For a first-timer getting started with Google Ads, there is a lot of learning to be done. It’s one of the most complex advertising platforms, especially when you compare it to the simple act of boosting a post on Facebook. However, Google Ads can also be one of the most profitable for small businesses when managed correctly because it captures prospects when they are actively looking for your business.

If you’re seeking ways to improve your online marketing and increase revenue, read on to find out whether you should include Google AdWords in your marketing strategy.


What is Google Ads?

For the sake of those that have no idea what Google Ads is, let’s start with a brief overview:

Google Ads is the platform used to serve business ads in Google search results. On desktop there are usually 3-5 paid ads listed at the top of a search results page and 2-3 at the bottom. On a mobile device,s this is reduced to 1-2 paid ads at the top of a page of search results. These ads are free to display, however, when a person clicks on an ad, payment is taken from the advertiser. This method of advertising is called pay-per-click.

Google decides which ads to show to searchers based on the words you have told it you want to appear for, your designated budget, and how closely your ad and landing page fit with the search query.


Is Google AdWords more effective than other online advertising types?

The most effective ads reach the right user, at the right time, in the right place and with the right content.

With Google Ads, you know more certainly than on most other platforms that your prospect is open and receptive to receiving sales messaging at this time. They have the intent to find out more about the product or service that you can offer and may even be ready to make a purchase right then and there.

When you compare that level of openness to, say a Facebook ad, which interrupts the user whilst they access a personal social channel for entertainment or other reasons, it’s easy to see why Google Ads is such an effective channel for driving sales and revenue.


How to tell whether Google Ads is worth your time

The first thing you need to know before committing to running Google Ads is the level of demand for your product or service on Google.

If you run an engineering business that supplies very complex products to other businesses, you might find that your prospective customers aren’t searching for those products on Google.

On the other hand, if you’re an accountant servicing the local area there may well be a large number of potential customers using Google to find ‘accountants in [city]’.

To understand the level of demand for your product or service, you need to start with keyword research.

As a small business, you also need to know how competitive your industry is for Google Ads and how much you can afford to invest. More competition usually translates to higher cost, as Google Ads works on an auction system.

By that I mean, you tell Google how much you want to ‘bid’ for your ad to be shown on the words you want to rank for, as do other advertisers, and a combination of your bid and the quality of your ads is how Google will decide in which order to rank your ads.

Naturally, the more people involved in an auction, the higher the end cost is likely to be. The industries I’ve experienced to be very competitive in Australia include:

  • Real Estate
  • Finance – insurance and loans
  • Retail – depending on the product
  • Marketing

For more data about notoriously expensive topics in AdWords, see this infographic:

sales funnel diagram

What is keyword research?

Perhaps the most insightful and interesting part of preparing a Google Ads campaign (or is that just the data nerd in me!), keyword research is when you use an online tool to find out how many searches happen each month for words that closely relate to what you sell. Plus, how much you need to bid for your ads to appear in results.

The most reliable tool to use for this research is Google Keyword Planner but unfortunately, Google has limited the detail you can get from this unless you have an existing and active advertising account.

Your other options are to use a tool such as Keysearch or SEMrush, which require a paid subscription but do offer short-term free trials.

Start by entering words you think your customers will use to describe your product or service and filter the results by the country you want to target.

Tip: If your competitors or big players in your industry are already advertising, you can also enter their web address in most tools to get details of the keywords they are using and how much they’re spending.

When reviewing a keyword on these platforms, take note of three things:

1. Number of average monthly searches
2. Difficulty score if available
3. Average or recommended cost-per-click

With Google Keyword Planner you’ll also be able to see how many clicks you could expect for your ‘bid’.

Use this intel to assess roughly how much traffic per month you could expect to receive from Google Ads and what the average cost and therefore your required budget will be.

If it’s an investment you can afford and the search volume is there, Google Ads could definitely be a viable advertising option for you.

I think Google Ads could help my business, what next?

Once you have the justification to trial Google Ads, the next set of challenges are:

  • Setting up your Account, Campaigns, and Ad Groups the right way
  • Learning the different keyword match types
  • Writing and creating high-converting ads
  • Designing the perfect landing page for each Ad Group
  • Testing bidding methods
  • Checking quality score and making changes to improve this
  • Finding insights and reporting to keep improving results

Much of the above starts to get very technical, and this post isn’t intended to be a step-by-step guide to setting up Google Ads, so I’ll cover these topics in upcoming blog posts. Sign up to be notified when these go live by joining The Trusted Club and getting access to a free library of marketing resources!

However, if you’re keen to get started with Google Ads soon and want to shortcut the learning curve, I can help you out as your Virtual Marketer or as a Marketing Coach. Contact me here to arrange a call and we can chat about the support that will save you the most time and get the best results.

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Thumbnail Aimee Binstead

Hello there business owner!

I'm Aimee, an online marketing freelancer based in Perth, Western Australia. I believe that time is our most important asset as humans on this planet, which is why I left the corporate office world of marketing agencies to run my own days as a self-employed online marketer. It's also why I work exclusively with small business owners who need a trusted, reliable marketer to relieve them of tasks that steal their time away. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to speak with you one day very soon!
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