Starting a new business has a lot of moving parts, and once you're able to narrow down a specific product or service for your business, you have to figure out how to market your business effectively so it reaches as many people as possible. No matter how great your product or service is, if people don't know about it and if you're not able to increase the brand awareness around your product or service, that will inevitably make or break the success of your business in the long run and you will miss out on a lot of potential revenue. Most businesses are converting to digital these days, especially with the Coronavirus forcing so many businesses to go digital, so it's more important than ever to invest in your digital marketing strategies in 2020 and optimize the digital footprint for your business so you can increase your online visibility, increase traffic to your website, outperform your competitors and ultimately increase your overall revenue.
When it comes to digital marketing strategies, there are two ways to go about this: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Advertising Strategies. Using organic SEO strategies (blogs, social media campaigns, posting content and content creation, link building, keyword optimization, etc.) is a long-term game which will take a lot of time, effort and consistency and may take months, if not years, for you to start seeing real results. But when you finally start seeing results from your SEO campaigns and able to show up on the first page of the search engine results page, this can be a very powerful way to organically grow traffic and brand awareness to your website and business online. One of the best parts of SEO is that it's "free" since it doesn't technically cost you money to write blogs or do social media posts for example, but once again, it's a long-term game and not a lot of people have the patience, persistence or faith in the process so they aren't able to truly reap the benefits from their SEO efforts in the long run. On the other hand, you can start seeing results much faster when you utilize paid advertising strategies (Pay Per Click Campaigns, Paid Search Marketing Campaigns, Social Media Ads, Retargeting Ads, Native Ads, Display Ads, Influencer Marketing, etc) to grow your website and business online. Typically, it can take around 2-3 weeks or more for the algorithms to start learning about your paid advertising campaigns in order to see what's working and what doesn't (and I highly recommend that you create multiple ad copies and run some A/B tests to better understand your online campaigns and determine which campaigns are producing the best results - from there, you can invest more money into the best performing campaigns in order to achieve your marketing goals for your business and website).
If you have the time, knowledge, resources and money to utilize both SEO and paid advertising strategies into your marketing mix, I would highly recommend doing so since using both SEO and paid advertising strategies is the best case scenario in growing your business online, driving traffic to your website, achieving your marketing goals and ultimately increasing your overall revenue. However, if you haven't done your research beforehand and don't know how to run effective paid search marketing campaigns (or any type of paid advertising campaigns), this could negatively impact your business and you can waste money really fast by depleting your advertising budget with little to no results (and CPC aren't always cheap and could rack up fairly quickly). Google is by far the most popular and commonly used search engines by online users which is why it's important for every website and online business to use Google and another reason why we'll be discussing Google Ads in this blog post. Just to give you an idea, Statista stated that "Bing accounted for 6.25 percent of the global search market while market lead Google had a market share of 86.02 percent."
Setting up your campaigns
If your new to running pay-per-click advertising campaigns in Google Ads (or any type of paid advertising campaigns online), I recommend that you start small (around $5 to $15 Per Day), do some A/B testing across multiple campaigns to see which campaigns perform the best, and scale from there. Creating pay-per-click advertising campaigns in Google Ads involves many steps and a lot of moving parts, but here are a few things to focus on starting out:
- Planning: you need to really understand what your business is all about (take time for some self reflecting and ask questions about your business), what products or services do you provide, what is the purposes and value that you're providing others and what is your overall mission and goals?
- Research: Make sure to do a thorough analysis and market research around your business before running any pay per click marketing campaigns in Google Ads. A good way to do this is simply Google search your industry, products or services and see what pops up online, setup Google Analytics into your website and review the data to better understand your audience and traffic, take advantage of tools like the SEO Audit Toolkit for ways to further improve your website as well as utilizing Keyword Research Tools, Google Search Console and more. Also, read and digest as much information as possible around ways you can be most successful, especially around your specific niche or industry that your business is in.
- Execution: Once you've completed the planning and researching phase, it's time to create your Google Ads account, set up campaigns and ad groups, configure your settings, create and launch your paid search marketing campaigns in Google Ads and closely monitor your campaign results.
When you follow these steps, it helps you to stay focused and breaks things down into smaller, easier steps.
