5 PPC tips that actually scale small businesses
Updated: Mar 25
Getting direct exposure and website traffic by ranking above organic results on search engines - sounds ideal right? Intent-driven, pay-per-click advertising is one of the most profitable marketing channels but costly mistakes can easily be made.
Here's how to make the most out of your budget.
The importance of a rock-solid website
Keyword tips to spend wisely
Bid adjustments for greater returns
Ad copywriting tips
The power of tailored remarketing search ads
Are you sitting comfortably? Great, let's dive in.
1. How's your website performing?
Yes, your website's performance has a direct impact on your Google Ads results. I see too many brands throwing a significant amount of cash to advertise online without checking the efficiency of their website first. Let's put it this way - if your website was a car that you'd like to win races with and you invest all your budget to make it look great, you won't go far and you won't win. Having an amazing looking website that is slow and not easy to use will make you waste most of your advertising budget.
Compressing images, removing unnecessary animations or changing your host could be a great starting point.
I can't recommend enough this easy to use and very comprehensive tool from Google to help you make significant business decisions.
All in all, build a great website that works and Google will reward you with higher rankings and cheaper CPCs.
The less clicks the better. Optimise the user journey to maximise your conversion rate and sales.
2. Spend wisely with these keyword tips.
Keywords are everything when it comes to PPC advertising.
Here's how you can spend your budget wisely.
Choosing the right keyword match type:
+Broad +Match +Modifier (BMM) - Great for maximising exposure and leveraging new keyword opportunities when auditing the search term report.
"Phrase Match" - Helps to drive more qualified traffic. A comprehensive list is necessary to capture all opportunities.
[Exact Match] - Great for driving high-quality traffic. Your ads will only show based on the exact same and close variant keywords you are bidding on.
Find here everything you need to know about keyword match types.
Use long-tail keywords:
These keywords usually have lower competition leading to cheaper cost-per-click. Every business should implement them to their PPC strategy, especially small and medium businesses.
Broad keyword example: +apartments +london
Long-tail keyword example: "luxury apartments london for rent"
You are more likely to receive an enquiry or booking using the second example. Use them as much as possible whilst they're cheap!
The importance of Quality Score:
As you would expect, the higher the Quality Score the better. This metric is an average score based on the expected click-through-rate, the landing page experience, and the ad relevancy.
Put time and effort into great landing pages and engaging ads that are relevant with your keywords and Google will reward you with higher Quality Scores. You won't just pay less per click, you will outrank your competitors!
Here is how the Quality Score affects your CPC:
Is your negative keyword list comprehensive enough? Every single time I audit an account, obvious keywords are not being added as negatives.
My personal recommendation: Go crazy, add as many as you can to filter out your traffic.
If you are selling coffee online and are bidding on ground coffee using broad match, simply add [coffee] as a negative keyword.
Selling mountain bikes? If you are bidding on +mountain +bikes +full +suspension, add "for rent" in your negative keyword list.
These techniques will save you thousands of £, guaranteed.
3. Bid more aggressively where it matters for greater returns.
When reviewing your past data, you may notice better performance from:
An age group or gender
A device type
A specific time of the day
I recently audited the sales generated from a PPC account I manage for an e-commerce website and I noticed that we were getting more sales in the mornings and evenings on a daily basis. Using Google Ads' ad schedule tool, I increased the bids during those successful hours.
The result - higher Impression Share, more clicks, stronger CTR and sales increased by 41%. Happy client.
Another one for you.
You sell domestic services and your business relies on calls from potential customers. Create call-only ads or add a call extension and bid more aggressively on mobile devices.
4. Make your ads stand out.
Let's say that you are looking for a "coffee machine with grinder". Which one of the ads below is most likely to get clicked?
Ad - www.businessname.com/coffee
coffee machine | make great coffee | Business name
Coffee machines that make tasty coffee. Fast shipping. Buy now.
Ad - www.businessname.com/Coffee-Machine/Grinder
Coffee Machine With Grinder | Professional Quality Results | Business Name
Make Barista Like Coffees With One Of Our All-In-One Coffee Machines. Free Shipping On UK Orders - 3 Year Warranty - Great Taste Guaranteed. Order Now.
So... Which one? Yes, the second one.
Google Expanded Text Ads are now made of:
3 headlines (30 characters each)
2 descriptions (90 characters each)
2 URL Paths (15 characters each)
Be creative, relevant and write engaging ads that resonate with your potential customers to maximise results. Add a clear Call-To-Action to influence your reader to take action.
Pro tip 1:
Capitalise each word to make your ad stand out more. Higher CTR guaranteed!
Pro tip 2:
Add as many ad extensions as possible for better user experience and to maximise your chances to rank higher and receive more clicks.
5. Retarget your audience when they are searching for you again.
Here is the million-dollar question: "Why spending money on my brand name when I rank first if someone types my business name in Google search?"
The following conversation usually never ends.
There is a smart way to spend money on your brand name on search engines.
These days, people switch between screens and most of the time, the first visit isn't the right time to make a purchase. Below is a simple representation of how bidding on your brand name using Remarketing List Search Ads (RLSA) will take you on the road to success.
Step 1: Users visit your website and get to know your brand.
Step 2: These users are added to a remarketing list (make sure that the necessary tags are installed on your website).
Step 3: A previous website visitor is commuting to work and is taking the time to Google your brand name again. Show them a tailored ad and offer something to maximise customer acquisition.
Step 4: Happy customer, excited business owner.
Bonus Tip 1:
If you want to drive traffic to your local coffee shop, add near me to your keywords and tailor your ad to make it sound very local.
Mobile searches that contain ‘near me” have grown by 500% in the last 2 years.
Bonus Tip 2:
Not sure where to start or have too little time to run your PPC ads? Use smart bidding strategies that will do a great job or... call me.
Bonus Tip 3:
Use in-market audiences to target users that are much lower down the funnel, almost ready to buy/enquire.
Advertising your business on search engines is not rocket science. Think of what your potential customers would search for, see if these keywords fit within your budget, serve engaging ads and deliver a great experience with your website.