As a small business with limited resources, it can be difficult deciding where you should allocate your marketing budget. Contrary to popular belief, Google advertising isn’t just for giant companies with bottomless budgets, it’s also for small businesses of all sizes. While there’s no shortage of businesses and individuals that claim Google ads are a great way to waste money, the truth of the matter is, a lot of businesses and people don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to advertising on Google. In this article, we’re going to clear the air and share with you exactly why Google advertising (aka paid search ads, search engine marketing, SEM) can work wonders for your small business, when done right.
Related: SEM Mistakes eBook (free download)
Reasons Why Google Advertising Works for Small Business
Google Ads Increase Brand Awareness
Getting your brand out there and making people aware of how you can solve their problems is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face. Whether your business operates on a national level or in a small, local radius, Google advertising can help you reach your target audience no matter where they live. That’s right, you can put your brand directly in front of potential customers with an actionable next step in as little as a few hours (though the process of mastering Adwords takes a bit longer).
With Google ads, the true power comes in giving you the ability to target specific geographic locations and consumer profiles. Regardless of how narrow or large your target audience is, Google can ensure your campaigns are shown only to potential customers with the use of specific keywords. Processing more than 3.5 billion searches each day (Source: Internet Live Stats), Google advertising helps you instantly expose your brand to as many consumers as you would like (though it’s advised you make your ad targeting as specific as possible).
Google Advertising is Cost-Effective Marketing
Turning your marketing budget into profitable campaigns isn’t always as easy as it seems. Many of the marketing channels available to small businesses are based on fixed rate models, regardless of how many leads you do or don’t get (think billboard ads). On the other hand, Google advertising is different in that you only get charged when people click on your ads rather than by the amount of time it’s live or how many consumers see it.
According to Google, the average business makes $2 for every $1 spent on Adwords (Source: Google). Depending on how well you design your Google ad, when done right, you’ll find that you’re only paying for qualified leads with the highest probability of converting into paying customers. As we touched on above, to make the most of your Google advertising budget, be sure to build your campaigns as specific as possible. Ideally, you want to cast a narrow, targeted net rather than a large one that will draw in unqualified leads.
Google Ads Help You Learn More About Your Target Customers
When it comes to marketing, without campaign data, you have no true way of knowing what’s working with consumers and what’s simply wasting money. One of the best benefits of advertising on Google is the wealth of information they make available to you with various metrics. For each Google ad, you can track everything from search phrases used by potential customers to the amount of time they spend on your landing page, essentially giving you a detailed snapshot and live pulse of each campaign you run.
With this invaluable information, not only can you use it to make your Google ads better, but you can also use it to your advantage with other marketing channels like email and social media. By helping you better understand your target audience, Google advertising allows you to learn more about their problems and needs so you can better meet them and increase conversion rates across all of your marketing efforts.
Related eBook: How to Know if Your Marketing is Working
Google Advertising Removes the Need For Custom Design Work
When building an ad campaign from scratch outside of Google’s platform, you’re responsible for everything from the look and feel to ad copy and placement. While this may be a good option for larger brands, as a small business, the process of designing an ad from the ground up takes a considerable amount of time and resources. With Google ads, pretty much all of the design elements are taken out of your hands so you can focus on what’s most important – ad copy.
Even though this may seem like a bad thing since all ads can look similar, it forces you to think outside of the box and use creative ways to draw in your target audience. Google ads have plenty of customization features so you give your campaign a unique feel that’s relevant to what you’re offering. This also frees up time so you can focus on other campaign factors such as targeting criteria and landing page optimization.
Google Ads Engage Customers at the Right Time
As a small business, it doesn’t do you much good to target consumers who are in the early stages of the buying process. You need to find people that are ready to make a decision. Google is incredibly powerful for funneling purchase-ready consumers to your ad campaign with the use of keywords that indicate buyer intent.
Though it may take a little trial and error, with practice, you’ll be able to easily narrow down which keywords have the highest conversion rates, ultimately helping you optimize your campaigns and increase ROI. In addition to helping you build a list of high conversion keywords, Google ads can also be placed where they have the highest probability of being seen by your target customers. As you get more comfortable with Adwords, you can begin to experiment with the Google Display Network and show your ads to potential customers that are visiting websites containing related information. Because Google owns YouTube, it even presents a great opportunity to take advantage of the rapidly growing video content marketing industry.