Effectiveness of Google AdWords for Small Businesses
We always have clients ask us if it’s a good idea or not to implement social media or Google ad campaigns into their current strategy with marketing. Our answer has always been the same and, hopefully, you will gain some insight into this article as to why that is.
For many years in the digital marketing industry, we have watched trends and particular methods for increasing a business’s revenue and customer acquisition come and go. But over time, there’s a single powerful system that dramatically changed its algorithm that made it not so cost-effective or not really effective at all. And that’s Google AdWords.
It’s still true though that Google AdWords, as a science, can do a lot when done wisely and strategically. It is imperative that one must continuously watch the campaign as it is running in order for anyone to make the necessary changes as far as geography, promotions, target market, etc. until you find that precious something we, as digital marketers, are all looking for.
Now, pay-per-click (PPC) ads that appear on Google search results pages are extremely beneficial when it comes to generating traffic, which in return converts into customers and then sales by pushing your business to the top items of the search results.
That said, we would like to say that there is an even playing field for small businesses when it comes to PPC — but we’ll be lying. The harsh truth is that Google AdWords campaigns can actually blow through your budget in a blink of an eye before you even get to see any results.
First, you must find the best relevant keywords to invest your dollars into, but even that does not guarantee you immediate success. Having the big dogs (corporations and large companies) paying the big bucks to lock in those same keywords with their willingness to pay a higher cost to solidify them and rank well beyond your means — blocks any small business’s way to the top.
Which brings us to the tactic we hate the most, the “alternative”, with most marketing companies giving you the “bright idea” to simply lower your CCP or cost per click? But that really isn’t a solution either nor is it that bright; it’s quite irritating in fact.
We always remind small business owners to keep in mind that there are at least over a million advertising companies globally fighting for the top spot on Google. You can assume then that any keyword relative to your business has been used and is being used.
Moreover, lowering your CCP puts you in a precarious state of constant war for high ranking keywords. You’ll be continuously competing for the top spot without ever having the funds nor leverage to achieve that goal. Being settled on the thought that lowering your CCP will “benefit” you will be detrimental to your campaign and ego. In the end, you will be wasting your time, effort, research, and resources on a pointless strategy that really won’t bring you any business at all.
We would like to take the time to say our intentions are not to throw dirt on my industry, rather just point out that there are a lot of rip-offs, hack jobs, and frauds out there that are eager to take your hard-earned money knowing they are really not qualified, educated, nor experienced enough in the field of running Google or social media ad campaigns.
Before deciding to hand your money to a freelancer or marketing agency out there who might just make a huge mess of things, do your diligent research on them at the very least. Go do a quick google search and look for reviews, run through their website, and see what they have accomplished. Look for some of the big names they have worked for. Check what services they offer exactly and check for real results. Request some analytics of campaigns they have successfully run in the past that you can check — preferably relative or relevant to your business, if possible.
Google AdWords as a Science and as an Art (It’s harder than it seems)
It’s not as simple as it may look like to just place your hope on Google and start running ad campaigns that will actually bring an R.O.I. It takes a lot of talent, experience, and skill. Belonging to the long list of “requirements” is having the fine attention to detail, as well as the ability to analyze and predict where things are heading and modify things as necessary.
For now, a quick real talk is needed: if Google and social media ads campaigns were actually easy as it sounds, corporations and big companies wouldn’t be outsourcing help and paying agencies millions and billions of dollars to do it for them. They would just have some random office employees throw out an ad here or there at a base salary.
Small Business can still benefit from Google AdWords
So after all the downside points that we discussed just now, I’d like to take Google AdWords back up just a bit. In terms of a small business’s budget, every cent down to the penny must be accounted for in order to bring the best result.
What we do know now is that really getting to know a small business’s needs and target market can go a long way. Which of their products or services sells the most? What’s the average ticket sale per customer? What drives the most revenue for the business? What are the slow days like? And more. When it comes to running a successful social media or Google ad campaign, these key components are extremely valuable.
Getting to know and understand your competition — what they are doing and how do they run their business. This would still be the most profitable information to us. Imagine this, the more you understand, know and learn about what your competitors are doing, the better you can execute a strategic plan to get rid of them, move ahead of them and potentially take their customers.
As an example, if you own a small cafe and Mark’s Coffee Brewery is a direct competitor within a 3 mile radius let’s say, and they are running a weekend special of a BOGO (buy-one-get-one) coffee, well you could put out an ad promoting a BOGO coffee weekend special and outdo their promotions thus drawing their customers in to your location in hopes of keeping them long term.
Keep in mind though that there are two types of customers: loyal ones and bargain shoppers. You’re going to want to put your best foot forward to identify the bargain shoppers. They are only looking for the businesses that offer the best deals out there and won’t mind switching over to your competitors at a moment’s notice.
Implementing an opt-in loyalty rewards program that provides you strong analytics on each customer will give one solution to the need for weeding out of bargain shoppers. A rewards program that will have a database of mobile numbers you can collect that allows you to get in touch with your customers in real-time. The great thing about rewards programs is that it shows you your customers’ habits, their rate of visitation, etc. Thus, allowing you to focus on and reward the ones who are loyal to your business.
We do hope you learned something out of this article and realize that the short answer is yes, Google AdWords, with enough diligence, can really work for small businesses.
There’s a long (even unlimited) list of benefits, pros, and cons of utilizing Google ads for your business. But the end result will always come down to the marketing agency you will be choosing to represent you. They will be the one going into an ad campaign for you and will give you the best possible bang for your buck. Just make sure to do your own part and search for a legitimate professional for your business.
Always strive for the best but more importantly make sure to plan for it! Do not blindly rush in thinking you have the best products or services so people are going to run to your store. If you need any help or have any questions about Google AdWords, we’ll be eager to help you. Reach out anytime.