Utilizing paid search marketing is a powerful way for businesses to drive traffic to their websites and capture potential customers, but doing so can be difficult for small businesses when competing against larger counterparts with big budgets.
No matter the size of your business — whether you’re a staff of one or have a sizable workforce — Google Adwords is an effective way to drive traffic to your site and capture more customers. But to be a success, it’s important to think out your strategy from beginning to end.
In order for small businesses to effectively use paid search marketing, it is important to think the strategy out fully with the following five tips:
1. Set Clear Goals
As with any kind of advertising campaign, the first step is to determine just what the goals of the campaign will be. Are you looking to sell more of a particular product, capture the interest of a specific customer, promote a sale, or simply drive more traffic to your site? Who is your primary audience? How would you define success?
After determining these business goals, it’s time to consider the keywords you’d like to capture in conjunction with any SEO strategies you might have. Using Google’s Keyword Tool, build a target keyword list. This tool is great both for generating ideas for customer search terms related to your business and for determining the likelihood that you could win that term.
2. Determine and Set Budget
Of course, it’s always important to determine a budget for advertising campaigns, but this is especially true with search marketing, so you can set clear limits.
If you’re concerned about budget, we recommend going for the prepay rather than the postpay option, so that the campaign ends when you run out of funds. You can even choose a daily payment option if you’d like to reevaluate regularly. You’ll also need to determine just how much you’d like to pay for each bid — your max bid price. For that, we highly recommend this guide, which has a great breakdown of the math behind the decision.
3. Think Out Ad Text
One of the most important things you can do to stand out in front of the competition is to carefully construct your ad, both in terms of layout and in terms of the words you choose. Make sure you’ve got a great professional photo of your product and that it’s prominently featured. Clearly state what it is you do and how much your products or services cost using keywords without repeating text from the headline in the body of your ad.
And of course, ensure that you use correct grammar and that you fix all typos, as searchers inherently distrust ads that look “spammy.”
4. Prepare Website for Conversions
As the goal of paid search marketing is presumably to drive customers to your site, it’s important to ensure your site is ready for that traffic. Consider leveraging effective web design tools to create a dedicated landing page for any sales or promotions so you can better track conversions on the back end.
Once users arrive at the page, their next steps should be clear, whether they want to get more information, contact a customer service representative, or buy a product. Draw their eye directly to the action you’d like them to take.
5. Measure Results
One of the best things about online marketing is that you can cull a wide range of precise data as you go — far more than you can get on most other mediums. One of the most important factors to measure is the conversion rate, i.e. just how much of that increased traffic is turning into paying customers. This conversion tracking guide from Google will help you set this up on the back end of your site. Taking a broader look at analytics can be helpful too, as increased traffic and browsing through your content can mean customers are taking an interest in your brand.
We also recommend tracking things like auto-tagging (so you can tell just what ads are driving the most traffic to your site) and linking your AdWords and Analytics account. Start with a little research, and you’ll soon be on your way.
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