The short answer to this question is yes, Google Ads work very well for small businesses when set up, managed, and measured correctly. They’re less likely to run successfully if they’re set up quickly and not monitored by someone with limited experience.
If you’re a small business, allocating your marketing budget correctly is fundamental. It’s easy to fall into the trap of setting up a campaign, whether it’s through Google Ads or Facebook, leaving it to run and checking back in a week’s time to find you’ve spent budget without generating any new leads, sales, or bookings.
We’ve compiled information every small business should consider before delving back into or launching their first Google Ads campaign.
Start with a campaign type that works for your industry
There are several different types of Google Ads campaigns you can run, and choosing which one is likely to work best for you really depends on the industry you operate in, your marketing budget, and what a conversion looks like to you. The different types of Google Ads are Search, Display, Shopping, Video (YouTube), App, Smart, Discovery, and Performance Max. Struggle to choose which one is right for you without understanding the benefits of each, keep reading!
If you’re a small business offering a service i.e., Solicitors, Estate Agents, Accountants, then a Search campaign is almost certainly the best to get started with.
Search campaigns are the standard text ads you see when you search a phrase in Google.
A very simplified explanation of how this works on the back end is you (the business) add a select number of keyword phrases you think your customers are likely to be searching for, apply a budget, and create the campaign.
Google Shopping campaigns can be great for small e-commerce businesses! This is a way of getting your product right in the eye line of an engaged potential customer.
Consider holding back on display or discovery campaigns. Although great for brand awareness, if you’re a small business and just getting started with Google Ads, these can eat away at your budget and you’re less likely to see a return as the potential client/customer won’t be at the stage in their journey where they’re specifically searching for your service when the ad is served to them.
Invest time in becoming an expert, or get one to look after them for you
More often than not, Google Ads don’t work for businesses because they’re quickly set up with no prior competitor analysis, poor keyword research, no calculated bidding strategy, incorrect conversion configuration, or no tracking in place at all. What’s more, they’re then not checked for days at a time, and businesses are then left puzzled as to why they’ve had no new customers.
If you have a viable business, a service/product people are looking for, competitive pricing, and a website that functions well, there is absolutely no reason why Google Ads won’t work for you.
When set up and managed by a professional, Google Ads can be one of the single most effective strategies for growing your business online. It can be transformative to your business and generate a remarkable return on investment. Don’t try and save a few pounds by setting them up yourself if you’re not an expert and miss out on the opportunity, it’s not worth it!
Don’t be afraid to spend budget
It can be difficult when cash flow is tight to allocate a decent chunk of money each month. The problem is if you don’t spend it you won’t get the return. No one’s saying you need to set aside thousands a month necessarily, but you do need to be prepared to spend more than a couple of pounds a day to start seeing a good return on ad spend. If you’ve got the right person taking care of the campaigns for you, you’ll see it back!
Make sure the right conversions are set up in your account and applied to running campaigns
This isn’t just important information for you, it lets Google know how well the campaigns are doing their job. This type of data for Google is really important too! Don’t just rely on goals in Google Analytics or nothing at all, this will impact how hard your budget is working for you.
You should also consider what a conversion is to you before setting this up and whether it should be prioritised as primary. For example, if your main aim from the campaigns is to get more users signed up for an account with you, make sure this is set up within Google Ads as a primary conversion and applied to your campaign.
Optimisation tools are essential
Whether you’re running the campaigns yourself, or an agency is looking after them for you, make sure an optimisation tool is being used.
Agencies sometimes don’t use or won’t add all of their clients on, so it’s important to ask!
There are several optimisation tools on the market. Personally, I cannot recommend Optmyzr enough! They can be expensive tools to use, however, they really work.
It would take me days and days of manual analysis to discover and change things about our client’s campaigns that an optimisation tool will do for you in seconds! You will still need to be an expert to know how to use the tool efficiently however, this allows me to charge clients less for our services, because we’re saving time and in turn, also making them more money! Win-win!
If you would like to find out more about Google Ads for small businesses, we are running a free course in Worcester on Monday 27th of February. This course will also cover search engine optimisation and include a networking session at the end.