There has never been a better time for small business to increase their customer leads through online advertising. One of the most popular forms of online advertising is placing paid advertisements which appear on search engine results such as Google. This type of online advertising is also known as search engine marketing (SEM).

So how does SEM work?

SEM means that your online advertisement appears on the search engine results of organic web searches by individuals. Your online advertisement is either placed at the top and/or side column of the search result, as shown on the image below.

CC-BY Image by Digital Capability
CC-BY Image by Digital Capability

The placement of your online ad by the search engine is determined by its relevance to the organic search based on keywords, as well as the “Pay per click” (PPC) or “Cost per Click” (CPC) amount that you have selected to have your online advertisement placed. That is, the search engine will place those online advertisements which bid the most for a keyword in a more prominent position.

So how can you get started?

One of the most popular web search engine advertising providers is Google Adwords. Google AdWords allows you to reach new customers when they are searching for your type of product and/or service on Google.

CC0 Public Domain image from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/photos/keyword/
CC0 Public Domain image from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/photos/keyword/

Google Adwords determines the placement of your online advertisement on web search results based by the CPC rate that you are willing to pay for each keyword. The position of the online ad is also determined by its ‘Click-through rate (CTR)’ , that is, how often are the people doing a web search containing your keywords actually clicking on your Google Ad.

If people are clicking on your Google Ad often, then Google is more likely to place your ad higher up on the results page. If the your ad’s CTR is low then Google considers that your ad isn’t relevant to the online search, and therefore removes your ad for the relevant keyword.

So how do you prepare your Google Ad?’

To get started with your Google Ad you will need:

  • a clear and measurable advertising campaign eg to increase sales, increase enquiries, or build brand awareness etc
  • a daily budget of how much you can spend on the online advertising campaign
  • a website or landing page which you can send people to which contains a strong ‘call to action’ when people arrive such as Buy now or Call now.
CC-BY Image from Joe the Goat Farmer - https://www.flickr.com/photos/132604339@N03/23480274281
CC-BY Image from Joe the Goat Farmer – https://www.flickr.com/photos/132604339@N03/23480274281

Then it’s time to design your Google Ad, which consists of:

  • An eye-catching headline
  • A two line description
  • A display link or URL, and
  • A destination URL.

Your Google Ad needs to be very succinct to express your campaign’s unique selling point (USP) because you only have 70 characters per online ad. This means you need to make sure your Google Ad message is clear and relevant to your “ideal customer” or target market to increase the likelihood that they will click on your Google Ad.

You then need to create a Google Adwords account so take a few minutes to investigate the Google Guide about placing online ads with Google at http://www.googleguide.com/ads.html.

So what else do you need to think about?

Keep your Google Ad’s display URL simple even if the landing page which you will be directing people to has a longer URL eg your display URL could be cheapcabinets.com.au even though your website URL is cheekcharliescheapcabinets.com.au/onlinestore.

CC0 Public Domain Image by mkweb2 - https://pixabay.com/en/website-url-go-button-www-web-454460/
CC0 Public Domain Image by mkweb2 – https://pixabay.com/en/website-url-go-button-www-web-454460/

Ensure that your actual online advert is keyword rich (more about keywords in the next section), and that your online advert message is consistent with the information which will appears on the landing page that you will be directing people to. It is the landing page where your call to action will help achieve your advertising campaign’s goal.

Also, think about your target market’s characteristics and behaviours to narrow the audience to which your online ad is placed by setting the types of devices your target market uses to search online eg mobile phones vs computers, as well as their location, language, etc, to really help ensure that the people who are most likely to engage with your online ad are the ones who receive your online ad when they do a web search. Also ensure that you set an end date for your campaign so that you do not go over budget.

So what are keywords?

Keywords are words which clearly describe what an online advertisement is about. For example, if you are selling Australian-made ladies leather boots, then some of the keywords could include ‘ladies shoes’, ‘ladies leather shoes’, ‘Australian leather shoes’, etc.

CC-By Image from J Photo Style http://jphotostyle.com/handwriting/k/keywords.html
CC-By Image from J Photo Style http://jphotostyle.com/handwriting/k/keywords.html

Keywords are the major trigger of when your online advertisement appears in a Google search result. When creating your online advertising campaign stick to between five to twenty keywords which best describe your online ad.

Sort your Google Ads into small ad groupings to ensure that your keywords are as relevant as possible to your advertisement. This will allow you to set a CPC bid rate at the ad group level which applies to all keywords housed within that ad group.

Google Ad’s Keyword Planner can help you determine the best keywords for your online advertising campaign. Take a few minutes to read this article on how to use Keyword Planner – http://backlinko.com/google-keyword-planner.

Online advertising done well can be a very powerful way of promoting your business to your target market, however, paid online advertising can be costly if you do not design the correct marketing campaign and ensure that you deploy it to the correct targeted marketing, so do your research and take the time to test your approach.

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If you would like to learn about being successful online contact us now (email or 0400 732 270) to find out more about how you can take these simple steps to online success to advertise online using Google Adwords.

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Advertise online using Google Adwords

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