When done effectively, Google Ads should work with your other online efforts to promote your business. If you’re not seeing the results you expected (or want to hit the ground running) try out these 12 google ads (formerly adwords) tips for small businesses

  • Set a clear objective
  • Choose the right keywords
  • Have a holistic Google strategy 
  • Test all Google’s campaign types
  • Run local services ads 
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Leverage ad extensions
  • Perform regular audits
  • Lead with CTAs to save the day
  • Keep track of the data – focus on the importance of tracking/tags

Google Ads tips for your small business

Ready to give your ad campaign its best chance? Read on!

Set a clear objective

Setting clear and defined objectives should always be your first step. Without them, it’s difficult to know where you’re headed. 

Think of it like setting off on a hike without a map. You might have some idea of what you need to do, but you’ll probably get lost along the way. 

For reference, your objectives should always be SMART. That’s:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Constrained

It’s the difference between “have a more popular website” and “increase web traffic by 25% within the next three months”. 

Choose the right keywords

When it comes to Google (and other search engines), it’s all about keywords. A keyword is what someone types into the search bar, for example “google ads tips”. 

Search engines then scout through web pages looking for articles with these keywords on them. Look at your website, and use a tool like Semrush to find suitable keywords

Remember, don’t use a keyword too often in one article or you can damage your efforts. 

Have a holistic Google strategy

It’s no use just focusing on paid ads and forgetting organic growth. When it comes to improving your online campaign, all areas need to work together. There are three main areas you need to maintain. 

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • Organic traffic (created by your published content)
  • Paid traffic (people directed by ads to your website)

Once you have all three working together, you should experience some growth. 

Test all Google’s campaign types

There are eight types of campaigns Google Ads can run.

  • Search — First results when someone searches
  • Display — Image or banner ads on websites
  • Video — The video ads found on YouTube
  • Shopping — Products that appear when searching for an item
  • App — Displays ads for your app across several channels
  • Smart — The new default, automatically manages your ads for you
  • Local — Highlights your business in the local area
  • Discovery — Ads run everywhere to improve reach

Each of these campaign types target different audiences. We recommend trying them all out (if applicable) to see which has the best results for your business. 

Run local services ads

This tip is only applicable to bricks and mortar businesses.

When your business operates in a local community, you need to do everything you can to reach other people in your area. That includes running Google’s local services ads. These will pop up when people in your area search for terms related to your business. 

Plus, you only pay when customers contact you directly from the ad, which is great for your bank balance. 

Drive traffic to your website

The whole point of running Google Ads is to improve your business’s online presence and, by extension, your sales revenue. Instead of just relying on ads though, look into multiple avenues

The more people who visit your website, the more popular it will become. This appeases the Google algorithm, and can mean your ads rank better for your chosen keywords. 

Leverage ad extensions

If you’re not leveraging ad extensions, then you’re essentially wasting your money and ad space. 

Ad extensions are pieces of additional info, like your phone number or customer reviews. They give potential customers another reason to choose you over your competitors. Plus, ad extensions are usually free but it’s best to double check. 

Perform regular audits

A content audit is where you examine the content currently on your website. You look at a selection of the best and worst performing blog posts and articles, and compare them to see what is successful and what isn’t. 

These audits can show you what needs to be improved, and what could be changed into another format. It also helps you track exactly what content you have, and highlight areas you could expand into. 

Lead with CTAs to save the day

A CTA, or Call To Action, is something that persuades a reader to do something. This could be reading an eBook, or signing up to your mailing list. While most websites have their CTAs at the end of the article, this might not be the best approach.

A lot of readers go on a website, and quickly leave. In fact, the average time spent on a web page is just 54 seconds. With this in mind, it’s better to lead with your CTA in the hopes of keeping a reader around for longer. 

Keep track of the data

Your campaigns won’t always be successful. Some will have a bigger impact than others, and that’s expected. In order to learn what you can and improve the next campaign, you need to track the data

Tracking data can show you exactly where your campaigns are successful, and where they could use more attention. For example, your ads might be good at getting people to your website, but not at reaching people. 

How to succeed with your Google (and other) marketing

Unfortunately, marketing isn’t as simple as winding it up and watching it go. There’s some work needed to make sure you hit the right people in the right way, and have an effective campaign. 

Target audience

Knowing your target audience is essential for success in almost every area of business. If you don’t know who the best customer for your business would be, find out. Build a customer profile, and figure out how to appeal to that audience. 

Keep it simple

If something’s complicated and difficult to understand, people don’t like it. If you’ve ever been confused by a convoluted film, you know exactly what we mean. 

Instead, keep it simple. The easier something is to understand, the more people will react positively to it.

Bonus! Use Countingup for budgeting

Running ads will cost you money. While you set your own budget cap, you first have to know exactly how much you can spend. If your money management isn’t the best, try an accounting app like Countingup

It’s a two-in-one business current account and accounting app, designed to give you complete control over your money. It’ll even sort your payments into HMRC-compliant categories, so finances become crystal clear. 
Try it yourself and download the app today.