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Do Google Ads Work for Small Businesses?

Do Google Ads Work for Small Businesses?

According to Google, 98% of global consumers surveyed shop online. That includes browsing, researching, and buying. Hubspot highlights that 90% of internet users see Google Ads, and 63% have clicked on a Google ad. As business owners, you may be asking yourself whether Google Ads are worth using or not. Some of you face challenges running ads, others don’t think it’s worth it, and some don’t think Google Ads works for anyone other than big players with huge budgets.

But the truth is that Google Ads presents a flexible platform suitable for businesses of any size and budget. If you are asking, “Do Google Ads work for a small business?” just keep reading our article and find out.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Exactly is Google Ads? 
  2. Why a Small Business Should Choose Google Ads in 2024?
  3. So, is Google Ads Worth it For Small Businesses? 
  4. Best Practices of Using Google Ads For Small Business
  5. Possible Cons of Google Ads For Small Businesses 
  6. Google Ads for Small Business FAQs 
  7. Choose VIDEN as Your Google Ads Partner 

What Exactly is Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is Google’s online platform where digital advertisers all over the world bid to display brief advertisements to help businesses reach their target audiences. Ads can be placed in search engine results (Google Search) and on non-search platforms such as websites, videos, mobile apps, and others.

Let’s consider search ads as an example. You create ads and set bids based on keywords relevant to your business. When someone searches for one of these keywords, your ad may appear in the search results, and a user will be redirected to your website or landing page after clicking on your ad. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad (more known as pay-per-click or PPC).

In this way, paid ads aren’t the only Google results users see when searching for products or services. Below and above, you will see the organic search results. You should implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) solutions to be visible and appear in organic results. Google ads can help you to be found online even faster.

Google Ads platform offers a wide range of tools for optimizing and managing advertising campaigns. Advertisers can set budgets, define specific goals, set up targeting by choosing a geographical location and device types, and check the effectiveness of their ads using Google Ads analytical tools. Let’s dive deeper into the pros your small business can get.

Why a Small Business Should Choose Google Ads in 2024?

There are many reasons why it works. Let’s explore the key benefits of Google Ads for small business.

You can reach a wider audience

Google remains the dominant search engine, holding an impressive market share of over 80%. With Google search ads, you can connect with audiences often out of reach on other platforms. It’s important to highlight that this goes beyond Google search itself.

You have many options for where to place ads

Google Ads is much more than search engine results, although obviously, this is the main part of the offer. It allows you to set up campaigns for paid search results and display ads on the display network. Each day, 80% of online users see ads through the Google Display Network.

These ads can be displayed on hundreds of thousands of websites, in apps, and in Google’s own portfolio of sites, such as Gmail. Google Ads also offers sponsored shopping results, sponsored listings on Google Maps, and video ads similar to the ones you see on YouTube.

Simply put, you can use multiple strategies to increase your chances of making Google Ads work for your small business.

You can set their budget

Establish a monthly budget at the account level and set daily budgets for individual ad campaigns. With manual bidding, you can specify the maximum CPC per keyword, ensuring you stay within your limits. This feature is particularly advantageous for small businesses operating with tight PPC budgets.

If you are just a beginner in Google Ads, you can start with a low budget that still allows for competitiveness. For example, you can start with as little as $10 per day and increase your budget when you achieve some results, making this online presence a viable option for small businesses.  If you have prior experience, a higher budget may be considered.

The amount small businesses spend on Google Ads varies depending on factors such as industry, location, business goals, and website conversion rates. According to various studies, small to mid-sized businesses spend between $100 and $10,000 monthly on Google Ads. Hubspot reveals small to mid-sized companies pay $9k-$10k/month for an average PPC campaign. According to Clutch, the average monthly Google Ads spend for small businesses is $6,800. However, this figure can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned above. Speaking about different ad types, for example, display advertising is usually cheaper per click than search ones.

For search ads, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This approach is different from other types of advertising, where you have to pay whether or not anyone sees or responds to your ad. Even companies with limited budgets can increase their visibility and attract new customers via digital channels. Effectively optimized pay-per-click advertising can deliver $2 in return for every $1 invested, yielding an impressive average ROI of 200%.

