For a small business, the online advertising arena can be quite challenging to compete in. The proliferation of large businesses online added to the number of brick and mortar megastores that have ventured into the online sphere, has made things quite daunting. Google AdWords is an online pay-per-click advertising model that is designed to capitalize on the use of keywords to create targeted advertising for products and services. This service is designed to be usable by any business regardless of the advertising budget that has been set aside by them. This makes it quite suitable for small businesses.
There are a number of distinctive features that make this service quite appropriate for small businesses:-
i. You can customize the location where your ad will appear
ii. Setting a price point for cost-per-click is quite easy
iii. You only get charged when someone clicks on the ad and not just for appearance of the ad on a browser window
iv. You are able to monitor the success of your ad campaign
v. The ads created will be shown when someone is looking for a service or product that is similar, complementary or the same as yours
vi. Your market reach is extended
vii. You can target the mobile market much easier and can even target the make of the mobile device that you want your ad to be shown to
viii. There is an enhanced campaign feature that allows you to optimize on the time that the ad is shown.
Google AdWords ads appear on the right side of the search engine results page under the title ‘Sponsored Links’. The location of your ad in terms of ranking is determined by the appropriateness of the match to the keywords that are present in the search terms of the user and cost you have paid per click.
Getting started with Google AdWords is quite easy:-
a. Create your account
Go to the website at https://adwords.google.com and click on the start now button. You will be requested to enter your information for email, currency, password, and time zone. You will then be required to enter into your email account so as to access the confirmation email. There is a link in the confirmation email that you have to click in order to confirm your account setup.
b. Create your ad
You will be then redirected to the ad creation page on their website. Here, you can choose between a text and display ad. Display ads combine text with images and will require you to select a template for the ad. A text ad only uses text. Select a headline which will be shown in bold text; this will be a maximum of 25 characters. The headline is what grabs the reader’s attention so it must be well crafted if it is to be effective. The first description line is supposed to provide useful information to add onto the headline. You have 35 characters to rope the reader in. If the information that you want to get across does not fit into the first description line, you have a second one. This is a fantastic place to create a call to action for the prospective buyer. There is a section where you will display the URL of your website. The destination URL box is where you place the link that redirects the viewer onto your product/service page. Make sure that it works correctly and do not mislead the viewer as they will not make an effort to look for the product on your website. Use ad preview to check the accuracy and appeal of the finished ad. If satisfied, click on the save ad button.
c. Activate your account
If you are done editing your ad and are ready to run it, activate your account. This is done by entering your billing information. First, select your country/territory and click continue. This is the location of your billing address. Second, fill in your business info; contact address, name of business, zip/postal code, telephone contacts, and city. Third, select one of the payment options provided. You can choose between automatic and manual payments. Automatic payments are recommended unless your advertising budget is quite small. Manual payments will delay the ad from running as they must be cleared first. Fourth, read the terms and conditions and choose whether you agree with them. Lastly, click on ‘submit and activate my account’ so as to complete the process.
Tips to help you create a successful ad while staying within your budget
1. Plan the campaign
Your action plan should reflect your objectives for the advert. Use targeted keywords that are designed to increase web traffic or generate sales leads. Increasing web traffic is a powerful way to generate increased sales as it increases the exposure of your business and its products or services to the target market. Make sure that the ad created reflects your intentions and objectives as a business.
2. Budget the campaign
Keywords used need to be cost effective and fit within the budgetary limits you are operating under. The effective the keyword is, the higher it will cost; so make sure that you budget for this.
3. Enhance the campaign
Enhanced campaign tools increase the overall targeting effectiveness of the ad. You can select a specific device type that you want your ads to be shown to. Alternatively, you can also target the time period where your ad is shown to the audience; this is extremely useful in optimizing on exposure whilst operating within budgetary limits. Enhancing your campaign increases the ratio of sales conversions as compared to click through rates.
Evidence of Google AdWords effectiveness using case studies
In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of Google AdWords, it is useful to look at past case studies of small businesses that have used this tool to boost their businesses. A good example of such a company is Cordarounds, this company saw an astounding 200% return on their initial investment in this product. They used this tool to supplement their PR efforts in order to increase their market penetration. Targeted keywords were particularly effective for this company as it was operating with a tight budget.
Another company that has immensely benefited from Google AdWords is HappyHound; they used enhanced campaigns to target a localized market base. This not only increased their sales revenue but ensured that they were able to operate within their fiscal limits. They have been using the geographical targeting to increase their reach as they expand their operations and have been able to see a 90% increase in their business sales revenue over time. This is because they are able to get at least 40 new clients every month from this service.
Additional tools that make Google AdWords more effective
There are two more tools that every small business should make a point of investing in to supplement AdWords:
- Google Places
Business has shifted to a more Geo-targeted mindset as consumers look for businesses that are operational in their locale. This, combined with the use of targeted keywords, means that the ads are more effective to the viewer.
2. Google Analytics
This tool enables the business owner to monitor the effectiveness of the ad campaigns on their web traffic. This allows the owner to craft and optimize their campaigns for better reach and results.