Keys to Local SEO and PPC Success

On February 12, 2010, wrote:

A PPC – pay-per-click – campaign is not for everyone, but when it works for you, then you’ll find out how it can stretch your advertising dollars and realize your sales potential. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s hugely underrated, but PPC can work in a way that helps your local business – hugely. In achieving local SEO and PPC success, however, you do have to keep some of these things in mind.

Go for balance. Getting the right keyword or set of keywords is important. Choose too popular a keyword, and you may take years or never before you can reach the first page of the search engines results page. Choose keywords that are too uncompetitive, and you risk generating no traffic and lower conversion to ROI.

Do all the necessary research. There are four main factors that come into why prospects will buy from you – or why they will not buy from you. These are: keywords; competition; ROI; and tracking. Not coincidentally, you have to pay attention to all these factors and find out as much as you can about them in order to boost your PPC campaign. Are your keywords high-value? (Or are they too high-value for you to be able to afford them?) What’s your competition like? (If you can’t distinguish yourself from them, and thus cannot control price shopping among your visitors, then it’s likely you won’t get a positive return.) Are you investing in keywords that will bring you conversions and greater ROI? How do you track visits and form submissions, and do you compute your cost per conversions? These are only some of the questions that you’ll have to answer.

Create a competitive advantage. If your offering is so new that competition is low, few people would know about it. And you’ll find yourself attached to low conversion rates because no one is really looking for you. What to do? Optimize using other media. Social networking sites are great for this, because there’s that potential for instant engagement with your audience; so are traditional media like television, radio, and print. That ought to get your prospects talking – and looking. And when they do come looking, they’ll find you.

Compute, test, calculate, track. You wouldn’t want your return on investment to be undercut by the high cost of your selected keywords, or by your low conversion rates. There are tools like the PPC ROI Calculator that will help you find out your ROI from pay-per-click ahead of time – all you have to do is enter the metrics. Also, always remember to test! You don’t want to pay for clicks that don’t help you sell. So find out which ones do. Test everything. Keep refining your keyword list and ad creative. Keep tracking your results. And then use results from your analytics and conversion tracking efforts to guide the next steps of your optimization.

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