Are you still paying for the same ads you’ve run in the local phone book for years? This is a good time to think twice about continuing to do so. While phone books can still be effective for certain types of businesses or certain demographics such as communities with more retirees, for many businesses, it makes much more sense to focus more of their advertising online and make it easier for customers to find and connect with them.
But how do you get prominent visibility in Google? Having your website rank organically in the search engines through search engine optimization (SEO) is great but it’s not without some pitfalls and significant rankings gains can take time.
It can take months to move up organically in the search rankings for the keywords you are targeting and Google is constantly changing ranking factors. This can be frustrating if you are looking for quicker returns from your advertising spend and your website.
There is a solution that works for many businesses to overcome this – pay-per-click advertising (PPC) advertising through Google AdWords. PPC is a quicker way to get new customers. It can also be a highly targeted, very cost–effective way of acquiring new customers, if done properly.
Who Needs a Phone Book?
While some of these more traditional advertising platforms such as print, radio, or TV are still successful for businesses, many companies are missing out on the opportunities in online marketing. Today, people increasingly spend their time on their computers and mobile devices utilizing search engines to find information on products and services they need.
One of the problems with advertising in traditional media is gauging its effectiveness. Yes, your sales may be growing but are your customers really coming from your advertising? It can be hard to know. Sometimes you can find out from your customers they found you in the phone book or from a mailing flier, but many times you have no idea, and the results may be
Another drawback is that advertising on TV, radio, billboards, and even in print ads can get very expensive. And once your ad is launched, you have to pay each time you want to advertise.
Don’t fall for the trap from the phone book company that they’ll create a website for you as part of your advertising to take care of your online needs. The Web page is likely to be of low quality, only designed for tracking phone book calls and as an added ‘value’ of being in the phone book. It’s not likely to be an adequate representation of your brand and you won’t have control over the website.
Advantages of Online Advertising
In AdWords, you can plan, implement and launch your PPC campaigns. However, a campaign needs to be set up and managed correctly for it to be effective. While the amount you spend is entirely up to you, it’s a good idea to work with a professional who can provide strategic guidance and set up your ads, manage, track, and make revisions to your campaign.
The great thing about PPC is that you can budget a daily amount to spend only targeting terms directly related to your business. This can pay immediate dividends. There are businesses that spend millions of dollars per month on PPC and see a return on investment that far exceeds their advertising costs.
While making the switch from phone book adverting to Google ads can be an adjustment business is about evolving and finding ways to better reach your customer. As mobile device use continues to grow, having a strong Web presents is increasingly important. As Lao Tzu once said “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”