Google Ads for small business FAQ

Why should a small business consider using Google Ads?(formerly know as Google Adwords)

A Google Economic Impact Report found that businesses make $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on Google Ads. Last year, Google’s search and online advertising tools generated over $283 billion in economic activity for 1.5 million businesses. Google Ads for small business can help you get a slice of that pie.

Another main benefit of finding new customers through Google Ads, is that people using a search engine have a very high user intent. Rather than passively browsing the web and seeing an ad somewhere, they are actively searching for information and often in the process of buying. This translates into high quality leads or actions.

What are the first steps to get started?

The first step is to define the overall business goals of the advertising campaign. Do you want to build your brand and visibility? Do you want new leads? Do you want to sell a product or service? Do you want to get your name out into the market? Small business owners each have a unique situation and goals that must fit into their marketing budget.

Then you will need to determine what action do you want them to take on your website. That could include things like key page views, lead form signups, newsletter signups, etc. Once you have defined what action you want the visitor to take, that can be used as a “conversion”, which will be a main metric of success for the campaign. Your conversion rate will be a major determination of the success of your advertising campaign.

Other important topics to decide are:

  • What are the demographics of the clients you are hoping to reach?

  • What are the targeted locations of your customers?

  • What keywords are your customers using to search for your business?

  • Do you have a website or landing page to capture the visitors arriving from Google Ads?

What are the costs?

You are able to control exactly how much you spend with Google Ads. You determine your advertising budget, and when that daily budget is reached, the ads stop displaying. You are also able to set the maximum price per click that you are willing to pay. You only pay when someone clicks your ad.

What factors affect the costs of my campaign?

Competition: If there are many people running similar ads, the costs will be higher. For example, a Realtor in rural Iowa would have a much lower cost per click than a Realtor in Chicago. Advertisers are bidding against each other, so more competition equals higher costs for everyone.

Keywords costs: The average Google Ads cost per click is $1 to $2. But keywords in different industries cost different amounts. Keywords containing “lawyer” can cost over $100 per click. Other industries are just a few cents.

Types of keywords: Keywords are the words or phrases that your potential customers type in to Google to find your business. Shorter keywords such as “real estate” are more expensive. Long, more specific keywords such as “real estate in North Omaha” are cheaper. Your location also is a factor in the cost of those keywords. Adding negative keywords to your campaign is also important. Negative keywords filter out searches that you do not want to trigger your ads because they are not relevant to your business or goals.

Quality of your website: Google looks at your web page where the visitors are being sent. The poorer the quality, the higher the costs of the campaign. It’s important to have a website that Google has already indexed and trusts. Even small things like having a complete and updated Google My Business profile can make an impact.

Quality score: Based on many different factors, Google calculates a quality score for your campaign. The better your quality score, the lower the costs. The structure of your Google Ads account is also important. The way you configure your account using campaigns and ad groups with closely related keywords has a major affect on your quality score, and overall costs

What do I need to prepare on my website?

Best practice is to send visitors from Google Ads to a landing page that closely matches the search term and ad copy. It is not advisable to send visitors to the home page of your website. If you have different communities that you serve, your site should have separate pages for each of those in order to send the traffic directly to that page. The more specific you can page the webpage that the user lands on after clicking your ad, the better.

Depending on the goals of the campaign, a lead capture system needs to be installed prior to turning on the campaign. This could be as simple as contact form that sends leads to your email address, to a more complex system of auto-responders or drip campaigns. Make sure to quickly follow up with leads or orders that come from clicks on your ads.

Is is also important to install conversion tracking and analytics code on your your site. These small snippets of code, sometimes called tags or pixels, are placed on the pages of your website and set up to signal when your desired conversion has happened as a result of the Google Ads campaign. This allows you to directly measure the cost per conversion, which is a major measurement of the effectiveness of the campaign.

Who sees my ads and where?

Google will show your ads on on the top and bottom of the Google search results pages when a user types in a query matching one of your keywords and is in the desired geographical location that you specify. You can specific on what kind of devices you want to show your ads, for example desktops, mobile phone, or tablets. Days of the week and specific time of day can also be used to determine when you are ads are displayed

One of the biggest benefits when you advertise on Google is the ability to target specific locations or groups of users. Some examples of locations that can be targeted are states, counties, cities, zip codes, or a radius of any size down to 1 mile. This can be very helpful for local business or companies that have service areas where they operate.

What results can I expect?

Results will vary based on the market, competition, location and budget and other factors. Adwords campaigns perform better as time goes on. The initial phase after launch is used to gather data which is then used to refine the campaign and lower the costs, while increasing the productivity of the campaign. You can continually optimize your Google Ads account based on information coming in so performance will usually get better as time goes on.

If you don’t have immediate success, don’t give up. Often small tweaks or changes in targeting or ad copy can lead to big results and help you find the sweet spot where ROI is positive – then you can declare your Google Ads campaign a success!

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