With online advertising spend overtaking TV advertising last year for the very first time, and almost all allocated to Google AdWords, clearly SMEs need certainly to discover how to master Google to survive and grow online.
The advantages of Google Advertising versus offline are clear: low priced commitment, advanced level of control, high measurability, the capability to perform accurate geo targeting of customers, and the capability to react quickly to improve performance.
The difficulties SMEs face are considerable: limited time and money (75% of SMEs from a recently available survey ran advertising campaigns direct and not via an agency to save lots of money), yet hardly any feel they discover how to optimise campaigns with 46% of the survey saying they don’t understand it enough to create campaigns work effectively and 39% saying they don’t have time to handle the campaigns. Fifty-two per cent said their campaigns were not profitable, with 54% saying they get traffic for their site but very little converts to actual business.
There also is driving a car factor: driving a car from the mountain of questions such as for instance whether to utilize Google’s Search or Network service, an agency or to run campaigns directly, what the suitable levels to spend are, what is a good ROI, how to make banner ads, and how exactly to use the Google tools and reports to optimise campaigns.
In terms of the agency versus direct question, the features of having an agency are the ability you tap into and the full time saved as campaigns may be live exactly the same day. Google Advertising Services The disadvantages are cost (with fixed monthly charges, a percentage charge on advertising spend and 6-12 month lock in contracts).
The Search versus Network question on Google depends upon the nature of one’s advertising. If the service is quite niche and specific to a small quantity of keywords then Search is the higher option, otherwise you should get businesses from the cheaper network showing banner ads.
Banner ads could be a costly exercise and SMEs should try and use a good online service.
In terms of optimising campaigns, there are a number of techniques including AB testing of different ad styles, developing specific keyword journeys (from keyword to ad text to content on the landing pages) to produce Quality Scores and lower the price per click paid, testing board and narrow keyword terms, long versus short tail, optimising between click through rate, impressions and conversion rates on your internet site, to name a few.