Pay-per-click campaigns can get expensive. Many small businesses spend thousands of dollars a month on competitive niches just to stay ahead of the big guys. Much of the budget spent on PPC and email marketing can be significantly cut down by following a few simple tips on how to target a smaller niche and track results more efficiently.

If you’re a small business owner with a small PPC budget, the following tips will help you compete in all types of markets:

Narrow Your Niche


Narrowing your niche is essential to getting the most out of your campaigns.

A great example is a business that sells acoustic guitars. You might think that targeting “guitars” is a great way to attract customers using a PPC campaign, but you’re likely overpaying for a keyword that’s too broad.

Because this business only sells acoustic guitars, using the keyword phrase “acoustic guitars” will get more clicks for less money because the niche is less competitive and the traffic will actually be interested in purchasing acoustic guitars, and not just any type of guitar.

Export Your Work to Excel Spreadsheets

Excel is one of the best ways to keep track of any type of quantitative data.

Most PPC networks will let you export your data to an Excel spreadsheet. After exporting the data, use an Excel dashboard to view and edit it. Because spreadsheets can often be confusing and difficult to read, the dashboard will help organize it in a fashion that is much easier to comprehend.

Exporting to Excel can also help you organize historical data for easy reference in the future. Track your return on investment and any trends by referring back to saved spreadsheets.

Optimize Appearance Time for Your PPC Campaigns

Most PPC networks, such as AdWords, are versatile in what they allow users to do. One of the best ways to help save you advertising dollars is to examine click trends and what the best days of the week for your ads to appear.

When looking at your graphs, take a look at when you receive the most clicks and how many of those clicks turn into conversions. The days and times when you receive the most clicks that turn into the most conversions is the optimal advertising time for you. Focus the majority of your PPC dollars during that time to attract more customers and increase your ROI.

Caveat: make sure to examine at least a full month of statistics before deciding on when to maximize your PPC ad placement.

Remember: Geographic Data is Important

Are your ads currently being viewed in countries around the world? If they are, and people from across the ocean are clicking on them, you’re likely losing hundreds of dollars to pointless browsers.

Use location bid modifiers to help you break down your data by location. Where are the most clicks coming from? Are those clicks converting into sales? Once you’ve identified the geographical areas that offer the most return, use the PPC network’s filter tool to make sure they only appear in countries or states that generate the highest return on investment for your money.

Pay Attention to Click-Through Rates

A click-through rate (CTR) is the most significant factor when deciding how to optimize your PPC campaign.

Your CTR measures the percentage of people who actually click on your ad in relation to how many people search for that particular search term. This is normally shown as a percentage for each keyword. A two-to-three-percent CTR is what most small businesses should aim for.

Your PPC management tool will allow you to sort data by CTR. Sort the data to show you which keywords and keyword phrases have the lowest CTR. Consider pausing those keywords so those advertisements don’t appear anymore as part of your campaign.


These tips will get you on the right track for saving money with your PPC campaigns. Just make sure to keep reading and stay on top of the game as the future of PPC will see changes just like any other industry.

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Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry.