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Get traffic to your small business by making use of PPC

When you start a small business there is plenty to do, you need to find yourself some premises (or go virtual), get your systems established, employ a number of staff and get your marketing material created. In the middle of all of this, you need to get your website organised and built. It's probably not until the end of this process that you start to think about the possibility of how you drive traffic to that website and to your business.

 

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Organic v/s PPC

 

It's probably best to start by defining what is the meaning of the term organic traffic and what is meant by PPC. Organic traffic is the traffic that you get from the internet without paying. This is usually because of the ranking of your website. Organic traffic would also include traffic that you get via Google Places and traffic that you get from your social media pages.

PPC is an abbreviation for Pay Per Click and basically refers to any traffic that your website receives that is due to paid advertising methods. As it's name implies, PPC means that you pay for each click that you receive to your website. Depending on the advertiser that you use and the industry that you are in those clicks can vary in price from as little as a few cents per click to as much as $30 or $40 per click.

So what are the options for using PPC?

 

What most people think about when you mention PPC is Google Adwords. Google accounts for more than 90% of searches in Australia with Bing and Yahoo taking up most of the remaining 10%. With Google you will be able to run either text or banner adverts, define the geographic region that you want to target and specify the times that you want your ads to run.

Bing and Yahoo offer a combined platform. Their system contains many of the options that Google offers, ie, you can pick the time that you want your ads to run, the geographic region that you want to target and the format of the ads. On the downside, the integration with Google Analytics is not the greatest which makes it difficult to track results. On the plus side, the cost per click is generally much less than Google.

There are other smaller players that you can also consider when it comes to PPC. These include Facebook, Linkedin and a number of blog networks. If they work then these players can be a useful addition to your PPC strategy as they diversify a bit from Google and mean that you don't have all of your eggs in one basket.

Which one to go for?

  • Unfortunately, it is difficult to work out which PPC supplier will work best for your small business without testing them out. On a positive side, it generally doesn't cost all that much to put together a test campaign and see how it works.
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  • One of the big things to consider when assessing the performance of a campaign is to look at the cost to recruit a customer. If it costs $2 per click and only 1 in 100 people enquire then it is costing you $200 per lead. If you then only convert 50% of leads then your cost per customer would be $400.
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  • $400 may seem like a lot however if your profit per customer is $4000 then you are getting a pretty good ROI. If your profit per customer is $200 then you need to go back to the drawing board.
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  • When assessing the viability of a campaign you need to make sure that you have all of the key stats to hand. Make sure that you know how much it is costing you per click on each of your keywords and which keywords actually generated business.
 

When it works, PPC can be a brilliant way to generate business for your new startup. When it doesn't work you can end up burning through quite a bit of cash. You need to make sure that you have sufficient information to hand to make decisions quickly and logically.

Should I manage it myself?

 

If you are good with computers and have done your research in terms of how PPC works then you may be able to manage it yourself. It may still be an idea to get a professional to set up your account and teach you what to look out for.

 

How much will I have to pay?

It really varies depending on the industry and the geographic area. If you are a plumber in Townsville then you probably won't need to invest as much as a plumber in Sydney.

 

Should I just wait for organic traffic?

PPC is a way to hit the ground running. With organic you could be waiting for several months or years before you start to see any serious traffic. New startups should at least test out PPC to see if it is right for them.

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