The original title for this post was going to be “Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising an Option if You Have a Zero Marketing Budget?” but let’s face it. . . if you really have a zero marketing budget, it may be time to sit back and look at your overall business plan. Is it time to switch gears? Should you temporarily put your idea on hold and make some cash to invest in your dream? Can you afford to continue promoting and marketing your business the same way you’ve been doing since you started? Is it time to try pay-per-click (PPC) ads?
There are lots of ways to get the word out about your business/blog. Writing good content, optimizing your website for the search engines (SEO), commenting on blogs and participating in forums are just a few of the ways to build awareness and drive traffic to your website. You can also promote your business/blog by submitting your site and articles to directories, building back-links, building a following on social networking sites and let’s not forget guest-blogging – just to name a few. None of those activities are free. Your time isn’t free. Times spent on any one of those activities is time that could be spent doing something else – maybe something that would bring in money or possibly another opportunity that you’re missing out on.
So what about PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising? Is it something you should be thinking about? Is it something that you’ve tried before? (I’m really hoping for a healthy discussion in the comment section on this one because I know a lot of you have either thought about this or have experiences you can share.)
I’m certainly not an expert on PPC advertising or keyword research for that matter. But I have ventured into that world with a varying amount of success. I do believe that it is not a decision that should be automatically ruled out because you don’t think you can afford it. Can you afford not to?
PPC advertising does not have to be expensive but you do have to do it thoughtfully and you do have to keep track of your results. It’s easy to waste a lot of money very quickly if you’re not careful. It’s also quite possible to drive a lot of traffic to your website for a reasonable amount of money. You need to make sure that you’re driving the right traffic to the right place in your website and that you’re converting them to sales. (I never said this would be easy but it could be worth it.)
For starters, ask yourself a few questions:
- Budget: You set a daily budget and you can limit the amount you want to spend monthly. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website.
- Target: You can also set your targets. For example, if you’re offering a service in a specific geographic area, you can set up your ad so that it only appears to people within a certain number of miles from a specific zip code.
- Search Engines: Although Google AdWords – (not to be confused with Google Adsense) is the search engine that most people think of for pay-per-click advertising, you should also consider advertising with Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo.
This post is just intended to get you thinking about PPC ads. Lots of other things pop into my mind like landing-pages, long-tail keywords, buyer intent and tracking conversions. Let me know what you think. I’m sure I can ramble on a lot more about this subject in another post.