There are many small business owners brought up outside the technological age where the concept of paying to advertise their business online is very scary. These people feel safer paying to advertise their business in the local directory and in newspapers as this is all they have ever know. The unfortunate thing for these people is that times have changed and by far in large their customers are doing their buying research and making their purchasing decisions based on information that they find online. To these business owners and others that are diving into online advertising for the first time I've compiled a list of tips that will help give them a head start.
1) Doing some research on the keywords that you are looking to target should always be your first step. It is possible and easy to find tools that you can pay for that will help you do this but I suggest you first start by using Google free keyword planner. This fantastic tool will offer inside as to the amount of search volume occurring globally all within your targeted area for specific phrases that people are typing into the Google search engine. It will also give you an idea of the amount of competition or other people who are bidding on this particular keyword. With these two bits of information you will be able to decide if there are enough potential customers for you to target and based on the competition you can decide if this keyword is profitable.
2) Once you have made a decision that a broad keyword is something that you would like to target, the next step is to tell in more detail. The process you will undertake to do this will depend on the product or service that you are looking to promote. An example of this years if you were selling low and relatively inexpensive consumer product such as lollies you should consider only bidding for keywords that are qualified. Qualified keywords would include additions to your phrase such as "buy" and "purchase" which will limit your ad displaying to customers that are genuinely looking to make a purchase.
3) On the other hand, if the product or service you are selling is on the high-end of the spectrum particularly in reference to the size of the investment you may need to target prospects earlier on in the buying cycle. This might mean you are targeting people who are looking for information on your product or service and not looking to make a purchasing decision right there and then. A word of caution with this, with high-end products it will take a longer time and is generally more difficult to track your return on investment.
4) If your business is only able to service customers close to your geographical location, Google has very useful geographical targeting modules. Be sure to use the so that your ads are not displaying to people who even if you want to you could not service.
5) As you read through this information you may think that carrying out this process will limit your exposure to potential prospects. This may be counterintuitive to you as you may think that the best way to get new business is to get your advertising message in front of as many people as possible. However, this is not the case, the best way to maximize your return on investment from Google ad words is to get your message in front of the right people not as many people as possible which is the case with traditional advertising mediums.
6) The good news with Google ad words is you don't have to risk of fortune to test if this is going to be a successful advertising medium for your business. This is of particular importance to small businesses where money is at a premium. It is possible to start with the budget of just a few dollars per day and if you start seeing success through this band, it is very easy to scale up your expense and begin to see more and more results.
7) Online advertising is much easier to change, adapt and evolve than many forms of traditional media. This means that you can refine your campaign in real-time allowing you to do more of what's working and less of what is not work. It is very easy to test your campaigns and the information and feedback you receive back is much easier to learn from than if you were to use traditional mediums like advertising in the newspaper where you get no feedback.
Take Home Message
So my hope is in reading this article, you feel motivated to give ad words go for your business. It has helped me in many of my businesses, and the risk is very minimal but the returns are potentially great. You really have no excuse, go out and try it today.