Hi there! I am writing this article to discuss some basic technical and financial aspects of Google AdWords for startups. The reason why I am concentrating on the term start-ups is the fact that many young businesses loose out on the opportunities provided by Google AdWords. In my experience with my clients, I have found out that most of the startups have a small operating budgets and even smaller marketing budgets. Some even heretically believe that a mere presence on social media platforms is enough for their digital marketing. It is very difficult to make the business understand that having 1000 likes on your facebook page is not going to bring sales or website traffic or leads. But being present on a search engine result page when a user is searching for your business’ service or product will definitely bring more leads and website traffic. Now the idea here is not a brainwashing session for startups to jump ships to AdWords. I wish to inform you more about why you should use Google AdWords and how you could do it yourself to keep your finances not go haywire.
What is Google AdWords?
If you’ve ever done a Google search on digital marketing or paid advertising on google, you’ve probably come across Google AdWords more than once. It is also possible that you may have heard various synonyms or market terms such as pay per click advertising, search engine advertising, ppc, internet advertising etc. Anyhow, Google AdWords is an online advertising service developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings, and video content within the Google ad network to web users.
I am pretty sure that while searching on Google you have come across these ads. An example may look like this:
Is Google AdWords Worth It for Startups and Small Business?
The answer is not a straight yes. I am always careful before I suggest Google AdWords to my clients. My approach is more that Google AdWords can be worth it for small businesses—if you know when they make sense and how to optimize them. So let us find out together if AdWords makes sense to you or your startup.
Why use Google AdWords?
I do this prequel with my clients. I ask them why they want to start a Google AdWords campaign. Most of the times business owners have very vague answers about AdWords but almost everything make sense about their marketing strategy. This vagueness, in my opinion, arises from not knowing what Google AdWords can do for them. Let me list out a few important ones for you:
Reach people when they are looking for you
When people search for something on Google, they use some sentences or group of words. You may yourself have noticed that while searching something on Google. For e.g.: When I am looking for a plumber in my neighbourhood, I type into Google something of the sort “Plumber in Antwerp”. These search queries or the sentences entered by users to search on search engines are known as keywords. This is one of the primary ways of how you can reach your customer when they are searching online.
In my case, when I mentioned about looking for a plumber, wouldn’t it be a great idea to have a compelling ad showing up for a plumber service. I would probably click that and order that service. This can be done for your business too. This process is known as keyword research. A thorough keyword research can help you reach your clients whenever they need you.
Pay only when they click your ad
Ok! So maybe your ad is displayed but for one or the other reason the user decides to click on some other ad or maybe decides to not use the service at all. Damn! I have lost my money there. Actually no, you have lost no money. Google charges you nothing to display your ad. It only charges you when a user clicks on your ad. And don’t worry at all for fake clicks, because google is smart enough to know that.
Target your end users
This is one of the most powerful features of Google AdWords.
If you run a local business, you don’t care about appearing in search results outside of your area. Google AdWords lets you target your searches based on geography, which can help you get in front of potential customers near you or at the exact locations where you want to. Isn’t that just lovely?
You set the budget
Most of my clients are worried about this aspect. Well the greatest thing about Google is that you set the budget. If you do not want to get too competitive and want to start at as low as 1€ per day, yes you can do that. That means you can start you AdWords campaign at less that the cost of a coke per day. Moreover, you can stop the campaign whenever you wish.
Although, strictly speaking, determining budget and finances for you AdWords is more complicated than saying it is cheap. You have to understand competition, return on investments, cost per click, etc. But you can learn all of that once you start.
Send users to specific pages on your website
When someone clicks on your ad, they get sent to a page on your website. One of the strengths of AdWords is that you get to choose that page. By sending people to landing pages that offer what they’re looking for, you can increase your chances of converting them into customers.
Track all the results
With Google AdWords, you can track various metrics of your advertisement like how many clicks you got, how many people stayed on your page, for how long, etc.. You can even A/B test different ad copy and landing pages easily to maximize return on investments (ROI). You can also track if your visitors purchased something after clicking on your ads. That means, leave the guessing behind.
Get quick traffic
When compared with other digital marketing processes like SEO or content marketing, Google Advertising (and social media advertising) can bring you quick and fast website traffic. If your landing pages are optimised you can immediately start generating leads, making conversions or sales.
Target your competitors with your campaign
This is a secret superpower of Google AdWords. You can actually spy on the keywords of your competitors and make your ads display to your potential customers alongside your competition. With the right management of the campaign you could even place your ad before your competitor.
That is definitely a lot to read. If you are convinced till here that advertising on google will benefit you then let us proceed further. Also this answer our first part, google advertising is good for your business. And you should use Google AdWords to ensure a successful online business. Although, be careful and implement it properly.
How to use Google Adwords?
This question too can be answered in two parts. The first part is to learn about the technical aspect of Google AdWords. The second part is the preparation and strategy for your AdWords campaign. Now ofcourse, the strategy and preparation to set up a campaign will be different depending on your business. Although, in this article, I will give you some tips that I have learnt over the years for you to implement in your campaigns. Let us discuss them one by one:
Learn Google AdWords
If you are heading on the do-it-yourself path, then having the education and knowledge is very important. You can always become wiser by making mistakes but I suggest it is better to make informed mistakes. This will save you money and will bring higher returns on investments. Now, learning AdWords is beyond the scope of this article. Also, why learn it from me when the creators of AdWords have an amazing and easy to follow course tailored for you. If you wish, learn at the Academy for ads. You need to have a google account.
It is immersive, well structured and you can actually know all the technical details within a week. But be patient and take your time to understand everything in detail. After all, you will implement this knowledge on your own business.
Tips for creating a successful AdWords campaign
As I said before, it is very hard for me to provide you with a strategy. Every strategy has to be carefully crafted based on your business and other related data such as target customer, target locations, products and services, etc. But what I can do is to provide you with some tips that are universal and can be applied on any AdWords campaign to be successful.
- Determine your budget
- Comprehensive and quality keyword research
- Attractive Ads
- Relevant landing pages
- Selection of the network: Search, Display or both
- Targeting your ads
- Competition Analysis and Oppotunities
- Tracking and Optimisations