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How to setup Google search ads for small businesses?

: 28th Oct 2021         : Lovetto Nazareth

Step by Step Guide to Google Search Ads for Small Businesses

Table of Content

Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising has undeniable benefits for businesses. However, For many small and medium-sized business owners, the cost is a primary concern when considering if PPC is right for them. The short answer: yes, PPC advertising can be effective and worth the investment of your time and money—if done right.
Having said that, it can get quite tricky in no time. It’s easy to assume that running PPC ads will net big bucks, but that’s not always the case. It is a piece of cake to set up a simple PPC campaign and Google has made sure that all businesses, from small to large, can use this platform with no difficulty. Of course, this is to make sure people spend money on ads.
However, setting up a simple campaign and expecting instant results is where businesses go wrong. Setting up a campaign is easy but losing a lot of money with no returns is much easier as well. So, advertisers have to be vigilant in setting up and optimizing a campaign in a way that it brings in results.
Google AdWords is now being used by over 60% percent of businesses with under 20 employees. Moreover, it has been seen that customer satisfaction grew by 10 percent in companies that used PPC. We all know that PPC ads can provide more targeted leads than other forms of marketing.
We know that large business entities can test out multiple campaigns, see what’s working and what’s not and optimize accordingly but small businesses neither have the budget nor time to test multiple campaigns and figure out if it's working or not. They have to get it right the first time and this is what makes it a hard choice.
Now if you are planning to launch a PPC campaign for the first time or wondering if paid search is a good way to get your business going. Or maybe you're a business owner who isn't satisfied with his or her current PPC campaign. Whatever your situation, this guide will help you determine whether or not the large investment in time and money is worth it for your small business.
Let’s start from the basics so everyone can get the hang of what I’m talking about.

What is PPC advertising

Pay Per Click Marketing is often referred to as PPC Marketing. In this form of advertising, the advertisers only pay once the ad is clicked by a user. It enables users to display their ads on multiple platforms including social media, mobile apps, video streaming websites, blogs, and search engines.
To run PPC campaigns, advertisers provide information that can be segmented into three parts.

  • Keyword/ Audience criteria
  • This means that advertisers identify the audience that they want to target in terms of search terms, audience demographics, etc.
  • Ad copy
  • Advertisers need to provide ad copy depending on the ad type. This can be written text, image copy, or a mixture of both.
  • Bid/Budget
  • Advertisers need to allocate a certain budget that they’re willing to spend on an advertising campaign. This directly correlates to the number of clicks they’re expected to get. The higher the budget, the higher the clicks. Pay per click ads follow a bidding system. Once an ad is approved, it competes with all the bids by other advertisers, and generally the one who pays more, gets more clicks, provided their budget lasts.

Paid search advertising is a form of Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The term essentially describes the process of gaining clicks through paid listings on search engines. Advertisers choose the type of search phrases they want to target.
Once the campaign is set up, the ads will show whenever a user searches about relevant things on search engines. Search ads are usually displayed right at the top of the SERP and at the end as well.
Ad positioning depends on a variety of factors such as ad quality, relevance, and budget. It can be safely said that the more an advertiser bids, the higher the ads will show up in SERPs.
Paid search advertising is a great way to start building up your brand online. Cost-effectiveness, brand awareness, real-time data, and the ability to measure ROI are among the advantages of paid search advertising. However, there are a number of mistakes that any AdWords beginner can make so you need to get things right in order to make the most of your advertising campaigns.

There are so many options for small businesses to spend their marketing dollars. But, without the right knowledge, business owners tend to simply continue throwing money at advertising channels that don’t deliver real results.
When it comes to paid search advertising, there are a few downsides if the budget is not adequate but having said that, the benefits still outshine the budget constraints and other restrictions.
Paid search is a cost-effective and scalable advertising solution that can drive qualified, targeted traffic to your website. By investing in paid search ads, small businesses can build their brand image and generate high-quality leads.
Some of the key benefits of paid search advertising for small businesses are:

  • Generating consumer interest in your brand.
  • Reaching users who are searching for similar businesses
  • Immediate results

As aforementioned, paid search is getting increasingly competitive and it is getting harder and harder to get the most of it. Especially for small businesses one of the biggest constraints is budget. With a lot of big enterprises with huge budgets bidding for ad space, small businesses find it harder to get their ads placed.
This is all true, however, this should not stop small businesses to use this amazing platform and reach out to their customers because if done right, paid search advertising can do wonders for businesses.
Here are a few tips from top advertising agencies in Dubai that you as an advertiser or a small business owner can follow in order to make the most of your search advertising campaigns.

1. Use your free advertising coupon

Whenever you create a new account, Google some advertising credit that you can use for free. This amount varies a bit but it can be anywhere between 80£ to 100 £. You’ll have to spend 40$ in order to unlock this credit. You can always check the free credit being offered at Google’s coupon page.
This doesn’t sound much, definitely not for big corporations with thousands of advertising budgets. However, it can prove to be beneficial for small businesses trying to figure out how to make the most out of the platform before having to invest any money.
It will be automatically applied once you start running the campaigns but if not, you can always check with Google Support. You can go to Promotions under the Billing section to check if the coupon has been applied.

