough, stated, “It’s not uncommon to see ROI of three, four or five times spend. For example, one of our larger clients, Norgren, has generated £9 in sales for every £1 spent on PPC. But it’s not just big companies who can benefit. Small companies can also start to see increased returns on their ad spend by adding in keyword negatives, following best practice in account structure, limiting spend on broad match, controlling CPCs and by thinking carefully about keyword selection.”

Even companies who are spending in the tens of pounds rather than the tens of thousands of pounds on PPC can achieve similar results by understanding the mechanisms behind PPC.

In our 101 Guide to PPC we cover many of the issues such as Quality Score, campaigns, ad copy, keywords, relevancy and much more of the essential tips and tricks which will help any SME to ensure a return on the marketing spend for PPC.

This basic understanding of PPC could mean all the difference between throwing money down the drain and increasing online sales. For instance, is your business setting a cap on spending, especially during the hours that your target audience is least likely to be online? Google will happily spend your advertising budget showing ads when the clickthroughs are least likely to result in a sale, so you need to ensure that this does not occur. Low clickthroughs will also affect your Quality Score, which tends to have a knock on effect over time, lowering the likely placement of an ad in the rankings, amongst other undesirable consequences.

In addition, it is important for SMEs to realise that the competition being faced may be amongst the largest corporates, particularly for certain highly desirable terms, and spending your precious budget on these terms is likely to result in lower sales. There is also too little attention paid to making sure that the terms being used lead to the appropriate landing page and a call to action relevant to the ad copy.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology