If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, it can be hard to know where to start. Sure, there’s a huge amount of information available online – but forget drinking from a fire hydrant. It can feel like you’re face-to-face with a tsunami. Let’s face it: running a company is often just as much about busyness as it is about business. It can be easy to put marketing into the too-hard basket and just focus on the day-to-day tasks. Where do you even start? Don’t worry, we can totally relate to that feeling.
That’s why we’ve decided to write this blog. Google Ads is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Assuming you’ve already got a website, this is the best place to get started. And it’s nowhere near as scary as you might think. Stay with us, because in this blog we’re going to part that tsunami like the Red Sea so you can clearly see what it does, why you need it, and how to start.
Overwhelmed already? Pick up the phone and get a free consultation.
First of all, what are Google Ads?
If you’ve ever googled anything, you’re probably already familiar with the consumer side of Google Ads. If you’re looking for products, a collection of images and prices will pop up in a panel on the side of your screen. If you’re looking for services, generally the first 1-4 items that pop up in the list of search results. Google Ads launched in 2000 (wow, it’s hard to believe it was that long ago), but they’ve become much more sophisticated as better audience data has become available.
Essentially, it’s an online advertising platform that allows businesses to promote their products and services across the web. It allows you to set a specific goal for your ads, like encouraging people to make phone calls or inviting them to click through to your website and make a purchase. You can target specific geographical areas and search terms and customise them to hone in on the type of people who are most likely to interact with your business. You can also customize your budget, which means you’re always in control of what you’re spending and you can stop at any time.
“Cool,” we hear you saying. “But are they actually any good?” Good question. Obviously, no-one wants to invest time and money into something they don’t need. Here are some interesting statistics to think about in making your decision (these have been collated by the experts at Digital Third Coast):
- 62% of all online searches in the U.S. go through Google.
- Online ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%.
- More than 7 million advertisers use Google Ads.
- Customers are 70% more likely to make a purchase when they are retargeted.
- About 65% of Google Ads that get clicked have keywords like “buy,” “shop,” or “purchase,” meaning the customer can take action without sifting through entire websites.
In other words, this is a huge opportunity for your business.
Do Google Ads work for marketing your business? Read our blog.
Sure, but how do I start with Google Ads?
If you’ve decided to go ahead with Google Ads (and we strongly recommend you do), don’t be intimidated. It’s designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible. If you’re confident with basic technology skills, like creating posts on Facebook or using emails on your phone, you can definitely set up a Google Ads campaign. It’s not scary, we promise!
First, visit www.ads.google.com. There’s a lot of information available on this page, including a breakdown of exactly how it works, costs, FAQs, and more. To set up your first campaign, simply click “Get Started.” This will take you to the main login page. From here, click the blue “New Campaign” button to start setting up your first advertisement.
From here, you simply have to follow these 10 steps:
- What’s your advertising goal: getting calls, getting website sales, or getting people to visit your physical location? Select one and click next.
- Link the campaign to your Google My Business account, which should auto-fill. Don’t have one yet? Simply select “No” and click next. (We strongly recommend you set up a Google My Business account as soon as possible – but that can be a conversation for another day.)
- Tell Google where you want people to go after clicking on your ad. This can either be your Google My Business page or the shop or services page on your website.
- Google will pause here to scan your website and learn about your business.
(While Google thinks about that, let’s talk about Google My Business. We strongly recommend you set up an account as soon as possible. We’re not going to dive into it in too much detail – you know, one step at a time – but Google My Business is the little panel that pops up when you search a business in your local area. It’s free to set-up and contains valuable information like your opening hours, reviews, and contact information. It makes it as easy as possible for prospective customers to choose you.)
- Now it’s time to write your ad. Google Ads is smart, meaning it will pre-fill the boxes with things it’s gleaned from your website. This is okay, but it’s never going to be as good as something you write yourself. There are two types of boxes you need to know about: headings and descriptions. Use headings to list your projects and services. Use descriptions to encourage people to take action. Keep them simple.
- Select keyword themes. Google will give you a list of topics that you can choose from to match your ads to things people are likely to search. You can pick 10.
- Select your target area. This could be nation-wide, state-wide, or specific ZIP codes.
- Set a budget. You can choose from the list or create a custom one.
- Review your campaign to check that all the details are correct.
- Congratulations, you’ve just created your first Google Ad! Google will run a policy check over it first, which takes about 24 hours, but it will be live in no time.
Short on time to do this yourself? Read about our Google Ads service.
And what if I still have no idea what to write?
Not everyone is a words person. That’s totally fine. If you’re stuck for ideas, Google Ads provides a handy worksheet designed to help business owners write effective ads (you can view it here). It asks you a few simple questions about your business and your marketing goals. You can then mix-and-match the answers to create high-performing Google Ads on your own.
If you’ve reading this now and you feel like you’re looking into a tsunami again – WAIT! WE HAVE A LIFE RAFT. We know you’re busy and that you’re juggling about 20 other things right now. We also know that your need Google Ads if you want your business to stay competitive. Our goal is to help you find a solution that will maximize results while minimizing the time and money you need to invest.
If you want to save money and do this yourself, follow the steps above. We promise it’s simple and easy once you get going. If you want to save time, however, we would love to help your business grow. We offer a Google Ads service… and we can also take care of your Google My Business page while we’re at it. Give us a call and let’s discuss the next steps.
Ready to chat? Click here to schedule a free consultation.