Graphic of a megaphone in the centre, 3 green checkmarks to the right. Above the checkmarks is the iconic Google "G". Above the megaphone is a purple speech box that is empty. Below the megaphone and to the left is a green money bag with a white dollar sign in it. Beside that there is 2 starts. The title reads " Are Google Ads Worth It For Small Business?" At the very bottom of the graphic, there the Rosewood website address "Rosewoodmarketing.ca" and the Rosewood Instagram "@rosewoodmarketing"

Whenever you make a google search, you have probably seen Google Ads right at the top of the page. Considering the relationship between page visibility and number of clicks,  this is a great place to be.

However, running such advertisements is not cheap. Depending on your exact needs, Google ads could be quite expensive. Depending on how effective your ad is at converting and how much money is spent per click with PPC ads, it may take up a big chunk of your marketing budget.

So, you have to ask: are google ads worth it for small businesses? Will the increased traffic be worth the additional money I am spending? Keep reading on as we try to answer this question.

What are Google Ads and How do they help?

First off, we have to look at exactly what are Google Ads and how they help market your brand.

When you make a google search, you get a list of results. However, the first result may not be an actual result. It might be an advertisement instead. This would be labelled as ‘AD’ in bold text beside the link.

The actual search results could start from the third or fourth item in the list.

According to research, the top result on Google Search results gets over 30% of the clicks. The second and third results get 15-25% of the clicks. Most people tend to find what they are looking for in these 3 results and not bother any further.

If you want to be visible, you have to get to the top of the page.

To rank naturally at the top of the results, you have to do a lot of search engine optimization. You will have to implement keywords and anchors in your text, add trustworthy links and go out link-building, or optimize the website design and page load speeds. All of these are tricky, expensive, and don’t guarantee results.

What does guarantee you a position at the top of the page are Google Ads.

Advantages of using PPC Ads

There are some specific advantages to using Google Ads, besides showing up at the top of search results.

Ads only show up when users make a specific search. So, you are more likely to reach customers who need the exact goods or services you provide.

PPC Ads are also tailored by location. That means you could reach local users rather than faraway international ones. If you offer a physical service, local users are the main users. It’s crucial to target them.

It is possible to rank highly through natural SEO. However, that means that it is the page with the SEO content that will be listed at the top. This particular page might be a blog post rather than the landing page all customers should be directed to. Using ads, you can neatly avoid this problem by having the Ad link to the landing page.

Optimizing the Approach to your Small Business PPC Ads

In order to make the most out of your PPC ads, you should leverage some strategies! Here are some tips and tricks to consider:

Focus on Google Ads that Convert

Google ads are all based on PPC, or pay-per-click. That means you pay when someone clicks your ad. If they click on it and then leave without buying anything, then you have actually lost money. You definitely want to minimize cases where this happens!

That’s why all PPC ads should focus on content that converts. The easiest type of content that converts are ads for buying. Suppose a potential customer wants to buy ‘Men’s Watches’. You can target that particular niche by focusing on keywords related to watches and purchasing in your searches.

Research Good Keywords to use

Just like with SEO marketing, it is necessary to use a good keyword in Google Ads. Ad designers should write keywords based on what kind of searches users will make.

Keyword research can be done through dedicated SEO marketing tools. Google Trends is also a limited way to get the latest hot keywords.

An example of a good keyword or phrase is “coffee shop near me”. This phrase is not just optimized for local search but voice search as well. People using voice search often phrase their search in that way, so the answers should give them an exact result.

Get Immediate Results and Track Them Easily

As I mentioned before, using SEO to naturally climb to the top of rankings takes a lot of time. You are fighting other SEO websites throughout the climb. It can be exhausting and unrewarding, no matter how much money you spend.

On the other hand, Google Ads is much more likely to provide a visible return on investment. You can track the exact statistics of your ad in real time. You can see how many people clicked on the ad, and then how many people browsed the website.

Real time metrics give you an idea of what to focus on. For example, potential customers click the ad for your online shop a lot, but then leave without purchasing anything. This indicates that your ad is effective, but the website needs more work!

Be Aggressive and Target Competitors Through Your Google Ads!

Targeting competitors with Google Ads is an unconventional strategy, but it works! The idea is that people will click on the top two or three links, not just one. So, if your site shows up just below the competitor’s site, you are getting a good chunk of profit from him!

Google Ads can be expensive. It is imperative that the PPC ads campaign is a success. If there are too few conversions, then it can quickly turn into a money sink. Keep a close eye on your ROI metrics and be ready to pull the plug if it turns out the ads are not helping your small business anymore.

Despite that, Google Ads are one of the best ways for a small business or brand to get its name out there. Various strategies can be used with Google Ads, which I have highlighted above. If you use them, your website will get a steady stream of visitors in no time.

