How Pay Per Click Advertising Helps Level The Playing Field For SMBs

By Tim Clarke | @clutch_co | Research Manager with Clutch

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The beauty of pay per click advertising is that it isn’t dependent on who has the most money to spend or who has the most clout. If that were the case, small businesses wouldn’t bother with this method of attracting new customers because they simply wouldn’t be able to keep up with the big budgets of their larger competitors. Instead, small to medium businesses (SMBs) have the opportunity to use pay per click advertising campaigns to level the playing field and pull customers away from their larger competitors.


The process isn’t easy but with some creativity, research and hard work PPC campaigns have the potential to be the SMB’s most lucrative form of advertising. To start seeing a better return on your advertising investment from your PPC campaigns, check out these ways that pay per click advertising can help you better compete against larger rivals.


Leverage Quality Scores To Reduce PPC Costs


Larger companies may have the ability to outbid smaller competitors for some of the more essential keywords, but there are ways for smaller companies to pay less for the top PPC positions by earning a high Quality Score. Quality Score rewards advertisers with highly relevant campaigns by charging them less for the top positions. Since SMBs are usually more focused on specific niches, unlike the bigger competitors who have a wider range of offerings, the smaller company has a good chance at crafting ad copy that is more relevant to the search term.


Spend Advertising Dollars On Targeted Groups


Big companies have the ability to inundate the airwaves, flood the newspapers and blanket the Internet with their message even if it reaches people who have no interest in their product. They know that the advertising will eventually hit a few targets and the right people will see their message. Since smaller businesses don’t have the luxury of such a large budget, they have to be more precise. Pay per click advertising campaigns allow SMBs to spend their money on reaching the right audience.


Build Brand Awareness


“If you build it they will come” may have worked in Field of Dreams, but in the business world this isn’t quite the case. If your target market doesn’t know who you are or what you do then they aren’t going to become your customers. Writing effective pay per click advertisements gives potential, and interested, customers a bit of insight as to what your company can do. The trick is to use that advertising space to get the most effective message possible in front of any viewers.


Leverage Data For Decision Making


Success in today’s business world relies on using the data at your disposal to make the right decisions on how you spend your money. Most small to medium sized businesses don’t have the same data sets that their larger competitors use. Instead, the SMBs rely on what they do have, and many times that data comes from their pay per click campaigns. From this data you can see not only who is searching for your product, but also when they are searching and where they are located. You can also see much more granular data regarding conversions, abandoned carts and bounce rates.


Get Immediate Results


For a proper search engine optimization campaign to warrant any results its takes some time. Any legitimate SEO expert will tell you that you are not going to rank for your keywords overnight. With PPC advertising, however, you can start seeing your ads appear at the top of the lists right away. As soon as you create your ad copy and set your spending limits you will start seeing your ads appear in their respective networks.


Pay per click advertising isn’t going to magically start attracting customers to your business. It takes quite a bit of work to research the right keywords, find negative keywords and craft relevant ad copy that sells. However, once you get that put together, you should start seeing results (hopefully positive) as soon as the campaign is started.


Money Is Not Wasted


The very nature of the pay per click model is geared towards helping smaller businesses. With traditional advertising, campaigns are paid for whether the audience sees the advertisement, ignores it or converts it all costs the same. With pay per click, it only costs you something if an interested party clicks on that advertisement. As an added bonus, even people who don’t click on your ads are still seeing your name so you are building your brand as a secondary benefit.


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You Can Test Without Focus Groups


Marketing departments in larger enterprises will usually run a focus group to determine which advertisement is more effective, and sometimes to see which one is least offensive. Again, costs prohibit smaller businesses from holding focus groups every time they run a new advertising campaign. However, by setting up your PPC campaigns the right way you can run some simple A/B tests on your ads and even your landing pages to see which version helps you achieve your goals.


You Reap The Benefits Even If You Start Small


If you were to advertise on television or the radio with a small budget your ads are going to play during the times when very few people are watching or listening. This makes is hard to justify spending that money because the likelihood of anyone seeing or hearing your ad during the least expensive time blocks is awfully slim.


With PPC advertising, you can still get your ad out in front of people during peak hours. You may run through your daily budget more quickly, but that’s a good thing because it means your ads are reaching the right people and as your campaigns drive in more business you can allocate more dollars towards your advertising budget.


It Can Aid Your SEO Efforts


Whether you are handling your search engine optimization on your own or you are working with an SEO consultant, your end goal is to organically reach the top of the search engine results page. We’ve already mentioned that PPC advertising helps get your business on the front page rather quickly, but it can also help in those organic results as well. Pay per click advertising is a great way to see which keywords work for your website and what type of copy your visitors are interested in.




The beauty of pay per click advertising is that you gain so much from such a small monetary investment. If you are unsure of where to get started, there are plenty of great resources from well-known blogs that can help explain the basics to you. Another route to take is to work with a reputable marketing firm to help get your campaigns started. They can help you find the right keywords, draft solid copy and teach you how to understand all of the metrics and data. Regardless of which route you take, there is no better time than right now to get started.