Many small to medium sized businesses rely solely on organic search rankings to build up their online profiles. Local and small businesses typically operate on a smaller budget, and owners often feel that investing in pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns may be too expensive.
After all, organic SEO techniques offer solid results for a much smaller financial investment. Business owners may also feel that as they are operating on a smaller stage than their larger counterparts, pay per click advertising doesn’t really apply to them. But smaller businesses can draw great benefits from pay per click advertising. Even those businesses with healthy SERP’s may find that PPC ads can help to improve their online profiles, while generating increased revenue for the company.
Local Searches and SERP Real Estate
All businesses are competing for the attention of potential customers, both online and in the real world, and smaller businesses have their work cut out for them when it comes to attracting customers. Local business searches have become a large part of the online landscape, but many businesses fail to reach potential customers because they rank too low in a given SERP. Low rankings can be the result of a number of factors. The business may be new, and may not yet have established an online identity. The business’ website may not be properly optimized to achieve the best search results. More often than not, it is simply a matter of operating in a crowded online marketplace. In larger cities there can be hundreds of businesses competing for the same customers, in the same business category. You may operate the finest plumbing service in the area, but you are only one plumber out of hundreds. If customers searching online for a local plumber have to click through two or three pages to find your website, you may easily get lost in the shuffle.
Local businesses strive to grab a piece of the prime SERP landscape. But even businesses with solid organic SEO strategies will find it difficult to place on the first page of a potential customer’s search results. A typical Google search returns 7 to 10 organic search results on the first page. Search habits being what they are, few users will click past that first page of results, and local businesses can easily miss out on potential customers if they haven’t earned a piece of that prime first page SERP real estate. That’s where pay per click advertising comes in, and offers small businesses a chance to get noticed.
The Benefits of Pay Per Click Advertising
Many small business owners are hesitant to invest in pay per click advertising. But the financial investment is not as large as they may think, and the rewards can be substantial. Consider the following benefits of a localized pay per click campaign.
- First and foremost, PPC ads can compensate for a business that doesn’t place in the top page rankings.
- PPC ads can help businesses increase their revenue stream while their organic SEO techniques are building momentum.
- PPC advertising helps to build a website’s natural search rankings by directing interest to the site while it develops an online reputation.
- PPC ads are less costly than many business owners might think, and they are easier and quicker to implement than a structured SEO strategy.
- PPC ads can put your business on the first page of a given search result. This is a great reward for businesses whose organic SEO strategies have yet to produce results, or who are struggling to be seen in a crowded marketplace.
- PPC ads can be geographically targeted so they only appear to potential customers in your area. Targeting can be done by state, city or zip code.
Pay per click advertising can offer smaller businesses very real results. Even businesses with small advertising budgets can take advantage of the benefits of PPC ads, starting small and evaluating the costs and benefits as the campaign progresses. Used in tandem with a solid organic SEO strategy, PPC ads can help businesses increase their online exposure so they can reach the customer base they need to succeed.