What to advertise?
Here's a few questions to ask yourself in case you're wondering what to advertise:
- Which of my products or services have the highest ROI?
- Which of my products or services are trending the most?
- What are my best sellers?
These questions are a good starting point that will help you quickly prioritize and identify your most valuable products and services which will give you a greater chance at early success and a more thorough way to build out your paid search marketing campaigns in Google Ads. For example, if your online store sells shoes, socks and laces and the best sellers and overall margins are on shoes, then you might want to focus on running campaigns with your shoes first. You can also use tools like Google Trends to see which type of shoes (e.g. Nike Running Shoes, Adidas Running Shoes, Asics Running Shoes) have the highest interest and most opportunity online. From there, you can plug each of those terms into a Keyword Research Tool which will show you the lowest suggested bids (which is important information especially if you have limited advertising budget starting out). Once you finalize which products or services you want to advertise, it's time to choose your keywords and set up your ad groups inside Google Ads.
One way to set up your ad groups is by categorizing your products or service. For example, with the running shoes example mentioned above, you can create one ad group with all the Nike Running Shoes available, another ad group with all the Adidas Running Shoes available and so on. With each ad group, I'd suggest starting out with 5-10 keywords or phrases that best describes your products or service and those that have the best combination of clicks, impressions, cost per clicks and click through rates. Grouping these keywords together will give you a better idea of how much traffic could potentially come through each ad group and how much you'll be spending.
How to advertise?
Once you finalize which product or service you want to advertise as well as the keywords you want to use in order to target them, the next step is to put it all together. There are a few ways to set up your advertising campaigns in order to maximize your return on the $100:
- Use separate ad groups for each product or service - by separating each product with its own ad group, you can more closely monitor and control the keyword list as well as the ads for that product or service.
- Use Modified Broad Match on your keywords - this provides greater control than Broad Match and less restriction compared to Phrase Match or Exact Match.
When your ad copy and keywords match, this can significantly improve performance and allows you to make ads that link directly to a certain product. The key is to always link to a certain specific product or category.
Understanding Your Target Audience
When you're able to understand your target audience, this will help you in a couple ways - by helping you to write more relevant and targeted ads and by restricting who can see your ads which can help filter out the good traffic with the bad. Also, if you only service customers inside the United States, then it's important to focus your clicks by doing geo-targeting which is easy to control inside Google Ads. (For example, if you only ship your products inside the United States, it wouldn't make sense for your ads to appear in Asia, Europe, Africa or anywhere outside the United States and you'll just be wasting clicks and precious ad-spend).
Get valuable information using Google Trends
Google Trends is an extremely useful tool that Google provides where you can plug in any keywords, phrases or terms in the "Explore" section inside Google Trends, and in return, it will show you how popular it is. Also, you can get more in depth with your local targeting by going after states, cities, districts, etc. which will show you top locations for those search terms. By identifying what's popular and trending, this gives you an edge in further targeting and bidding for those search terms and also probably a good indicator to go after that market. From the intel you receive using Google Trends, targeting those specific locations with a focused campaign or higher bids could potentially give you better results.
Target your audience by writing better and more quality Ad-Copy
You need to take some time and figure out who your audience is or what major market you're looking to target (e.g. Musicians, First Time Home Buyers, Sports Fans, people interested in a specific hobby, etc). When it's time to write your ad copy in Google Ads, you have limited space in the headline section as well as each description line, so it's important to utilize this section with the best-fit keywords and phrases that will attract your potential audience. Here's a short video on how to write great ad copy in Google.
There's no question that Google Ads can be quite complex and a lot to handle at first, but we all know first hand how powerful and important Google Ads can be for every business in achieving their marketing goals, creating brand awareness, increasing online visibility and traffic, driving more clicks and conversions, increasing sales and ultimately increasing the overall revenue for their business. But when you take the time to plan, research and better understand who your audience is, what your audience is looking for, what's trending in your market, being aware of the current events and news around your industry and so on - this will enable you to maximize the results from your paid search marketing campaigns in Google Ads allowing you to achieve your marketing goals, spend your advertising budget efficiently in order to achieve the highest ROI and ultimately run a successful business.
"Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue." - Andrew Davis