PAY - PER - CLICK (PPC)
For small businesses, pay-per-click should be a last resort. You are dozens of times better off to get organic (unpaid) traffic to your website, blog, YouTube channel, and social media than to pay by the click. Good content is often evergreen, meaning that it will result in traffic for years into the future, where-as, a paid click only lasts for a minute.
For some small businesses and many larger businesses, PPC can become a vending machine where you put in a dollar and you can almost exactly predict the revenue and profits that will flow from that amount of spend.
For some specific types of business, such as books, Amazon products, and similar site-based sales, you will be severely limited in your success unless you advertise.
You see them almost anytime you do a search. They can be a fantastic source of income when properly managed. But the benefits are so large that the competition for those ads is in many ways more challenging than getting a high ranking for your organic content. The competition means that you will need expert help in determining the ads, the spend, the methods for bidding, etc. You can become the expert or pay for one.
The risk, even with a paid expert, can be significant. You may spend many thousands of dollars before the expert figures out the right combination of words, spend, bids, timing that results in a payoff. Of course, the competition isn’t standing still, so they will be working hard to keep your effort from hurting their results.
GOOGLE PAID ADS
There are hundreds of websites and videos that purport to give you the needed tools to get results on Google ads. Most of those are hoping you will buy their course or their services. If you are remotely inclined to become an expert in PPC, you should possess the following skills:
As Yelp has become more successful local businesses are trying to get good rankings in order to increase leads through Yelp. But unlike GoogleMyBusiness, there is not a community of experts who have worked on methods for getting this done. Therefore, unless you are already highly ranked, the only real way to gain an advantage is to pay for advertising.
You can test the advertising on Yelp for as little as $300 a month, but $450 is probably a better starting point. If you find success, you can scale and spend double or triple that amount. Spending more may or may not result in a similar ROI. Being careful to watch the results and make adjustments in your spending is a smart approach.
The PPC aspect of Yelp is an adjunct to your free listing. There are multiple ways that you can make your listing more effective by adding pictures, content, and asking your clients to place reviews. Then Yelp provides some additional paid methods to improve your listing in addition to the PPC. You may want to spend $100/month or so on these added marketing tools, especially if you are going to do PPC ads.
Zillow, Redfin, Expedia, Houzz, Nolo, Homeadvisor, and other directories offer PPC advertising opportunities. Find what is possible in your industry by searching your industry directories or your industry PPC advertising.
Some of these sites provide very high-quality leads, but you may want to do as much research as possible before you spend much.
A major resource for PPC ads is Facebook advertising. Like Google, there is a lot of competition. Unlike Google, there are easier ways to get at least some ROI. However, almost all professionals suggest a minimum of $2000 a month spend for three months to dial in your audiences. You will want to spend a significant amount of time learning how to do Facebook ads before you start risking $2000 a month.
For less than $1000 a month, you can generally find experts who will help you to set up your campaign, training you along the way to maintain that account.
YouTube offers multiple ways to advertise. You can improve the visibility of your YouTube videos, for instance.
A relatively inexpensive way to use YouTube is to create ads that run before or during other YouTube videos. There is, of course, an art to doing this right, and no shortage of folks to help you become successful, through DIY courses or through professional creation of the campaign.