That’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but understanding factors and consulting with a qualified expert can help determine the best budget for your business needs.

You can target specific locations

Google Ads allows you to utilize demographic targeting by location. According to Google, your ads can appear in selected geographic locations such as countries, areas within a country, a radius around a location, or location groups, including places of interest, your business locations, or tiered demographics.

Even very small areas can be targeted too. Please note that Google Ads allows targeting for locations that meet specific privacy standards, including minimum area and user counts. For instance, radius targeting is prohibited for areas less than 1 km around any location. If your chosen target location does not comply with these privacy standards, you cannot select it in the Google Ads interface.

Have you heard about Google Local Services Ads? These ads appear at the top of Google search results when potential customers search for services related to the business’s offerings and are particularly beneficial for service-based businesses such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, cleaners, and other home services providers, allowing them to reach and connect with local customers effectively. If you represent a service-based small business, don’t miss this chance!

You can target specific devices

By 2025, about 73% of internet users will access it primarily through mobile devices. According to Google, 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results (e.g., the “click to call” option).

Google Ads makes it easy to set up ads to display on mobile devices, desktops, and tablets. Mobile ads can appear on webpages and apps viewed on a mobile device, such as a cell phone or tablet. These ads can appear on mobile search results, mobile-optimized websites, YouTube, or even other mobile apps. Based on your campaign type, ads can exist in text, image, video, call-only, or app/digital content formats.

You can target specific times & languages

You can set ads to appear only at certain times or on certain days, but it works for manual bidding and doesn’t work for smart ones. For example, if you know that most of your customers are looking for your products or services in the evening or on weekends, you can ensure that your ads are shown only at these times.

Place ads to appear only in certain languages. This is useful if you have a multilingual website or want to target people who speak a certain language in a specific country.

You can track results

Google Ads offers robust analytics for your user base, campaigns, ad performance, and keywords. The intuitive interface lets you quickly navigate the data and pinpoint the most relevant information.

With Google Ads, for example, you can monitor impressions and clicks, being valuable for customizing your campaigns and enhancing your results.

One key advantage is the ability to link your Google Ads account with Google Analytics, which provides even deeper insights into your data.

So, are Google Ads Worth it For Small Businesses?

The answer is absolutely “Yes!” The average SMB invests seven times more money into paid advertising than they do into SEO. Over 80% of companies use Google Ads for their PPC. More than 84% of businesses plan on using Google Ads in 2024. Google itself estimates that Google Ads delivers an 800% return on investment (ROI).

Numerous cases can prove the effectiveness of Google advertising. Don’t hesitate to check our case studies and see for yourself.

But remember, ads should be run properly to achieve your small business’s desired results. Use the best practices to reach potential customers and maximize ROI.

Best Practices of Using Google Ads For Small Business

Our expert, Alina Kanevskaya, following her experience shares best practices for small businesses. Let’s discover them!

1. Set Clear Goals

Defining what you want to achieve is crucial before launching any campaign. This initial step sets the foundation for your entire campaign and ensures your efforts are focused and aligned with your overall business objectives. Whether your goal is to increase website traffic, generate leads, boost sales, or enhance brand awareness, having clear and well-defined objectives is essential.

To ensure your goals are effective, they should follow the SMART criteria:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear and specific, leaving no room for ambiguity. Instead of a vague goal like “increase sales,” aim for a specific target such as “increase sales of product X by 25%.”
  • Measurable: It’s important to have a way to measure your progress and determine when you’ve achieved your goal. This could involve tracking metrics such as website visits, conversion rates, or revenue.
  • Achievable: Set realistic and attainable goals. While it’s good to aim high, setting unattainable goals can lead to frustration and demotivation. Assess your resources and capabilities to ensure your goals are within reach.
  • Relevant: Your goals should align with your broader business objectives and be relevant to your current needs. This ensures that your efforts contribute directly to your business’s success.
  • Time-bound: Set a clear deadline for achieving your goals. This helps create a sense of urgency and allows you to track progress over a specific period. For example, “increase sales of product X by 25% within the next 6 months.”

