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The PPC small business squeeze

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday January 17, 2007 )

As the big brands funnel more of their marketing budgets on pay per click; small business owners are finding it increasingly difficult to get sufficient coverage, clicks and conversions in a crowded PPC marketplace – but there is certainly life after PPC.

According to an article on BusinessWeek, the cost of PPC ads has increased by an average of 31% over the last 12 months. Added to that, as consumers become increasingly savvy to comparison shopping, clicks aren’t converting as well – there’s a lot of tire kicking going on before purchasing.

It’s not only small business that has noticed this trend, but larger companies with $1 million + search ad budgets. It’s always been the same in marketing; once a strategy is proven, the big guys jump in and make it a hell of a mess for the rest of us. It’s not stupidity in all cases, it’s tactics; boiling down to wearing losses or slimmer margins in order to starve out your competition.

For smaller businesses, all is not lost – it just means being ultra careful with your PPC campaigns, and not only on the network end with your ppc ad copywriting, but also on the landing pages where prospective clients wind up.

If the person can’t immediately make a connection between your ad and the landing page and there’s no hook to keep their interest; they are likely to move off elsewhere very quickly – after all, there’s so many different places to purchase goods and services online these days.

If the PPC struggle is getting you down and you can’t afford a professional consultant to manage your campaigns; think back to basics.

For example, you may spend many hours trying to prop up a failing PPC campaign, but if you spent a few hours writing an *informative* article relating to the products you sell and then another few hours submitting it to article distribution archives, plus offering it on your site as being free for reproduction; that article can go on to attract many thousands of clicks spanning over years and tens of thousands of dollars in sales.

I can certainly vouch for this strategy having used it extensively and with great success over the years. Unlike a PPC ad that has a limited lifespan unless you keep feeding in cash, an article just keeps on working away; not costing you a cent after the initial work.

Writing and distributing articles is also useful as part of boosting search engine rankings as you’ll accumulate links pointing into your site – just be sure to make a live link back to your site part of the terms for reproduction.

A similarly successful strategy is writing a press release. They aren’t just for Fortune 500 companies.

Another idea you may wish to try is hitting the smaller niche non-PPC advertising networks, social networking sites related to your product or on popular blogs. As was the case with Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and similar networks, many of the big guys haven’t cottoned onto these avenues yet and there’s still some bargain, but quality coverage to be had. Examples of these sorts of networks are Text Link Ads and BlogAds.

If you’re considering advertising on general 2nd tier PPC networks to try and get away from the open slather of the big marketplaces, you may want to read this post first.


PPC – A beginners guide
PPC advertising – minimizing the cost
PPC fraud – detection and prevention strategies
Creating effective landing pages
Text Link Ads – to buy or not to buy?


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