Small business doesn't mean small growth. Dare to scale with Google Ads.

By Tanya Dharmapala on Mar 22, 2021
Small business doesn't mean small growth. Dare to scale with Google Ads.

Pay-per-click. Either the most exciting or daunting thing you'll ever take on.

Google Ads, previously known as Google Adwords, can be an imposing investment. It sounds great, in theory, paying only when someone clicks on an ad. How incredibly cost-effective... right?

Well, that's true. Sort of. But there's a lot more to it. You can't just dump your cash into Google Ads and hope that the unbeatable, all-knowing King of the Internet will sell for you. You have to show you're worth it.

Google Ads will take time and dedication. You'll need to test, fail, learn, pivot, scale. Snooze and repeat.

But do Google Ads work for small business? Yes. With the right strategy and tools, this can be a fantastic opportunity for businesses of all sizes.

What's so great about Google Ads?

Brendon smiling - what's so great about google ads

We get it. Big businesses can afford to throw money at PPC ads over and over until something sticks. But small businesses don't have that luxury.

So, why take the risk? Because if you nail your strategy, the results can be mind-blowing.

Pay-per-click or PPC Ads on Google promise some really unique results over other advertising streams.

There are five main things that a Google Ads campaign does better than more traditional forms of advertising or even other digital paid ads strategies.

Cost-effective investment

Like we said before, you pay only when people click which means, unlike other fixed-rate ads, you won't be spending money on media that doesn't get any results at all. Even better, the greater your ad performs, the more you'll be rewarded by Google with lower costs and greater visibility.

An unbelievable reach

Almost the entire world relies on Google. Especially in a world where consumers' shopping behaviour has changed drastically, bringing them online for more and more types of purchases and research around those products. Being on Google is your greatest chance to get in front of your target customer.

Precision in the customer journey

When someone clicks on your ad, they'll drop on the landing page you choose. Total control over what the user sees means you've got a greater chance to convince them to convert. On top of that, you'll get some amazing data to help you further optimise those landing pages and make tweaks to drive even better sales.

Localised targeting

Not only can business owners target people based on where they are, but also on areas of interest and areas they've been - whatever makes sense for your business. Local businesses can also tap into Google My Business ads and Google Maps ads to create a holistic experience around that target location and make it easier for potential customers to visit the physical store.

Total budget flexibility and maximising ROI

Google Ads offers results for any budget size. With absolute control over your campaign budget, daily budget, and even keyword-level bidding, it'll never cost more than you want it to and Google offers several ways to optimise your ROI, from comprehensive bidding strategies to the end-to-end view the search engine takes when it reviews your ad, including the impact of your post-click landing page, before offering a particular cost-per-click (CPC). The better you meet its standards, the lower your CPC will be and the higher the margins on your return.

Sure, but are Google Ads going to work for MY business?

We've heard the question "Do Google Ads work for small business?" many times before. Let's use an example to answer that question.

Imagine you're a local tour company. You sell small tour packages just for the day at an average sale value of $300.

It's a highly competitive industry and the clicks are a little costly. You end up spending a little over $1 on every click and get around 1200 clicks. That's a monthly spend of roughly $1300 getting 1200 people to your website.

The average conversion rate for e-commerce based websites is just under 2.7%. You'll get 32 sales at $300, giving you $9720 - a Return on Ad Spend of over 7X!

Of course, if your website is awesome and does its job, you'll probably have a really competitive conversion rate! Let's say... a casual 7.5%. That's 90 sales at $300 each making you $27,000. A ROAS over 20X? Yes please!

Is that realistic, you ask? Absolutely! We know because that's our tour client, based right here in WA, smashing their goals with a well-designed PPC strategy.

Ready for your own incredible results? We'll show you how.

Stop. Have you looked at your website?

Have you looked at your website

One thing that many business owners, agencies and experts forget to address is that ads are only step one.

Before you invest in a mind-blowing ad strategy that drives thousands of people to your website, make sure it's actually ready to be on display. No amount of success in your Google Ads campaign will make up for a website that won't convert.

