PPC Tactics for Small Businesses: Leveraging Semrush Solutions

"Time-Saving Solutions for Small-Biz Marketers: SEM.co

"Time-Saving Solutions for Small-Biz Marketers: SEM.co" seems to be a concise statement indicating that SEM.co provides tools or strategies aimed at saving time for small-business marketers.

At Sem.co, we recognize that time is the most precious commodity for small-business marketers. We firmly believe that there are no inherently “bad” marketing channels; often, it’s just a question of timing or execution. Balancing these channels can be daunting, which is why SEM.co was developed: to equip you with data-driven insights and eradicate the guesswork from your marketing tactics. Our aim is to assist you in maximizing your time and resources by optimizing your approach to each primary marketing channel.

If we assess the time/outcome ratio for four popular marketing channels, it might appear as follows:

For a business to survive, they need to get leads and make sales and save as much time as possible while doing so.

While it may seem straightforward, SEO requires time, and waiting for organic search visibility isn’t always feasible for new site owners. Thus, many opt for pay-per-click (PPC) to immediately drive traffic. However, attracting traffic doesn’t guarantee leads.

Google Ads offers an extensive array of targeting options, making it easy to select the wrong strategy and deplete your budget unnecessarily. But this can be prevented.

Let’s explore some strategies to help you devise a savvy and meticulously planned PPC campaign using SEMrush tools.

Start With the Right Keywords

Tools to useKeyword Magic Tool & the PPC Keyword Tool

Once you’ve determined your PPC budget, it’s time to embark on the keyword research journey. If your budget is limited, consider setting a maximum cost per click (CPC) that you’re comfortable with. Starting with “bottom of the funnel” keywords, which target users with high conversion intent, is a smart approach.

Selecting relevant high-volume keywords with low competition and CPC may appear daunting, but it’s entirely achievable with the right tools. We’ll provide some examples of how to utilize these tools to discover the perfect keywords.

Let’s imagine you’re promoting an online store specializing in organic food. We’ll use this as our seed keyword for research. To enhance your chances of reaching users likely to make a purchase, consider incorporating terms like “buy,” “cheap,” “delivery,” “near me,” etc., in the broad match section.

Don’t underestimate the power of the “Exclude keywords” option—it’s incredibly useful for filtering out irrelevant terms (such as cities or countries you don’t deliver to).

With potentially hundreds of queries to consider, it’s essential to determine which ones are worth bidding on. A keyword is a good candidate for your list if it meets the following criteria:

  1. Decent search volume
  2. Reasonable CPC
  3. Low competitive density

Experiment with various search terms until you’ve accumulated a satisfactory collection. Once you have a pool of terms, you can input them into the PPC Keyword Tool.

As advertising costs for specific keywords can vary significantly across regions and cities, it’s valuable to analyze terms in greater detail at a local level. Utilizing the PPC Keyword tool enables access to the most precise local keyword metrics. When setting up your campaign in the tool, opt for a specific location to obtain search volume, competitive density, and CPC data down to the city level.

Region and city settings are optional; you can choose to pull data at the country level if preferred.

(Note: Direct export from Keyword Magic to the PPC Keyword tool, local search volume, competitive density, and CPC data are only available for paid SEM.co accounts.

The PPC Keyword tool will help you

Organize your keywords into groups and campaigns.

Filter out duplicate keywords, empty groups, and unnecessary symbols to keep your keyword list neat and tidy.

Cross-match negative keywords to prevent competition among your own ads, which can cause your CPC to rise.

Once these tasks are completed, you’ll have a cleaned-up, properly organized keyword list containing only relevant terms.

For further guidance on using the PPC Keyword tool and tidying up your keyword list, refer to this guide.

Estimate CPC for Your Niche Keywords

Tool to use: CPC Map

For businesses targeting multiple locations within a country, such as those offering delivery to several cities, understanding the potential value of niche keywords in specific locations is crucial.

Consumer search behavior varies by location, resulting in differences in average cost per click (CPC) across regions. The CPC Map tool offers an interactive map displaying the average local CPC for various industries, ranging from Online Education to Travel, Legal, and Cryptocurrency. This tool allows you to assess the average CPC in specific areas, such as states or regions, for your niche. Presently, the tool provides data for 13 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, South Africa, and Russia.

You can effortlessly compare advertising costs and the average search volume of queries for your industry in a selected state or region side by side. Additionally, you’ll have access to a CPC graph illustrating how costs fluctuate over time in a specific area.

You can leverage this information to assess whether targeting specific areas aligns with your business objectives. For instance, if there’s a limited demand for your product or service in Illinois and Missouri, coupled with significantly higher average cost per click (CPC), it may not be economical to advertise in these states.

By scrutinizing the average CPC (PPC costs) and the average search volume (PPC demand) of keywords across various regions, you can pinpoint the most receptive and cost-effective locations to promote your business.

