In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the importance of online advertising for small businesses cannot be overstated. In an era where consumers increasingly turn to the internet to discover products and services, establishing a robust online presence is no longer a choice—it’s a necessity.
At the heart of the digital transformation for your business might just be Google Ads – a powerful tool that can play a pivotal role in digital marketing strategies.
Whether you’re a small business owner looking to get your brand in front of more people or a digital marketer seeking to improve your campaigns, understanding the role of Google Ads is key to achieving success. Today, we delve deep into the world of Google Ads for small businesses, exploring its significance and unveiling ways to help you use it in the best way possible.
Understanding how Google Ads work for small businesses
To understand how Google ads help small businesses, it’s essential to start right at the top. What are Google Ads?
Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is Google’s online advertising platform that allows businesses to create and set live ads across Google’s search engine and other platforms like YouTube – that much is simple enough.
The core concept behind Google Ads (and how Google makes its money) is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, where advertisers bid on specific keywords relevant to their products or services.
When users search for these keywords, ads appear at the top of the search results or on other websites within Google’s advertising network. This could be YouTube or other sites that qualify to advertise. Advertisers are charged only when someone clicks on your ad, making it (potentially) a cost-effective and results-driven advertising solution.
However, it’s not quite as straightforward as that.
The benefits of Google Ads for small businesses – connecting potential customers with the right businesses.
We’ve already established that Google Ads is a powerful platform, but are there benefits still to be had when it comes to small businesses? In short, yes. Here are three ways small businesses can acquire new customers through Google Ads.
Targeting the right people
Google Ads offers businesses a powerful toolset for reaching their target audience with precision. From location targeting, enabling businesses to tailor their ad campaigns to specific regions through to age and demographic interests, advertisers can be confident that they’re putting their ads in front of the right people at the right time.
Google Ads can, and I stress they can, be a cost-effective channel. When set up correctly, they can drive traffic and leads in a cost-effective manner; this is underpinned by two fundamental features. Firstly, Google Ads grants businesses meticulous control over their advertising budget, allowing for the establishment of daily or monthly spending limits, which can be invaluable for small businesses.
Also, because of the Google Ads pay-per-click (PPC) model, businesses are charged when a user clicks on their ad. This approach ensures that advertising funds are exclusively spent on genuine engagement with potential customers, thereby optimising return on investment (ROI).
Tracking is essential for small businesses, and Google Ads provides small businesses with powerful tools for tracking and, in turn, optimising their advertising efforts.
Through conversion tracking, businesses can monitor user actions following ad clicks, such as form submissions, purchases, or phone calls. This wealth of data enables a deep understanding of campaign effectiveness, facilitating data-driven refinements and improvements.
Setting Up Your Google Ads Campaign
Setting up a successful Google Ads campaign requires careful planning and execution. This section will guide you through the essential steps to launch a campaign that delivers results for your small business.
- Account Setup
To get your first campaign up and running, you need to create an account on the Google Ads website, providing accurate information to ensure effective campaign management.
Once your account is established, it’s crucial to link it to your business website. This connection enables Google Ads to track user interactions, including conversions and bounce rates, allowing you to measure the impact of your advertising efforts. Setting up your Google Ads account in this manner is a fundamental step towards successful campaign management.
- Keyword Research
Start by brainstorming keywords that directly relate to your products or services, keeping in mind the search terms your potential customers are likely to use. To enhance your keyword strategy, utilise Google’s Keyword Planner, a powerful research tool.
By inputting your brainstormed keywords, you can uncover related keywords, search volume data, and competition levels. It’s essential to strike a balance between high-traffic, competitive keywords and long-tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive, to create a comprehensive keyword list that maximises the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Ad Creation
Your ad copy should be concise, engaging, and tailored to your target audience, showcasing your unique selling points and special offers with action-oriented language.
