Small Business Approaches for AdWords

    Digital advertising isn’t clicked by every web user, but it still has its place. Certainly I encourage SEO work (for search engine results which are not the advertising listings; in other words, SEO achieves the listings in the middle of the Google Search Engine Results Page, and which are not marked “Ad”). But if you’re starting out as a business, you may want some digital advertising to boost your new SEO traffic (once your website is fully optimized). Some businesses prefer to try doing AdWords themselves, which is fine, but without research, strategy and critical monitoring and tweaking, those ads can fail and it’s only a waste of funds (which is why we put a lot of research and prep into the digital ad campaigns we conduct for clients). However, for small businesses which don’t have the funds to hire a search engine marketer like us to execute for them, here are some tips for AdWords which might help:

    • For reasons cited above, you want your website optimized before you setup digital advertising to drive traffic to it.
    • And (as discussed below), ad landing pages are a good idea, but go ahead and place them at the back of your primary website, so that you can reap additional traffic and long-term SEO benefits from the ad traffic.
    • But also, good SEO (with proper Google account setups and website Google recognition) will reduce the cost of your PPC (pay-per-click for keyword bids).
    • Now, you want to set your target radius for the specific location area you want to target (under Campaign Settings). For example, if you have it set for 20 miles around Atlanta, but you are located in the suburbs, your location will be off since the ads will target a perimeter around downtown. So you may want to expand that, or better yet set to the actual location of your business or a new target location nearby from where you want to attract customers.
    • Also, if you are geo-targeting, you could save money by integrating your location name into the keyword phrase you bid for. For example, a keyword phrase like “Chicago tennis shoes” might be cheaper than just “tennis shoes.” But at the same tie you don’t need all your keywords you bought to have “Chicago” in the phrase, because only customers in your targeted location will see the ads. But that’s up to you and budget, etc.
    • You might write more than one ad for your campaign & see which performs better.
    • Also, make sure your ad copy gives readers the WiiFMs (what’s in it for me, or audience “benefits”). You might say something like “Hands-on expert athletic shoe advice.”
    • Ad campaigns based on similar keywords to your phrase will eat more budget than exact keyword phrase matches. In other words if you let Google broadcast your ad to phrases similar to “Chicago tennis shoes,” you may be buying ads for sneakers, athletic shoes, etc. as opposed to only your exact phrase.
    • Note that Google AdWords’ version of the word “Campaign” is not the same as what you might think. In other words, you might talk about running “a campaign” but in fact in AdWords you might want to setup multiple campaigns. In this context, different “campaigns” are just a way to segment out different ads and/or different target audience locations, etc.
    • So you might have 10 “Campaigns” in AdWords (running at the same time), and each campaign has 20 ad groups, and each ad group has 50 keywords. That can help organize the ads themselves, the locations, and it could reduce cost of keyword bids because Google acknowledges the clean structuring and targeting separation.
    • Remember that time has to be included in the “campaign management” for project management, writing the ads, setting up tracking, and gathering and writing reports, etc.
    • Ideally you want a custom ad landing page, with same messaging as your ads, fully setup for contact form, or email options, call tracking and total goal conversion analytics (who turned into a sale from the ad, where did they come from, which keyword, etc.)

    Thanks for reading, Jake Aull, Zen Fires Digital Marketing