Creating Ads That Work

Tool to useAd Builder

The subsequent step involves crafting ad creatives. Given the potential competition from numerous other advertisers targeting the same keyword, your ad must be pertinent and distinguish itself from the crowd.

In addition to the cardinal rule of “utilizing keywords in headlines,” numerous techniques can enhance your ad’s conversion rate. These insights are gleaned from analyzing the PPC campaigns of Australia’s leading online retailers:

After completing your keyword list with the assistance of the PPC Keyword Tool, seamlessly transition to creating ads directly within SEM.co.

Navigate to the ‘Projects’ section, where you’ll discover the Ad Builder Tool. It will seamlessly import the campaigns and keyword groups you previously created, guiding you through the process of crafting ads for each group.

In the image above you see that Ad Builder Tool can do the following

Ensure that you adhere to Google Ads character limits. (1)
Include URL paths and a destination URL. (2)
Assign the new ad to a keyword group. (3)
Obtain an immediate ad preview. (4)
Additionally, the tool offers ad examples from your competitors. Whenever you need inspiration, peruse their ads to discover relevant calls to action (CTAs).

Another time-saving feature you can leverage is dynamic keyword insertion. This feature proves particularly beneficial when you offer a diverse array of products within the same niche. Instead of crafting separate ads for numerous keywords like “organic banana,” “organic avocado,” “organic monstera deliciosa,” and so forth, you can simply incorporate a variable into your ad. Google Ads will then automatically substitute it with the targeted keyword:

Ensure you capitalize on ad extensions, as they allow you to showcase additional information about your business, enhancing the visibility of your text ads on the search results page. By incorporating extensions, you can enhance the performance of your ads and extract more value from them. Several extension types are available, catering to various goals.

You can effortlessly create extensions for your ad campaigns directly within the Ad Builder’s interface. Currently, the tool supports four extension types:

  1. Sitelink: Display additional links beneath your standard ad text.
  2. Callout: Add an extra non-clickable line of text to provide users with more details about your business, such as shipping costs or special offers.
  3. Structured snippet: Presented as a header (e.g., “Types”) and a list of values (e.g., “Boutique Hotels, Luxury Hotels, Airport Hotels”), highlighting key aspects of your product or service.

Certainly, the “Call” extension type permits you to incorporate a phone number in your ad, enabling searchers to view it directly or access a clickable call button if their device supports making calls. (4)

Once you’ve finished composing your ads, you can export them along with the keywords to Excel files. Subsequently, you can import these files into Google AdWords Editor for further management and optimization.

Give Display Campaigns a Try

Tool to useDisplay Advertising Report

Campaigns within the Google Display Network are often deemed more effective for branding purposes rather than acquiring leads and conversions. However, they can be valuable when refining your target audience proves challenging through search campaigns alone.

For instance, if you’re targeting small business owners searching for a logistics company, they may simply search for “logistics company” without specifying “for small business.” In such cases, audience targeting becomes indispensable.

Moreover, display campaigns provide an opportunity to unleash creativity and captivate audiences with compelling visuals. In the organic food niche, for example, defining the audience is straightforward, and the potential for visually appealing ads is vast. However, determining which advantages to highlight can be challenging.

Should you prioritize professional photos, mouth-watering recipes, or special deals and discounts?
Would it be more effective to target desktop or mobile users?
Which websites are optimal for ad placement?
To optimize resources and avoid reinventing the wheel, analyzing what other organic food shops are doing with their display campaigns is prudent.

The revamped Display Advertising report offers insights into your niche’s competitiveness and reveals how your competitors are attracting customers:

  1. The types of ads they’re employing.
  2. The websites hosting their ads.
  3. The visual appearance of their ads.

Certainly, exploring this report can provide valuable insights, allowing us to borrow effective calls to action (CTAs) for text ads and gather visual ideas.

For instance, let’s examine the advertiser’s second most effective banner, which has been encountered 1,567 times across more than 500 websites. Analyzing this banner can offer valuable inspiration and insights into effective visual elements and messaging strategies.

An added advantage is the option to filter ads based on device type (desktop, tablet, mobile) and operating system (iOS vs. Android).

This analysis empowers you to plan a display campaign grounded in real data, rather than resorting to a spray-and-pray approach.

Bonus: Seize the Chance to Test User Behavior

PPC serves as a rapid and effective method to assess the user-friendliness of a webpage.

Prior to driving substantial traffic to your webpages, consider implementing session tracking software. These tools record users’ sessions, offering insights into the challenges they encounter throughout their journey. For instance, users might overlook the “Order” button because it’s obscured by the chat window, among other UX oversights.

At SEMrush, we utilize Inspectlet for this purpose. It provides up to 100 free session recordings monthly, and for just $39 per month, you can expand the limit to accommodate up to 5,000 sessions.

Wrapping Up: PPC As a Ground for More

Despite the numerous advantages offered by the PPC channel, there’s one crucial aspect you shouldn’t overlook: every click on your ad depletes your budget. Therefore, it’s imperative to begin considering how to diversify your traffic sources as early as possible.