Over the last decade, small business online marketing has become a fundamental driver for the success of businesses of all shapes and sizes, in particular when it comes to growth in sales. With the increase of customers buying and searching online, businesses need to invest time into their website, and also their online marketing strategy. According to Nielsen ‘The Australian Online Landscape Review’ (July, 2003), Google has the highest unique audience available on the Internet, with 16.5 million Australian’s online, it is hard to overlook online marketing, let alone Google’s advertising platform for SMEs; due to the amount of unique searches conducted daily.
SMEs can irrefutably benefit from advertising on Google via AdWords due to the number settings that are unique to AdWords, which will be discussed in this article.
This article will:
- Define AdWords
- Show the differences between the Search & Display Networks
- Show you how Search Text Adverts work on Google
- Demonstrate 6 reasons for SMEs to use AdWords.
AdWords is a highly effective form of small business online marketing offered by Google, which is divided between two networks: search and display network.
Differences between AdWord’s Search & Display Network:
- The Search Network - relates to Google’s search engine. When someone types in keywords and phrases into Google’s search engine, there are relevant text adverts that appear. These text adverts are triggered by a process in which businesses advertising on Google bid on phrases and keyword that relate what they offer.
- The Display Network - triggers text, image, and video adverts on Google sites and websites that have a partnership with Google. You can also choose which websites you want your advert to appear on.
The Search Network and Text Adverts
When searching on Google, if you have noticed adverts appear with the beige background, on the top, right side and bottom of the page, then you have seen Google’s search adverts in action. The search network is most frequently used as a direct response channel, and has a higher ability for obtaining leads for advertisers; when compared with basically any other marketing channel you can find.
In the search network, businesses are bidding on ‘keywords’ that their potential customers are searching. In the background, advertisers set a bid for the ‘keywords’ with a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) which is the most they will pay per click. For small businesses advertising on Google in this manner, they only pay the CPC when someone clicks on their advert, thus do no pay when an advert is triggered for keywords or phrases, regardless of how many times their adverts appears.
Google’s Search Adverts in Action:
The screenshot below was generated by searching for “buy gold online” in Google’s search page. The text adverts on the top and the right hand side are ‘paid listings’ while for particular searches these will appear at the bottom as well.
How does Search Adverts work for SMEs?
When thinking about the definition of marketing, we know that it is being there for your customer when a need or want is recognised. Small business online marketing using Google AdWords is no different in this regard. For example, if I have a flower shop; I sell red roses and delivery around Sydney. If I have a website and advertise this on Google, and bid on the relevant search terms to what I offer, I can appear at the right time when a potential customer is looking for red roses.
6 Unique Traits AdWords Advertising Has:
There are many characteristics AdWords has; that gives the power back to the advertiser - like no other advertising platform. Here are the main 6 traits for those advertising on Google:
- “I am only a local shop and target my area”: you can create a geo-target radius around the areas that you service, and only have your adverts appear there. For example, if you only service the Hills district Sydney, then you have the ability to have your adverts appear only in this area.
- “Measure ROI”: With a simple conversion tracking code placed on your site, you can measure how many leads, that being sales or enquires on your website are a result of your AdWords campaign.
- “Google monitors your clicks”: if Google identifies that you have received a suspiciously high volume of clicks from a single computer; Google flags these clicks as invalid in order to help prevent what is known as “click fraud”, and will credit back the costs where applicable.
- “Pay only for the click”: Although your adverts may be seen by thousands of people throughout each day, you will only pay for people that click on your advert and visit your website.
- “Control time and day”: with AdWords, you can pause your adverts at any time, select which day(s) and time(s) your advert appears online.
- “Negative keywords”: working much in the exact opposite way as regular keywords, ‘negative keywords’ help you refine and target what you are showing for to an incredible degree. For example, if your bidding on the term “software” and you don’t want to appear for the term “free software”, you can add the term “free” as a negative and your advert will not appear.
The Importance of Landing Page and AdWords Structure
As you can see, Google AdWords provides a great deal of flexibility when it comes to small business advertising.
Considering the numerous benefits AdWords has, a lot of its success heavily relies on the website/landing page and whether or not your AdWords campaign is structured well according to best practise. There are specific requirements that website/landing pages require to have, to be able to lead to sales, calls, and enquiries on online forms. This is especially important for AdWords advertising, because Google assess the quality of your website and/or landing page as part of the quality score for each keyword you are bidding on.
AdWords faces constant changes to improve the advertiser’s and user experience. In saying this, it is important to monitor your account, and have a decent understanding of how and why everything works. There are numerous variables in the AdWords interface that requires analysis and are heavily interrelated with each other. Having an effective AdWords campaign structure, and frequently monitoring an account, is indisputably the best approach for using AdWords as an advertising platform.