How to advertise your business on Google
I have read your articles in previous issues of Business in Vancouver on website visibility and search engine optimization. However, it looked to me that suggested strategies produce results primarily in the long run… Also, they don’t give me full control over my marketing. The problem is, my company doesn’t have any time to waste. We need more business now!
Ivan: Sounds like you have an acute case of Website Sales Deficit Disorder (WSDD). Many businesses’ websites suffer from the same condition. The key is to know which medicine to take. In this particular example, the best and the fastest result can be accomplished with Google’s powerful keyword advertising program, AdWords (adwords.google.com).
Cyri: Keyword advertising program is any type of advertising that triggers ads based on keywords entered into Google or other search engines. You no doubt have already seen these “Sponsored Ads” that appear on top or on the right of search results on Google. These are paid ads where the advertisers only get charged when someone clicks on their ads. This is why this type of advertising is also called “pay per click” advertising or PPC.
Ivan: Many people try AdWords program and give up too early as they couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Here are some tips and strategies in order to get most from Google’s advertising program so you don’t miss out on this powerful medicine.
- RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITION: Type in various search phrases on Google and see who is showing up for various phrases. What phrases (keywords) is your competition using?
- RESEARCH KEYWORDS: Once you sign up for your advertising account at adwords.google.com, you need to choose the most important keywords for your business. As mentioned before in this column, use Google’s own keyword popularity tool:
http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and see what phrases people use most often when searching for your products or services.
- USE TARGETED APPROACH WHEN SELECTING KEYWORDS: Note that the most popular phrases are usually the most expensive. The key rule here is to use a targeted approach. If you are, for example, in pest control business, “pest”, or “pest control” phrase might be too generic, and as a result too expensive. Try “commercial pest control”, “bird control”, or “bed bugs control” instead.
- ADJUST CAMPAIGN SETTINGS. If you are serving customers mostly locally, make sure to specify the location of your business in the campaign settings. This will ensure that you don’t waste money on clicks coming from non-prospects. Also, make sure to specify your maximum cost per click (CPC) and to limit your campaign daily budget. Start with small cost per click (e.g. $0.20-$1.00), and with small daily budget (e.g. $5-$50) during the test period.
- “GRANULATE” YOUR CAMPAIGNYou will notice that you can create many different campaigns with Adwords; you can have separate campaigns for each company, strategic business unit, or for different countries. Similarly, you should also create many ads and ad groups within each campaign. Each ad group should be extremely targeted. Using the pest control business as an example, one ad should be particularly designed for phrase “bed bugs control”, the other ad should be designed for “bird control”, and the third for “industrial pest control”.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT KEYWORD MATCH. There are three types of keywords matches: EXACT, PHRASE and BROAD matches. The type of match will determine whether or not your ad will show when someone enters phrase that is similar to your chosen phrase. We recommend a more cautious approach especially in the beginning: use mostly EXACT match and sometimes PHRASE match. Avoid using BROAD match in the beginning as it may increase your cost.
- CREATE POWERFUL ADSAgain, the same “targeted” approach apples when putting together your ad. The key is again to be very focused, very specific… That said, if you choose keywords “bed bugs control”, then the title of your ad and most of the text should include the same phrase. Of course, don’t forget to include your key sales message or product benefit in the text of your ad.
Cyri: Like with any type of advertising, there is no absolute guarantee that this will work for your product or service or for your industry. The good news is, however, that if you make your campaign work, your marketing is almost on “auto pilot”: you have just created an automated marketing system of generating leads!
Future Management of This Condition
Ivan: Make sure to check your campaign (number of clicks, cost per click, daily budget) very regularly, be it once a day, once a week, once a day or even more often. Plan anywhere from a few minutes to one hour or more depending on your budget.
Generic Name & Alternative Medicine
Cyri: The generic name is keyword advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. A similar solution is also offered by Yahoo!/Microsoft: try https://adcenter.microsoft.com/
Ivan: Here is more good news… This type of advertising does not require huge marketing budgets. As a matter of fact, many small and medium size businesses advertise on Google with budgets smaller than few hundred dollars a month and get a good return on investment. It’s important to find out the point where more AdWords spending doesn’t lead to many additional sales and stop there or experiment with other campaign approaches.
Precautions / Warnings
Cyri: Be patient with keyword advertising: it takes time to fine tune your campaign. Your first days or weeks of campaign might not be too successful, but remember to test your campaign with a small budget and fine tune your ads, cost per click and budget.
Cyri & Ivan’s Medication Rating:
Cyri Jones teaches entrepreneurship, project management and IT at BCIT and Capilano University and is the founder of ZENPortfolios.ca, an e-portfolio and group collaboration tool. He blogs at 24posts.com. Ivan Surjanovic is in Capilano University’s Marketing Faculty and CEO of iPower Lab. He blogs about new business and technology trends at whereispuck.com. All Cyri and Ivan’s previous columns published in Business in Vancouver can also be found on bizpharmacy.com.