Can Small Business Compete With Big Business On Google Ads?

March 7, 2019

The short answer is yes. While a small business may have a smaller budget, clicks cost the same and conversion are just as likely as larger businesses. The core difference between large and small business is the starting budget. With a more modest budget it is important to be proactive from the get-go and avoid wastage and quickly implement your paid search strategy. In this post, we will discuss some important considerations when setting up a paid search campaign for a small business.

1. Put Yourself In The Customers Shoes.

Think about what your customers are looking for when they are online. Many of your customers will be at the research stage of their purchasing journey, while others will be at the ready to purchase stage. Take a conservative approach to keyword targeting by limiting the number of keywords you target. Stick to a small bunch of keyphrases you feel are going to deliver customers in the “Ready To Purchase” mindset. These phrases will cost more but are much more likely to convert to sales. Further to carefully selecting your keywords, pay attention to the landing page experience. Think about what the customer is looking for and how you can better deliver this to your customer.

Tip: Google’s Keyword Planner is the place to go to research and find new keywords. The keyword planner will tell you how often a keyword gets searched for and indicative prices for a click from that keyword.

2. Stay local.

For a small business localising your search audience is critical. Many PPC managers target an entire city when it is only people in the local area (10KM radius) who are likely to convert into a sale.
Localising your search helps to limit the competition and also delivers customers the search results they are looking for. For many industries, people are looking for a local supplier so having your ad show up for a customer on the other side of town will just be wasting money.

Tip: Set multiple geographic locations for your ad campaigns such as by city and by radius. Targeting by radius allows you to target your local audience and will allow you to increase the bd to the local audience and decrease the bid price when outside of your local area.

3. Optimise the offer, content and speed of your website.

Building a great PPC campaign is only a small part of achieving a good ROI on your marketing spend. Your ads and keywords are designed to bring customers into your website, so it is essential that the content they land on is highly relevant to the click you enticed. The landing page should always be the point that the customer can convert, such as the page the user can purchase the product. Make sure the contact information is displayed in a consistent place, and your navigation is easy to access and use.

Finally, use tools like Google Speed Test to make sure page load speeds are at an acceptable level. Building a killer PPC campaign and having an awesome landing page experience is all for nought if all the customer sees is the loading bar. A slow page load speed can lead to higher prices in click price and also lead to penalised organic search listings.

Tip: Use the huge array of analytics tools availalbe to measure user behaviour on your website. As a start, Google Analytics is free and very comprehensive with a massive range of metrics. To take it a step further there are paid tools that offer heat maps and even video capture of customers using your website.

4. Know when not to use Ads.

Running your ads will most likely get the phone ringing, so it makes sense only to run your ads when there is someone ready to answer the phone. Also, consider adding a live chat feature to your website to engage directly with all the customers you have paid to be there.

Many small businesses don’t need to run ads 24/7. You can run ads as required, such as when work is slow or to run a special promotion. You can pause and resume as needed, such as when you go on holiday or need to focus on delivering services rather than winning more customers.

Tip: Pausing and restarting campaigns is easy and has minimal effect on your campaign performance. Google offers complete flexibility in setting a schedule to control precisely when and where your ads will run. Try different days to run your ads so you can measure if certain days produce a better ROI than others.

  1. Consider the competition.
    Pay attention to what your competition is doing. Looking at what your competitors are doing can provide insight into what is working for them, and therefore may work for you. While it is a good idea to review and even borrow ideas from your competitors, it is worth trying to work out how you can differentiate yourself from them.

Tip: Google provides a tool called “Auction Insights” that allow you to see whom you are competing against and how often you compete against them. This tool can help to determine what bidding strategy you should use to achieve better results.

Hopefully, these tips give you an insight into how a small business should start to invest in online marketing and paid search. If you would like to discuss an online marketing stratergy that will get your business growing in the right direction, please book in a free consultation with one of our online marketing gurus.


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