Online advertising for your small business or nonprofit can be an extremely beneficial way to get your name in front of your target market quickly, as long as it’s done right. This is also known as Search Engine Marketing, or SEM. Using Google AdWords and Bing Ads for your Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can boost your online presence, or it can hurt your budget.

In the article, Why Search Still Confuses Small Business Owners, it says:

The survey results found that 40% of respondents did not feel their use of AdWords yielded new business leads, while an additional 33% said AdWords produced very few leads.

First, if you don’t feel that your use of AdWords isn’t yielding any new business leads, either you aren’t reviewing your Campaign’s analytics, or you don’t have it properly targeted. A client of mine had created their company’s AdWords Campaign and asked me to take a look at it because they were spending a lot of money and getting few strong leads.

Because they weren’t familiar with how to properly set up a Campaign, their ads were not only showing to a lot of the wrong target audience, they added over 500 keywords for one Ad Group. This is overkill which hurts where your advertisements will show in search results.

The above mentioned article goes on to say:

The majority of these respondents also reported weak online presences — for example, that 62% do not have a mobile-friendly Web site, 92% lack online customer reviews, and 65% have unclaimed Google business listings.

This helps to explain why the respondents felt the way they did. A site that isn’t responsive, or mobile-friendly, affects the advertisement’s ranking in search results. Adding customer reviews to your site helps to build a strong SEO foundation, which in turn will help your SEM.

Have you checked to make sure your business is listed in the correct location, or even listed on Google maps? Even Google can get the exact location wrong at times. Claiming your business in Google My Business gives you the ability to customize and edit your business information so potential customers have the correct information.

If you’re planning on increasing your online advertising budget this year, or if you’re just now starting to consider search engine marketing, be sure you take the steps to set it up properly, or contact an expert who can make sure it’s done right.