Published in Whats HOT! A Cayman Free Press Publication, December 2009
The Internet is the biggest market in the world and this Holiday Season, sales are projected to be at over 25 Billion Dollars. Being online allows your business to be open 24/7 and make money for you even while you sleep. Competition, however, is quite steep and you are not guaranteed that customers will find you amidst all the other websites.
So how do you instantly increase your online exposure without breaking the bank?
The answer: PPC or otherwise known as Pay Per Click.
PPC is the advertising business model of Search Engines. Advertisers only pay their host when their ads are clicked-through. The biggest PPC providers are Google.com via Adwords and Yahoo.com as well as Bing.com via Microsoft AdCenter. All of them operate on a bid-based model, which means that advertisers bid on keywords or phrases relevant to their target market.
PPC allows you to reach your target market instantly and directly. When a user searches for certain keywords on the search engine, your ad automatically comes up on the sponsored search results and its goal is to attract the attention of the user.
PPC also allows you to stick to a budget. You only pay for every user that clicks on your ad. You also get to decide how much you'll pay each time a user clicks on your ad and the maximum spend per day, per week and per month.
Tips on a good PPC Campaign
1. Check out keyword reports from the period of November 2008 to January 2009 to see which keywords converted well during the holidays. These keywords will most likely work well again this year so make sure that you bid higher on these keywords for the next few months to take advantage of the holiday traffic. This will increase your ad's chances of being displayed more often so that more people will see it and click through it. Hopefully, these clicks will transform into clients for your business. This of course depends on the usability of your website’s landing page to transform ‘clicks’ into clients.
Use Google’s External keyword tool for this search: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
2. Now look at your ads. Your ads should be edited to match the holiday season. For example, you may edit your headline to make it more relevant to Christmas like from "Cayman Islands Vacations" to "Cayman Holiday Getaway". You can catch your target market's attention if you can relate your business to his/her "holiday needs".
3. Another way to catch your target market's attention is to offer promotions. Tourism-based businesses usually offer packages for the whole family. In this way, you can show your target market that you can help them by allowing them to save a dollar or two. Include the promotions in your ads so that users searching for vacation packages for the holidays can spot you. Who knows, he or she can be your next loyal client.
4. When a user clicks on your ad, the next thing he/she will see is your landing page. Create a landing page that's captures the holiday mood. You might want to dress up your landing page to include Christmas designs and features. One good suggestion is to provide a "Holiday Package" or "Holiday Promotions" page or a "Gift Certificate" feature to help users decide on which package or product to purchase.
Check out your bestsellers from the same period of the previous year to find out what tickles your customer’s fancy and include that on your promos for the holidays.
The Search Engines provide training centers and setting up a PPC account is almost as easy as setting up an email account. But before doing so please study and learn as much as information as you can so that you are not wasting your dollars on useless clicks. For more information of how to set up and maintain a PPC account, contact me at 925-8188 or firstname.lastname@example.org