Google is the most popular search engine by far and it seems to be constantly growing. More than 4 out of every 5 internet searches globally are performed via Google! Cutting through the clutter to be seen on Google is an integral part of any online business growth.
What Are The Implications For Your Small Business Though?
If a customer is finding your brand online, then there is a good chance Google is involved.
Pro Tip: In most industries over half of the internet usage is also performed on a mobile device! Without mobile friendly configurations, half of the potential customers have trouble interacting with your brand online.
Just having a site that can be found on Google isn’t enough. By most studies 80-90% of people don’t make it past the first page of Google when searching! So if your business doesn’t currently rank for the first page, many potential customers won’t even see that you exist.
Two Solutions To Getting Your Business Seen On Google
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Improve the site and customer experience so Google raises the ranking. Improve the technical SEO, on page SEO, and linking structure for a better user experience and Google will reward you with more traffic opportunities.
This is typically a slow and gradual process. Depending on how competitive the keywords are, the costs and effort vary. Since improving search placement has a certain lasting evergreen benefit, most businesses should spend some time building their ability to rank and drive organic traffic.
Pro Tip For Beginners: Local SEO best practices like configuring “Google Maps” and “Google My Business” should be configured for most small businesses.
Google Adwords (Pay Per Click Advertising)
There are 3 basic types of Ads that can be placed with Google.
1.) Google Search Ads – When someone goes to google.com and searches for a term, these text only results show up at the top and bottom of the results and say “Ad”
2.) Google Display Ads – These ads can be images or videos displayed on websites. Think old school ad banners.
3.) Google Shopping – When searching for a product at google.com the individual images with pricing of available matches that show up at the top are the result of a “shopping ad”
In my experience most businesses can and should make use of Search Ads especially.
Individuals can pay to have a text ad show up in the top of the results from Google. These ads actually show up above the other “ranked content” we referred to earlier. If waiting to move a website up the ranking via SEO isn’t an option, simply paying for ad clicks is an alternative.
Showing the ad is FREE! The owner of the ad only pays IF someone clicks on the ad. The owner configures the targetted keywords, the ad copy, and even the amount to pay per click. Completing the steps to display Google Search Ads isn’t particularly difficult but if it lies outside the scope of the business owner, bringing in a contractor will make the set up much smoother.
Lucas Walker Business Consulting walks owners through the process of setting up and running their own ads!
But I Don’t Think I Can Afford To Pay For Ads
There is some simple business math that can help determine how much to spend on clicks in Adwords.
If (Ad Spend x Number Of Prospects Needed To Close 1 Sale < Lifetime Value) Then BUY ADS!!
So if I am spending $1 per click, and I expect to convert 1 in 30 website visitors. That means I am paying $30 for an online customer on average. So, if my customers tend to have a lifetime value of $60, I am making $30 margin on each online customer. In this case, I should buy as many $1 clicks as my cash flow budget allows because I am consistently doubling my money!
Even if the numbers don’t work out with a huge positive, some businesses decide to lose money in Adwords because they have ways to capture potential customer data to remarked them later. Building a list of interested buyers who can be retargeted when they are further along in the buying cycle can pay for itself.
Knowing Your Numbers
What is the Lifetime Value of your customers? Do most customers buy your product one time and then they are done or do they continue buying every few months for a few years on average?
What is your expected conversion rate online? How many prospects do you need to talk with before you have one customer? Online conversion rates tend to be worse than in person conversion rates. Do you plan to have infrastructure set up for the online conversion process (live chat, email or phone follow up)? Until actually running an ad, it will be hard to know exactly how many people you will convert, but a guesstimate should get you started.
Tracking Your Numbers
One of the biggest advantages of digital media going forward is that I always know my exact numbers. With traditional media like television and radio, it is hard to determine how many people were actually presented my ad, how closely their buying desires match up with mine, and how often they interacted with me.
With digital advertising, I will know how many “Impressions” (total views) I received. The Click Through Rate (CTR) or what percentage of people who saw my ad actually clicked. I can even see exactly what search terms they were looking for when they found me to see how good of a fit they were coming into my sales process.
The precision of data results in less waste with digital spend and should be considered when setting a marketing strategy.
I hope you have a clearer understanding of what advertising on Google even means.
What questions do you still have? Let me know in the comments below.