The internet has transformed business marketing. It has given SMEs the opportunity to advertise alongside industry giants, but in a highly competitive field, you need a strategy for success.
The Rise of Digital Marketing
In the 20th Century, large corporations dominated; with huge budgets, they could afford television, radio and cinema advertising. Small businesses relied on the Yellow Pages and flyers through the letterbox. Both were geographically limited and once printed, not adaptable.
At the start of this century, the potential of the internet for promoting products and services was realised. For the first time, the playing field was levelled; SME’s could advertise alongside global brands.
In the early days, simply being online put you ahead of the competition. As the number of websites grew, it became increasingly important to undertake activities to improve the chances of your web pages being found. The aim was to find the best match between what people were searching for and the content on your site. This is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Is Search Engine Optimisation Enough?
The success for small business often depends on SEO. The challenge is that the volume of active websites is now so great, that you have to plough a lot of time and effort into SEO in order to appear in the first page. It can take months, or even years, to achieve a top position. If you need to raise brand awareness of a new business, launch a new product range, fill an event or showcase a seasonal special, it takes too long.
The Benefits of Google Ads
Google Ads is a paid service, it includes many factors which applied cleverly can ensure a good return on that investment. Unlike traditional marketing options, Google Ads can be:
- Highly targeted
Only people who search for the exact phrases that you have identified will see your ad. At the set-up stage, you can take this further by identifying specific demographics. You can also decide what time of day or which days of the week your ads will show.
- Monitored and adapted whilst the campaign is live
With access to data, it is possible to see which ads are performing favourably and which are failing to generate interest. You can then make changes or simply direct your budget to those which are working.
- Turned on or off as required
For short term objective, such as promoting an event, you may only want the advert to run for a month. Equally, you may want to pause a promotion on a financially tighter month or increase the spend to reach sales targets. Google Ads offers the necessary flexibility.
- The means to get your website on the first page of Google listings
With SEO alone, you can never guarantee where you will be positioned in the listings, no matter how much you spend on it. With Google Ads, you can.
Spending on Google Ads
With Google Ads, you stay in control of your monthly spend. You only pay when someone clicks on your advert and is directed to your chosen destination. When the budget is spent, your advert is no longer shown on that day and the system restart on the following day.
Most SMEs will spend between £200 and £2000 per month on Google Ads. This is less than recruiting a Sales Manager and it reaches your prospects at the exact moment when they have expressed an interest in what you offer.
Setting Up Google Ads
For the novice, Google Ads offers a step by step guide to setting up campaigns. This is helpful, yet it skips many opportunities to refine the details. In order to maximise your budget and the number of leads, you need a specialist.
The Google Partners Programme provides training to digital specialists. Once on the programme, their work is monitored. They have to consistently produce strong campaigns in order to remain on the programme. For this reason, if you are looking for help with Google Ads find someone who is recommended and qualified.
Expect to pay a specialist a fee for setting up your campaign, along with a monthly fee for managing the campaigns. The fee is often a percentage of the spend, so you can allocate it out of your monthly budget.
Why Invest in Google Ads?
With the help of a Google Ads specialist, you can put your products or services in front of potential customers exactly when they are looking for them. If they click on your Ad, you have the opportunity to provide more information to draw them in and encourage them to take action. Few other marketing strategies are as effective.
Google Ads Summary
- Investing only in a website and SEO unlikely can guarantee leads. When you want to be found online, Google Ads is a valuable tool.
- You only pay when someone has expressed interest by clicking on your Ad.
- Adverts can be paused, stopped or expanded, offering great flexibility.
- With the right set-up, monitoring and adaption, Google Ads offer highly targeted marketing at the fraction of the cost of recruiting a Sales Manager.