Small businesses will always face the challenge of going up against big industry giants. But hey, that’s just how it goes! So, how do small businesses compete? Well, it requires some bidding of your own - bidding on keywords in Google Ads. This guide will introduce you to the world of Google Ads for small businesses and how it can help you face up against the big players.
What Are Google Ads?
Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an online advertising platform managed by Google. This platform lets you place advertisements about your products or services on Google’s search engine.
When a user enters a certain keyword or query into Google, the search engine will display a list of websites that are relevant to the user’s search. These websites appear either at the top or bottom of the page and are marked as “sponsored”.
Here is an example of one of our Google Ads currently running.
You can see in the image above that one of our list of keywords is Google Ads Services. If a user enters this keyword into Google, our ad will appear at the top of the page as one of the sponsored listings.
How Do Google Ads Work?
For Google Ads to successfully work for your small business, you need to understand how the platform functions.
First things first - Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system, which means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This makes it cost-effective for small businesses as they can set their own budget.
Next, Google Ads operates on a bidding system. This means that you bid against other businesses for ad placement on Google’s search engine. The higher your bid, the better chance you have of appearing at the top.
Google also uses a quality score to determine your ad placement. This score takes into account factors such as the relevance and quality of your keywords, ads, and landing page. So, even if your bid is lower than your competitor’s, you may still rank higher if your ad has a better quality score.
Is Investing In Google Ads Beneficial For Small Businesses?
Yes, investing in Google Ads can be extremely beneficial for small businesses. If you compare it to traditional forms of advertising, let’s say a billboard ad, Google Ads provides more targeted and measurable results.
Besides this, here are other benefits of running Google Ads for your small business:
Boosts Website Traffic:
Search engine optimisation (SEO) takes time to show results. However, with Google Ads, you can start driving traffic to your website almost immediately.
Increases Brand Awareness:
Even if a potential customer doesn’t click on your ad, they are still exposed to your brand. This helps create brand awareness and recognition for your small business.
With Google Ads, you can reach potential customers who are actively searching for your products or services. This increases the chances of converting them into leads.
With a well-structured Google Ads campaign, you can see a significant return on investment (ROI). As we mentioned earlier, Google Ads operates on a bidding system, so you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This means that every click has the potential to turn into a sale and increase your profits.
How To Run A Google Ad For Small Businesses
By now, you understand the basics of how Google Ads work and why it can be beneficial for your small business.
But how do you actually run a Google Ad? Here are some steps to get you started:
Step 1: Determine Your Goal
Ask yourself the following question: What do I want to achieve with my Google Ad? Do you want to increase website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Knowing your goal will help guide the rest of your campaign.
There are a few different types of Google Ad campaigns you can run, each helping you to achieve a different goal:
- Search campaigns: These are text ads that appear at the top or bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone searches for keywords related to your business.
- Display campaigns: These are banner ads that appear on websites within Google’s display network, which includes millions of sites.
- Shopping campaigns: These ads use your product catalogue to showcase ecommerce ads with images and pricing information.
- Video campaigns: These are ads that appear on YouTube and across the Google network.
- Remarketing campaigns: These target people who have already visited your website or interacted with your business in some way.
Step 2: Set Up A Budget
The Google Ads platform uses a bidding system, which means you need the capital to compete for ad space. So, set a budget and stick to it. You can start small and gradually increase your budget as you see results.
Step 3: Choose Your Keywords
Keywords are the words or phrases that people use to search for something on Google. It’s important to choose relevant keywords so your ad appears in front of the right audience. Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to research the best keywords for your small business.
For example, if you own a “handcrafted jewellery” business, your keywords could include:
- handmade jewellery,
- unique accessories,
- artisanal jewellery
These keywords will help your ad appear when someone searches for those terms.
Step 4: Create Your Google Ad
Creating a Google Ad is a straightforward process. You will need to write ad copy, select images or videos, and choose your targeting options (location, language, etc.). The most important things to include in your ad are a clear call to action and concise, straightforward copy.
View Google’s article about how you can create a campaign for more detailed instructions.
Step 5: Link Google Analytics
Google Ads allows you to track the performance of your ads through Google Analytics. This will help you understand how people are interacting with your website after clicking on your ad. If you link the two accounts, you can also see which keywords are leading to the most conversions (i.e. sales or leads).
Step 6: Provide UTM Codes
UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are not as scary as they sound. These are simply snippets of code that you add to the end of your ad’s URL, which allows you to track the performance of your ad.
This is especially useful if you are running multiple ads and want to see which one is bringing in the most traffic. Google’s UTM Builder can help you create these codes easily.
Step 7: Allow Conversion Tracking
Google Ads conversion tracking tells you what happens after a customer clicks on your ad. This includes actions such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter.
Step 8: Monitor and Adjust
The golden rule for any advertising campaign is to constantly monitor and adjust. Google Ads allows you to track the performance of your ads in real time, so make use of this feature. If an ad is not performing well, try adjusting the targeting options or ad copy.
Keep testing and testing until you find the right combination that brings in the best results!
Why Your Small Business Should Start Using Google Ads.
Competing against industry giants is not an easy task, but luckily, Google Ads makes it possible for small businesses to compete equally in the digital marketing world. And with South Africans increasingly showing more and more support for their neighbouring small businesses, there’s never been a better time to jump on the Google Ads bandwagon.
Start Bidding On Your Small Business Today!
Google Ads is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to increase their online presence and drive more traffic to their website. Start bidding on your small business today and see the difference it can make in your online success.
Not sure where to start? Contact us at Starbright today! Our Google Ads services in Pretoria can help your small business get the most out of Google Ads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How Much Does Google Ads Cost In SA?
The average price of Google Ads in South Africa can start from R1000 up to R30,000 per month, depending on your business goals and industry competitiveness.
2. How to Set up a Google Ads Campaign for Your Small Business
To set up a Google Ads campaign for your small business, you need to follow these simple steps:
- Create a Google Ads account.
- Choose your campaign goal.
- Define your target audience.
- Select keywords relevant to your business and industry.
- Set your budget and bidding strategy.
- Create ad groups and ads.
- Launch your campaign and monitor performance.
3. How Can I Measure the Success of My Google Ads Campaign?
Google Ads provides a variety of metrics to track the success of your campaigns, such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per click (CPC). You can also set up conversion tracking to measure specific actions taken by users.