Are Google Ads A Smart Choice For The Small Business Owner?

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RICHARD TALBOT Head of Paid Search

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AdWords is seen by some as an expensive advertising tool that can only benefit large companies, making it difficult for small ones with restricted budgets to compete. While it’s true that sectors such as insurance, banking, and law are competitive and need high CPCs to rank well on Google, it’s not the case across the board. Competition for Google ads can be stiff in big countries such as the United States, but in Ireland small businesses can benefit from advertising on AdWords. In fact, small business owners should use AdWords as it enables them to do the following:

Reach local customers

If you are a small business owner, chances are you mostly do business locally. And that’s why AdWords is your friend. If your area of business is local, it is probably difficult for you to find new customers. But AdWords is the best way to do that as it allows you to target specific locations, such as a county or a town, or even a specific radius around your location.

You can also exclude locations that you don’t want to target.

Control your own budget

In AdWords you pay only when somebody clicks on your ads. That’s why it is important to make your ads relevant and clear as to what you are offering, so you don’t end up paying for clicks that don’t convert. If people are reaching your website only to discover they have no interest in your product of service, you are wasting money and need to rethink your ads.

AdWords allows you to set your own daily budget and keep things under control. You are also free to choose the maximum CPC you want (select manual bidding instead of automatic bidding as AdWords won’t make the best use of your limited budget with automatic bidding).

Start with a small daily budget and low CPC and see how it works; you don’t need thousands of ad groups and keywords to start.

Schedule your ads

AdWords also allows you to advertise your ads at the times you want. Dayparting allows you to schedule your ads to be shown at certain times of the day, or certain days of the week. You can also set bid adjustments (increase or decrease your bids) at specific times or on specific days. Let’s say for example that you own a local coffee shop and people see your ads more between 7am and 9.30am Monday to Friday, you can increase your bids at those times or even schedule your ads to show only at those times if you have a limited budget.

Include contact information

AdWords is a great way to provide contact information to your customers. Ad extensions in AdWords give you the opportunity to add relevant contact information to your ads: your phone number (call extension) and your address (location extension).

Reach customers when they are looking for the products you are selling

One of the main advantages of advertising online with Google AdWords is that your ads will be shown to customers when they actually are looking for your products. Pay-per-click advertising is different from other advertising mediums in that potential customers are actually looking for products and typing queries in Google (unlike TV advertising, which many find annoying as they are regularly interrupted by advertising for products in which they have no interest).

Target specific users

Google AdWords allows you to target customers depending on the device they use. The tool allows you to target desktops, mobiles and tablets, and to adjust bids depending on device.

We are now living in a mobile-first world where most online searches are performed on mobiles by people on the go. Let’s assume you own a vehicle breakdown recovery service. Does it make any sense to advertise on desktops at all? People in need of breakdown assistance are stuck on the road and looking for help on their phones. Using AdWords, you can decrease your costs and opt out of the desktop network completely.

Show your ads along your competitors’ ones

AdWords allows any company, large or small, to advertise online with no minimum budget requirement. Small businesses in particular should grab this chance to show their services or products through Google ads, as it might be their only chance to appear on Google search results. It might not be that easy to appear on organic search results pages alongside large companies enjoying big budgets and SEO specialists, so outranking them in that area might be next to impossible.

Measure results

AdWords is a highly effective tool that allows you to analyse your data via detailed reports. Information about the clicks on your ads, your sales, your return on investment, your average position, and your average CPC are readily available. You can get an insight on your competition and find out which keywords brought the most sales, which ads performed best, which keywords didn’t bring any sales but cost a lot, and what time your ads performed well. All this information is valuable as it allows you to improve your results. This is even more important for a small businesses with a restricted budget that doesn’t want to spend money on poorly performing keywords or ads.

Retarget previous visitors

Another advantage of Google AdWords is remarketing. It gives you the opportunity to show your ads again to people who have previously visited your website. We’ve all experienced it: You visit a website looking for a product, leave the website and all of sudden you keep seeing ads for the the product you were looking at, so it stays in your mind. This technique generally has good results and generates sales among people who have already shown interest in your products. They may have been interrupted while shopping online, so reminding them about your products – as simple as it seems – can really work.

Whatever your industry, and no matter how small your daily advertising budget, I you should try AdWords for at least two or three months.

Bear in mind, however, that AdWords works better with a well-structured website so you might need to improve yours before trying AdWords. Your AdWords efforts could well be counterproductive if you create great ads that are redirecting to a poor website.

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RICHARD TALBOT Head of Paid Search

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An experienced digital marketer with 8+ years of industry experience, Richard has worked in client account management at both Google AdWords and Microsoft's Bing Ads in Dublin. He now leads the Paid Search & Display Advertising team at Tinderpoint delivering successful campaigns for a portfolio of diverse national and international clients across many industries.