We’ve mentioned advertising on Google through their AdWords program in the past, and you might be wondering if AdWords would be a good move for your business. While I strongly believe that AdWords can benefit any business at some point, not every business is ready start paying for traffic to their site. So how do you know when the time is right?
Google will tell you that you don’t even need a website of your own, that your Google Place/Google+ page is enough for them to drive business with an AdWords Express campaign, and to some extent that’s true. However, to really see the benefit of AdWords, you need your own professional looking website. The reason you need your own site is so that you can capture visitor information with a form, track phone calls from site visitors with a tracked phone number, and display compelling calls to action throughout the site. Your Google+ Local page can only have a tracked phone number.
Build a Marketing Footprint report for your business. How does your business look? If you’re more towards the low end of the scale, you might want to focus your efforts on getting some of the items of the suggested list checked off. Make sure your business is present in business directories, actively engaging people through social media, and potentially utilizing a blog. Doing the things that will bring in free traffic is usually a good thing to do before starting to pay for traffic. Once your business is at the higher end of the scale, you can start considering AdWords.
We’re talking about paid advertising here, so you need to have the money to pay for it- that’s why the previous item is so important. Depending on the industry, you can pay anywhere from a few cents to several dollars per click on AdWords, so the larger the budget you can set aside the better. Most local businesses can see terrific results with budgets of $500-$1,000, but I’ve seen some do great with even less.
…or you have the time and inclination to learn to do it yourself. Some people, such as myself, manage AdWords campaigns for a living, so don’t assume this is something you can pick up in an evening. AdWords is an investment in your business and is not something you should just “dabble” in. If you’d rather focus on running your business than learning a new trade there are several resources for finding professionals to help you. Check out SEMPO, Google’s own Certified Partner Directory, and of course we here at ThriveHive can help you as well.
AdWords is an extremely powerful tool for marketing your business and can bring an enormous return on your investment in a short period of time, but your business needs to be ready to make that investment. Make sure you have a good website, that you’ve built a strong customer base using free online marketing channels, that you have an advertising budget you can comfortably invest every month, and that you or someone else has the skills and expertise necessary to build and manage an efficient and effective campaign. If you can say yes to all that, then it might just be time to start your first Google AdWords campaign.