When you’re a business owner, there’s a million and one things you can spend money on in an attempt to attract new customers to your business.
But once you have completed your branding, launched your website and got people to take notice, there may not be a lot of money left for you to consider paid digital advertising as a viable option.
So, you'll be pleased to hear that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have an established presence with Google AdWords. There’s no minimum budget and you only pay when someone clicks on your adverts.
Plus, if you follow our tips, you’ll be able to take advantage of this powerful platform and start driving traffic to your website quickly whatever your budget.
Take your time and think about your target audience. Who are they? Where are they based? When do they spend time looking for services?
One of the biggest crimes with Google Ads is wasted spend. This often comes from ads being shown 24/7 when the business is only open for 40 hours per week, so think about the time schedule that you want your ads to be shown. The last thing you want is people calling your office when you are closed – especially when you are paying for that phone call.
Equally if you want to target people in a specific area or country, make sure your ads are only set to show in these regions or the surrounding areas by using the radius tool. Otherwise you will waste money on irrelevant traffic. For example, your ‘sweet spot’ may be people within a 30km radius of Brussels – Google Ads allows you to target people who are based in this area at the time of their search.
By ensuring that you are targeting the right people at the right time, you will be able to provide a better experience for your clients while also increasing your quality score with Google – an important algorithm which determines the position of your ad and how much you will pay for a visitor.
Next you need to map out your keywords. By having a good range of keywords you are opening your doors to more potential visitors who are searching for a business like yours but using different terminology.
It is important that you steer clear of vague generic keywords, particularly single words. Borrowing the example from the previous tip, imagine you have an Italian Restaurant in Brussels and you are looking to target people within 30km of your location. A generic keyword like ‘restaurant’ won’t pick up people in your area that are looking to eat a nice lasagne for dinner, so we have to cast the net a little bit wider.
Instead, you should try something more descriptive like ‘Italian restaurant Brussels’ or a product focused keyword like “Best lasagne in Brussels” to grab more attention.
Google’s own Keyword Planner tool is a great place to start to help you build out a keyword list. This tool allows you to drill down into traffic volumes on particular keywords based on past search data. You can also gather keywords from a website URL as well, so you could either ask Google to scrape your website and gather recommendations from there or put your competitors URL in and see what they are targeting.
When you produce your list, pay close attention to the CPC (Cost-Per-Click) data. While the most expensive ones may deliver more traffic, they will also obliterate your budget very quickly.
If your goal is to increase the number of inbound phone calls to your business, then focusing on mobile users is an absolute must.
Google Ads comes with a number of built-in ad extensions that allow you to add additional information to your ads, such as your location, products, phone number and more.
With over 60% of Google searches coming from mobile devices users, it is essential that your ad delivers an impactful message with a very clear call to action so it grabs the user’s attention immediately.
A phone extension not only makes an ad look more aesthetically pleasing, but it allows the user to click the ad and call you immediately with zero friction. This can be super effective and will cost a fraction of several wasted clicks on a desktop.
Other tricks that can be implemented here are automatic bid adjustments for mobile users – making your ad appear higher in the listings – and using separate mobile friendly ads designed specifically for the tech savvy mobile searcher.
Selecting the right Google Ads bidding strategy for adjusting bids is critical to managing your paid search budget.
While Google Ads’ AI features may not be able to produce an exceptional advertising campaign from scratch, it can help you increase or decrease your bids without you having to lift a finger.
Smart bidding is a selection of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to maximise conversions. These take into account everything from the user’s location, the browser they are using, their native language, keyword relevance, the time of day and even your competitors performance.
With a smart bidding strategy in place, the AI will make sure your bid is increased when your ad has the best chance to outperform your competition. Conversely, it will also drop your bid when your competitors are better placed so that you don’t waste precious budget.
This means you can “set and forget” campaigns without having to keep tinkering with bids throughout the day.
Your landing page is your shop window. This is the page that you direct your visitors to once they have clicked on your ad.
The biggest thing to remember here is that your landing page must be super-relevant to your ads. The relevance of this page to the ad and its potential can have a significant impact on your ad rank - which is part of the Google Quality Score algorithm we mentioned previously.
The goal here should not be just to create an ad that someone clicks on. It should be to create an ad someone clicks on…and lead them to the product or information that is of value to them.
You may capture the attention of an Italian foodie fanatic by serving an advert for ‘free pizza’ but if they land on a generic landing page about a restaurant with no mention of this offer, they won’t stick around.
Not only will this impact your conversions, it’ll also negatively impact your Quality Score too, leading to lower rankings and higher costs in the long run.
From our experience, it is best to create landing pages with a clear content offer. Whether it is an integrated form, a downloadable piece of content or a product to purchase, and then map this to the most relevant keywords in your campaign. When the landing page is most relevant to the ad that is being shown, conversions tend to increase and we also see that cost tends to decrease in parallel because the Quality Score is steadily improving.