If you’ve ever used Google, you’ve surely noticed that some search results are annotated with a little green “AD” in the corner. As a business owner, you’ve also probably thought that having your offers in that prominent top and bottom of the page position would be key in driving more business. But what steps do you need to take to promote your business on Google?
The process is actually much simpler than you may think!
Let’s start with setting up Google Ads
The first step is to promote your business on Google, is to create a Google Ads account. Google Ads (review here), formerly known as Google AdWords, is the online advertising service that promotes businesses via Google search pages and Google’s owned applications, like Gmail and YouTube.
Once you start creating your account, you’ll have the choice to set your location. You can target your ads everywhere in the World: from United States only, US and Canada, Global, or choose a specific radius from your postal code.
Your location preferences tell the system where you wish to advertise your offer, based on your audience.
As previously written, Google Ads allows you also choose whether you want to advertise on Google only, or on content sites as well, such as YouTube or Gmail.
Your next question may be “How much does it cost?” Any small or new business is going to be concerned about the bottom line.
This service is run on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) basis, which means you’ll pay per keyword, but only when people click on your ad.
The current average CPC for all users is about $2.69, but keyword bids vary greatly. As you set up your account, you will also be asked how much you would like to budget per day. A generally good starting point is $10/day, but again, this depends on the keywords for your niche.
Choosing Your Keywords
Choosing the right keywords for your ad may be the most intense part of the entire process of setting up your ad and promote your business on Google.
You’ll definitely want to do some research before completing this step, but remember: you can also come back and make adjustments based on performance.
As always, it’s important to know about your niche. Try doing some Google searches in your market to determine what keywords are used in competitors ads.
Using Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner, one of the tools within the Ads site, is another good choice for scouting potential keywords.
This will allow you to take a look at trends and frequent searches. Remember, a keyword isn’t just one word: it can be an entire phrase! Long-tail keywords can increase your searchability at a lower CPC.
The next decision you’ll have to make is what keyword match-type you want for each keyword. If you choose “Broad match,” Google will show your ad whenever any of the keywords, including synonyms, in any order, are searched.
This could be great, unless rearranging the terms in your keywords leads to an entirely different type of business! “Broad match modifier” lets you lock in certain keywords with the “+” sign, which tells Google that the search must include that specific term. “Phrase match” is an exact match of an exact phrase, with no words before or after. “Exact match” is just that- no deviation, words are typed in the same exact order.
You may actually want to have a variety of these options, depending on the keyword. For example, if your company offers free delivery, that might be a good exact match keyword, while terms relating to the general niche, such as “workout leggings” might be a better broad match keyword.
The next step is negative keywords. These are the words you specifically do not want associated with your business.
If your business focuses on custom, hand-made products made to order, you may not want customers to find your business with words like “cheap” or “fast.”
As you start out, your negative keywords do not need to be as robust: again, these are things you can tailor once you have some experience running Google ads.
The bidding phase
Once you’ve brainstormed some keywords, you’ll be asked how much you are willing to pay for your ad.
A keyword bid is the process of actually bidding against other businesses for the right to display your ad when that keyword is entered, and the highest bidder will win.
This is a game that must be played carefully- having the deepest pockets will not always yield the highest return!
Creating a Quality Google Ad
And now let’s dig into the next step to promote your business on Google. It’s time to write your ad text and publish it. Remember to follow the guidelines: keep the ad brief, with thirty characters for the headline and meta line, and ninety characters for the description.
Use some of your most powerful keywords to really gain audience attention. Once you submit and publish your ad, Google will then review and approve it in around twenty four hours (sometimes less).
Google will also record stats on your ad via a “Quality Score.” This score reflects the relevance of your ad and the page it leads to, as well as how the keywords fit in there, as well as an expected click-through-rate (CTR).
As your ad runs, you’ll be able to see how often your ad appears on a search result page, as well as the CTR. If the CTR is very low, you may need to re-evaluate your text and keywords, because your ad is not getting the right attention.
You’ll also be able to see the average CPC, to make sure your investment is worth it. This is another indicator that you might need to change keywords or adjust your text.
Things to consider once your ads are running
If you’re paying a lot for ads, but not seeing that return on investment, it may be that your ad isn’t living up to audience expectations. Conversion rate is another stat to keep an eye on.
If your conversion rate is low, but CPC is reasonable, then perhaps you need to check out your website and landing page to make sure it encourages people to click more.
The mechanics behind promoting your business on Google are quite simple, but you’ll want to put some thought behind the process.
By choosing the best keywords for your business and bidding effectively, you’ll be able to sit well in your niche.
Remember, though: search trends change, and an ad is never static. Be sure to review your performance stats frequently, and make adjustments as needed to be an ad leader in your field!