Do I really need a presence on Google?
Why do I need a Google pay per click campaign?
How much will it cost me to start a Google PPC campaign?
Can I do it myself or should I hire someone?
How much time should I expect to spend on it if I do it myself?
What things do I need to know and think about before I begin a Google PPC campaign?
I’d like to start by clarifying who the intended audience is for this page. While creating and running a Google Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is useful for most any type of marketing, I work exclusively for small business owners who run brick & mortar types of business. The information contained here is tailored with those people in mind.
Why do you need a Google account? I am constantly amazed when I find a successful small business owner who has no clue what Google can do for their business. I like to take a quick survey of the owner and any employees around, especially those who work near or on computers, asking one easy question. How often do you use the Yellow Pages to find a phone number? Of course I get a full range of answers, depending on age and other various factors. But as long as the sample size is more than a few people there will be several who say something close to “never, I just Google it”. The next question is more fun. I ask “if I google your business name or your product or service along with this town, do you come up?” About 90% of the time the answer is no. So the simple answer to the question “why do I need a Google account?” is “because your not even listed in the phone book!” At the very least you should have one ad running with your business name and phone number in it, coming up if someone Google’s your business name. Notice I said to include your phone number in the ad. I can’t believe how many people don’t do this for their business. If someone knows about your business and they want to call you for something, they don’t even need to click on your ad, just read it and call. Your cost? Zero! When was the last time your local yellow pages gave you a free listing?
Where you go from this basic sort of presence is up to you. If you are very new to the whole Google marketing concept, you may not understand the two basic paths for your Google presence to get traffic to your site. The fastest and easiest way is with pay per click (PPC). The beauty of this method is that it can happen very quick. Set up an account, write some ads and step through the setup pages and you have traffic in 15 minutes or so (if Google is in a good mood). Of course getting traffic to flow and making a profit are two different things. That’s where the skill and art come in. How much time and money are you willing to spend? What benefits will you see? Google is a mesh of massive amounts of data and human psychology. Used properly it can tell you amazing things about your customer that you would not normally know.
The second general path for traffic resulting from a Google presence is what’s known as organic traffic. The good news is that a click from an organic listing doesn’t cost you a cent and people are much more inclined to click on an organic listing than a comparable paid ad. The bad news is that getting a high enough organic ranking to be seen by many surfers is a ton of work and it never ends. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. It is however well suited to brick and mortar types of businesses who are going to be around for a while.
What you derive from your Google account is totally dependant on how much effort you put into it. Big surprise huh? There is so much to know about Google and tools it provides for small business marketing, plus they are constantly adding new features, that it is a forever sort of task. That doesn’t mean you should be over whelmed and give up on the idea. Just chip away with a small manageable effort and over time you can have a real impact on your web traffic. If you’re in a hurry you can hire someone to do it more quickly.
One of the truly great aspects of working with Google is that it is totally scalable and controllable. You can set daily budgets that shut down the spending when they are hit. This means that how much you spend on PPC is completely up to you. If your budget is limited, start with just one or two products and a small ad budget until you figure things out. If you can’t make a profit with one of your best products and one or two of your best keywords, There’s no sense loosing money quickly by trying to do too much too soon.
This is also good news if you decide to hire someone to set up and manage your Google ad campaign. You set daily budget limits and can rest assured that your costs are under control, regardless of how well they write ads and manage the bids. All of these things could be done by you, but do you have the time and inclination to learn the skills? Most business owners are too busy for that. A well optimized campaign requires constant attention and tweaking.
Regardless of how you go about setting up a Google presence, there are certain things you should think about before you begin. The single most important consideration is what keywords do your customers use to find your type of product or service on the web? Keyword research is the foundation of any web presence. If you have a nice (or expensive) web site and you have never done any keyword research, I’m sorry, you wasted your time and money. Any web page that is designed for selling to customers should be built around thorough keyword research. The reason this is important even for PPC traffic is that Google charges you according to how relevant they think your page is to the keywords you list in your PPC ads. If you don’t have keyword research and some level of on site SEO, you’ll pay top prices for your clicks. And if you are using the wrong keywords all your ad spend could result in zero sales.
When it’s all done in some sort of orderly fashion, you get tons of traffic, some free and some paid, and you make lots of sales. It takes time and patience, but it will be difficult to survive in the modern business world if you ignore Google.
Maybe you think you done all of this and everything is under control? If so then try a search in Google for some words or phrases that describe your business or service. Do you see your business in the search results? If not, drop me an email, I can help!