You mention pay per click advertising and I immediately think Google and Bing/Yahoo, but we can’t forget the other “big dogs” on the block; Facebook and Twitter for starters. You can shell out money through any paid-for-audience medium then hope for the best in the fact that you’re, at least, reaching some people “possibly” interested in your business or you can mute that impulse and find a balance where your money works for you. A small brick-mortar businesses, for instance, may definitely need to consider taking this position.
In my experience within this industry I can’t help but notice how far a dollar can stretch when it’s applied with a reasonable goal in mind. Of course if I just started a business I would immediately want access to the the most impressions I can get with Google or Bing then wait for the big bucks to start rolling in. When I think about going that route though, a couple of questions come to mind. What makes what I offer better than the veterans already running the first page block? What will turn that click out of curiousity to find out more about me into a loyal customer? There’s no promise no matter how I set my targeted audience. I barely have a brand and have to hope that a user was so impressed with my site that I’m worth taking a chance to spend their hard-earned money. Personally, as a small business with already a healthy amount of funds invested, I would have no time for that.
My first goal will be to build a following through social media like (no pun intended) Facebook. Let me target a medium that’s not searching for me, but has my industry as an interest as they go about their everyday social media life. In fact, let me target individuals who live within five miles of my business, run a special during the hours they have to pass me on the way home from work, and at the very least have fans of my page that will always be at my fingertips. I can reach a more targeted audience, spend less per click, and keep them in my pocket as I build my brand. This, of course, is just one example where social media trumps spending googles of money for a whisper when I could have a voice to build trust in my brand. Now if I’m established as a business, hopefully breaking even by this point, and have a following to go with it; then I think it’s time to let the shockwave out to the search engine world.
Now keep in mind this is just one example. Different circumstances can lead to an entirely opposite need. For example, a business that has no location or one that is just business to business. Both resources for pay per click advertising has strong points, but take a minute to weigh out which is more beneficial for immediate focus. If you feel your situation is a little more complicated, seek the help of proffessionals who have experience working with individuals in your position. There’s never a need to rush into this decision blindly. Just food for thought and most likely more food on the table now that thought went into how to spend that hard earned/borrowed dollar.
Written By: Glen Burton – PPC/SEO Coordinator