Google is practically synonymous with online search these days. What small business owners may not know though is that the Internet behemoth can also boost business through the AdWords program.
The advantage of advertising with AdWords over traditional methods is that the ad is shown to the user at a “moment of relevance”—right when he’s searching for the very thing you might be offering—so there’s a higher chance of the ad getting clicked and converting users into buyers, says Sana Rahman, senior communications associate at Google.
How much does it cost? It depends on bids. AdWords’ pricing model is based on a cost-per-click (CPC) auction. Advertisers set a daily AdWords budget (which can be changed any time) and a maximum bid that they’re willing pay for each click that leads to their respective websites. These individual bids, combined with the quality score (which Google says is “an estimate of how relevant ads, keywords, and the landing page are to a person seeing the ad”), determine how high up the ad appears on the results page.
Because of the auction system, “you only pay when your ad has worked,” Rahman explains. This high customizability of advertising rates, along with the instant feedback the advertiser can get from Google’s analytics tools (google.com/ analytics), make AdWords a unique tool for small businesses trying to capture customers’ attention online and take advantage of their buying capacity.
“It’s still early days for online advertising, which gives businesses good opportunity to capitalize on search trends,” says Rahman. Here’s how small businesses can use Google AdWords to their advantage:
Plan. Set a manageable monthly budget for AdWords. Since relevance matters more than how much the bid is, as long as your keywords are solid, you don’t have to set a too-high CPC bid. An example budget would be $10 (around P420) a day, then you can set your maximum bid at $0.10 (around P4.20) for each click that leads to your site.
Come up with relevant keywords. In The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, Internet experts Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd encourage advertisers to write a one-sentence description of their perfect customer. For example, a small Quezon City florist could say, “my ideal customer is a Quezon City resident who wants to buy flowers.”
Keeping your ideal customer in mind, think of the likely search terms and keywords they would use to find you. For our fictional flower shop, “quezon city flowers” or “quezon city florist” would be good starting points.
Google has a whole host of tools to help you choose and refine your keywords. Check out the Keyword Tool here. Feel free to play around with these and see what works best for you.