Getting started with Google Ads: Tips for small businesses


1. What is my goal?

Ask yourself: What do I want my customers to do: call me, visit my store or visit my website? This will help you decide where you want to be seen across Google Search, YouTube and the web. Whoever your audience is, 82% of small and medium-sized business advertisers agree digital ads allow them to more efficiently reach their target customers than traditional, offline ads (like TV, radio or newspaper ads).

During the pandemic, inclusive footwear company BILLY Footwear identified their goal: to grow awareness for their shoes internationally. They used Google Ads to reach shoppers around the world, growing their website traffic by 35% and growing their customer base into Europe, Asia and Canada.

To help you reach your specific business goals, here are three Google Ads campaign types that can help you reach the right customers:

  • Search campaigns: Usually in text form, these ads can show on Google Search results pages when someone searches for a product or service that’s similar to yours.
  • Local Services Ads: Local businesses, like a plumber or dentist office, can advertise their services and receive high-quality leads and bookings. Their ads appear at the top of the Google search results page, along with trusted badges to help them stand out.
  • Performance Max: This type allows advertisers to drive better results across all of Google’s advertising channels and inventory – Search, YouTube, Display, Discover, Gmail and Maps – from a single campaign. Performance Max combines AI with your goals and inputs to ensure your ads reach the right audience.

2. What’s my budget?

Ask yourself: How much money can I afford to spend on digital ads? With Google Ads you never pay more than your monthly budget cap. You only pay per click or call, and you can stop advertising at any time. Once you have your answer, you can choose the campaign type that’s best for you and your goals.

For example, small business Anthony’s Plumbing, set their budget and chose the “maximize leads” bidding strategy in Local Services Ads, and was able to achieve an over 85% booking rate and 500% return on investment.

Maybe it’s not the right time for you to invest in Google Ads, in which case we offer free solutions to help your business stand out and reach new customers through free Business Profiles. Business Profiles are free, easy and personalized, helping you turn people who find you on Google Search and Maps into new customers. Personalize your profile with photos, offers, posts, and more.

3. How will I know my ads are effective?

Google Ads provides conversion tracking, which is free for you to use on your website. Once you sign up and implement the tool, you can see what happens after a customer interacts with your ads — whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, called your business or downloaded your app.

When a customer completes an action that you’ve defined as valuable, these customer actions are called conversions. This helps you track the actions that you want customers to take on your website, significantly improving your ability to assess the effectiveness of your ads, your reach, and overall campaigns.

Indigenous woman-owned beauty company Prados Beauty attributes 68% of their web traffic and more than 40% of their revenue to Google Ads. From understanding these conversions, they’ve realized the importance of having Google Ads run daily.

Interested in how Google Ads can help your small business? Ready to start attracting new customers and expanding your reach and impact? Or maybe you’re thinking about changing your advertising strategy after reading. Visit Google Ads to learn more and get started today.



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