Small and medium-size businesses often have one concern that comes to mind when asked about PPC advertising: “it’s too expensive”. However, what they fail to realize is that there are ways to do it right without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips for running an effective SEM campaign without throwing your whole marketing budget at it.

Run a Brand Campaign

A brand campaign is essentially running a PPC campaign to enhance brand recognition. All your ad groups, in this case, would be closely related or contain some form of your brand name. The key is that these keywords will be much more affordable than bidding on highly sought-after keywords that all of your competitors are pricing you out of. Using Ads Extensions is a good choice when running a brand campaign. It provides additional opportunities for web users to discover more about your company, or quickly find your phone number or location for local businesses.

Analyze, Test, and Analyze Some More

Google Analytics is a free tool that offers a robust set of analytical tools and metrics to help you improve your PPC campaigns. The mantra among many online marketers is, “always be testing”. You can never test enough, so you should never stop testing to maximize your PPC spend. What works today may not work as well tomorrow, as seasons change, trends change, and customer preferences and searching habits change. Test your ads, test your keywords, and test your landing pages until you find what works. And keep testing that against continuous potential improvements, while always using the most effective combination to drive clicks and sales.

Convey Your Unique Value (Sales) Proposition

If you’re always trying to implement SEO best practices, it can be tempting to transfer some of those habits to your paid search campaign — but that’s not always a wise idea. SEO was traditionally focused more on appealing to search engines (although this is now quickly changing). PPC, or SEM in general, has always been a customer-focused tactic. Sure, you want your ads to appear in the most promising locations, but without a customer appeal, location means nothing.

Always communicate your unique value proposition in your ads. Don’t talk about features; talk about benefits. What gives your product(s) or service(s) an edge in today’s competitive market? Why would customers choose your company over another, and what’s going through their mind when they’re browsing the web in search of products or information? Keep these things in mind when crafting your ad copy.

Use Negative Keywords

This is always a good practice when running a PPC campaign, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to do it on a budget. Negative keywords prevent your ads from appearing for certain keyword combinations that you’re not shooting for. By specifying certain keywords that change the search’s meaning, you can avoid paying for clicks that aren’t relevant to your business and will never earn you sales.

Place Unusual Bids

It’s the same concept that smart contestants use on “The Price is Right”: Bidding $601 instead of $600 is safer than jumping all the way to $650. Why? Because a bid of $650 could be over, disqualifying that contestant from that round. A bid of $601 is just enough to beat the contestant who bid $600 without spending an extra dime. In PPC, bidding 11 cents on a keyword instead of 15 cents will earn you that bid over a competitor who bid 10 cents, and saves you four extra cents.

Need a Highly Effective Paid Search or SEM Campaign in Bloomington, IL?

At Digital Destination, our team of search experts can help you with keyword selection, optimization, and bidding, as well as offer expert insights to ensure that you never get in over your head with your PPC campaign. To learn more about competitively priced pay-per-click, PPC, SEM and search engine marketing management services in Bloomington, Illinois, contact us today.