Find a veterinarianPPC (pay per click) is a great way to get your website to the top of the first page of search results in Google. Instead of waiting months for SEO to work to get yourself that kind of visibility, you can pay to get to the top immediately. For small businesses, this can be a challenge on a small budget. But, there are a few best practice tips to help control your costs and maximize your conversions (potential customers) to make sure you are making a return on what you are spending.

Keyword Bidding
Keywords aren’t too expensive for the veterinarian vertical, usually costing around $2-$3 per click.  This means when a potential customer clicks on your ad that’s linked to your website then it costs you $2-$3. You don’t have to pay anything for your ad to be shown on Google.

Some keywords cost more per click than others depending on how competitive they are. Try using long tail keywords that are more specific to your website.  Also using keywords with local terms in them tends to be cheaper. Instead of the keyword, “veterinarian”, you can bid on the keyword “veterinarian in Dallas”. Make sure you are careful choosing which keywords you are bidding on. You don’t want to attract the people looking for a pet, pet store or pet supplies. You want to participate only using keywords for the services you offer. This will reduce cost by not wasting money on unrelated keywords as well as keep quality traffic coming in.

For a complete pay-per-click solution for your business, try Dex Media’s SEM Plus.

Time and Location Settings
Remember customers are going to bring their pet to you. They probably won’t want to drive farther than 30 minutes unless they are in a rural area, so set your location settings to something reasonable. If your business is in Dallas, you don’t set your location to the entire state of Texas. Set your location to Dallas as well as a small radius around it. This makes sure you get potential customers and not traffic from locations hours away.

You can also decide when you want your ad to run. Best practice for small business is to run your ads when your business is open. That way people can click on your ad and call you, and there will be someone to answer the phone rather than an answering machine.

There are options in Google Adwords to use call extensions or enable click to call campaigns. Call extensions display below your ad, where your number is listed at the bottom of the ad. This lets customers click on your phone number below the ad and it will directly dial. Call-only campaigns are campaigns that are for mobile only. When a potential customer clicks on your ad, it will directly call your number instead of going to your website.

Both call extensions and click-to-call campaigns are important on mobile. If someone searches for veterinarians in Dallas, and your ad pops up, you want the potential customer to click on your phone number and have it instantly dial your number. This is a great way to track conversions and to get new potential customers. Also, make sure you have a mobile friendly website. This is important for SEM (search engine marketing) as well as SEO (search engine optimization). More and more people are using mobile devices to research local businesses, which means you want to make sure your website is accessible and easy to use on all mobile devices.