This Friday, we’re discussing something that I’m pretty sure everyone will have heard of, but I imagine many small business owners don’t know all that much about.
This is a subject that I certainly didn’t have much knowledge on, but that I wanted to learn more about and felt would be a great addition to weekly business blogs. So I drafted in the expertise of Christina Jones, to tell us more.
Christina is the MD of Blacktype Digital, a Google partner digital ad agency. Blacktype works with ambitious business owners who are looking to grow their impact, revenue & customer base by sending them more leads & helping convert those leads into paying customers. Christina is also the founder of the Equine Business Association & spends her days working with horse businesses, riding horses or talking about horses, so she’s definitely the best person to understand how Google Adwords might work for our equestrian and rural businesses.
I’ll leave you in her capable hands…
What are Google Adwords?
Imagine for a moment that you have just purchased your dream horsey home, there’s land and stables but the arena is old and the wood chip surface has rotted away.
You need to get a new arena surface laid down to complete the equestrian facilities you’ve always dreamt of. It’s the first time you’ve ever bought an arena surface so how do you decide on a supplier?
Chances are that you’ll find yourself on the Google homepage typing into the search box.
You hit search and a page full of search results shows up, all related to your original search query.
Every result looks a similar format but if you look closely, the results at the top of the page have a little ad symbol next to them. These are Google Adwords ads and the website owners have paid to show their adverts at the top of the results list.
How much do they cost?
This is normally the first question I get from business owners but it’s also a hard one to answer so bear with me!
Unlike a print magazine advert, you don’t pay a fixed price for your GoogleAds. You pay each time an advert is clicked on.
How much do you pay? Well that varies because the ads work on an auction basis, so the more people bidding for their advert to show against a particular search term, the higher the cost. The cost per click can range from £0.10 to over £20 depending on the market.
In the equine industry some of the most expensive search terms are related to horse insurance. If you are a local business such as a saddlery or livery yard, your cost per click is likely to be in the £0.5 – 1.00 range.
You can set a maximum bid you are prepared to pay for a click and Google will advise you on how that will compare to what other businesses are prepared to pay. Plus you can also set a daily maximum ad spend so you never spend more than planned.
How does Google choose which ads to show?
It’s not just about who’s prepared to pay the most…
Google wants to make sure that the search engine user is getting the best possible experience from using Google. So Google need to make sure that the search results shown in response to a search query e.g. “arena surface” are relevant.
If you searched and got results that had nothing to do with what you were looking for, you’d quickly abandon Google as your search engine of choice and switch to the competition.
Keep on remembering that Google’s priority is serving their end user – the searcher – not you as the business advertising and that will help you understand how to get the best results from Google.
As the advertiser, you get to choose what your advert says and which page people would land on your website when they click on the advert. If you want to make Google and the searcher happy, your advert and the website landing page should all relate to the search term. This helps increase something called Quality Score, which we’ll talk about again later in this article.
This is also just common sense – if you searched for Hunter wellies, then clicked on an advert for winter wellies and got taken to a page full of sparkly high heels, you wouldn’t be best pleased and are unlikely to make a purchase, instead you’ll hit the back button and leave the website quickly.
So we’ve learnt that Google wants to show the most relevant adverts but what if there are 10 companies who all want to show adverts for the same search term?
How does Google decide who makes the front page and who is at the very top of the list?
Google will consider several factors…
– The maximum cost per click you are prepared to pay
– How relevant your ads are to the search query
– The click through rate of your advert
Click through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who see your advert and click on it. This is normally quite low, a 1% CTR is seen as acceptable which means that for every 100 people who view, only 1 will click.
How do you increase the CTR of your ad?
By writing compelling content. You don’t have much space, though, so there is an art to writing concise but eye catching content and selling the click.
If you achieve a higher CTR on your adverts, have relevant ad copy and send people to a page on your website which is also tailored and relevant, you increase the overall quality score of your advert. An advert with a high quality score will often beat another advert where the advertiser is bidding more but has a poorer quality ad.
Plus a great ad that takes people to a well designed, relevant web page is more likely to convert the click into an enquiry or sale, which is better for your business too.
So now you know more about Google Adwords, should you be using them in your business?
Here are some questions which will help you decide.
Do you have a website?
If you don’t have a website, then you can’t run Google Adwords. If you do have a website then read on….
Do you need more customers?
Are they using Google to look for a product or service you offer? (I struggle to think of any horse product that people don’t use the internet to find out more about)?
Do you have at least £100 a month to spend on advertising?
Do you have a sales process ( you know that you can get someone from an enquiry to a sale)?
If you’ve answered yes to all 3 points then Google Adwords may be a great way to get more business through the door.
If you’d like to try Adwords, then please get in touch with me (https://blacktypedigital.com/contact/) because I can give you a voucher with free advertising credit.