If you would like to learn more about whether Google Ads is right for your business, book a discovery call with us!

a graphic of a calendar and clock with the headline saying "taking time off as a business owner: how to plan ahead"

You would never expect your employees to work without having any days off, so why expect the same for yourself? Taking time off (and not just a sick day) is not only important for your own health and wellness, but for your business as well. 

After-hours, weekends and vacations can sometimes look less like time off, and more like working from a different spot. 

As a business owner, taking a vacation can seem impossible. However, planning ahead of time will allow you to actually relax and give you confidence that your business will be okay. 

Here are a few tips to help you plan for some downtime:

Predict Slow Times

Taking time off during your peak months will most likely prevent you from having a stress-free vacation. Even if you aren’t working, you’ll likely be thinking of work. Scheduling your time off during a known slow period will allow you to enjoy the moments and not have to worry about there being a thousand tasks and projects that are waiting for you when you return.

Have a Second in Command

Appointing a manager or top team member to take on any urgent matters is crucial to being able to step away. This should be someone you can trust. Maybe they’re already your go-to or the team member with the most experience. Whoever it is, make sure you provide them with any necessary information that they may need and don’t already have while you are away, this way they only have to reach out to you if it is an emergency. 

Give Your Clients Plenty of Notice

You have done the planning on when you are going to take time off, and who will be running the show while you’re relaxing, now it’s time to let your clients know. We suggest sending out an email to clients a few weeks before, letting them know that you will be out of the office, as well as introducing them to who will be taking care of them during that time. Including a reminder of your time away in your email signature is also a great way of reminding your clients leading up to your time away. Setting up an automated email saying that you are on vacation will help you put work on the backburner and not feel guilty about not responding to your clients. 

We know that stepping away can be a hard decision for any business owner, but it is important to be able to take time to relax. Whether it is a day or a week, there can be many benefits that can come from taking time off, such as reduced stress, clearer thinking, increase in productivity when returning to work, creative flow and most importantly, can also prevent burnout. If you plan ahead, the only thing you’ll be thinking of is why you didn’t do this sooner. 

Here's why hashtags are essential for social media growth, with a woman working on a computer sitting on the side of a huge hashtag graphic.

Putting out great content but getting minimal post interactions? This could be because you are using the wrong hashtags! When Instagram first launched, they were the #butt of all jokes. Now, they can make or break your social media strategy. Hashtags can be used in a variety of different ways. That’s why it is important to be able to have a variety of relevant one’s. They are a great way to directly interact with new people within your community. Maybe it means following specific ones, or using them for strategic growth, such as the $1.80 method, (we have a blog all about this method! ) or having your target audience find you through them. Here are our top three ways you should be using hashtags on your posts:

Industry Hashtags: 

Not every industry is going to be using the same hashtags. A Chef most likely won’t use #makeupguru and a lawyer will probably not use #DIY. Choosing one’s that are unique to your industry helps to gear your content to your targeted audience. Having a baseline of seven to ten industry based hashtags can help broaden your content’s reach. When choosing hashtags that are relevant try to find some that fit into a few different aspects of your industry. A great way to find these hashtags, is to see what top accounts in your industry are using. 

Branding:

Using hashtags specific to your brand is a great way to have your clients and industry interact with your social media. Some great branding examples are brands like; Coca-Cola- #ShareACoke, KitKat- #MyBreak and Calvin Klein with #MyCalvins. As a business owner on social media, you can create your own to include in your posts. You can also encourage your clients to use them while they post about you and your business. Another great way to use hashtags and branding is for  promotions or giveaways, you can include promotion specific hashtags to get your audience excited. 

Localization: 

Businesses that cater to specific areas or regions can really benefit from using location based hashtags. Using these will help to gear your content to your targeted audience geographically. Using location based hashtags can also help to ensure that you are getting clients that you can actually service. As an owner of a landscaping business, you may use #toronto #yorkregion #GTA. By using this combination, it will help show people who stumble on one of your posts what area you cater to. This has proven successful in ensuring time and resources are better spent targeting relatable audiences . Adding locations to the end of your branding hashtag is a great tip for businesses that have multiple locations! 

All in all, hashtags are a great way to help gear your content to the correct audience and help you enhance your social media as a business tool. There are great tools out there such as buffer.com that can help you keep track of your social media growth, and even tell you what your top hashtags are. Using tools like this can help you adjust what ones to use, that way you can maximize your reach and grow your social account even more! 

Whether you are using hashtags to specify your location, raise brand awareness or create a presence in your community, they will always provide you with a wider audience reach than when not using them. So the next time you’re liking a photo, take a moment to see what hashtags they’re using, sometimes you may be surprised.

If you have questions about your social media strategy, book a complimentary introduction call with Rosewood today!