Google Ads Tips For Small Businesses

Tip #1. Start small and build account and PPC campaigns over time.

It’s easy for small business owners to become overwhelmed with Google Ads and the various campaign types. The ad formats, bidding strategies, and terminology change constantly. The goal is not to set up overly complex, unmanageable campaigns. Leave complex ad structures to experts instead. Start PPC campaigns with your small business’s core offerings or one product launch. The first Google Ads tip for small small businesses build your Google Ads strategy over time. Experiment to determine what ad copy, landing page copy, and combination of keywords drive your business’s most critical key performance indicators.

Tip #2. Create tightly themed keywords in ad groups for PPC campaigns.

Keyword research is the foundation of a good Google Ads search campaign strategy. Keyword research for a small business can be time consuming. But its the most important thing to do before starting a PPC campaign.

Theme ad groups based on similarly related keywords is the second Google Ads tip for small businesses. Have a mixture of broad, phrase, and exact match keywords to ad groups. Broad match keywords help fill in keywords you may have missed. Don’t forget to add negative keywords to ad groups or campaigns. Negative keywords remove your ads from auctions that have little or no correlation to your small business.

Tip #3. Measure PPC campaign conversion data and send it to Google Ads.

Tip number 3 for small business owners is know your goals and conversions for Google Ads PPC campaigns. Conversion data tells you how well your keywords, ads, and campaigns help meet key performance indicators or sales revenue goals. E-commerce stores need to measure which keywords drive the most conversions for product sales. Non-ecommerce businesses have different conversions. You can even upload offline conversion data from external sources such as Point-of-Sales or invoice data.

PPC managers make decisions on bidding strategies based on conversion data. Call analytics, eCommerce sales data, downloadable content, collecting email addresses, or some critical action on the website are examples of measurable conversions you can use as KPIs for your small business. The list of conversions is just a short list. Your business goals and KPIs determine the ultimate conversions.

Google Ads Tip #4. Start PPC campaigns with Manual bidding, then move to one of Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategies

Manual bidding gives you an idea of the average cost per click keywords. Google Ads has changed to smart bidding strategies, which it heavily promotes. However, smart bid strategies are based on conversion data. The fourth tip, learn how the different bidding strategies for paid search campaigns work.

As a small business it’s easy to get roped into thinking that Google Ad’s suggestions are gold. Unfortunately, each bidding strategy has different uses and characteristics. Maximize conversions with targeted cost per action (mTPA) and maximize conversion return on ad spend (mROAS), require a minimum of 25 and 30 conversions -respectively – each month to bid efficiently. Google Ad guesses what your bids should be without those conversion numbers.

Google does not tell advertisers how its machine algorithms work. However, if your account does not have the required conversion data, it could take data from similar accounts and apply it to your data. This comparison could be inaccurate and cost you significant amounts of money. Manual bidding allows you maximum control of your bids. Use other bid adjustment strategies (location, device, time of day/week, by keyword) to help Google Ads rank your ads better at the most critical times. Any PPC specialist worth their weight can set up customized bid strategies using Google Ad’s advanced scripting features.

Tip #5. Learn how to create ads that grab the user’s attention. 

Google Ads uses responsive ads exclusively as the search ads format starting June 30, 2022. Advertisers have fifteen headlines and four descriptions to convince the user to click on their website. Google decides the combination for the final ad. The ad is the #1 way to get a searcher’s attention. Your ads are up against other paid advertisers and organic search results. Make ad copy great. Every PPC campaign should have a theme. Stand out with these tips:

  • Use keywords in ads with the automatic keyword insertion, this handy template→ {KeyWord: Default}. 
  • Use call to actions (CTA) within headlines. List 3-4 actions you want people to take once they land on the page or see the ad (call now, subscribe to email, purchase a product).
  • Add dynamic pricing and products (way more technical than this article).
  • Use ad customizers for additional dynamic ads.
  • Summarize the benefits of your product in 30 characters, including spaces.
  • Use the Google Ads functions like COUNTDOWN to add a sense of urgency to ads.
  • Don’t forget that people come from a variety of devices. If you only want to focus on mobile users, create ads that will fit smaller screens.

Adverting videos are expensive to produce. Shopping feeds require frequent updates based on eCommerce inventory. Display as can contain interactive content. Consider the cost to maintain and produce advertisements. Search campaigns are easy to produce verse other formats. Think about what combination of ads resonate with your target audience.

Google Ads Tip #6. Keyword research can help create a keyword list AND a negative keyword list (all the queries you don’t want to be found for in Google SERPs).

