Telling the truth about SME life today

Get seen with Google AdWords

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The power of Google for promoting business is undeniable and ensuring that your business appears high up the list of a relevant search term is a real challenge, especially for SMEs that often lack the sophisticated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools and skills needed.

An easy and viable alternative, or supplement, to SEO is to advertise with Google. Google AdWords also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) online advertising is a quick and cost-effective way to advertise your site on Google. If somebody is searching via Google for a key word that is associated with your business, your ad has a better chance of showing at the top or to the side of their search results, importantly ensuring visibility on the first page.

Using the PPC model businesses can select and bid on keywords related to what they are selling. Also using this method means that you only pay when a customer clicks on your link and visits your site. Therefore the traffic to your site will be relevant, making AdWords one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise on the internet.

The following tips are designed to ensure that you can maximise your AdWords campaign and overcome the stumbling blocks that many companies come up against.

Ensure you have the right key words 

Placing an ad with a non-relevant search term is a waste of time and effort. Ensure that your key words are specific to attract the right audience research what your successful competitors are using.

Geographically target your ads 

Geographically localising your ads so that the people who see them are always near where your business is based is important for success. Even if they are just buying online, purchasing from a local company encourages customers to hit the ?buy” button.

Compliment your SEO efforts 

If you are having success with particular key words as part of SEO then look to use the same phrases for your AdWords campaign. Doubling up your efforts ensure you look like an expert in your field when the search results appear

It’s not all about the money 

Contrary to what many think Google does not base its AdWords rankings purely on how much a company is paying. It tries to ensure that users are getting the most relevant results and if your site/offer is perceived to be the most helpful the higher the rankings you will climb without having to pay for it.

Grab their attention 

You have very limited space to attract a visitor from your ad. Ensure that you are engaging and tempting, without using misleading terms or offers

Keep their attention 

Ensure that your homepage is welcoming, not too cluttered and highlights special offers to keep those customers that have come through your ad on your page and spending

Site content 

Ensure that your key contact methods are highly visible on your site. For example, if you have a phone number, ensure you have an answering service or voicemail to ensure your visitors are given a response no matter when they contact you.

Consider using a partner 

Working with a PPC specialist can help take some of the pain away from creating a successful AdWords campaign. Although it is a simple platform, regular updates and improvements to ensure you’re getting the most out of your campaign can be challenging. Working with a partner can allow you to focus on other parts of your business and maximise the potential benefits

For many small businesses Google AdWords is the biggest single source of website visitors and is a highly effective tool of ensuring regular, relevant traffic to your site. For most SMEs, finding and keeping new customers is a constant battle. Any tool that can allow you to get in front of potential buyers before they head to the competition is a huge advantage.

Thomas Vollrath is CEO of Host Europe Group, parent company of 123-reg.

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