Google accounts for 36.3% of total ad spend in the US which is higher than Facebook (only 19.3%). And as you can see from the graph, Google Ads have been the preferred choice of advertising for businesses and marketers over the years.
Let’s look at how you can successfully use Google Ads in your small business to maximize profits and sell more.
Google Ads for Small Business
When it comes to online advertising in your small business, you have choices.
Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is the largest and one of the most popular online advertising platforms in the world. Millions of companies, brands, and businesses across the world leverage Google ads to reach potential customers and grow their businesses.
How Google Ads Work
Google PPC ads are driven off of keywords. Online advertisers select relevant target keywords for their ad copies and develop bidding strategies for these keywords to drive traffic to their site.
Advertisers and marketers choose between search ads and display ads when setting up ad campaigns on Google.
- Ads on the Display network let users display visual marketing materials like banners and images.
- PPC or paid search campaigns allow bidders to bid on keywords and win their position on search result pages.
There are a number of types of Google ad that marketers can choose from to optimize their ad for best performance.
1. Search Ads
Search ads are the most popular text-based PPC ads that appear on top and below organic results on the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
Below is an example of a text-based PPC ad by The New Yorker:
2. Display Ads
Display advertisements on Google are distributed across sites like YouTube, websites, and apps that are part of Google Display Network. Unlike search ads, you can use images and text for your display ads.
Here’s an example of a Google display ad on the CNN website:
3. Shopping Ads
Google shopping ads are a great way to target bottom-of-the-funnel customers and generate leads and eventually sales. These ads are displayed when buyers search for particular products online.
Here’s an example of shopping ads in carousel format:
4. Local Service Ads
If you’re looking for local customers and leads, local service ads are best for your business. With Google’s Local Services Ads, you can feature your services to local searchers.
5. Remarketing Ads
Remarketing ads let you target leads who once visited your website or clicked on and ad but didn’t make a purchase. Your ads will essentially ‘follow’ this person around the internet and display on websites and apps they use until they purchase from you.
Why Google Ads are Great for Small Business
Small businesses are recognized by Google. When Google created Google Ads, they tailored available technologies to benefit and promote local and small businesses.
Here’s why Google Ads work best for small businesses:
1. Target Locally
Small businesses that operate in limited and local areas, can leverage local targeting. Specific targeting gives you maximum exposure, greater ROI, and helps increase sales revenue.
2. Built for Small Business
At the heart of Google Ads is small business. Google even created Smart Campaigns which small businesses can use to quickly set-up and launch ads, and drive traffic to generate leads. They’ve also made the advertising platform extremely easy to use. You don’t need to be a software developer or technology expert to use Smart Campaigns and that allows small businesses to get up and running quickly!
3. Budget Friendly
Did you know that there’s no minimum budget on Google Ads? This allows small businesses the ability to launch ads without having a big budget. You can pay as you go which makes it easy for small business owners to have more control on their ad spends.
4. Great Tools to Build and Measure Ad Campaigns
Google offers a number of free tools to help small business marketers create, promote, and audit their ad campaigns.
For keyword research, you can head to Google Keyword Planner, to find the keyword(s) that you’ll want to use for maximum impact in search queries.
For performance measurement, the reporting features in Google Ads allow you to access, analyze, and evaluate the impact of your ads so you can continually optimize them for maximum return.
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Keywords or “search terms” are the base of all Google ads. These keywords or search terms aren the words and phrases people use to search for your services or products online and are used in your ad campaigns to match your ads against search queries to show relevant ads to searchers.
That’s why selecting specific and targeted keywords for Google ad campaigns can maximize your chance to get discovered by the people you want to do business with.
1. How Google Ads Uses Keywords for Ad Targeting
Google has adopted two different strategies for keyword usage: one for search ads and the other for display ads.
Search Network Campaigns
For running Search Network campaigns, choose relevant keywords that match your theme. Pay close attention to terms like “exact match”, “phrase match”, and “broad match” because if you select the wrong type or wrong keywords, your ads might not appear.
You can read more about Search Network campaigns here.
Display Network Campaigns
For choosing keywords for Display Network campaigns, start by creating separate ad groups targeting products or services you offer, and then select specific keywords that are relevant for each of these ad groups. Here’s an example:
2. Understanding Google Keyword Planner
The Google Ads Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google which you can use to build strong keyword lists and get started with your ad campaigns. It’s a great resource for those who don’t want to spend money on expensive keyword research tools. With this tool, you can generate keyword ideas and even bid estimates for building an effective ad campaign strategy.
Elements of a Successful Google Ad Campaign
To make the most of your Google Ad investment, ensure you are maximizing each of these elements of the ad process:
1. Select the Correct Ad Type
Once you’ve created a Google Ads account, you need to select the ad type based on your advertising goals. Looking for more local customers? Choose local search ads. Looking to pull in more online shoppers from around the world for a specific product? Give shopping ads a try. Want to convert people who’ve already visited your website and shown interest in your products or services? Go with remarketing ads.!
Make sure you understand each of the ad types and choose the one, or ones, that will have the greatest impact on your efforts.
2. Select Location
With Google Ads, you can target specific geographic locations to generate more leads. Location targeting allows you to show ads in the locations you choose. For example, you can choose a country, or a specific and nearby area around a specific location. Knowing where you want to show your ads can dramatically increase chances of conversions.
3. Set Your Budget
Google ads allows you to choose budget options from two different settings:
- Daily budget that you want to spend on each campaign per day.
- Bid amount which you’ve decided to spend on a keyword when your ad gets a click.
4. Create Your First Ad
Once you are through the first stage, it’s time to create your first ad. When creating an ad copy, be at your creative best and pay attention to:
- Character Limit: Google has set specific character limits for the headline and ad description. A text ad consists of 3 headlines with an upper limit of 30 characters for each. Descriptions have a total limit of 180 characters. Here’s a detailed break-up of character limit which you might find helpful:
- Relevant Text: As you’ve limited characters, make the best use of them by using relevant and targeted text. Invest in creating great ad copy or you’ll risk losing both money and customers.
Follow these best practices to make your ad more appealing and increase the click-through-rate:
- Write irresistible headlines.
- Customize your CTA.
- Improve the quality score with well-structured ads.
- Use periods and punctuation at the end of 1st line description.
- Customize the URL.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your Google Ad Campaigns
Google ads are highly effective when you optimize them using the right tactics. But when done wrong, this can cost you money and give poor or no returns. Avoid some of the common mistakes:
1. Targeting Wrong Keywords
If you fail to target the right keywords, you can potentially waste a lot of money by generating irrelevant clicks to your ads. It’s equally important to choose the right type from exact, phrase, and broad match categories.
2. Not Setting a Competitive Budget-based on the Keywords You Select
When bidding on a keyword, it’s important that you choose a competitive budget that gives an edge over your competitors. If your bid amount is too low, chances are your ad would rarely make it to the search results page.
3. Choosing the Wrong Ad Campaign
If you’re an e-commerce, you should go for Google Shopping ads instead of search ads. Similarly, local technicians should target local search ads instead of banner ads. Failing to choose the right ad campaigns will generate poor results.
With this, I hope you can start with creating your first Google ad and start creating more opportunities for your small business. Have you used Google Ads in the past? Let me know how it worked for you.