Local search is a powerful marketing tool for businesses big and small, but many owners and their marketing staff continue to miss out on the opportunities present in Pay-Per-Call (PPC) and search engine advertising. If you aren’t currently buying PPC on Google, Bing, and other search engines, you might consider the following. PPC is one of the most cost-effective and well-targeted ways to reach your local market. With a few simple guidelines and a willingness to learn, it’s easy to take advantage of the powerful PPC tools from your favorite search engine provider.
Setting up your first Pay-Per-Call campaign on a search engine is really quite simple. The first step is a keyword analysis to develop key phrases and terms for your business, products, and services. There are many free and paid tools to help you determine the best possible keywords for your business. Depending on your line of work and local search customs, you should quickly determine the best ones to use for your business. After you have your keywords identified, the next step is choosing your categories (should be easy) and your geographic area. It’s tempting to use a large catchment area for your business, but you should be realistic with your potential borders. Remember that you get more potential customers as you expand your geographic area, but you also capture more competitors, too.
After you have the basics (keywords, categories, geographic area), you need to write your copy. There are many free tools out there to help you craft your message. Search ads (such as AdWords) are very short and crystallized messages to entice the search engine user to click. Most ads should include your name, your address, a short description of your products/services, and a toll-free number that forwards to your local phone number. Using a dedicated toll-free number is very useful for tracking purposes and the cost of maintaining a toll-free number is lower than ever. After you have everything set up the way you want it to be, simply post your ad and pay for the service.
It’s surprisingly easy to create a PPC campaign on a search engine, but it’s important to remember that the best campaign will still fall flat if you don’t achieve good conversion after the search engine user clicks your ad. A simple and focused landing page with a clear call-to-action is critical to keep the pipeline of leads flowing to your door. Typically merchants are charged on a pay-per-click model, so it’s very important to maximize your marketing dollar investment after you get eyeballs on your landing page.
Email is a powerful tool to generate leads, but you can’t overlook the impact of telephone lead conversion. With targeted ads based on keyword, categories, and geographic area, you are almost guaranteed to get active leads to your site. An engaged customer won’t always have the time or willingness to craft an email to you, so you need to anticipate their needs by offering a good telephone-based sales channel at your end. Don’t let these opportunities go to waste!