Can Google Ads really help my outdoor clothing and equipment shop? January 30, 2020We may not be able to take you skiing, camping or hiking, but we can help you grow your outdoor clothing and equipment shop so you can help others get out there! Read on to find out how Google ads put you right in front of your customers. Google ads put your business at the top of the search results page, on the most used search engine in the world. Google accounts for 77% of search engine users and the first five results receive 67.6% of clicks, according to Forbes. This means that if you want your business to be seen you need to be at the top of Google, otherwise it’s like you’re not on the internet at all. Here we’ll explain what Google ads are, and how they can help you get your business right in front of customers. We’ll also tell you what you need to know to get started yourself! Since the outdoor equipment industry has been identified as an emerging sector for Alaska, now is the perfect time to grow your business. The sector is growing significantly due to a lessening in the severity of the climate. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, and this has the result of reducing the length of the snow season in Alaska. As most visitors to the state come in the summer months, and many take advantage of the great Alaskan outdoors, you can expect to see an increase in visitor participation in outdoor activities. Read more about visitor trends in Alaska, here! What are Google ads? That’s enough data for now! Let’s move on to what Google ads are, then we’ll look at how they can be useful for the outdoor equipment industry specifically. Most people are familiar with the spooky feeling of seeing an ad about something you were only just thinking about. This happens because you’ve been targeted by something called “remarketing”. Remarketing is the practice of having advertisements for websites or products follow you around the internet. These ads can be generated because you visited a website, or because Google has determined your interests from tracking your online activity. As a business owner using Google ads, you can make use of this kind of advertising power. There are two types of google ads: Display ads: these pop up on websites, they are usually a graphic or image and can be identified by grey “advertisement” text above them. Search ads: these appear at the top of your search results page and can be identified by a small green box with “ad” to the left of the URL. Clicking on these ads charges the business who runs them, hence the name “pay per click” or “PPC”, which we’ll get into in more detail in the next section. Paid ads are generally at the very top of the search results page, below them are the “organic” results. Here at Beacon, we recommend strategies for both paid ads and organic ranking for our clients. Google search ads comprise only three parts: headline, URL, and description. Display ads, on the other hand, can come in up to 16 combinations of logos, graphics, headlines, and descriptions! How do Google ads work? When starting to look into Google ads, it is important to understand the algorithm, bidding structure, and cost. This is all managed through GoogleAdwords, which you will want to create an account for, which you can do here. The Algorithm You may have heard this magical-sounding term “The Algorithm” which has come to public prominence in recent years, related to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Here we’ll explain what is meant by the word algorithm in the context of Google ads. Google uses an algorithm to determine which ads you see when you search. In the fraction of a second after you press search, google takes an inventory of all the ad accounts that contain keywords or phrases used in your search. Say you search for “outdoor clothing and equipment shop near me”. A business trying to increase their outdoor equipment sales will have ads on google which are included in the inventory search. But how did they get it included in the inventory? The business will have bid a monetary amount that they are willing to pay every time someone clicks on their ad. This makes it a sort of auction, and the winner is determined by two factors: The maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid you have set The quality score of your advertisement The second point here is very important. Google is a business, they want to make money. The best way for them to do this is to provide quality content so that people come to trust and rely on their service. They have a near-monopoly on search engine use which they built by providing the best content to people. The quality score is determined by two factors: Past performance of your ad, ad group, and account in general. The relevance of your chosen keyword, ad (title, URL, and description), and landing page to the search and to each other. Let’s just explain the terms “ad group” and “landing page”. An ad group is the group of keywords that you are trying to rank your ad for. The landing page is the page users “land” on after they click on your ad. The ad you write and the landing page should both use the keyword you are targeting and be focused on the topic you are discussing. The factors we just discussed culminate in a simple equation that determines your ads final rank on the results page: CPC Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank Google display ads work slightly differently, with bids made on ad groups, rather than keywords. You also have the ability to bid on impressions rather than clicks. Impressions are the number of times your ad was delivered, i.e. how many times it was “seen” by searchers. In this case, we talk about “cost-per-impression” or “CPM”. How much will Google ads cost my outdoor clothing and equipment shop business? We’ve mentioned that you will be charged every time someone clicks on one of your outdoor equipment business’s google ads. The equation to determine the cost per click is: Next highest ad rank/Quality Score + $0.01 = CPC This means that the higher your quality score, the lower your costs. Again, this is due to Google’s own self-interest in providing quality to users. It is important to note that the CPC will never go above your maximum bid. Can Google ads grow my outdoor clothing and equipment shop business? Ok, we’ve covered the ways google ads works, but can they really grow your business? The answer is, absolutely! But it is not guaranteed. It is important to understand the level of competition in the area you are targeting. Some industries, in certain locations, have more competition than others. For example, the CPC in the legal industry in anchorage, at Beacon HQ has been as high as $50! Spending this amount per click is unlikely to be worthwhile unless you have very high profit margins, especially as a click is not necessarily a customer. Keywords for “outdoor equipment” have quite high competition in our area, although the prices are still relatively low. We might instead choose to use “outdoor clothing and equipment shop”, which has low competition while retaining high search volume. Remember, you may find that the situation is different where you are. A competitive industry shouldn’t discourage you, however! We at beacon excel at creating quality ads, and that goes a long way to reducing costs and ranking your ads higher than the competition. So, how do we do it? For every service we want to advertise, we use a budget of at least $300 a month. We always find some way to differentiate the services we are advertising by using more nuanced keywords. Our team makes it a priority to create quality, relevant ads and landing pages. Are you ready to give it a go? We hope this article will serve as a handy reference while you’re getting started! On the other hand, our team is Google Partner Certified and we are constantly working to achieve the best results for our clients. If you are interested in hiring Beacon to tackle advertising for you, you can schedule a free consultation, here!