Google Ads can be a powerful tool for small businesses, helping to drive purchases, generate leads, and grow brand awareness. However, it takes strategic setup and management in order to maximize your budget and generate meaningful results.
Follow these 5 tips to get the most out of Google Ads for your small business:
Set Up Conversion Tracking
When you run Google Ads, it’s crucial to set up conversion tracking. Conversions are meaningful actions that users take after clicking on your ad, such as:
- Making a purchase
- Calling your business
- Submitting a contact form
- Signing up for your newsletter
- Downloading a white paper
- Requesting a quote
- Engaging with your chatbot
Tracking these actions allows you to see the results produced by your Google Ads campaigns. This can help validate the money spent on ads by quantifying what your business received in return.
Additionally, this data can help you determine which campaigns– and which ads, keywords, audiences, etc.– are most effective at driving results. You can then make adjustments accordingly, such as shifting budget from a low-performing campaign to a high-performing one.
Furthermore, conversion tracking informs Google’s machine learning. When coupled with bid strategies like Maximize Conversions, Google will optimize your campaigns around these valuable actions, helping to drive meaningful results for your small business.
Take Advantage of AI
Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) can help streamline campaign setup and management, which is especially important for small businesses with limited time and resources.
For example, smart bid strategies have eliminated the need for advertisers to make manual bid adjustments or set max CPCs. Instead, smart bidding uses machine learning to minimize manual work and maximize performance. Bid strategies like Maximize Conversions or Target ROAS optimize around valuable actions and can produce strong results for your business.
Additionally, AI-powered campaign types like Performance Max are a great option for small businesses. One Performance Max ad is eligible to show across a variety of Google properties, including Search, Display, YouTube, Discover, and Gmail. This gives your brand visibility across multiple websites and stages of the customer journey, without having to create and invest time in several different campaigns.
According to Google, advertisers who use Performance Max average an 18% increase in conversions at a similar cost per acquisition.
Other AI-powered features that small businesses can take advantage of in Google Ads include:
- Responsive search and display ads
- Dynamic search ads
- Data-driven attribution
- First-party data
- Performance Planner
One new feature to expect in the near future involves generative AI. Google recently announced they will be integrating generative AI into the ad creation process. A Chat-GPT-like interface will be able to generate ad copy, keywords, and even images based on your landing page and any additional information you provide.
Of course, it’s still important to review what Google generates, and only include assets that fit your brand and convey accurate information. Nevertheless, this feature is likely to help save time and streamline ad creation, which can give you more time to focus on running your business.
Test and Learn
Testing is an important part of Google Ads campaign management. Whether it’s running a landing page A/B test or replacing low-performing ad copy, testing is an important way to discover what connects best with your audience and drives the best performance.
Conducting tests and applying the learnings will help you make the most of your budget and your overall Google Ads efforts.
Examples of variables to test in your Google Ads campaigns include:
- Ad copy and creative
- Landing pages
- Bid strategies
- Keyword match types
- Location targeting
- Audience targeting
- New ad groups
- Custom goals
Before starting a test, it’s important to define your key performance indicators (KPIs). Defining your KPIs will help you determine what success looks like.
For example, let’s say you are testing phrase match keywords against broad match keywords. Your goal is to increase the quality of leads you receive from your ads. Your impressions and clicks decreased with the phrase match keywords, but you have received more qualified leads. Since lead quality was your KPI, then the test would be considered successful.
Over time, testing helps to refine your account, increase efficiencies, and optimize performance.
The Recommendations section of Google Ads can identify opportunities for improvement, such as adding new keywords or implementing new extensions.
The recommendations are tied to your Optimization Score. You can make the Optimization Score go up by applying or dismissing the recommendations. Note that the Optimization Score is just an estimate of how “optimized” your campaigns are. It does not directly affect your performance or Quality Score.
In some cases, the recommendations will not be relevant to your campaign or business. For example, Google will sometimes suggest increasing your budget. If your business doesn’t have extra budget to spend on Google Ads at that time, you can simply dismiss that recommendation.
In fact, we caution against applying any recommendation without reviewing it first. You don’t want to end up increasing your budgets without realizing it, or add broad match keywords that cause your ads to serve for irrelevant searches.
Thus, while the Recommendations section can be helpful in highlighting opportunities to optimize your campaigns, it’s important to always review them before applying.
To maximize your dollars, consider working with a marketing agency that specializes in Google Ads management. An agency can help develop an effective, results-driven strategy for your small business.
They can also handle campaign management, from the basics like campaign setup to more complex tactics like offline conversion uploads, A/B testing, and dynamic conversion values.
This not only frees you up to work on other aspects of your business, but can also help take your campaigns to the next level.
Additionally, digital marketing agencies provide reporting and analysis so you can understand the results you’re getting from your campaigns and make data-driven decisions.
To learn more about working with an agency, explore these resources: