The most apparent difference between a small business PPC campaign and the PPC campaign of a large company is the budget. Large companies tell their PPC manager to capture all the available clicks, many times with no real cap on spending. The small business usually can set aside a certain amount each month, say $1000, and then has to squeeze every last drop from that budget. Here is where the rules change for small business PPC campaigns.
Focus, Like a Laser Beam!
I once had a friend who had difficulty studying. He would get distracted by the cool car on the street or more interesting reading material. We developed a saying for whenever he would get distracted to help him get back on topic: “Focus! Like a laser beam!”
Lasers on a fundamental level are just really powerful lights. However, a laser is able to cut through metal because that light is being focused into a single, small beam (think of a magnifying glass and ants). When focused appropriately, even a small laser can be extremely powerful. This is how you need to run your small business.
How Do I Focus?
Remember from our last post that budgets are set on the campaign level. Therefore, if you have $1000 to spend this month and 2 campaigns, each will have a budget of $16.67/day. Seems easy enough right? Actually, this is where you need to look at your own industry to determine the best course of action. Basically you need to see where your PPC fits in these 3 categories:
- Not Competitive – Lucky you, your niche isn’t a feeding frenzy of competition. You are able to get clicks for under $0.25 on very targeted keywords that will produce excellent leads. There probably isn’t a ton of search volume, but this fits your budget perfectly. You can set a campaign with a $5.00/day budget and capture all the clicks available. Welcome to PPC nirvana.
- Mildly Competitive – Your main “head” terms are pretty competitive and cost your around $1.00/click. However, you find there are quite a few “tail” terms (pocatello idaho wedding photographer instead of wedding photographer) that have much more reasonable prices and will produce highly qualified traffic. Try to separate your tail terms from your head terms. Make sure your budgets capture all the tail term traffic possible, then use the rest for the more competitive head terms.
- Very Competitive – All the terms you want to target are highly competitive. Over $1.00/click and sometimes over $5.00/click. You face an uphill battle my friend. If you can’t identify tail terms to target first, you will likely have to consolidate your budget into a single campaign with a limited keyword list. This will allow you to run effective tests in reasonable time frames. When fighting in a melee, keep your forces concentrated. Remember the movie Gladiator? Think of the first fight in the Coliseum where Maximus is taking on the chariots with just shields and spears. Stick together.
Okay, so you’ve ascertained how competitive your industry is, now the next step will be setting your keyword-level bids to match. And that is the topic of our next post, so tune back in on Thursday or subscribe to the RSS in the upper right. As usual, I would love to hear from you in the comments.