5 Google ads tips and considerations for small businesses

Google ads are a great way for a small business to generate leads quickly. If not done right, it can get expensive and yield little results. Some business owners would rather hire a professional to set Google ads up. Yet, there are always some business owners that are do-it-yourselfers who would rather get hands-on about Google Ads. Now, I will be honest, there are tons of technical blogs and videos on how to use Google Ads from a technical standpoint. So that is not what we are going to focus on. For example, if you want to learn about ad structure, I would suggest this blog post by WordStream. Instead, we want to go deeper into advice and strategies a small business may want to consider in using Google ads. Considerations like the matter of cost versus a profit of your product or service, or what intent search targeting is. Here are 5 Google ads tips and considerations for small businesses.

Before we begin, some key terms.

Campaign: A campaign contains a single advertising objective, such as traffic or conversions, for one or more ad groups. Budgeting is done at the campaign level and if you expect certain things within a campaign will perform differently (better or worse) that’s a good indication it should be a separate campaign.

Ad group: An ad group contains one or more ads and your targeting. A good ad group setup has a unique set of ad messages that directly match your targeting.

Ad: The creative (text, image, video, etc.) that users will see.

Keyword: The phrase or word(s) a user enters into the search engine.

Keyword match type: Keyword match type involves controlling how broad or exact the chosen keywords (synonyms, related searches, etc.) must be to trigger an ad.

Negative keywords: If you want to prevent your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase, you would add it to your negative keywords list. This helps you exclude similar but irrelevant keywords (e.g. “apple cider” for Apple the brand).

Quality score: The relevancy of an ad to the search term or audience being targeted. Generally, the higher the quality score, the lower the cost per click and the better the ad position.

Do your research.

Keyword research is going to be a necessity in order to determine not only the right keywords that are being searched but how expensive it is going to be. In truth, this is probably not news to you. What most will not tell you is these are best guesses. If you use a long tail or what can be called “intent” keywords phrases, your cost can vary from what you thought. Yet, even in knowing this, keyword research is still going to point you in the right direction, especially in what is being currently searched.

Normal profit of service verse cost of the ads.

Advertising in a lot of ways, especially when your company is newer or you debuting a new service or product, exchanging some of the “profit” you would get from your service or product for exposure in order to increase overall business. Working with google ad is the same way. Yet, just like any advertising, you need to consider the cost of the ad verse what you profit from each sale and see if that final number is tolerable to you. For example, HVAC service keywords can range $50 to $60 dollars a click. Yet if each job is for that keyword is around $1000, with say $450 profit per job, then $60 to get the job does not seem that bad. Yet if your profit on the service is only $200, and each click is around $60 clicks, and it takes about 4 clicks to get 1 job, that is -$40.  Google ads are not cheap. So my recommendation is to either know that in order to gain brand attention, you might spend more than “profit” for a time or use Google ads on your higher-end products and services, with a lower end offer for those who cannot afford that particular service, but willing to pay something and that willingness will help cut the overall cost for you.

“Intent” Targeting.

Intent targeting is simply adding intent into the keyword. Instead of bidding on “clogged toilets”, you could bid on “fix clogged toilets”. Adding a verb to your keyword is a good way of weeding out junk clicks. Be aware, it has been my experience that these keyword phrases are more expensive. So, this is best if you are targeting a very specific type of lead.

Broad match for brand awareness, broad match modifiers and exact match for leads.

Broad match is where if you just enter clogged toilets, anything with clogged, or toilets or a combination of both with other filler words can bring up your ad. If you are trying to bring a lot of traffic, this could be a way to go. Yet you or your ad specialist needs to be vigilant about what searches your ad is being clicked on. You could get a lot of junk clicks, costing you money. On the other hand, it may be a great way to discover other relevant keywords that could be added to your keyword list. For this reason, I usually recommend this approach if you are trying to increase brand awareness. To see what keywords and phrases your ad has been brought up and clicked on, go to Keywords>search insights.

If you are on a tight budget and are going more for leads, there are two other keyword match types that are better suited for what you are looking to do. First is broad match modifiers. When adding keywords, you would add a “plus sign” in front of each word. What that will do, is signal to Google that those words with the plus sign in front must be included in the search query in order for your ad to come up. In keeping with our clogged toilets example, it would look like this:  +clogged +toilets.

Exact Match is pretty much exactly as it sounds. The exact (or very similar) phrase needs to be in the search query in order for your ad to be visible. It would look like this [clogged toilets]. A way to combine intent targeting with exact match keywords would be [need a clogged toilet fixed].

Don’t stuff your ad groups with a ton of keywords.

You want your keywords to have a high-quality score. The best way to do that is to have the ad from the ad group mention either keyword directly. The rule of thumb is you want 3 to 4 ads per ad group. So, you would want 3 to 4 keywords per ad group. There are a few other ways to structure the ads to keywords depending on your ad copy that we won’t go into here, but the basic idea is to keep a minimal amount of keywords per ad group on your campaign.

Remarketing Campaigns, the less expensive reminder.

Remarketing ads are display ads that are shown to those who have visited your site (or another asset). These ads are great for brand awareness. It “reminds” past viewers of your brand. They do tend to be a bit on the cheaper side versus conventional text ads. Two pieces of advice when using remarketing ads: First, it has been my experience that conversions are lower than search ads, so just bear in mind that these are more for brand awareness. Second, use motion gif when you can, it will draw more attention to your ad and call to action.

Google ads is an ever-shifting landscape. If you are trying to navigate that landscape, these 5 tips will help you set up a strategy needed to bring in leads and business. If you’re still unsure of the best strategy to use, Hughbanks Design offers a free consultation and strategy session designed to give you direction and clarity in the best way to use your Google ads.

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