The sixth tip is purely related to keyword research. You can read the full article on keyword research for small businesses. Here’s a basic summary: Google Ads Search and Display campaigns need targeted keywords. That is the way search works. You enter a search query in Google Search, and a list of what Google thinks are the best match results are returned to you. The Search Results are based on your prior history, location, and other data collected by Google. The SERP will likely show you ads, rich snippets, maybe a map, a list of videos, or Google Shopping results, depending on your hunt. Keywords signal search intent, and Google responds accordingly.

Google Ads Tip #7. Monitor the search terms report and add negative keywords to your PPC campaign.

Many ignore the search terms report. It’s one of the most critical reports for PPC experts. The report tells how well the search keywords in ad campaigns match your small business’ website. Tip #7 is not really tips, but questions you should ask about the search terms report. Here are similar questions PPC experts ask themselves, including: 

  • Does the search query match the landing page?
  • Is the search query too broad? 
  • Is the search term expensive?
  • Is Google Ads only bidding on our branded search terms? 
  • What competitors are users searching for? 
  • What is the potential of the keyword to drive conversions? 
  • Does the search term exist in the ad group?
  • And a ton of other questions.

As a small business owner, you should ask the same questions about how and where your ads appear in Google Search. 

Google Ads Tip #8. Monitor Google Ads cost every week and set your daily budget.

The eighth tip is to know your budget and don’t over spend. Each campaign gets a separate daily budget. If you have a maximum overall budget for all campaigns, determine how much you want to spend per month. Divide your overall budget by 30.4. The calculated dollar number is the maximum daily budget for all Google Ads PPC campaigns. Create a shared budget that all campaigns use. A shared budget prevents campaigns from overspending. One campaign has the potential to cannibalize the shared budget, which is the only drawback to a shared budget. 

Sometimes the average cost per click for a keyword may exceed your daily budget. In that case, you need to set a higher daily budget. You can set a budget for the entire account or per campaign. Google Ads is a click first; pay later. If campaigns exceed their budgets, then you are responsible for the ad spend. It does not matter if the campaign made you money or not. As a Google Ads PPC expert, setting and maintaining budgets are our top priority.

Google Ads Tip #9. Start with Search Ads Only, then build up to other campaign types. 

Tip number nine for small businesses getting started with Google Ads PPC expands from tip number one. starting small and building over time Start with Google Ad Search campaigns without the search network. Although the search network will get you more impressions, the CTR and conversion rates tend to be lower on Google Ads partner networks.

Don’t do Google display ads until you understand remarketing, complex bidding, and how to target the correct websites. Display marketing is a complex PPC campaign strategy that can cost a ton of money without any return on your investment.

Youtube advertising needs to be a systematic top-of-funnel marketing strategy. Youtube advertising is to draw awareness to your business. Many people mistake it for a sales funnel. Bottom of funnel sales come once people gain awareness of your business.

People may interact with your business many times (data shows at least seven times) before they consider your brand or make a purchase. People could interact by searching your brand on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), reading reviews, viewing a Google Business Page, asking family and friends for word-of-mouth referrals, or watching a Youtube video. 

The customer’s journey to the conversion does matter. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a central focus for large enterprise businesses. CRO marketing companies exist to assist with improving customer journeys to improve revenues for businesses.

Google Ads Tip #10. Google Ad recommendations and PPC campaign performance scores can be misleading.

 Google Ads wants you to spend more, regardless of the cons for your business. The performance report could make suggestions that cost you more money or don’t offer your expected outcomes. Google Ads generates income for Google from your advertising dollars. Don’t leave 100% of your PPC campaigns decisions to Google. Ask yourself does the recommendation or suggestion benefit your end goals.

As a small business, the recommendations could increase the cost of campaigns and decrease the conversions for your business, or provide irrelevant suggestions. Apply Google Ad’s Auto-Suggestions once you grasp your marketing objectives and goals, what keywords work, and if the bidding strategies suggestions apply to your small business. 

Bonus Google Ads Tip For Small Businesses

Google Ads has complex automation processes that don’t benefit your paid account unless you know how machine learning and AI are applied to the PPC account. Learning how to work the algorithms to your PPC campaign’s advantage takes time. You may not find overnight success with Google Ads PPC campaigns for your small business. 

The PPC campaign is to drive additional paid traffic to your website; it’s not the work of the ad to convert the user. It’s the website’s job to convert the user to your small business’ end goals. Analyze the data Google Ad gives you. Work with a PPC company, like Cliively, that can pull raw data with Google Ad Scripts and Google Ads API. Scripts can take a PPC account from humdrum to full throttle.