A well-crafted headline and description play a significant role in boosting click-through rates. For display ads, the right visuals are crucial; choose high-quality, eye-catching images and graphics that align with your brand and message, as they have the power to capture attention and reinforce your campaign’s overall effectiveness.
- Budgeting and Bidding
First, set your daily budget to align with your overall marketing budget and advertising goals, and remember that Google Ads offers flexibility, allowing you to make adjustments as needed.
Secondly, choosing the right bidding strategy is crucial. Google Ads provides various strategies, including manual bidding, automated bidding, and enhanced cost-per-click (eCPC). To best match your campaign objectives, whether it’s maximising clicks, conversions or maintaining a specific ROI, select the bidding strategy that fits your goals and resources.
By following these steps and investing the time to set up your PPC campaign correctly, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a powerful campaign for your small business.
Effective account setup, thorough keyword research, compelling ad creation, and smart budgeting and bidding are the cornerstones of a successful campaign. Sound a bit much? Speak with one of our experts today, and let us get you set up correctly from the off.
Having worked with the team on a UK website build, maintenance and reporting, as well as regular mangement of Google Adwords, and an international SEO project for a global website, I couldn’t recommend enough. I’d recommend over many of the larger agencies I’ve used over the years.Gerry Johnstone, Service Express
Optimising Your Google Ads Campaign
You’ve set up your campaign, but the hard work hasn’t started yet. Success in the world of Google Ads requires ongoing effort and optimisation – here are five ways to get started on improving your Google Ads Campaign.
- Measure correctly – you can quickly get lost in Google Ads, pick what’s important to you and measure it, oh and connect Google Analytics for more insights.
- Monitoring and Analysis – Regularly track campaign performance, focusing on metrics like CTR, conversion rate, and ROAS.
- Identifying Areas for Improvement – Analyse campaign, ad group and keyword data to identify opportunities
- Testing – Implementing testing for ad copies, keywords, ad groups, and more can help catapult your results.
- Quality Score Improvement – Enhance ad relevance and landing page alignment with chosen keywords. Ensure landing pages offer high-quality content and a seamless user experience.
Sensible bidding and best practices – how to use Google Ads to compete with a small budget
Getting your small business rolling on a shoestring budget might feel like an impossible task, but Google Ads can help, maybe. Whilst the platform might not feel like it’s set up for local businesses or those with a smaller budget, the truth is that by following some simple strategies, you can make Google work to grow your business. Here are our top tips on making the Google ads platform work with a smaller budget.
- Understand your business goals – if traffic is what you want, don’t expect conversions. We often start conversations around ‘How much is a lead worth to your business?’ early on with clients, and it’s an important one when it comes to PPC ads because cost per acquisition is a really important metric when it comes to judging success.
- Location targeting – your budget will dictate just how wide you should spread your net. Like with SEO, appearing in Google search results in areas that are out of your remit could be a waste of money – many people forget this, don’t be one of them.
- Keywords – what you’re not targeting is just as important as what you are. Reviewing the search terms you’re appearing for on a regular basis can help with keeping your budget focused.
Bonus tip – Consider different campaign types. Google Search ads are a great way to start, but local service ads, shopping ads, display and video all have their benefits.
This isn’t an extensive list, and in fact, we could probably create a whole book on best practices for Google ads, but it covers some of the basics when you’re not one of the big spenders in Google Ads.
Are Google Ads worth it for small businesses?
Google Ads offers a unique opportunity for small businesses to thrive online. From precise audience targeting and budget-friendly pay-per-click models to result tracking via conversion metrics, Google Ads is a valuable asset.
Our journey highlights the importance of meticulous account setup, effective keyword research, captivating ad creation, and prudent budgeting. These fundamental steps underpin a successful paid media campaign.
For small businesses, Google Ads can be a growth catalyst, enabling you to connect with your audience, expand your reach, and achieve tangible results. In an era where online visibility is paramount, Google Ads is your tool for success.
Speak with our team by booking a free consultation.