This article is the first in a four part series of articles on pay per click advertising for power wash contractors. This first article focuses on more global changes that you can make to campaigns and ad groups to make sure your ads are being shown at the right time and in the right places. The next article will discuss keyword settings. The third will give tips for ad writing, and the fourth will discuss what should happen after your ad is clicked.
Pay per click advertising can be an extremely cost effective way to advertise a power washing business. You can reach specific people exactly when they are searching for what you offer, and pay only when they click on your ad. But, the wrong settings can blow through your advertising budget before your ads reach the right people. A few tweaks can help you get the best return on your ad spend.
First off, some clarification. The two most common advertising strategies online are pay per impression (CPM), and pay per click (PPC). In a pay per impression strategy, you pay every time your ad is seen, even if the viewer doesn’t click through to view your website. CPM is most commonly used for brand awareness, and retargeting. Pay per click is what we will discuss here. Pay per click is most commonly used for lead generation. Our objective is to turn more of those clicks into leads.
There are several ad formats. Image ads, video ads, rich media ads and text ads. This article will focus on text ads that appear next to search results. If you are new to online advertising, this is a great place to start advertising your power washing business. You can get started with a relatively small budget, and there are no special graphic design skills required.
Aim for a Bullseye
The most powerful thing that pressure washing contractors can do to increase their pay per click return on investment is to use location targeting. Many times, advertisers will select a specific city, but not everyone in a major metropolitan area is going to be interested in your services. It is possible to set up a campaign that targets individual zip codes. If zip codes are a bit too specific, you can drop pins on a map and set up a certain radius around those pins to target specific neighborhoods. Target the areas that are most likely going to buy your services.
Don’t Spread Your Budget Too Thin
At the time of this writing, Google is the most popular search network. Bing / Yahoo is the second most popular. Both networks have ppc ad services. But, it may not be a good idea to set up multiple accounts if you have a limited budget. A larger daily budget allows you to bid more aggressively for individual clicks, and still have plenty of clicks. Focus your attention and money on the network that brings the most organic traffic to your site.
While you are looking at site traffic, look at peaks and valleys in visitor rates. If more people are visiting your site on a specific day or time, you can set your ads to run only during those times. If you are not sure if you want to restrict it that much, you can set the bid to decrease or increase by a certain percent during specific times. This way, your ad will run all of the time, but you will bid more aggressively during peak times.
Another way to conserve your budget is to target specific device groups. If more of your clicks are coming from desktop computers, you can adjust your bids so that they are more aggressive for that platform. Mobile internet traffic is growing, but you may not have a site that is optimized for mobile users. In this case, it may be in your best interest to lower your bids for mobile devices to avoid paying for a bounce.
Budgeting and bidding can be difficult at first. Increasing your max daily budget will not always get more clicks. Increasing your max cost per click does not mean that your ad will automatically rank higher. Strategies to increase click through rates and ad rankings will be the topic of future articles. Your homework for this week is to study the demographic and geographic data of your visitors, and use that data to adjust your ppc account settings. Spend your money in the right places and at the right times.