help-customers-find-youIf you’re a small town business owner, chances are you’re focused on your customers because they’re your neighbors and you’re used to treating them like friends. This can distract you from other things related to your business success. Of course you want to make enough money to sustain a living. But ironically, you may be too focused on customers to discover different ways for you to attract more new customers. You already know how to take care of people.

Pay-per-click advertising (or, PPC) is less expensive than traditional advertising. It’s also easier, and more effective at measuring results. PPC is the strategy of buying ads on search engines (like Google or Bing) to get people to visit your website.

People who are searching for a product or service on the internet are much more motivated and focused than someone who is watching TV and feels that they have to endure a commercial. Recall the difference you feel for yourself. When you need a plumber, you go to your search engine of choice and type in “plumber, salinas”, or your zip code for wherever you live. That’s what most of us do.

Most researchers say that Google AdWords is the most popular form of PPC. Next is Bing Ads, which is the same thing on Yahoo. Here are some reasons why PPC is probably right for your business.

You pay only when someone clicks on your ad to get to your web site. With traditional advertising, you pay first and hope that the consumer will be persuaded to use your product of service. The most effective implementations of PPC have a web page specifically designed to greet potential customers. This is called a “landing page”. Remember that the person who arrives there is actively searching for the product or service you provide. On this page, you give them the specific information they are looking for. A call to action is now much more persuasive. Not only is the cost lower but conversion rates are significantly higher than with traditional advertising.

It’s very easy to control your advertising budget. You decide how much your daily cost can be. And you can change it at any time.

You can get results right away. Because prospects are actively searching, PPC can give you quick returns on your investment. And the results are easier to measure. You can see how many times your ad has been viewed, where and when, and you know when someone has clicked on your ad and whether they’ve followed your call to action. If they purchase directly from your landing page, or if you’re building an email list, you also know conversion rates.

You probably know your prospective audience very well. You can target your PPC ads to reach them at specific times and specific locations. This can be especially effective with mobile device advertising. Do you own a restaurant? You can place an ad to target someone who’s in town and looking for dinner with your type of food at your particular price point. That ad can quickly and easily pay for itself.

But as wonderful as this sounds, like anything in business, it’s not as easy as it first appears. For PPC to be effective, you need to have a solid understanding of more than just your customers. There are a number of platforms available. You need to understand them all so you can decide what’s best for you. Each of them has its own rules and guidelines. And the environment in this arena is constantly changing. You’ll probably want to work with an expert to make sure that your results are both quick and long term. Landing page design alone is crucial. A year or a month from now when you add a new product or service, you’ll want new and returning customers to know about that.

Search engines are good at making advertisements get seen. It’s a powerful way to find new customers.