Think about the landing pages you're about to send people to and what you want potential customers to do when they get there. If the next step is unclear, if your site is hard to navigate, if the page doesn't have anything to do with the ad, people will leave fast.

In a previous piece on Search Engine Optimisation, we talked about the impact of the landing page on the quality score assigned by the search engine and how that, in turn, affects how where you show up on the search results. The same applies here.

Google is not going to serve ads to your target audience if you don't deliver a good user experience, even if you're willing to pay.

Get your digital home in order and people will spend more time on-site, you'll see higher conversion rates and Google will reward you with a higher impression share and lower CPC with your target audience.

Now you've got a decent site and you're ready to convert, let's drive that traffic.

Give the people what they want!

give the people what they want

Like any form of advertising, you must lock in on your target. Ads only work when you address a specific desire for a specific person.

This is even more critical on Google Ads because of the underlying concept of intent marketing. The power in Google Ads is the ability to get in front of people when they're already looking for your solution. So, knowing exactly what you're pushing and what you're measuring is essential.

You'll also have to know your customers inside out. Intent marketing is a powerful tool only when you can match the true need to search terms. This is where keyword research comes in. Not every search is going to lead to a sale.

You need to identify exactly what information a user is looking for when they run a search. For example, imagine you're a dentist with a typical range of services. Let's say you want to get some new clients for your Teeth Whitening service which has a pretty decent margin. You might think to run PPC ads targeting "teeth whitening" which has over 33,000 searches. That's a lot of potential clients!

However, there's a good chance that could be a search related to teeth whitening take-home kits. Or replacement strips. Sure, at least some of the 33,000 searches may result in a sale but at what cost? With a little planning and comprehensive keyword research you could drill down into exactly what a true potential sale might search for, such as "teeth whitening treatment Perth" or "teeth whitening cost".

Once you know what you want to sell and who you want to reach, you can start thinking about the nuts and bolts of your campaign.

How do I get the right clicks?

how do I get the right clicks

It's one thing to set up a Google Ads account and set up some paid search ads. It's another thing to hit your business goals with this strategy, even if you find ideal keywords and tap into the powerful intent in the right search results.

Like we said at the start, paid ads take time, effort, analysis and adaptation. It's a constant process. You'll have to make sure you're bidding at the right level, that your ad copy is engaging, that your ads are showing to the right people, and so much more.

There are a few key things you can do to help optimise your PPC ads:

Set up accurate conversion tracking

Running paid ads without comprehensive conversion tracking makes it infinitely harder to know if it's working for you. Small business owners have to make every marketing dollar count so it's important to be able to quantify the return on investment (ROI).

What this usually entails is identifying key actions that have some value to your business, whether that's a sale or a form fill or even a phone call and tracking that action on the Ads manager platform so that you can match the action to a specific click on a specific ad.

The data produced from this tracking will allow you to tweak copy, placement, bids and more as you can see which ads produce which valuable actions. It'll also help you further refine your keyword lists when you can see the conversion rates of specific keywords.

A second layer to keyword strategies

Unlike with SEO, there's a little more to keyword mapping when it comes to Google Ads.

Most of the ad formats here work by targeting specific keywords but there are multiple ways to do so. For example, a broad match will allow Google to target search terms that have some resemblance or relevance to your original keyword. A target keyword of 'hats' might see ads served up for 'caps' or 'beanies'.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have exact match keywords, which gives Google less flexibility, telling the algorithm to show ads only for that keyword or incredibly close variations.

It's important to know when it makes sense to have a specific match type when you're filtering through your target keywords.

Another interesting layer to this is in negative keywords, used to filter out results instead of targeting them. For example, you might want to add competitor brands or competing products to negative lists.

Understand the best campaign type for you

understand the best campaign

There are four main campaign types on Google, the most "basic" forms of which are search ads. Google also offers Shopping, Display, Video and App campaigns as well. So it's crucial to identify what makes sense for your business. When should you run search ads? Will a Shopping campaign sell well?