It’s totally understandable if you want to appear in the top positions in SERPs, everybody would want that. But you should know that larger companies with huge budgets are competing for that spot. They have the capacity to increase the bids and pay much higher.
Small businesses do not have that liberty and with that budget constraint, competing for that top spot might not get you anywhere. So, you have to go in with a different mindset. It is advisable to target lower spots and it yields better returns rather than burning your budget for top positions.
Let’s say you have a 500 £ advertising budget. In this case, you have two options. The first option is to bid 2 £ for the top spot and get 250 clicks before your budget runs out. The second option is to bid 1£ and appear lower in searches. This would allow you to get 500 clicks because the bid is lower for that position.
This is a smarter approach in which you leave the top spot for bigger businesses to fight over and focus on getting your share of traffic from lower positions.

3. Imitate your competitors

This one might surprise you. We have discussed the budget constraints for small businesses and the advantages those large businesses have when it comes to advertising, However, there is one aspect in which you can actually take advantage of being a small business.
We know that large businesses have huge budgets and that is why they are able to A/B test different campaign formats, different ad copies and explore targeting options. That means they know what they’re doing.
What you can do is see what’s working for them and what’s not working for them. Run a quick Google search and see what kind of ads your competitors are running. Figure out the type of messaging they’re using and the selling points on which they are focusing.
Check out their landing pages, web design, and content. This would give you enough ideas about optimizing your campaigns as well. If something is working for your competitors in the same niche, it might work for you as well. Furthermore, you won’t be swinging your sword in the dark but actually have an idea about what to do.
Just like they say, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Follow their road to success and you’ll get there one day.

4. Use manual bidding

Automated bidding has its benefits, there is no denying that. It relies on Google’s machine learning algorithms to optimize bidding for relevant searches. Businesses see an increase in campaign performance when they switch to automated bidding.
There is a catch to it though. It takes some time for the algorithms to learn what works and what doesn’t. This is called a campaign’s learning phase. Usually, campaigns don’t perform well during the learning phase because the system is gathering data and figuring out the areas to focus on.
Now the timeframe of the learning phase depends on the amount of traffic a campaign generates. That directly correlates to the amount of budget for the campaign. Now for huge campaigns with big budgets, the learning phase doesn’t last long because there is enough traffic to gather data in a few days.
However, for campaigns with smaller budgeted campaigns, this learning phase can extend significantly because there is not enough traffic and not enough data for the system to learn. This extended learning phase means poor campaign performance for an extended time period. Small businesses cannot afford to run campaigns with minimum or no return and this turns out to be devastating.
That is why it is best to go for manual bidding. You set the bids on searches depending on what you think is most relevant and the budget you allocate. You will have to A/B test with your bidding to optimize the campaigns but you’ll get it right eventually without burning your budget.

5. Optimize your quality score

Now we all agree that small businesses have a tight budget and they want to get the most out of every penny spent. The only way to do it is to increase your keyword quality score. If you do that, you’ll decrease the price per click and eventually increase the number of clicks.
Price per click depends on a number of factors and one of the factors is the ad rank. Ad rank depends on the bid as well as the quality score. Now the quality score depends on three factors.
  • Expected click-through rate
  • This is essentially the likelihood of your ad being clicked compared to the number of impressions it gets.
  • Landing page experience
  • Landing page experience includes content relevance, loading speed, and overall user experience when they land on the page.
  • Ad relevance
  • It means if the ad copy is actually relevant to the keyword or not.
These metrics are given scores of either above average, average, or below average. You can check the scores of all your keywords by clicking on ‘columns’ in the keyword view section and clicking on ‘modify columns’.
You can check or uncheck the metrics you want to see or not see. It is advisable to go through all of these metrics one by one and try to optimize them to increase the quality score.

Key Stats About Google Search Ads Infographic

Now if you ask the question again whether PPC works for small businesses or not, the answer is again yes. It can work wonders for small businesses but for that to happen, your campaigns should be highly targeted, optimized, and well balanced with an attractive add copy that catches the eye.
As aforementioned, small businesses can imitate much of what larger organizations are doing. Provided they execute everything perfectly. Make use of these tips and you’ll be good to go.
This is it for today’s blog. I hope you liked reading it. Be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments and share the blog with your friends so that they could also learn.
If you are a small business owner and you want to advertise your business using digital platforms, contact Prism Digital, the best advertising agency in Dubai and our digital marketing experts will help you reach your goals by devising tailored advertising strategies that actually work.
We have been helping businesses achieve success using digital advertising for many years and we can surely help your business grow as well. Reach out to us and let us take your business to the next level.

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