Search Engine Advertising For Small Businesses: A Complete Guide
Topics covered in this post:
- Goals For Search Engine Advertising For Small Businesses
- How Much Should I Spend On Search Engine Advertising?
- Who Should Use Search Engine Advertising?
- Localized Ad Copy & Extensions
- What Are The Primary Targeting Options For Local Search Engine Advertising?
- How Does Google’s Quality Score Work?
- How Do You Find The Right Keywords To Use?
- Tracking And Measurement For Search Engine Advertising Campaigns
Search engine advertising for small businesses is what drives most online marketing campaigns. Every day there are over 5 Billion searches done on Google, and the number is growing everyday. Search engine optimization (SEO) works to improve the visibility of your website in the free listings based on keyword searches. Search engine advertising allows you to insert your paid advertisement into the search results on Google and Bing. Ad fees are based on the pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-mille (CPM) models. Search engines allow you to pay to rank for your target keyword’s search position. This happens by placing the ads above, beneath, or right next to the search results. Google’s Ads is so dominant that most discussions of paid search are about Google’s ad services. Even though advertising costs on Google are often greater than other available platforms.
The highest ranking ads are generally the most relevant to the user’s keyword search. The majority of search engine users accept search engine advertising as useful. This is because they can find the information they’re looking for much quicker. Search engine advertising is an effective tool for increasing small business website traffic. Use it to promote your company’s products and services, elevating brand recognition. Most importantly, use it to generate more revenue for your business.
Goals For Search Engine Advertising For Small Businesses:
- Driving Phone Calls. For most local businesses, phone calls are the key metric for local search engine advertising campaigns. Make sure you have custom tracking numbers setup from your local search engine advertising campaign.
- Website Form Submissions. Most local businesses have online forms on their website and since these days more people are filling out forms or engaging in an online chat. This is a key metric that should be a primary goal to raise. Track them using analytics and your online reporting profile.
- Increase Website Traffic. The main goal of search engine advertising is to direct a stream of visitors to a website. In a fight for the top spot, the ads rank by quality and relevance. But spots on the first results page can also be bought with a high bid.
- Promote Brand Recognition. Search engine advertising is an effective marketing tool for enhancing a brand’s visibility amongst others in its field. Another goal of an SEA campaign should be to occupy keywords services with advertisements for your own product lines or services.
- Generate Sales Conversions. Search engine advertising pays off when it contributes to gaining leads, or to the increased sale of products and services. Advertising programs like Google Ads make it possible for website owners to determine exactly how often search engine ads lead to conversions. It helps you track when a potential customer becomes a customer.
How Much Should I Spend On Search Engine Advertising?
- Short-Term Customer Value. This can be the value of a customer based on what the average one-time transaction is or the monthly transaction of the customer.
- Long-Term Customer Value. This is what the lifetime value of a customer value is, and what the referral value is to your business. If 50% of your business comes from a previous client referral, then your long-term customer value will be much higher. You also need to take into consideration that the customer you acquired from a search engine campaign is also going to refer someone to you later. This presents more value for that first new customer acquisition.
Who Should Use Search Engine Advertising?
Localized Ad Copy & Extensions
- Sitelink Extensions. You can link to different pages on your site that are relevant to the search term and ad group.
- Phone Call Extensions. You can display your phone number in the ad. The visibility on phone call extensions are different if you’re on a mobile or desktop view.
- Review Extensions. You can source local reviews you’ve received and these snippets will show in your paid ad.
- Call Out Extensions. These showcase a particular product or service out of the main body of the ad and sitelink extension.
- Location Extension. This extension lets you show the address of the physical location of your business.
- Message Extension. This extension will give you the option to display a button for people to send you a text message.
What Are The Primary Targeting Options For Local Search Engine Advertising?
- Location. Advertisements will cost more or less depending on which country, state, or city they’re shown to. A small business owner can offer more for their ad campaigns if they want the ads to appear more often. Ads are more visible in searches within the geographic location the searcher is in. Geofencing or Location Targeting options can include a city, state, zip code, radius. It could be miles around a physical location, or even a kilometer around a physical location. You’ll also want to pay attention to the location exclusions so you don’t get out of area traffic. Read our comprehensive post on Geofencing and location targeting.
- Daily & Weekly Hours. Google can display search ads more or less often, on certain days, or at certain times of the day or night, depending on your preferences. This will influence an advertiser’s bidding behavior. Allocating your budget toward the best buying times for your customers will keep your ads performing well.
- Language. Google takes the searcher’s language into account. Only displays ads in the local language are shown to each user. You should create advertisements for each language based on your potential customers. Or limit your ad exposure to only certain languages.
- Remarketing Lists. With remarketing lists, ads display for users depending on what they viewed in the past. This means that a user who has visited your site already. They will have a different display experience compared to a user who’s never visited the site. They might be shown things that could influence a visitor to buy or act in a different way.
- Google Phone Call Only Campaigns. With phone call only campaigns, advertisements are set to run on mobile devices only. A bid price will be set to the max cost per call that the user is willing to pay. These campaigns bypass having to click through to a website. They direct users to make a phone call from the advertisement on the search engine results page. The highest cost-per-call setting is like the max CPC setting. The cost-per-call will be higher than the max CPC setting. That’s because the value of a phone call is higher than the value of a website click.
How Does Google’s Quality Score Work?
Google has a “quality score” as part of its rating system. This stops low-quality ads with higher bids from landing at the top of the search results. This method helps create a positive experience for all users. Google has studied and implemented a system to understand what makes searchers click on ads. This system earns them increased ad revenues. A well-planned search engine advertising campaign with high-quality content will always rank higher in the search engines. This is because it’s the most helpful and personalized to the user’s search intent. A high CPC bid is not the only factor in creating a successful advertisement. Google’s quality score rates the following factors as essential for an effective advertising campaign:
Graphic by Digital Logic
- Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR). This metric is based on how often the advertisement displays (impressions), along with the number of clicks that each ad receives. Ads that have a high click-through rate (CTR) are more relevant and shown more often.
- Click-Through Rate For The Display URL. If the URL used in the ad has already achieved a large number of clicks, then an ad’s quality score will also be higher. The display URL does not have to match the link target to earn clicks to it. But it should at least be related to earn a high quality score.
- Landing Page Quality. Users click on links because they’re featured for its relevance, transparency, and user-friendliness. That ad’s search engine ranking will continue improve.
- Relevance Of The Ad Copy. Ads that get the top spots on search engines have titles and copy that align with the related search query. The more relevant an ad’s copy is, then the higher the ranking will be.
How Do You Find The Right Keywords To Bid On?
Tracking And Measurement for Search Engine Advertising Campaigns
You’ll want to set up a Google Analytics account. Then setup a call reporting tool like Call Rail. Now, you can receive specific metrics on-demand related your local search campaigns:
Or, you can use a custom reporting platform like the one our agency sets up for our search engine advertising clients:
To better provide you with professional digital marketing help on your local search engine advertising campaigns, Digital Logic maintains a Google Partner status. We’ll be happy to give you a free quote along with a free initial consultation.