2. Craft Strategy

When targeting small businesses, it’s essential to outline a comprehensive strategy for leveraging Google Ads effectively on a limited budget. Given financial constraints, a strategic and focused approach is necessary to maximize the return on investment and achieve significant results without overspending.

Start with the most relevant keywords on the search. Conduct thorough keyword research to identify your business’s most relevant and high-performing keywords. Utilize tools such as Google Keyword Planner to find keywords with a good balance of search volume and competition. Focus on long-tail keywords, which are typically less competitive and more specific, thus often leading to higher conversion rates. Prioritize keywords that directly relate to your products or services, as these are more likely to attract potential customers ready to purchase.

For e-commerce, allocating a significant portion of the budget to Performance Max or Shopping campaigns is the best option. These campaign types are designed to showcase your products directly to users searching for items similar to what you offer. Performance Max campaigns provide a comprehensive approach, combining various Google Ads features to drive performance across all Google channels. Shopping campaigns, however, allow you to display your products with images, prices, and promotional text, making it easier for potential customers to find and purchase your products. To ensure these campaigns’ success, optimizing your product listings in the Merchant Center is essential. This includes providing accurate and detailed product information, using high-quality images, and regularly updating your inventory.

Plan remarketing campaigns. Remarketing campaigns are a powerful tool for re-engaging potential customers who have already interacted with your brand. By targeting users who have previously visited your website or shown interest in your products, you can increase the likelihood of conversion. Set up remarketing lists to segment your audience based on their behavior, such as those who viewed specific products, added items to their cart but did not complete the purchase, or visited key pages on your site. Tailor your ads to these segments to create personalized and compelling messages encouraging them to return and complete their purchase. This targeted approach helps to make the most of your budget by focusing on an audience that has already demonstrated interest in your offerings.

3. Proper Tracking

You can monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversions, conversion value, and return on ad spend (ROAS) by setting up accurate tracking. This allows you and the Google Ads algorithm to understand which ads and keywords drive the most value and enables data-driven decision-making. Implementing tools like Google Tag Manager and linking Google Analytics with your Google Ads account ensures comprehensive tracking and reporting. Proper tracking also helps optimize your ad budget by identifying high-performing segments and eliminating underperforming ones, ultimately leading to improved campaign performance and better ROI.

4. Build Conversion-oriented landing page(s)

Start with a clear and compelling headline that immediately communicates the value proposition. Ensure the page loads quickly, as slow load times deter potential customers. Use high-quality, relevant images and videos to engage visitors. Your call-to-action (CTA) should be prominently placed and instruct visitors on what to do next. Simplify the form fields to only ask for essential information, reducing friction for the user.

Additionally, make sure the landing page is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. Incorporate social proof, such as testimonials and reviews, to build trust. A/B testing different elements of the page can also provide insights into what works best for your audience, allowing for continuous improvement and higher conversion rates.

Need more recommendations on Google Ads?

5. Budget Management

Begin with a small budget when launching your marketing campaigns to manage risk and gather initial performance data. This approach allows you to test different strategies and identify what works best before committing significant resources. Allocate your budget wisely across the three stages of the marketing funnel: Top of Funnel (TOF), Middle of Funnel (MOF), and Bottom of Funnel (BOF).

For TOF, focus on raising brand awareness and attracting new potential customers with generic keywords and broad-reach campaigns, making sure to exclude your branded search terms. A healthy budget share for TOF ensures a steady flow of new prospects entering your funnel.

In the MOF stage, aim to engage users who have shown initial interest in your product or service. At this stage, the goal is to engage these prospects further, providing them with more detailed information and helping them evaluate their options.

The Bottom of the Funnel (BOF) strategy in Google Ads is focused on targeting users who are already familiar with your brand and are more likely to convert into customers. At this stage, users have a high purchase intent and are actively considering making a purchase decision. The primary objectives of a BOF strategy are to drive conversions, sales, and revenue via branded keywords and remarketing campaigns strategy.

6. Automate Where It’s Possible

Smart Bidding uses machine learning to automatically adjust your bids in real-time based on the likelihood of a conversion. This advanced technology analyzes many signals, including device, location, time of day, and user behavior, to predict which clicks will most likely lead to conversions.

