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Run correctly, pay per click (PPC) channels such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, can provide small businesses with tremendous scope for reaching new customers.

However, PPC can also easily be a total waste of money if managed poorly without the correct optimisation and clear objectives for success.

PPC successIn this article, as a freelance PPC consultant, I provide my recommendations on how you can ensure that you maximise your chances of success with PPC.

Set clear objectives

Are you looking for enquiries, sales or just general brand exposure from PPC? Answering this question will be a key foundation to your success. Just setting up a new PPC campaign up for clicks is often the wrong approach for most small businesses.

You’ll also be wise to figure out the value of a lead or a sale to your business and crucially decide on how much you would be willing to pay for that lead. Too often small businesses do not have this clearly defined targets before embarking on a PPC campaign. If you know how much you’re willing to pay per new customer acquisition (CPA), then you’ll know what you’re working to and what CPA that you’d be willing to stomach in the early stages.

Work with a professional

Managing PPC campaigns takes a specialist skill set. A blend of an analytical approach and marketing flair. It also takes time. And as a business owner dedicating the time to manage and optimise your account can be difficult. You could set up an account to just run on automated bidding and keywords, however you’ll need to find the time to manage the search terms that you appear for, and optimise your ads, on a continual basis.

Often you’ll be best placed to hire either a freelancer or an agency to manage your PPC. Or at the very least I would recommend utilising a freelancer to setup your account and campaigns to ensure that they are set up for success

Whether you choose a freelancer or agency, really depends on your budget and how close you like to work with an outsourced professional. Agencies will typically charge more. However, they’ll also usually have a wider set of services to offer. So, if you think you might also need SEO, website design or other types of marketing, you’ll be best placed going with an agency. Whereas on the other hand if you choose a freelancer, you’ll often be working more closely with the person doing the work (agencies often have account managers) and they will typically be cheaper to hire.

Consider the ‘post click’ experience

In most circumstances, you’ll want to be sending PPC traffic to a page that closely matches what a person has searched for. Visitors will want to instantly see that you offer what they’re looking for. Sending traffic to your homepage is often bad practice, unless you offer a limited range of services or products, as you’ll include a wide range of details that are not relevant to the original keyword searched.

Make sure that any PPC company or freelancer you work with have a ‘landing page’ strategy to ensure that you maximise your return from your PPC spend.

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