You run a service company and you do whatever you have to do to generate new leads through your website. You know that if you put the right kind of energy into your online efforts, it always pays off in the end. So you publish good, engaging content on your website, and you optimize your content so it will be found by the search engines. Then you blog often — research shows that companies who blog 16 or more times per month generate 4.5 times more leads as those companies who blog fewer than 16 times per month. All these things must be done to generate leads to your business, and if done right they will all work. And eventually, you will make Page One of Google. But it will take time. The only way to get to the very top of Google’s search results immediately is with PPC advertising – pay-per-click advertising. Ppc advertising gets you up to the very top of the search engines faster than any other marketing effort.

But this type of online advertising costs money. And it takes time and effort if you are going to do it right. And if you don’t do it right, it will turn out to be very expensive. In addition to all the money you just spent building and maintaining your website, and creating, optimizing and promoting your content, you still have to wait for quite a while before people start engaging with you and you start finding your website listed on Page One of Google’s search results when someone types in the right keywords. Search engine seniority takes time: it can build depending on several factors including the quality of your content, how well it’s optimized, and how well you engage your target audience in social media. But there is no instant short-cut to Google’s Page One simply utilizing optimized content. The only sure way to get to Page One immediately is with PPC advertising.

Let’s take a look at PPC advertising and see if it’s right for your service business.

Do you currently run a field service company? Take a look at a page of Google search results when you type in “plumber in Los Angeles” or “Locksmith in Pasadena” or any keyword relevant to your service business. The first results you see are from paid advertisers and are indicated as such. There are usually three (there used to be many more, now only the top 3 are visible. Then come local listings, with locations pinpointed on a map. Then come the Organic listings. Your business cannot be in the first 3 listings on Google if you do not do PPC advertising. And you must register your business with Google My Business if you want your local business to appear in the local listings. But the only way to be one of the first 3 listings on any Google page is by using pay per click advertising.

Pay-per-click advertising works just the way it sounds: you don’t pay Google until and unless a Google user clicks on an advertisement you created and placed at Google to appear when a Google user types in a pre-determined keyword of yours. Whenever a Google user clicks on any of your ads, Google bills you.

All of this takes work. You — or someone you hire — has to set up a Google Adwords account, then Google gives you a great bunch of tools to get started. It gives you tools to research the right keywords for your business, and it also tells you how many clicks you can expect to get from each keyword you use.

Please remember that the size of your budget will determine how often your ads are seen and how high up they appear. Google allows PPC advertisers to bid on their keywords. Naturally, the higher positions will go to the highest bidder. And even if you bid fairly high, you won’t see your ad appear at the top of Page One of Google every time you go there to take a look — your ad appears sporadically throughout the day. But you can also schedule a single day’s ads to all run at the same time. It’s up to you and what kind of business you run.

Google wants its advertisers to deliver relevant results to Google’s users, so Google makes you write relevant PPC ads. And Google also makes sure that your ad sends Google’s user to a relevant page. Google will tell you if an ad is good or if it needs to be reworked.

So is pay per click advertising right for my service business?

The bottom line — and it’s always all about the bottom line — is that successful PPC advertising ultimately depends on the price of the services you provide. If each Google click is going to cost you $10, and it takes 5 clicks to get a lead and 5 leads to get a sale, you will never be able to afford PPC advertising if you’re selling a service to unblock drains for $89. You may not even be able to afford PPC advertising if you sell and install water heaters for under $1,000. But if you do bathroom remodelling, commercial sewer work, building repiping or other such heavier work, you should definitely look at PPC advertising to get onto Page One of Google on day one of your advertising and marketing campaign, and not have to wait for your site’s seniority at Google to build through just doing content creation, optimization and promotion — all of which need to be done whether or not you are engaging in PPC advertising.

Pay per click advertising definitely works. There is no faster way to get your business onto Page One at Google, and it should be a critical part of your marketing mix. Doing it right takes work and costs money, but if you follow Google’s advertising guidelines, create relevant online ads and send Google’s users to a page relevant to a certain user query, you can do very well with pay per click advertising for your service business.