Every day thousands of retailers and consumers find what they're looking for online: each other. Meeting your perfect match on a small budget is a challenge but by no means impossible.

Although more and more big name brands are snapping up bundles of cyber real estate each day, a well-ordered and concise pay per click campaign is actually an ideal marketing solution for businesses operating with modest financial resources because costs are strictly controlled and adverts precisely targeted. Even dedicating as little as 3 pounds per day to search engine marketing will open up a whole new world of sales possibilities.

Setting up a pay per click campaign is as easy as registering with a search portal. Once registered, you're invited to create adverts and choose keywords or phrases which are relevant to your business.

Are You A Key Holder?

As a niche or small enterprise, a tightly integrated campaign using only terms particularly relevant to your product will yield the best results. When people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad appears next to the search results providing you haven't already spent your stipulated daily budget.

The simplest way to make the most of your pay per click advertising campaign is to start with a small number of keywords and dedicate the majority of your budget towards the phrases garnering the most clicks.

Weighty Issues

Although it's tempting to squash as many keywords as possible into your pay per click account, restrict yourself to the phrases which really reflect the nature of your business. Keywords receiving little or no clicks dilute the overall quality of your campaign and lower the click through rate. The search engines will punish a poor CTR with a low quality score, leaving your ad languishing in the lower reaches of its result pages. You'll also end up paying more per click and eat up your daily budget quicker so it's worth spending time getting this right.

A concise set of keywords is one of the easiest ways to make a small budget hit above its weight. You'll attract the right kind of clicks and avoid wasting valuable pounds because all of your cash will be directed at phrases accurately reflecting the nature of your business, meaning you're targeting clients genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

Text Life

After deciding on key terms, the next step is to incorporate your keywords into your advert text and be as specific as possible. Omitting important keywords from the advert wording means you're missing out on easy brownie points. If you sell leather sofas and leather sofa is one of your keywords, use the same phrasing in your advert text. Try a number of different adverts, with different keywords until you're confident you've found the winning formula.

All of this and you're only charged if people click on your ads - meaning every pound of your budget works towards harnessing new sales leads.

Even specialist forms of traditional advertising can't hope to cast such a narrow net simply because pay per click gives you the flexibility to display a variety of advert formats and even target your ads to specific languages and geographic locations. So if something isn't working, it can be changed at the click of a button. Experiment with advert text and positioning until you find the formula that works best for you.

For more information, ask Top Position about our SBT pay per click account management service, specifically for small businesses.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

August 31, 2006

Daniel is the founder and managing director of leading pay per click management consultancy, Top Position. Top Position offers Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing account management, specialising in reducing costs by as much as 40% while increasing internet visibility and optimizing account performance.

He is a regular contributor to several UK print and online publications, commenting on subjects such as click fraud, improving your pay per click account and making online advertising work for your business.

For more information about Dan and Top Position, visit www.topposition.co.uk

Search Engine Guide > Daniel Jupp > Tips from the Top: Search Engine Marketing On A Small Budget