Many small businesses think running a paid search campaign is too expensive and don’t have a marketing budget to compete with bigger, more well known brands. We’ve gathered the 5 best search engine marketing tips to enable your small business to compete with the big guys.

1. Keyword Selection

More often than not, big brands have more marketing dollars which can enable them to outbid you in paid search auctions. An important aspect, and one of the most crucial tips, for being competitive with these brands is to be strategic about which keywords you go after. Try and focus on keywords that produce quality leads and conversions for you. Additionally, utilizing long tail keywords as part of your strategy will allow you to be more targeted and cheaper. Also keep in mind that it will be less competitive due to the fact that there will be less traffic coming from long tail keywords. After choosing a good keyword strategy, you can also save money by restricting certain keywords with matchtypes and negative keywords. This is an excellent way to reduce wasted spend.

2. Day/Geographic Parting

Another good way to stay competitive against big brands is through localization. If you’re a mom and pop shop or you’re focused in a specific area, it’s a good idea to restrict your geographic targeting. There’s no need to show up for keywords all around the country if you only serve your city or state. With the same reasoning of geographic parting, you want to also utilize day parting. With day parting, you can set your ads to only run during certain times of day. By limiting your ad to only run when you can make the most conversions, you can still be competitive.

3. Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are a great way to include additional information to your ads. If you’re only going to be able to run an ad on a limited basis, packing as much useful information about your business in your ad can make the difference. Google offers a variety of ad extensions that can be helpful, such as reviews, click-to-call links, location information, and sitelinks that bring people to additional pages of your website. By offering as much info as you can, users have more options to see something they’re interested in and therefore give you a greater chance of receiving an ad click and ultimately making a sale.

4. Engaging and Enticing Ad Copy

When outbidding your competitors for a top position is not an option, you must think of other ways to stand out. Writing alluring ad copy can be one of them. Standing out with your ad, either through a good positioning statement or an enticing promotion, can help you get the click. Do some competitive research and try to make your business seem like the logical choice.

5. Looking Outside of Google

New advertisers often forget that the paid search world exists outside of Google. Google is often times the most expensive search engine and rightly so because it gets the most traffic, but there our other more cost effective and less competitive search engines. For example, you may want to consider running on the Bing network. It can be just as effective and often times at a much lower cost. Additionally, there are lots of second tiered engines on the market like LookSmart, Admarketplace, etc. These tend to be really inexpensive but also lower quality in search traffic. They still merit consideration as part as your overall search strategy.

Running paid search campaigns for your business can be expensive depending on your industry. Following the tips above will help you get the most out of your budget and still be competitive with the big guys. Also check out our blog post on Maximizing Google Adwords and 5 AdWords Tips for a Small Budget for more ways to get the biggest bang for your buck.

© 2014 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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