Pay-per-click campaigns, which allow you to purchase advertising on search engine results pages, can produce incredible results. The cost can be prohibitive for a business with a small budget, but even a small budget can go a long way if your PPC campaign is designed and managed with care.

Invest Time Instead of Money

PPC is all but impossible to use effectively unless you make a significant investment. However, the investment you make does not have to be a wholly financial one. If your PPC budget is limited, you can still take advantage of the power of this kind of advertising—you just have to be willing to invest the time.

This doesn’t just mean spending time researching the intricacies of PPC to set up a campaign, however; it also means spending time monitoring an ongoing one, and modifying it as needed.

Choose Your Keywords Carefully

Writing good ads can be difficult, not just because you’re tasked with convincing searchers you have what they want, but also because you have a very limited amount of space in which to do it. The key here is to speak to the searcher’s goal, rather than their problem or question. For example, if someone wants to sell their car, your ad needs to tell them that you’ll buy their car. Sounds simple, but the wording is important: “sell your car” isn’t nearly as effective as “we’ll buy your car”, because the former implies that the searcher has to do all the work to make the sale, whereas the latter implies that you’re doing the work.

Note that writing an effective ad is not just about the keywords you choose to insert. It’s also about the words you choose to exclude. These are called negative keywords, and they help to ensure that people searching for unrelated items don’t click on your ads. For example, if you sell stainless steel laundry appliances, you might want to include negative keywords such as “black” and “white” to exclude people searching for those appliances.

Target a Specific Demographic

Any PPC campaign can massively boost website traffic, but not all traffic is good traffic. Your PPC efforts—and your budget—are wasted unless you’re getting the kind of traffic that actually results in sales. What you’re looking for is a campaign that targets your intended audience of people who are interested in and will buy your products.

That means not only writing an ad with the right keywords, it also means using Adwords’ demographic targeting tools to target people in a specific geographic location. This allows you to target people in a specific city, for example, and even specific parts of that city. So if you’re selling luxury items that are of interest only to people with high incomes, you can target high-income neighbourhoods, and only people in those areas will see your ads.

Monitor Your Campaign Closely

PPC can generate large amounts of site traffic very quickly, but the negative aspect of this is that if you’re not paying attention to how your keywords perform, you may end up blowing a significant part of your budget on keywords that aren’t converting.

It’s absolutely essential to monitor a PPC campaign very closely to ensure that you’re getting the desired results, and so that you can make changes as needed.