How to start with Google Ads for your small business | W3 Lab

How to start with Google Ads for your small business

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is one of the most popular advertising services for a good reason. It can bring you more clicks and traffic, as well as significantly boost your small business sales. The fact it uses the Pay-Per-Click model makes it even more useful, since you pay only for the clicks that you get, losing no money in the process.

Because of all of these perks, Google Ads experts are appearing more and more, and business owners are starting to learn Google Ads themselves since it is useful for both big and small businesses. A local small business can benefit a lot from this service because people are googling places and businesses near them all the time and Google offers geographically-targeted ads made especially for this purpose.

Later on in the article, there will be a word of the 4 biggest benefits of this super useful service.

For now, let’s start off with some tips on how to start with Google Ads, so you too can increase your sales and the popularity of your small business.

google ads logo
Google Ads Logo

1. Google Skillshop

Google offers free online training for their tools, and the courses include: Google Marketing Platform, Analytics Academy, Google My Business, Google Ad Manager, Google AdMob, Authorized Buyers, Waze, and, you guessed it, Google Ads.

Using the Skillshop Google Ads course, you will learn the fundamentals of Google Ads, Search, Display and Video campaigns, as well as Shopping Ads and Ad Performance Measurement. They even have certificates for all of these different campaigns that last from 2-4 hours and will thoroughly test everything you have learned in the SkillShop.

google ads skillshop
The Google Ads course on Google Skillshop

The Google Ads course is detailed and will clearly explain everything you need to know, even if you don’t know almost anything about the service.

2. Case studies

Case studies, as the name suggests, are studies that contain all the information about a certain project. They are detailed and describe projects from beginning to end, including all the steps, as well as the problems that arose and got solved, and how they got solved.

If they are about ad campaigns, which is most often the case, they contain a ton of useful information about the previous state of a business and the improvement that the campaign brought. This is why they’re important when we’re talking about learning Google Ads in order to improve a small business.

There are a ton of Google Ads related case studies on the internet, and you will find how detailed and useful they are. The experts writing them to go in-depth about the process, expectations, and results, which can help you learn a lot about what to expect from a campaign and what they look like.

3. Hire a Google Ads expert

You might be wondering why we’re suggesting you hire a Google Ads expert when the article is about you learning about this service. It’s simple, by hiring an expert to do your campaign, you will be able to afterward look at the campaign and learn how they used it.

If you open a campaign, it can get a little overwhelming at the beginning because there’s a ton of data included in every campaign, but don’t be discouraged. Take your time to look at the statistics: how the expert spent the money, what keywords they used, how they bid on them, their click-through rate, the average cost per click, and more data.

google on mackbook
Google on a Macbook by StockSnap on Pixabay

You will also be able to see how they wrote the ads, which is a very valuable skill when it comes to using this service. Take notes about the number of words and characters they used and how they used them. You’ll find that they try to be as clear and specific as possible while delivering important information at the same time. Writing good ads takes practice but it’s achievable by research and practice.

Write down your observations in a way that is clearer and more understandable to you, a personal and small improvised case study that can boost your understanding of this service and help your next small business ad campaign.

4. Google Ads YouTube tutorials

There are tutorials on the internet for everything, and Google Ads are no exception.

google ads on youtube
YouTube search for ‘google ads’

Go to YouTube and check out the tutorials experts post. They range from 5 to 20 minutes to even an hour and explain this useful service. Some of them even offer explanations about how they made a ton of money using it, while others offer tips and secrets and tell you how Google Ads works.

You will also stumble upon the Google Ads channel that contains short videos about this service and how to efficiently use its features.

google ads youtube channel
The Google Ads YouTube channel

5. Start your first ad campaign for your small business

What’s a better way to learn than through your own experience?

After using all the aforementioned steps, you will have a basic understanding of how to make your own campaign for your small business. Set your budget and start small. Don’t invest a ton of money immediately, you can even do a low sum of $25. You don’t want to overpay and not get any money in return.

Make simple ads in order not to get overwhelmed and most importantly, be patient. It will take a while to get results and once they start appearing, take your time analyzing them.

If you’re still uncertain of what certain options mean, there are a ton of written tutorials and guides on the internet where you can search for explanations of those options.

Let’s look at the benefits of Google Ads for small businesses.

1. Leads and customers

There’s not a market nowadays that isn’t saturated. The competition is huge for every type of product and service, so it can be really hard to stand out and get the word out about your business. One of the most important goals of every Google Ads campaign is to generate leads and drive sales.

Relying on people telling other people about your business isn’t, well, reliable. With Google Ads, you can spread the word and get tons of new customers and leads.

Statistics show that 72% of consumers prefer to find local businesses using Google search, and businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 they spend.

