It’s the front door to the internet, with 8.5 billion searches a day being carried out through it. As such, Google is the natural place that SMEs look to advertise – not only does it have the extraordinary search volume mentioned above, but it also provides a very user-friendly advertising platform and is structured around targeted advertising.
It’s no surprise, then, that millions of SMEs look to use Google Ads as a platform to expand their business’s visibility, consumer base and engagement. And certainly, many of them find great success – Google even lists some particular success stories that effectively show how careful advertising can leverage a business and enable it to reach the next level.
But despite these success stories, there are also many cases of businesses which have poured time and investment into Google Ads, but have struggled to see a positive impact of this investment on their bottom line. Without thought and extensive groundwork, pouring money into online advertising can become a dangerous money sink. In this article, we run through some of the most common mistakes SMEs make when entering the world of Google Ads, and offer some tips on what not to do in order to ensure your campaign is a success.
Bad keyword selection
Keywords are the lifeblood of a Google Ads campaign, they’re the way in which you can link your product to the searches that Google users make. As such a campaign succeeds or fails based upon its ability to align the item or service being marketed with the right kind of keywords used by searchers. But keyword selection is a highly complex process – it’s a mixture of highly scientific data analysis (requiring you to go through large volumes of customer responses and see how they came across your website so you can find appropriate keywords) and an art (getting into the mind of a consumer who might be looking for your website, so you can second-guess which keywords they might use).
It’s important to make sure the keywords you choose are neither too broad nor too narrow. The former will mean that you’ll end up competing for advertising space with huge companies who can rely on their large budgets and name recognition to ‘crowd out’ competition, the latter will mean that you miss out on the majority of consumers looking for your product. For example, if you sell holiday tours in London, there’s no use trying holidays as a keyword – it’s far too general and your website would never end up reaching potential customers. But equally using tour bus holidays in London will result in your ads not being viewed by enough people, and your ad expenditure being in vain. Discussing your campaign with an online advertising expert is always a good idea to ensure your keywords are as effective as possible.
There’s no use using SEO and external expertise to get your ads in front of consumers if the ads in question aren’t going to translate into engagement and eventual sales. And yet most Google Ads are highly poor pieces of writing which at best consumers will glance over before moving on, and which can sometimes be so bad as to stick out and make consumers avoid that brand in future.
It’s vital to avoid making your ads cliche or clunky. In just a few words, they need to concisely express the essence of your product and link it to the keyword being searched for, so that a consumer will view it as a genuinely useful addition to their browsing experience rather than something getting in the way. The prose needs to be clear, grammatical and effective – every word counts.
When preparing the copy for the ads it’s also important to make the language seem natural. The least effective ads are those which seem too obviously like ads. Ideally, an ad should look no different to a normal search result, just more effective and targeted. A major common error is to stuff your advertising copy too full of buzzwords which stick out like a sore thumb and interfere with customers’ browsing experience. Natural, well-written ads are a major asset to your campaign.
Not using Google Ads’ full functionality
Google Ads is a data-rich platform which allows you to tailor your campaigns to a great degree of nuance, based on a large number of variables and in response to a wide variety of data. Yet shockingly many advertisers don’t even scratch the surface of its full functionality. With features like Ad Extensions, negative keywords and all manner of other additional ways to tailor your campaign, Google Ads is not merely a platform but a tool for you to produce the best copy possible.
When using it, make sure that you are putting out ads which are as well-targeted as possible and which are designed in accordance with all the data that the analytical functions on Google Ads provides. Only by tracking how different campaigns lead to different clicks, different engagement and eventually to different conversions can you develop as effective a campaign as possible.
To make sure you’re using Google Ads in the most effective way, speak to our team today to see how your advertising campaign could be ideally optimised for the greatest number of users. We’re experts in online advertising and can help work with you to make the business you love a digital success.