Digital Marketing FAQs to Help Local Business Owners

Our FAQ section answers frequent questions about pay per click advertising, website optimisation and other digital marketing services. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can always:

Email Us Your Question Send Us a Tweet

Pay Per Click FAQs

Pay per click (PPC) is an online advertising method whereby you pay search engines like Google or Bing to get users to visit your website. You pay the search engines each time a user clicks on an advert that leads visitors to your website.

The primary purpose of PPC is to get users onto your site and turn them into customers or sales. A well optimised website can generate sales easily through PPC advertising.

This ultimately depends on the type of business you run. Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can all work if you're pitching the right products, services and ideas.

The best thing to do as a business is to test each platform with a small budget and then look at the ROI generated by each channel. Alternatively you can get a ppc consultant to look at monthly search volume for your product or services to help you decide whether paid search is a good investment or not.

PPC Management is the process of hiring an agency or sole trader to manage your paid search (ppc/pay per click) advertising on a month to month basis. Typically, you will front the PPC advertising spend and pay the manager a fixed fee to manage your account.

Other payment methods include: per qualified lead (meaning you pay for each lead that gets qualified over the phone and turns into a sale), profit share (usually a percentage of monthly campaign profits) or a fixed management fee which is the most desirable as it offers flexibility and scalability as your business grows.

A PPC advertising campaign is how you drive traffic to your businesses website. Organised into themed keyword groups your ppc campaign enables your business to target search engine traffic in a bid to get users clicking through to your website.

A PPC campaign is made up of: keywords, text adverts, display adverts, audience remarketing, advert extensions, location targeting and demographic targeting.

For example: if your business offers building services, you would have a ppc campaign called 'Builders - Location'. Within this campaign you would target search terms like 'builders in suffolk' to attract the right sort of customers to your business.

PPC enables you to target users based on what they are looking for on search engines like Google and Bing. Being able to target highly specific user queries based on geographical locations allows you to put your business in front of the right audience.

By targeting the right audiences, you enable them to act on the information provided on your website. Which means they are more likely to make a purchase, book an appointment or request your services.

Website and Landing Page Optimisation FAQs

This depends on the size of your business, whether you have a well established brand, how much you're willing to spend each month, and the type of products and services you offer. All of the above can be determined by going to a digital marketing expert, who should be able to advise you on search engine volume for search terms (keywords) relating to your products or services.

SEO can be a more appealing option for newer businesses because it offers 'free' traffic as opposed to paying for clicks with PPC (though still requires an investment each month). For long term success and traffic, SEO is considered a must have for businesses looking to acquire new customers.

PPC is an incredibly strong platform as it provides your business with a greater level of control over keyword, demographic and location targeting options. In addition to this, you can create adverts to promote clicks through to your website; allowing you to offer well incentivised promotions that will tempt users into visiting your site.

Email marketing is a popular way to sell to existing customers, but is also a fairly underrated platform for attracting new prospects. A well optimised email signup process can be as effective as paid customer acquisition and shouldn't be easily dismissed.

Website design or re-design is also something your business should consider before you invest in digital marketing services. You need to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly (does it re-size when you visit on your phone), loads quickly (ideally less than three seconds) and has clear product messaging; making it easy for potential new customers to find out more about what your business offers.

Ranking for keywords depends on a number of variables; the competitiveness of your industry on Google, the keywords you want to rank for, how many unique links you have pointing to your site, the on-page structure of your SEO and how useful site visitors find the information on your website (and whether it leads them to take an action based on the information presented).

The TL;DR is this: anywhere between one and six months (depending on success of content promotion, link building and technical SEO).

This question crops up a lot and 'results' could mean any number of things to different people. Successful marketing (be it SEO, PPC or email marketing) is the ongoing optimisation of your digital channels. Over time, you begin to collect more insightful data about user behaviour and can begin to offer more pertinent information to individual user searches.

PPC can (generally speaking) provide you with more immediate results and can become a powerful platform for new user acquisition if managed attentively. You should always invest in the ongoing optimisation of your PPC channels to help you create a consistent experience for users clicking on your ads - a good PPC account doesn't happen overnight, it takes months and months of optimisation and analysis before you begin to see real, tangible results.

SEO can take longer to produce results when compared to PPC, though the primary difference beween the two is that you don't pay for clicks when a user finds your site on the SERPs through organic search (which is a big part of the appeal of SEO). You should bear in mind that SEO can require substantial investment to produce results, as many SEO companies will bill you at a fixed hourly rate each month. Based on our past experience with SEO, you should be looking at one to six months before you see results for your SEO efforts.

If you've paid for marketing services and have seen little return on your investment you should request a meeting with your digital marketing manager. Depending on the nature of your business, return on investment could be any number of things; bookings, appointments, sales or new projects. If you see a steady flow of these each month, you're probably in fairly safe hands.

While Hilsden Digital understands that certain businesses do experience quiet months, we also understand that some digital 'professionals' do take advantage of your lack of knowledge of digital customer acquisition. If you go for more than three months without seeing a steady flow of enquiries or sales, you're not in good hands. If your digital marketing manager makes thin excuses, avoids you or cannot give you a valid reason as to why you're not getting a steady amount of enquiries, you should urgently consider finding a new online marketing manager.

Local search is how your business appears locally via search engines. When a user searches Google using a keyword followed by a location, your business has the chance to appear as a nearby local business of interest. For example: searching 'paid search management newmarket' is a good example of a local search term.

The search engine (typically Google or Bing) then returns a list of local business listings for the user based on their search as it deems local results more relevant. A local business listing can be claimed for free and is an essential part of your business promotion and offers a unique, local platform to help your customers find your business, enquire about services and leave reviews.

Hilsden Digital can help your business achieve greater local visibility.