If you’ve ever defied the odds by slipping into your seat at an important meeting in the nick of time – only to discover you forgot the document or file that was your reason for being there in the first place, you’ve experienced that this can’t be happening feeling. In fact, most of us have been there more than once or twice, and when it comes to small businesses, Google Ads is often the stage for these missteps. Yes, Google Ads has much to offer, but there are plenty of chutes and ladders along the way that can leave you wondering where to turn for the help you need. The truth is that small businesses can compete with the major players in the Google Ads arena, but you’re well advised to bring your strongest game.
Keywords Are Key
When it comes to your advertising dollars, it’s obviously important to maximize their impact, and this translates to mining the right keywords for you. Grabbing the cheapest keywords available is not a strategy. By taking the time to do some in-depth pay-per-click keyword research, you’ll be better prepared to strike a fine balance between those more expensive but reliable keywords and the less costly, branded keywords that have the potential to do some heavy lifting. There are some free keyword research tools out there that can help you get started, and Google’s Keyword Planner is one of them.
You’re Going to Need a Plan
You don’t have to buy your way onto Google’s first page, and for most small businesses, the price of relying solely on paid results is cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, you have other options, including:
- Maintaining a current and compelling blog on the topic at hand
- Keeping up with Google Optimize
- Focusing on SEO basics
The more places you show up on the search engine results page, the more web cred you earn, which can significantly bolster the performance of the paid search results you do have.
Don’t Forget to Budget
Google Ads now offers a budget report that can not only help you pace your Google Ads spend but can also help you stay on top of your business’s long-term goals. Once accessed, the budget report can provide you with information on all the following:
- How much you’ve spent on a specific ad campaign to date
- Monthly forecasts for how much you’re slated to spend on the ad campaign moving forward
- Projections related to how altering a campaign’s daily budget is likely to affect its overall performance
Keeping Things Close to Home
Most small businesses compete primarily in their local market, and this calls not only for boots-on-the-ground action but also for some careful online strategizing. It’s well established that nearly half of all Google searches are geared toward local information, and an even heftier percentage of local searchers are motivated to hit up businesses that aren’t more than five miles away. This makes running a strong local game critical, and there are many tips that can help you get there.
At Your Service
If your small business is service-based, you should get to know Google’s Local Service Ads, which heighten matches between advertisers and searchers. Sometimes, searchers need local, and Google’s local offerings get the job done – charging you only for qualified leads in the process. These local ads are tailor-made to land on the screens of potential customers in your service area, and Google employs a confirmation step that helps to ensure that you’re connecting with people who mean (local) business.
Dress to Impress
Impression share is real, and if you’re a small business, you need to pay attention. Impression share refers to the percentage of time you are showing up on local searches – relative to the number of times you could show up. Impression share is complicated, but improving yours boils down to concentrating on the following:
- The amount that you pay to show up
- The amount that you show up organically as a result of your local ad rank
As a small business owner, increasing the amount you pay for impression share may not be feasible, but you can flex your advertising muscle by polishing up your local ads to a high shine. Consider the following:
- Use well-chosen keywords to keep your impression-share pool a manageable size, which – in turn – allows you to increase your overall impression share.
- Finetune your impression share by focusing on smaller targets that allow your presence to build upon itself (if you’re seeing concentrated growth in a specific geographical area, for example, focusing on that location may give you the kind of bump you’re looking for).
- Promoting the heck out of your most popular services or consumer goods allows you to parlay the momentum you’ve already generated into something bigger, and this is a great place to find keywords with punch.
- Review the ads themselves for relevancy to your target audience and for quality as it relates to Google’s optimization recommendations.
Google grades your ads on a scale of 1 to 10 for Quality Score, and if you’re coming in at over 7, you’re doing something right. Your overall Quality Score is made up of several basic measures that include:
- Ad relevance, which refers to how well your ad’s text and keywords align with searchers’ intentions
- Click-through rate projection, which amounts to Google’s prediction (based on your overall click-through metrics) on how likely your ad is to score a click
- Landing page mechanics, which is Google’s estimation of how well your landing page is performing on metrics such as mobile responsiveness and page load speed
A Digital Marketing Pro Can Help You Successfully Navigate the Google Ads Frontier
Making the most of your Google Ads budget is key to finding your online marketing niche and cornering your fair share, and the digital marketing experts at The Web Guys are here to help you find your way. No need to wait – reach out by contacting us at (317) 805-4933 today.