Choosing the right campaign depends on your business goals, the relevance to the audience in terms of where they will most likely see ads, the estimated cost of clicks, the expectations for return on ad spend and the scalability if it works.

Create a compelling ad

Creating your ad involves two things: the meat of it (copy and creatives) and the supporting elements. The main content requires careful copywriting, consistent creatives and so on. The usual rules of advertising, if you will.

The supporting elements, known as ad extensions, help you create a larger ad, taking up more of the "real estate" on the top of the search results. These extensions include things like your phone number, pricing, ratings, physical location, secondary links to other parts of your website and so on.

Well-planned extensions will give potential new customers more information about your business as well as more reasons and opportunities to click.

For example, if you wanted to drive more phone call-based leads to your business, you might consider having a phone call extension that places a clickable phone number on mobile ads so people can call you with one click.

Consider where you want to be seen

Google has a large network of partners and other products that can show your ads off the search results page for maximum reach and brand awareness. This is known as the Google Display Network.

Display ads promise greater reach for lower cost, which can be really useful if your business goal is to raise your brand awareness. They put you in front of potential new customers before they even know they need you, getting your higher in mind during the discovery stage of the buying cycle.

However, it might not provide the best conversion rate for you. While the strategy should not be written off, it's important to keep in mind that these don't tap into the powerful intent behind paid search ads. You might want to consider running some testing on display ads to see if they lead to good results for your business.

Well. It's time to start converting

It's time to start converting

Google Ads is a beast of an undertaking. But the dividends in-store can be significant, if you manage the investment properly. It's an opportunity for small business owners to scale their success with lower-cost media spend and greater reach.

As long as you know who you want to reach, what you want to sell and what they are looking for, an AdWords campaign is your chance to get in front of the right people at the right time. Tapping into the world's biggest powerhouse of a search engine, you can be there on every google search that makes sense for your business.

All it takes is the right mindset and strategy. Making sure that you're ready to provide a good user experience so that Google assigns you a greater quality score is the key to success. The more relevant you appear to be, the higher up you'll show on search results, raising your click-through rate and lowering your CPC.

Want help making your money work for you? Hit us up

Running a successful Google Ads campaign is a lot of work. From design to monitoring, tracking your conversions and adapting the strategy constantly is a big investment in time and resources. Especially for a small business.

That's okay. That's what we're here for.

As PPC ad specialists, we'll scale and grow your business with paid ads, taking the guesswork out of optimisation and keeping our eye on the ball so you don't have to.

If you'd like to jump on this massive opportunity without the stress, speak to the experts at Dilate Digital today.

Dilate Digital are Google Premier Partners

Google Premier Partners

Proudly wearing our Google Premier Partner status, we've been able to work closely with expert Google professionals to help hundreds of clients across industries build their business with well-designed ads. Our partnership with Google allows us to tap into exclusive resources and insights, staying ahead of the game in this competitive arena, so you can enjoy better performance and greater peace of mind.

To get started, jump on a call with us today on 1300 345 283 or send through an enquiry.

Pay-per-click. Either the most exciting or daunting thing you'll ever take on.

Google Ads, previously known as Google Adwords, can be an imposing investment. It sounds great, in theory, paying only when someone clicks on an ad. How incredibly cost-effective... right?

Well, that's true. Sort of. But there's a lot more to it. You can't just dump your cash into Google Ads and hope that the unbeatable, all-knowing King of the Internet will sell for you. You have to show you're worth it.

Google Ads will take time and dedication. You'll need to test, fail, learn, pivot, scale. Snooze and repeat.

With the right strategy and tools, this can be a fantastic opportunity for businesses of all sizes.

Tanya Dharmapala

Hey, I'm Tanya - lover of staying busy, challenging myself, digging deep into digital and working closely with clients! And food. Especially food. The thing I love the most about digital marketing is how it's always changing. There's always a new challenge to tear your hair out over. But when you figure it out? That's the sweetest feeling of them all.

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