By implementing Smart Bidding, you can ensure that your budget is utilized more efficiently, as it prioritizes spend on high-probability conversion opportunities. This means you spend money only when there’s a higher chance of success, allowing you to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Additionally, Smart Bidding takes the guesswork out of bid management, saving you time and effort while consistently optimizing your campaigns for better results.

7. Monitor and Optimize Regularly

Monitor and optimize your campaigns regularly to ensure they remain effective and continue to deliver the desired results. Regular monitoring involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rates (CTR), cost per click (CPC), conversion rates (CVR), cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS). By closely monitoring these metrics, you can quickly identify any issues or areas for improvement.

Optimization should involve adjustments to various aspects of your campaigns based on the data you collect. This might include tweaking ad copy, adjusting bidding strategies, refining targeting criteria, and experimenting with different ad formats. Regularly updating your keywords and negative keywords list can also help improve ad relevance and reduce wasted spend.

Moreover, conducting A/B testing on different ads and landing pages elements can provide valuable insights into what resonates best with your audience. Use these insights to make data-driven decisions that enhance your campaign’s performance.

8. Google Local Campaigns (optional)

Google Local Campaigns can be an excellent addition to your marketing strategy, especially if you have physical store locations. These campaigns promote your business across Google’s vast network, including Search, Maps, YouTube, and the Google Display Network, to drive offline foot traffic and increase in-store visits.

By leveraging Google Local Campaigns, you can create ads highlighting your store’s location, operating hours, special promotions, and other essential details. These ads are automatically optimized to appear to users near your physical locations or show interest in your type of business. This ensures that your promotions reach potential customers most likely to visit your store.

Possible Cons of Google Ads For Small Businesses

As we declared, Google ads are worth it. But, of course, there can be cons to utilizing it.

Firstly, it can take a long time

Remember to monitor your campaigns closely, particularly in the early stages, to maximize the return on investment. If you neglect your campaigns, you’ll likely waste your budget and fall short of achieving the expected results.

And secondly, it can be costly

While creating high-quality, compelling ads and landing pages can be expensive, it’s not the only concern you should be aware of.

  • High competition of popular keywords, driving up the cost-per-click;
  • Improper keyword selection, leading to wasted ad spend on clicks;
  • Inefficient targeting with ads being shown to the wrong audience, causing low conversion rates and high costs;
  • Ad quality with poor relevance can result in lower ad rankings and higher CPCs;
  • Lack of optimization leads to poor performance and higher costs.

That’s why it’s crucial to hire a digital marketing agency that knows how to target the right keywords, reach a targeted audience and drive traffic, test different ad copy and landing pages easily, and manage ads effectively, not just waste money.

Google Ads for Small Business FAQs

How to run a Google Ads campaign?

Create a Google Ads account, select your campaign goals, enter business information, set your budget and target audience, create your ad, add keywords, set up billing, and launch the campaign.

How much do small businesses need to spend on Google Ads?

Various studies indicate that small businesses typically spend between $500 and $10,000 per month on Google Ads. However, the amount small businesses spend on Google Ads varies based on industry, location, business objectives, and website conversion rates.

Can I use Google Ads for local businesses?

Your ads can be displayed in specific geographic locations, including countries, regions within a country, a radius around a particular location, or location groups. These groups can consist of places of interest, your business locations, or various demographic tiers.

Can I target my Google Ads ads to my competitors?

Yes, you can. Google Ads enables businesses to target users who have interacted with competitors through custom audiences. By leveraging competitor keywords and URLs, businesses can create custom audiences to engage with users already interested in similar products or services.

Should I hire a specialist or agency to manage Google Ads?

It’s better to hire a Google Ads expert with deep expertise in Google Ads campaign management.

Choose VIDEN as Your Google Ads Partner

If you are still wondering, “Is Google Ads a worthy investment for small businesses?” VIDEN can help you! We know how to implement best practices of advertising on Google by creating custom Google Ads campaigns tailored to meet your business goals. As a certified Google Premier Partner, our team crafts effective Google Ads strategies to ensure your campaigns provide the best results. Contact us to book a call with our Google Ads expert. 

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