The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Google Ads

As a small business owner, your first priority is sales.

More sales translate to more revenue, more profits, and more business growth. Word of mouth starts you up but it is not the way to get going.

Having been on both sides of the business, we know that it can be daunting to figure out ways to bring in more customers.

You may have tried everything from newspaper pamphlets to highway banners, but there is no guarantee if any of that will work.

Up until recently, advertising was largely based on speculation and experience. Advertisers would rely on precedents to set up advertisements, and as a result, the returns on traditional advertisements were pretty low.

But with the advent of technology and big data, we now have complex algorithms that can help you decide exactly what will work and how.

Google Ads is a fantastic example of how technology can help you reach the right customers on a higher scale at lower costs.

So how does Google Ads work?

Google Ads is basically a Google platform that allows anyone to advertise on their search engine.

This advertisement is largely run around keywords that connect advertisers with potential customers. Anytime someone types in the keywords you have chosen in the Google search engine, they see your ad.

What’s more? Google Ads runs on a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) basis, which means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Someone clicking on a computer mouse

Google Ads is an extremely effective way to reach potential customers as it helps you reach a wide audience and it is extremely precise in its targeting. Also, because the ad is only shown to people looking for certain keywords means that these people already have the intent to purchase your product or service.

The goal of Google Ads is to connect businesses of all sizes with customers.

Smart Campaigns is a Google Ads feature that allows you to create ads in minutes, launching them across all of Google’s channels and partner sites.

However, for small and medium businesses, it is better to not opt for smart campaigns as the algorithm isn’t smart enough yet as of the time of writing this blog post. It is best to set up your campaign manually so that you can control your budget and returns.

How to Set Up a Google Ads Campaign

The most important task is to decide what you want out of the campaign. Of course, you want more customers, but how do you want them?

Do you want leads? Do you want people to know your brand better? Or, do you simply want people to buy stuff off your website? Deciding the campaign objective will help you to set it up in order to get the most out of it.

You can pick any of the following objectives:

  • Get sales
  • Get more leads
  • Increase website traffic
  • Improve product and brand consideration
  • Enhance brand awareness and reach
  • Promote your app
  • Or any other custom objective.

Once you know what you want out of your campaign, you can decide the type of campaign you want to run.

Google Ads allows you to run the following types of ads:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Smart

Based on the type of ad, Google will display it on relevant channels. In order to set it up and run the ads, you have to pick the keywords that you think your customers are most likely to use.

For example, if you are a designer shoe store in Sydney, some of your ideal keywords may be ‘designer shoes in Sydney’, ‘best shoe shops around Sydney’, or ‘best designer shoes’.

The number and the length of the keywords depend on your budget. Once you have all of this preliminary information, you’re ready to bid for your ads.

Getting the best out of Google Ads

We all know someone who advises against using Google Ads stating that it is not worth the effort.

The most common mistake people make is that they create an ad and end up quitting before they can see the results.

To get the most returns out of your investment, here are some things you can do:

  • Do not use Google Express. As we say in the office, Google Express is a fast way to lose money with Google AdWords!
  • Make sure you are budgeting correctly
  • Ensuring that you are using good Google AdWords techniques to make sure that your ad buckets are clean

Set up Google Analytics and track growth

You won’t know if your campaign is working or not if you don’t track it.

While Google Ads does provide you statistics, you can link it up to Google Analytics to help you make better marketing decisions. When you hook it up to Google Analytics, it can help to give you details of how many people searched for the keywords you are targeting to how many people actually clicked on the campaign. This can help you to adjust the campaign to get the best return on investment.

In addition, when you use an analytics platform such as Google Analytics, it can help you to compare your Google Ads to the other marketing strategies that you may use at the same time such as SEO, email marketing, or social media marketing.

Budget Properly

When you set up a Google Ads budget, you should try to allocate a large enough click budget. It is important to set up a large enough budget because it will allow you to know whether your Google AdWords strategy is working or not. You can still have a small budget e.g. $200 a month however this depends on two things:

1) How competitive the keywords are that you are bidding on. For example, if you were in a competitive field such as insurance or credit cards, you will need a large budget to start with because finance-related keywords can be expensive. If you are a SME, then it may be likely that your keywords are cheaper.

2) How fast you want to know whether the strategy is working or not. If a recommended budget is e.g. $1000 but you only want to put $500 towards your Google AdWords, then it will take longer to know whether the strategy is working.

Doing keyword research can assist you in finding out what your estimated budget should be. A good way to calculate your ideal budget is to look at the average cost per click for some of the keywords that you are ranking for and then multiply it by 30, for each day of the month.

After this, multiply it by 30 again, because it will help you to calculate a minimum conversion rate of at least 1%.

So the calculation should look like this:

Average CPC for the keywords x 30 days x 30 = $Estimated budget

Where to next

Once you have a successful campaign up and running, you will not have much time to consider a proper plan for your next steps. So it is important that you work on it beforehand.

Your customers have reached out to you, they have been converted from leads to paying customers. So now, it is your responsibility to keep them in the loop and keep them coming back.

Regular customers can account for around 40-50% of a small business’ clientele. You could set up an email blast or a broadcast list to keep them informed about the updates and offer them benefits and incentives to do business with you.

The whole point of Google Ads is to make a profit, so focus on the profitability and Google Ads should aid you with the rest.

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