Businesses need a whole bunch of things in order to be successful. A solid business plan, something worth selling, great employees, and quality management are just some of the things on the list. All of it boils down to one singular purpose though: making money. All of those things are important, there’s no doubt about it. They aren’t where the money’s actually coming from though. Every successful business gets its money from one place: its customers. Businesses don’t attract customers without putting in some work though. There are a ton of different advertising strategies out there that you can use to entice consumers to give your business a try. Given that advertising tends to be most effective when it’s put in places where your would-be customers already are, it makes sense to use a platform like Google, which is the most commonly used search engine. So what sort of advertising strategies should you try when advertising on Google?

Claiming Your Business

If you haven’t already done it, one of the very first things you should do to advertise your business on Google is to claim your business listing. It’s easily one of the most cost effective ways to increase your business’s visibility, if for no other reason that it’s free. As for what it is, it’s all in the name. It’s a business listing that searchers can find on Google. It’s a one-stop spot for your business’s name, contact information, reviews, and other basic information that consumers might want to know about your business.

To create a business listing, start by setting up a Google account for your business. Then go to google.com/business and click “Manage Now”. Enter your business name, address, and select the option about delivering goods and services to customers if applicable. If you serve specific areas, you’ll need to specify those. Then choose your business category, a phone number for your business, and the url for your website. Lastly, verify your business listing. If you really want to make your listing as effective as possible, take steps to optimize your listing.

PPC Ads

You’ve probably seen the ads at the top of Google search results. These are PPC ads, or ads that you pay for based on how many people click on them. This can be a great way to improve the visibility of your ads, especially if they’re at the top of the first page of search results. On the other hand, it does leave you vulnerable to unscrupulous competitors who may try to harm your business by clicking on the ad repeatedly. This costs you money and doesn’t get you anything for it. That said, the general consensus is that you can expect $2 back for every $1 spent on PPC ads on Google, giving it a pretty solid ROI.

Keyword Targeting

There are a lot of things that you can do to help your PPC ads be more effective. One of those is to carefully select your keywords. Keywords are what searchers would type into Google’s search bar to find what they’re looking for. If you can figure out what keywords your customers would be most likely to use to find your business, you can work those keywords into your ads so that they’re more likely to perform better. Don’t just focus on keywords surrounding your niche though. Use keywords with commercial intent, such as “buy”, as those will help put your ads in front of consumers who are more actively looking to make a purchase.

Google Shopping

If your business sells physical products, Google Shopping is definitely an advertising avenue worth checking out. It’s essentially a comparison shopping engine that lets consumers compare what you have to offer against other businesses. Using Google shopping puts your products at the top of the page, where you are more likely to get clicks and traffic. One of the nice things about using Google Shopping is that consumers will be directed to your site when they click on the product listing. To get set up with Google Shopping, start by setting up a Google Merchant Center account. Make sure you have high quality photos of your products on your website, since those are the images that Google will pull to go with your listing. Collect and input your product data feed, which will help Google find your products and display them in response to appropriate searches. Then link your Google Adwords account and create a Google Shopping campaign. Place bids, target, and schedule your shopping campaign. Finally, build your ad groups to determine what types of ads you’ll run and how you’ll organize the bidding.

Monitor Your Ad Quality Score

Remember how the whole point of advertising is to attract customers to your business? If your ad isn’t effective, you’re wasting time and money. It’s essential that you be aware of the level of effectiveness of any of your advertising strategies. Ineffective ads, campaigns, and strategies can be valuable learning opportunities. Effective ones are good for obvious reasons, but can also serve as an indicator of what works, which is also helpful for the future. One of the things you can do to figure out how well your ad and strategy is doing is to monitor your ad quality score. The quality score is what Google uses to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of a PPC campaign. Obviously, the higher the score, the better it’s performing. Improving your quality score leads to reduced advertising costs along with increased exposure and conversion.

Negative Keywords

Earlier we mentioned that you should use keywords to help your ads get seen by the people who were most likely to find them enticing. There’s often a lot of talk about all the keywords you should be using. Have you ever given thought to the keywords that you don’t want your ad showing up in response to though? It may sound a little odd at first, since you might think that the more people see your ad the more effective it will be. While there is something to that on a surface level, it’s important to realize that in order for your ad to be truly effective it must have a solid conversion rate. The fact is that a good share, the majority even, of searches won’t be relevant to your site. By leveraging negative keywords you can increase the chances that your ad will show up in response to more relevant searches. Depending on your product, words like “cheap”, “free”, “Craigslist”, etc are ones you’ll likely want to exclude. 

Advertising your business on Google has the potential to be an incredibly rewarding investment. If you do it right, that is. You need to carefully craft your ads to make them as appealing as possible to those consumers who will be most likely to find your business interesting. Making your business more visible by claiming your business listing is a move every business should make. Careful and deliberate use of keywords is also a must-do strategy for advertising on Google. Of course, as with any advertising strategy, there is no guarantee that you’ll see the results you want right away. There’s a good chance that it will take some trial and error, along with regular monitoring and study in order to finetune your strategy so that it’s as effective as possible. If you’re willing to put in the work to do it right, however, you should find that advertising your business on Google is a solid move that will benefit your business in the long run.

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