10 Google Ads strategies every small business should implement

Written By
January 11, 2024

In today's digitally-driven world, small businesses have a plethora of online advertising platforms to choose from. But if you're looking to reach your customers right when they're searching for products or services like yours, Google Ads is the way to go. It's a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can significantly boost your online visibility, drive traffic to your website, and increase sales. But how can you make the most of Google Ads? How can you ensure that your advertising dollars are being well spent? Well, we've got you covered. We've compiled 10 Google Ads strategies that every small business should implement for optimal results. So, grab your notebook, sit back, and let's dive in!

1. Set Clear Goals

To effectively navigate the world of Google Ads, the first and foremost step for every small business is setting clear and measurable goals. Picture this: without a destination in sight, even the most advanced navigation system fails to chart a course. Similarly, without well-defined objectives, your advertising campaigns may wander aimlessly, costing you valuable time and resources.

So, whether you want to boost website traffic, increase online sales, get the phone ringing, or improve brand awareness, explicitly defining your goals is critical. Your goals form the backbone of your campaign strategy, influencing everything from campaign type to bidding strategy and target audience.

Once your goals are set, remember to make them measurable. Want to increase sales? Decide by what percentage. Looking to boost website traffic? Set a target for the number of new visitors. With quantifiable objectives, you can easily gauge the success of your campaign and make data-driven decisions for improvements.

2. Research Your Keywords Thoroughly

Remember, in the land of Google Ads, keywords reign supreme. They are the magic phrases your potential customers type in when searching for products or services like yours. The right keywords are like the secret sauce to your campaign's success, leading customers right to your digital doorstep.

To find the best keywords, you'll need to think like your customer. What terms would they use when searching for your products or services? Luckily, you don't have to venture a guess. Google's Keyword Planner is a handy tool that can help you identify potential keywords, gauge their performance, and even estimate the cost to advertise based on them.

Here's a pro tip: don't always go for the most popular keywords. They can be highly competitive and may not give you the best bang for your buck. Instead, consider more niche, less competitive keywords. These "hidden gems" can often give you a better return on investment and help you reach a more targeted audience.

3. Use Ad Extensions

Want to make your ads more appealing and provide your customers with more reasons to click? Meet ad extensions, your new best friend. These are like the cherry on top of your ad sundae, adding more flavour and richness to your basic ad copy.

Location extensions, for instance, can display your business address right in your ad. This can be particularly useful for local businesses aiming to attract foot traffic. Call extensions, on the other hand, add a phone number to your ad, making it easy for potential customers to reach out to you. Site link extensions take it a step further by guiding customers to specific pages on your website, be it your latest product collection, holiday sales, or your inspiring sustainability efforts.

In essence, ad extensions enhance your ad visibility and provide extra avenues for customer engagement. The more avenues you provide, the more likely customers are to stroll down the path towards choosing your business.

4. Leverage Negative Keywords

In addition to selecting the right keywords for your Google Ads campaigns, it's equally important to leverage negative keywords. Negative keywords allow you to exclude specific search terms from triggering your ads, ensuring that your ads are shown to the most relevant audience. By using negative keywords effectively, you can prevent your ads from appearing on searches that are not relevant to your business or are likely to attract clicks from users who are not interested in your offerings.

By excluding irrelevant search terms, you can save money by avoiding clicks that are unlikely to convert into valuable actions or sales. This optimization technique helps improve the overall click-through rate of your ads because they are shown to a more targeted audience. For example, if you sell luxury watches, you may want to add negative keywords such as "cheap," "affordable," or "discount" to avoid showing your ads to users looking for inexpensive or budget-friendly options.

5. Optimize Your Ad Copy

The ad copy you create for your Google Ads plays a crucial role in attracting potential customers and encouraging them to click on your ads. To optimize your ad copy, it should be persuasive, clear, and appealing to your target audience. A well-crafted ad copy highlights the unique selling points of your business, effectively communicates your value proposition, and includes a compelling call-to-action that prompts users to take action.

It's important to align your ad copy with the keywords you are targeting and ensure that it resonates with the landing page you are directing users to. By maintaining consistency between the keywords, ad copy, and landing page, you provide a seamless experience for users and increase the chances of conversion. Additionally, conducting A/B tests with different ad variations can help you identify which versions perform better and refine your ad copy accordingly.

6. Align Your Ad with Your Landing Page

A common mistake made by advertisers is not aligning their ad copy with the landing page they direct users to. When someone clicks on your ad, they have certain expectations based on what they saw in the ad. If they arrive at a landing page that doesn't fulfill those expectations or isn't relevant to their search intent, they are likely to leave immediately, resulting in a high bounce rate and wasted ad spend.

To avoid this, it's essential to ensure that your ad and landing page provide a consistent experience to users. The landing page should contain the information promised in the ad and offer a clear path for users to take the desired action, whether it's making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a service. By aligning your ad copy with your landing page, you create a cohesive and seamless journey for potential customers, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

7. Track Your Conversions

Setting up conversion tracking is essential for understanding the impact of your Google Ads campaigns beyond clicks and impressions. Conversion tracking enables you to monitor the actions that users take after clicking on your ads, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of your advertising efforts. By tracking conversions, you can determine whether users are making purchases, signing up for newsletters, calling your business, downloading your app, or completing any other desired actions.

Having access to this information allows you to evaluate which aspects of your campaign are working well and which ones need improvement. For example, you may discover that certain keywords or ad copies are driving more conversions than others, or that specific landing pages are particularly effective at generating sales. Armed with these insights, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns, allocate your budget more effectively, and focus on strategies that yield the highest return on investment (ROI).

8. Test and Refine Your Campaigns

Google Ads is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and success doesn't come instantly. It requires continuous testing and refinement to achieve optimal results. You should experiment with different elements of your campaigns, such as keywords, ad copies, bidding strategies, and targeting options, to identify what works best for your business.

By conducting A/B tests and analyzing the performance metrics, you can gather data on which variations of your ads or targeting parameters yield better results. For instance, you can compare the click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per conversion of different ad copies to determine which messages resonate most with your audience. Through ongoing testing and refinement, you can fine-tune your campaigns, improve their performance, and ensure that your advertising efforts align with your business goals.

9. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

Knowing what your competitors are doing can give you insights into what could work for your business. You can use tools like SEMrush and SpyFu to see what keywords your competitors are targeting, how much they are spending, and even view their ad copies. While it's not recommended to copy their strategy outright, this information can provide valuable insights for your own campaigns.

10. Take Advantage of Geo-Targeting

If you're a local business, geo-targeting is a must. This feature allows you to show your ads to customers in a certain location or set of locations that you specify. It can be as broad as a country or as specific as a radius around a location. Geo-targeting can help you focus your advertising on the areas where you'll find the right customers, and restrict it in areas where you won't - reducing wasteful spending.

Implementing these strategies in your Google Ads campaigns can help you optimize your advertising efforts and drive better results. Remember, the goal is to reach the right people at the right time with the right message. With Google Ads, you have the tools and the opportunity to do just that.