Everything You Ever Need to Know About Google Ads for Small Businesses
We’re talking about Google Ads, specifically Google Ads for small businesses. You’ve probably seen them on Google’s Search Results Page. You can usually recognize them because of the bold “Ad” written next to them.
And guess what? They really work!
Since its launch in 2000, Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, has become one of the go-to advertisers for small businesses.
In fact, 65% of small-to-midsized businesses use the pay-per-click advertising system designed by Google Ads.
How can Google Ads work for your small business? Let’s find out!
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is a paid advertising platform. It is a pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-impression (PPM) model. That means you pay for every click or impression your ad makes.
The ads display on top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). So, if you pick the right keywords (more on that later) and set the right budget, Google Ads can catapult your brand to a prominent position in the search results.
Google Ads also lets you do some cool things like audience and location targeting. Your ads pinpoint the exact person you’re trying to appeal to when they search for something related to your business.
Besides just targeting an audience, you can target multiple audiences at once. So, if your small business has a product or service that appeals to two different types of buyers, you can tailor your ads to each of them.
How Does Google Ads Work?
Since its launch, Google Ads (or AdWords) has racked up a lot of business from advertisers looking to rise to the top of the search page.
Google displays these ads in many different spots. Most of the time, they show up on Google’s search results page. They are at the top of the page and line up with what someone is searching for.
You can also find Google Ads on the side of web pages or at the bottom of web pages. These ads display as text, images, or videos!
When somebody clicks on your ad, it takes them to a landing page. This is where they can buy your product or learn more information.
How Do I Set Up Google Ads?
Setting up Google Ads, especially for first time advertisers, can seem very overwhelming.
And, true, there are a lot of different pieces that make up this puzzle. But we’ve broken down a step-by-step, easy to understand guide to setting up Google Ads.
Step 1: Getting Started
The first thing you want to do is go to the Google Ads website. Select “Get Started Now.” You will then have to sign up for your Google Ads account. Once you have, click on “Create your first campaign.”
Step 2: Google Ads Campaign Types
You will be prompted to select a campaign type. This is what kind of ad you will be publishing. You have three Google Ads campaign types to choose from: search, display, and video.
- Search: Search ads are the text ads that you see on Google’s search results page. Google marks each ad as “Ad” on the search results page.
- Display: Display ads are image advertisements that get published and shown across the Google Display Network. The Google Display Network is a massive network of sites where image ads are shown.
- Video: Video ads appear on YouTube and are generally between six and 15 seconds long.
For most small business owners, you will be selecting the “Search Ads” campaign type.
Step 3: Select Location
The next option is to select the geographical locations where you want your ads to display. You have a few choices, and the location range can be anywhere from the entire country to your city. Chances are, if you’re a local business, you’ll want to keep it to your county.
However, if you own multiple stores in several different locations, set your location range to something that fits all of them.
Step 4: Set Your Budget
Now, this is where Google Ads becomes a bit trickier. Because it’s a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression model, you will have to set a budget.
Your budget is going to be important for a couple of reasons. First, Google Ads has a bidding system in place. You bid on keywords and terms you want to rank for.
Secondly, it is a pay-per-click and pay-per-impression model, like Facebook Ads and other social media options. That means you have to determine how many people you think will click on your particular ad.
We will go into more detail on Google Ads budgets later in this article.
Step 5: Keywords
When you’re selecting your keywords, you want to be as clear and specific as possible. That is, only use keywords if they are for sure keywords your customer base will search for.
Why? Because you’re paying for those keywords – even if they don’t convert.
For example, say somebody puts in a search query and finds your ad. They find your ad using one of the keywords you put in.
But it doesn’t quite fit with your business, product, or service. The searcher doesn’t know that, so they click on it. They get taken to a landing page that doesn’t do it for them because that’s not what they’re looking for.
So, they leave.
And you get charged for that click.
Instead, put choose keywords that exactly match the desires of your target customers. There may be only a few that match perfectly, but that’s alright. Those few keywords can net you more profit, which is better than losing money because your keywords aren’t exactly right.
Step 6: Keyword Match Types
Next, what you’ll want to do is, is set your keyword match types. Here’s where you can zero in on precisely what your customers want. The match types are:
- Broad Match: Broad match displays your ads to people who searched for your keywords in any order and for related terms. Your ad will show up in the most searches and is the default setting.
- Broad Match Modifier: Here’s where you can adjust those broad match settings. You specify which words must show up in a search to show your ad. So, if you have more generic or highly searched words in your keywords, you can set those to always be present in a search.
- Phrase Match: This setting allows you to show your ad for searches that have your keyword as part of a larger phrase. This is especially helpful with voice search, where your keywords may be part of a question.
- Exact Match: This only shows your ad if someone searches the exact keyword you have.
- Negative Match: This setting lets you take out words that you would not like to show up for. It also enables you to show up in more specific searches. You can eliminate unnecessary words if they do not pertain to your business.
Step 7: Landing Pages
If your ad extends an offer to someone, your landing page is where you seal the deal. Your landing page should reflect the ad completely. For example, if your ad is for a specific product or service, the landing page should prominently feature that product or service.
Here’s a quick tip: Try not to use your home page as a landing page. It might be tempting but resist that urge. Instead, find as specific of a page as possible.
People don’t want to click on your ad to go to a home page where they have to find another relevant page themselves. Make it as quick and easy for them to find what they’re looking for as possible.
Step 8: Ad Creation
Now it’s time for the fun part – writing your ads.
Be sure to make your ads as clear and concise as possible. People searching are going to scroll past ads pretty quickly. You need to not only capture their attention but hold onto it as well.
A good way to do this is to include the exact keywords people are searching for in the headline of the ad. If they searched for something and see it in your ad, it’ll get their attention.
