By Will Hanke

Newcomers to the digital marketing arena always want to know how to advertise their business on Google to boost business revenues. There seem to be a few misconceptions, however, concerning what it really means to advertise on Google. Some people think it means ranking in the number spot on the search engine results pages (SERPs), which isn’t strictly true. This type of marketing is known as organic rankings, which revolve around ranking for targeted keywords.

Others think advertising on Google means showing up on a Google Maps result of a local search. Yet again, this isn’t truly advertising on Google, because you can add your business to the Google Maps results for free by simply listing your business information into Google My Business.

I would argue these are really just ways to market your business through Google. If you wanted to genuinely advertise on Google, we need to discuss PPC ads. Before discussing the main steps of a PPC campaign, let’s first further define PPC ads as well as their benefits.

How PPC Ads Work

PPC ads are especially beneficial for a new website because they allow a small business to immediately springboard to the top of the SERPs…for a price. Even if a small business with a new website targeted organic keywords, it could take months, perhaps even years, to gain relevant rankings on the first page, let alone obtain the number one position.

Generally speaking, ads are bought in two different ways. PPC ads aren’t charged money unless a user clicks on them. In other cases, CPI (cost-per-impression) ads are purchased for a number of impressions; an impression is defined is the number of times an ad is presented or displayed through an individual’s web browser.

Be aware that Google Adwords is a PPC platform, meaning you won’t be charged unless a user actually clicks on your ad and follows your link.

1. Set a Budget

The very first step is figuring out how much money you have in the budget to advertise your business, product, or service. My strong advice is to avoid attempting to “wing it” and take it as it comes. If you do try to wing it, you could end up spending a lot more than you intended to, which could wreck future opportunities to drive traffic to your site with PPC ads and reduce an otherwise opportunistic ROI on your ad spend.

2. Select an Opportune Channel

Unless you really know what you’re doing with PPC ads, I would recommend sticking with Google Adwords. Why? Because, it’s the most popular search engine with the largest audience, and dominates the search engine market. Furthermore, it isn’t overly complicated.

Only after you’ve built a foundational PPC skill set would I recommend looking at other PPC channels, if any. So that you’re well informed and aware of other opportunities, note that other popular PPC channels include Facebook, LinkedIn, BingAds, AdRoll, 7Search, and other similar ad providers.

3. Research Keywords

The next step in the process of advertising on Google is keyword research. For those of you who don’t know already, a keyword is simply the text a user inputs into the Google search bar to generate a list of websites in the SERP.

For instance, if I wanted to look for red footwear, my keywords might be “red leather boots.” However, I want to offer a word of caution when performing keyword research: the keywords with the most hits are not necessarily the ones that will produce the most results.

You also have to take the competition factor into account. Also be aware that you may not be the only person bidding on certain keywords. If you select extremely competitive keywords, you may be drowned out by other ads. The Google keyword planner will show you how competitive a keyword is. As you perform your research, I would recommend taking the time to type the keywords into Google just to see how many other entities are using those keywords in their PPC campaign.  

It’s also advantageous to consider how you can deviate from the norm to target less competitive keywords that match with your leads’ intent. Is there any way you can whittle the masses down to a specific market segment instead of using a shotgun-style approach?

For example, perhaps you only want to target leads in your immediate area to reach a local audience. In such a case, you could append city and regional keywords to the end of your desired keywords. Just make sure they get enough hits for it to be worth your while first in the keyword planner!

5. Write Copy for Adgroups

Keyword research and the substance of the copy you write are the two largest determining factors regarding the success of your PPC campaign. And PPC ads, from the perspective of a high-level overview, are only made up of three parts: the headline, the URL, and the description.

In particular, remember the following tips regarding your PPC ad copy:

  1. Write concise copy that shows the user you have a way for the user to reach their end goal.
  2. Remember that your headline is the most important part of the ad.
  3. If applicable, play to the users’ emotions and try to appeal to and provoke their trust, happiness, fear, humor, anger, or other emotions.
  4. If possible, create display URLs that incorporate keywords.
  5. Through your description, relay to the user the benefits of your product or service and what it will do for them. How will it make their lives better, easier, or more fulfilled?

Final Thoughts

If PPC ads aren’t you’re cup of tea, I’d highly recommend reaching out to a qualified professional. In the beginning, it can seem like an insurmountable challenge trying to organically rank for competitive keywords – and to be truthful, it does take a lot of time and hard work. The good news is that advertising on Google can immediately drive traffic to your site to help your business generate leads.