Does my Small Business Need Google Ads?

Yes, they do, and we’ll be listing the 5 main benefits to prove why.

Google currently gets over 3.5 billion search requests per day, so it’s fair to say that Google Ads is a great way to get eyes on your products. However, many small business owners are still afraid to invest in an advertising platform they don’t fully understand, and a lot of old-school thinking leads many to invest in non-trackable solutions like print and radio adverts.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with advertising on billboards and on the radio if you have the money for it. The thing is, most small businesses, like us, run on tight budgets and want to get as much exposure as we can without breaking the bank,” says Chenara Coetzee, Co-Founder at Real Receptionist.

Real Receptionist is a small business located in Cape Town, South Africa, offering off-site call answering, transferring, message recording and the polite qualities of a real professional receptionist for companies across South Africa, UK and Ireland. 

“We saw that there are many small businesses in South Africa that can improve their customer care by simply outsourcing their call answering, and while our solution costs a fraction compared to our abroad competitors, we realised that our new-born digital presence was not going to cut it. We needed a successful launch without wasting time on getting discovered,” says Coetzee. “We decided to start with Google Ads and quickly found ways to really make the most of if while working with a limited budget.”

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a platform for creating and managing online advertising. With Google Search Ads you can target specific search terms that people use when they do a Google search. These search terms are called keywords. When you create your Google Search Ad, you set bid amounts for the keywords you wish to target, and when someone searches one of the keywords you are bidding on, and you won the bid, then your advert will show at the top or bottom of Google Search Result Pages (SERPs). You can always identify a Google Ad in search results by the word “Ad” appearing before the destination link. Google Display and Discovery Ads work with “interests” that you can target and will show your ads to people that relate to these interests.

5 Main Benefits of Google Ads for Small Businesses

1. You get a digital exposure head start

If your small business is new, or if you only recently created an online presence (with your website or e-store, social media pages, or YouTube channel), it may be a while before your brand shows up on Google SERPs organically. “Organically” in this case means “without paying money”. 

“While organic exposure is ideal as it’s free, you will be competing with companies that can afford an SEO (search engine optimisation) specialist and all the content they have created to ensure they appear first for relevant Google searches,” say Coetzee, “You can, and should, always add more content to boost your small business’s online presence and gradually increase the rate of organic exposure, but a decent Google Ad will ensure your fresh website gets visitors without wasting months on content creation and social media posting. After all, time is money.”

2. You can pick an advert type that works better for your brand

Google Ads offers 5 advert types to users, offering you more room for creativity. As a small business, you won’t have the advertising budget that most big companies have, meaning that you’ll need to pay extra attention to your online ads to avoid being outbid by others that can pay more per keyword – being outbid means your ad will not show first, it may fall to the bottom or the 2nd or 3rd pages of SERPs or even miss out completely. Until you have a bigger advertising budget, do a bit of competitor research, and focus on a Google Ad type that will work best to get eyes on your product/s without being outbid by other brand that are dominating that ad type. You can choose:

  • Search Ads – the text ads you see on Google SERPs.
  • Display Ads – image ads (or “banners”) you see on certain websites, especially news websites.
  • Video Ads – video ads you see on YouTube.
  • Shopping Ads – where you can list your product inventory like a Search Ad, but with images.
  • App Ads – for advertising your app across many channels.

3. You can track actual results and budget better

Unlike advertising on a billboard, in a magazine / newspaper, or through distributing flyers, you can see every time someone views and clicks on your Google Ad. This offers a quick and clear understanding of which advert copy, call-to-actions, imagery, videos, products, discounts, special offers, landing pages, etc. work better than others. Knowing what sizzles and what fizzles will ensure you spend money only on ads that will have a decent return on investment (also known as “profit”).

“The thing I like most about Google Ads is the ability to control the spending. You can easily add a daily limit and control each ad and keyword’s bid costs,” comments Coetzee, “It’s all about being penny-wise when you run a small business.”

4. You can collect valuable consumer data and target strategically

By creating a Google Ad and running it, you will steadily collect data from people that engage with your ad. Data that is collected includes gender, age ranges, locations, interests (like hobbies and desires), devices used, days and times with most engagement, and even product-purchase information. Coetzee goes on to state that “you can use this data to both improve your ads, so they are seen more and prompt more engagement from a more relevant audience or a retargeting audience (those that have already shown interest by visiting your website), as well as use the data to discover any hidden target audiences and focus on products that appeal to them and result in an increase in sales.”

5. You can promote first-contact

Most that do a Google search want quick results; they want solutions in as few clicks as possible. By simply adding your contact number and business address to your ads, your ad will be more appealing as less clicks are needed to know where you are or to give you a call. This is especially great if you wish to target locally to increase foot traffic. “Don’t worry about the potential influx in business calls, you can just sign up with Real Receptionist and we’ll handle your calls while you focus on running the business,” adds Coetzee.

Times are strange and budgets are getting smaller each day, so business owners need to be extra financially-savvy. Gone are the days of wasting money on unproved and untraceable advertising…at least they should be. Companies like Real Receptionist with their remote call answering was inspired by the usefulness of the internet and how it can cut running costs. It may seem daunting to part from the comfort of traditional advertising and learn to use a new platform but knowing that you can save money should be incentive enough to watch a few YouTube tutorials on Google Ads. Don’t you agree?


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