A Non-Marketer (and Somerset Area Small Business Accountant)'s Guide To PPC Marketing

A Non-Marketer (and Somerset Area Small Business Accountant)'s Guide To PPC Marketing

October 9, 2012

We’re thick in the middle of doing extension work for our Somerset Area clients (and beyond, of course), but I wanted to get this out to you — because my small business accounting clients are extremely important to me (for obvious reasons — we wouldn’t be here without you!) … and this information is something which I simply had to share with you.

(And, by the way — we WILL be posting here some important information in the weeks ahead about how you, as a business owner can — no, MUST — be preparing for the looming “fiscal cliff”…)

But as we move close to the end of 2012, it seems the digital marketing world changes about every five seconds. Honestly, it can be a bewildering mess for the humble service professional like me. I just want to serve my clients well, and run my firm with excellence!

But as I’ve learned, you can be the *best* in your particular field — but if you aren’t the *best* at marketing your services, it doesn’t matter. So I’ve had to do continue to watch what’s happening in social media, video marketing, and websites. And I’m happy to have the chance to share with you some of the valuable insights I’ve learned in the process.

Again, I don’t pretend to be a “guru” in this area…I just see what works and pass it on.

I’ve discovered some key metrics which you want to be looking at if you are doing any online marketing. Watch these, and your online marketing efforts will be headed for greater success.

{A small warning: some of this is “advanced” stuff.}

And the thing about these metrics — they’re even MORE relevant now, than even two years ago…

A Non-Marketer (and Somerset Area Small Business Accountant)‘s Guide To PPC Marketing
As an accountant, you might guess that I’m pretty keen on measurement. You’d be right :).

The great thing about online marketing is that it gives you measurement tools that don’t exist in any other medium, even so-called “direct-response” television or print advertising.  When you learn how to look at these numbers right, you’ll be well down the road towards successful online marketing — even without spending six (or even five) figures.

The most common form of online marketing is “pay-per-click advertising” through a service like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. When you use AdWords, you choose the keywords you think your customers are looking for, and you choose how much you’re willing to spend to attract those customers.

AdWords displays your ad when Google users search for your keywords.  The more you’re willing to spend, the more prominently your ad is displayed.

When a Google user clicks your ad, you pay a fee to Google–hence the name “pay-per-click.”  After someone clicks your ad, you can follow their activity on your website to find out if they respond to your initial offer, and if they do, you’ll be able to keep track of them in the long term.

In fact, you can make note of every dollar they spend with you and trace it back to your Internet ad. That’s a beautiful thing–and it doesn’t have to be expensive!

So…here are the four main online metrics you need to watch out for:

Cost per visitor:  This is the average fee that you paid for everyone that comes to your website, also known as “cost per click” (CPC). This can be separated out by just one individual keyword or banner ad, or you can combine it together to look at an entire campaign online.

Cost per lead:  Here’s a breakthrough for many online marketers: the point of your website isn’t to make a sale right away, but rather to gather contact information from your visitors and build a relationship with them over time–which converts to a sale. I.E., the whole point of your site is to get a lead.

One of the best ways to do this is to offer something that visitors would want–turning them into a “warmer” lead. So your cost per lead is what you’re spending for each person who clicks on your ad, visits your website, and “opts in” by giving you their email address or phone number.

Cost per sale: Moving from visitor…to lead…to SALE. That’s why we’re online. This metric is how much it costs to get there.

Total campaign ROI:  This one’s the golden ticket–and much more important than the other three, actually. Essentially, how much money (total) did I invest in this marketing campaign, and how much revenue did we pull out? This is classic direct-response advertising, which is the most effective form of advertising for a small business (as opposed to non-trackable, non-direct “brand-building”).

With these statistics, you can track each individual’s experience with your website.  Each time someone clicks your online advertisement, you’ll know which keyword generated the click, how much you paid for it, and whether the person who clicked the ad eventually bought something from you.

Doesn’t actually knowing your numbers sound a heck of a lot better than flushing thousands of dollars down an ad rep’s wallet, and *hoping* it pays off?

I’ve got more on this subject up my sleeve for you, but we’ll leave it there for this week.