A local business group contacted me to do a presentation on Google Ads. Naturally, since we’re a Google Ads management agency, I was thrilled to do so. But getting people to come to a paid evening session on this topic proved to be a challenge for my host. He said to me that the topic was “new and confusing to people”.
Well, that floored me. Google Ads (formerly Adwords) has been around for a long time and surely everyone must at least know about it! But, a look at just one of the several Ads ad management screens within the platform, and you can see how anyone might find it to be difficult to use.
Many try it and give up in frustration, concluding that it doesn’t work and a waste of money.
Facebook ad management screens are no easier, by the way.
Most businesses don’t have the time or staff to devote to getting the most out of Google Ads. Some prefer using Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other closed ad platforms – they’re all effective platforms depending on what your goals are.
But the consistent Google Ads promise can benefit most local businesses – if done correctly, and even on a small budget. That promise? Google Ads will show your business message to people who are looking for your products and services, at the time they’re looking for them, at their location, and in their language, at a price that you are willing to pay.
Ads may not be the right solution for every business or for every marketing challenge, but look at it this way, if you’re able to use Ads as the high ROI, lead producing, sales generating asset that it can be, you’re way ahead of your competition.
Here are 11 reasons why we believe local businesses should consider investing time and resources into getting good at using the Ads platform:
11 Reasons Why Local Businesses Should Use Adwords:
1. Online local marketing and advertising is huge and getting bigger. Driven by continuous development of mobile and geo-location technologies, local online advertising will become more important for businesses. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO said in late 2015: “Internally, all of our objectives are focused on mobile” This means that local online advertising will be the beneficiary of Google’s considerable development prowess.
One of the other factors is that businesses can no longer solely depend on SEO or social media to drive traffic. SEO results are getting more difficult to achieve and sustain. It takes months of effort to see SEO results, if at all.
2. Every internet search in your niche and in your location is a potential sale. Google search ads work well when people are looking online for a solution to a problem. A well designed Ads campaign targets people looking for your products and services within a specific radius around your location. They’re hot leads. If your business doesn’t show up in these searches, those potential buyers will go to a competitor who does.
“For local business owners, AdWords may be the only way you can reach most of the prospects who are looking for you on Google.
Take the example of someone who wants to buy a new mattress. If they just type in “buy a mattress”, Google will show mostly national results in their organic search results. For a local business to compete on that level for SEO is nearly impossible. Plus, most of the people typing in “buy a mattress” are not in your local area anyway so they’re not good prospects (unless, of course, you have a mail order business).
With AdWords, however, you can limit your ads to specific geographic locations. This means if you own a mattress store in Chicago, you can set your AdWords campaign so that your ads are only seen by people in the entire Chicago metro area, specific cities/towns/zip codes around Chicago, or a specific radius around your business.
In this case, the organic search results would still show all the big national mattress companies/sellers, but your ad can show up in AdWords and reach searchers you couldn’t reach by doing SEO.”
3. It’s profitable. If organized and set up properly (including your landing page), it can bring in more sales than dollars spent, primarily because advertisers pay only if someone clicks on their ad. Once people have clicked through to the landing page or called directly from the ad, the closing process is under the control of the business.
4. It’s Flexible. Google Ads has endless user features and formats to meet just about any business objective. A few examples: Drive traffic to your site using search ads, banner ads, remarketing ads, local catalog ads, and video ads. Target your audience by geography, time of day, demographics, interests, and affinities (Facebook is really good at interests and affinities but Google Ads is a quiet giant in this space too).
Set a maximum daily or campaign budget and use a range of manual and automated bidding strategies.
All the ad performance data necessary to optimize ad copy, bids, costs, banner art, and keywords, is available through the platform, or on the go through the mobile app.
5. It’s predictable. In Adwords, everything is measurable, and you soon learn that buyers behave in consistent patterns. So if after setting up and optimizing your campaigns, you learn that 5% of the people who see your ad will click through to your website, it’s likely to be that way every time you run that campaign, barring any major marketplace changes. It’s the same way for tracking people who clicked on the ad and actually became customers. Ads helps you to know ad performance numbers in a way that can be successfully repeated when you choose to run the campaign again.
6. It works quickly. Unlike SEO campaigns, you can see results almost the same day that you conceive and launch an Adwords campaign.
“AdWords is the quickest way to get your business listed on Page 1 of Google…the #1 place your prospects are looking for you. Things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Local Search (Google Places) are great strategies, but they take time (often months, if at all with all the Panda and Penguin turmoil) to get results with them.
With AdWords, you set up your campaign and can see your ads on Page 1 pretty much immediately.”
There’s nothing about Adwords that makes it a “set it and forget it” kind of deal. Adwords requires a degree of management attention to learn how keywords, landing page, and quality scores work together and to optimize them for the lowest cost and best performance.
7. No contract commitment. Start and stop campaigns as it fits the business need and advertising budget. There are no minimum spend requirements and no contracts.
8. Test your ad and websites quickly. Because everything about your ad experience is measured in Adwords, including costs, clicks, impressions, quality scores, click through rates, etc. you can split test the effectiveness of your website, keywords, and ad combinations. This allows you to optimize your campaign elements in a way that grows business.
In addition, ad testing allows you to use Adwords performance data to strengthen SEO efforts – for example using the most popular Adwords keywords to optimize organic results from web pages and blog posts.
9. Excellent budget control. Set a max spend limit for your campaign, a maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click, and how you’d like to bid on the keywords (maximize clicks, for example) that trigger your ad. With the standard version of Adwords, you have full control over what you spend and how you spend it.
10. Remarketing. 96% of people who visit your website leave without taking any action. An Ads remarketing campaign allows you to show text or display ads to people who have previously visited your website but didn’t take action.
Salespeople know that prospects often need multiple exposures to your products or brand before they’re ready to buy, Ads remarketing solves this problem, serves as a reminder to your prospects, and is one of the most cost effective online advertising methods.
11. Google will give nonprofits $10,000 per month in free ad spend. This is the feel-good benefit of Adwords. But for nonprofits, it can be a matter of survival. Free ad spend can be an effective way to get the nonprofit’s message out, raise funds, and find volunteers. Not many people know about this one, and because of its potential significance to society in general, it belongs in this top 10 list.
All the marketing buzz these days seems to be on Facebook and Instagram ads with relatively new players like Amazon and LinkedIn are now more aggressively wooing business advertisers. But If local businesses ignore Google Ads, in favor of the trendy ad platforms, they’re missing out on perhaps the most powerful business builder.
I don’t believe that any one marketing tool is the right solution for every marketing challenge, but there’s something compelling about the Google Ads promise and the power of its platform to build a local business that is not widely understood.
Photo By mohyiyi