A clear and relevant call-to-action is necessary, as well. “Shop now” or “Call today” prompt people to take action. And by making it clear and direct, there won’t be any confusion.
Step 9: Track Your Progress
You’ve published your ads! Great! Now what?
Now you get to see the fruits of your labor. You can connect Google Ads to your Google Analytics account and begin monitoring how well your ads are performing.
Google Ads will tell you how many people are clicking on your ad. But Google Analytics tells you what people are doing on your landing page.
If someone clicks on your ad, goes to your landing page, and then immediately clicks away, that means something about the page isn’t working. Insights like this can help you retool and rework your ads to reach more people.
Likewise, you can see how many people take action on those landing pages. If a particular type of ad is working well, you should be basing future ads off of that one.
Why Advertise My Business on Google?
Here’s the thing: Google Ads brought in a staggering $116 billion in revenue last year. An incredible amount of businesses and brands are using Google Ads to advertise their businesses. Why? Because it works.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these reasons why you should be advertising on Google:
It’s Easier to Rank than Organic SEO
Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is, contrary to popular belief, not dead. In fact, it’s a highly valuable marketing resource for small businesses.
However, if you’re looking for an easier way to rank on Google’s SERP, paid search is the way to go. The right keywords and the right target audience can really boost your standing on the search results page.
That’s not to say that you should get rid of organic SEO. It’s actually the opposite. Your organic SEO and paid search should be working together in order to get you the best ranking possible.
Google Ads Convert
Organic search on Google is free. If your content has been optimized and follows SEO best practices, you have a good shot at ranking. But then what? Does someone click on your link and go to a blog or web page and then do nothing? It’s more common than you think.
But with Google Ads, more people are willing to buy. In fact, paid searches convert 50% better than free organic traffic.
You Can Target Locations
This is great for small businesses whose customer base is in a specific area. You can set your location to a specific area, such as a county or town, and your ads will show up for those searching in that area.
That also means you won’t be wasting money. If you set a broad search for your location, you’ll undoubtedly pull in people who aren’t close by. Those clicks cost you money. Instead, if you’re optimized for your location, you can find people who will be more likely to visit your store.
You Can Target Multiple Audiences
Do you have products or services that go for multiple groups of people? Perhaps you sell a product both to homeowners as well as municipalities.
If you do, then you can set your ads to target each audience. And you can create specialized ads for the same product or service for both audiences.
Multiple audience targeting expands your customer base while not having you sacrifice money for it. It’s a terrific feature that lets small business owners specify everyone who would want their product.
It’s Better Return-on-Investment
Here are a couple Google Ads stats to think about:
- Businesses average $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads.
- 72% of Google Ads marketers plan to increase their pay-per-click budget.
In other words, Google Ads works, and the return on investment is incredible.
However, be warned that this only comes from people actually clicking on your ads. Therefore, taking careful consideration and time into how you write your ads and landing pages can be well worth it in the long run.
And if you don’t have time to do this because you’re running a business – we get it! An outside company, like Frontier Marketing, can work with your business to make amazing Google Ads. Expert ad writers can craft traffic-driving copy that entices and evokes the emotion needed to convert.
How Do I Rank on Google Ads?
First, let’s define Ad Rank. Ad Rank is the position of your ad on the paid search results.
As is the case with organic SEO, there are a few factors that determine where your ad will show up on the search results page.
This is how much you’re willing to spend on specific keywords. The more searched a keyword is, the more expensive it gets. If you bid, say 25 cents on a keyword, but it costs $2, you probably won’t rank at the number one spot.
Google values quality and user-friendliness above all else. It’s the driving force on its Search Results Page and it transfers over to the ad placement as well. That’s why writing high-quality ads can give you an edge over some of your competitors.
Google also looks at how successful your ad is. How many people click on it? Google doesn’t want to put up an ad that gets a low click-through-rate in its top spot.
Context also matters. Who is searching for the term? Where are they searching from? What are they searching from? Is it a desktop or a mobile device? When are they searching? All of these are taken into Google’s consideration when ranking your ad.
More likely than not, your Ad Rank is going to end up being a combination of all of these factors. You can bid on a keyword at a lower rate than a competitor and still outrank them because your ad is high quality. And, of course, the inverse is also true. You may be spending a lot of money, but if you have low-quality copy, Google will penalize you for that.
How Much Should I Spend to Advertise on Google?
The answer to this question varies. It all comes down to how much you’re willing and able to spend. As we described above, money spent on Google Ads is not the sole decider on placement or clicks. So, it’s okay to not have a huge budget.
But the reality is, you do have to spend money in order for this to work.
One of the best things you can do is set a test budget. Decide how much you’re willing to spend, whether it’s $50, $100, $200, or more.
Use this test budget for several different ads and gauge the results.
Keep in mind that, like most things related to Google, results take time to develop. So, if you put in a monthly budget of $50, do not expect to see results for at least two months. But it is worth it when the results start to come in.
When testing out your ads, look at how many people are clicking on your ads. A general rule of thumb is to get 100 clicks on an ad to see if it converts or not. It’s an simple sample size that can easily be adjusted to percentages.
After looking at your test budget, you can decide if you want to spend more or less. In all honesty, it’ll probably be more.
But, as we said, it’s a great investment. You bring in $2 for every $1 you spend on Google Ads.
Do You Want Google Ads to Work for You?
Now that you know the nuts and bolts of how Google Ads work, it’s time to make it work for you!
You have a great business, right? Isn’t it about time more people heard about it?
But we get it – it’s hard to run a business and manage your marketing and advertising.
That’s where we come in! Frontier Marketing specializes in helping small businesses succeed through Google Ads. Our ad writers have years of experience and can pinpoint the right words to drive conversions.