If you don’t believe it, there’s a page about Google Ads for small businesses success stories that you can read. Most of the local small businesses doubled their sales and significantly boosted their brand awareness. I feel like me summarizing them wouldn’t do them justice, so click here to read them.

2. Targeting and remarketing

If you own, let’s say, a seafood restaurant, Google will show your ad to people that are looking for restaurants that serve seafood. This is because Google Ads enables you to target audiences based on who they are, what their interests and habits are, what they’re searching for or the way they’ve interacted with your business.

Google Ads’ targeting is separated into two categories: audience and content targeting.

Audience and content targeting

Audience targeting, as the name suggests, focuses on the ways of targeting people that may be interested in your business. Audience targeting allows you to target people through demographics (location, age, gender, device type) and their interests (based on what they’re looking up on the internet).

Content targeting, on the other hand, targets people using specific types of content. It involves keyword targeting (it displays your ad when people are looking up your keywords), targeting topics (based on web content), and placement targeting (allows you to choose on which pages and websites your ad appears).

google ads targeting and remarketing
Location targeting is especially useful for small businesses. | Source

Because of its versatility, many consider this one of the greatest benefits of Google Ads. Since you own a small business, you can set your target audience to be the city you’re located in, or a few more nearby ones. You can also decide to show ads based on people’s interests, so Google will show them an ad of yours if they’re looking up something similar to it.

Remarketing

Remarketing is the most popular and also the most effective marketing campaign. It gives businesses a second chance to capture the potential customer’s attention and convince them into buying their product.

The way it works is through cookies: by allowing a website to use cookies, a code is placed into your browser that, for a lack of a better word, marks you for ads. This is why you keep seeing an ad for a Halloween costume you checked out even though it’s January.

So, if a customer visits your website, but doesn’t purchase anything or gets distracted and closes it, remarketing gives you a second chance to remind them about your small business.

Google Ads Smart Campaign

Google introduced this type of campaign for small businesses and people that lack technical knowledge. Because of this reason, Smart Campaigns have a simpler interface, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

The options are simplified, too, and Google even automates the experience, making the ads for you. Everything, of course, can be edited. They are a great starting point and will allow you to learn the basics before you move onto bigger and more complicated campaigns. They usually don’t take over 15 minutes to set up, and while it all sounds great, they have a few downsides.

Since they’re simplified, you get access to fewer data and less control over where your ads will appear. But all in all, they’re good if you’re a Google Ads beginner.

But these are only some of the benefits of Google Ads for small businesses. There are many more, so let’s check them out.

3. High return on investment and inexpensiveness

Return on investment, or ROI, is how much money you’ve made compared to the amount of money you’ve spent. And with Google Ads, the ROI is often pretty high.

google ads roi
Here’s Google’s example of ROI off their Google Ads website.

People often have the misconception that this service is expensive, but the truth is that it really isn’t. You should always begin by investing only a few dollars and after you see the results, you can always increase the amount of money you’re putting into your campaign. You have full control of every Google Ads campaign, which is why it’s a favorite of many marketers.

Also, since it’s pay-per-click, you only pay for the ads people click on, so you’re not wasting any money.

It is true that it’s somewhat of a slow process, especially if you’re just learning how to use Google Ads, but in the long run, it definitely pays off.

This is another of the benefits of Google Ads for small businesses. If your budget is stretched thin, you’re not forced to spend tons of money.

4. Google Ads increases brand awareness

This is another great thing about Google Ads that benefits businesses of all sizes. But when it comes to small businesses, it is especially helpful. Google Ads has brand-engagement campaigns and they can help with the increasing of customer interactions and building more positive brand associations.

By showing ads of your business all over the Google Network, Google gives you exposure and credibility. Just think about it: are people more likely to buy from you if they’ve never heard of your business before, or if they’ve already seen one of your ads somewhere?

Google Ads for small businesses – Conclusion

There you have it, 5 useful tips that will help you learn and master the Google Ads service in no time and 4 important benefits of it.

Google SkillShop and YouTube tutorials will help you with the basics, case studies will teach you a ton of useful information about ad campaigns, results and how they work, while campaigns made by Google Ads experts contain a lot of data and give you a glimpse into a well-crafted campaign.

When it comes to the benefits of Google Ads, there’s no question that they’re numerous. From sales increase and lead generation, through targeting and remarketing, to brand awareness increase and good ROI, Google Ads are the most popular advertising service for a reason.

Thank you for reading and good luck with your small business ads campaigns!

Marija Milosavljević
Marija Milosavljević

Graduated as first in her class. Incredibly quiet and shy until the lag in Warframe turns her into a raging death-bunny.

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