With online advertising spend overtaking TV advertising a year ago for the first time, and the majority allocated to Google AdWords, clearly SMEs have to learn how to master Google to survive and grow online.
The advantages of Google Advertising versus offline are clear: low cost commitment, higher level of control, high measurability, the capacity to perform accurate geo targeting of customers, and the capacity to react quickly to improve performance.
The difficulties SMEs face are considerable: limited time and money (75% of SMEs from a recent survey ran advertising campaigns direct and not via an agency to save money), yet hardly any feel they learn how to optimise campaigns with 46% of the survey saying they do not understand it enough to produce campaigns work effectively and 39% saying they do not have time to manage the campaigns. Fifty-two per cent said their campaigns were not profitable, with 54% saying they get traffic with their site but hardly any converts to actual business.
There is also driving a car factor: driving a car from the mountain of questions such as for example whether to utilize Google’s Search or Network service, an agency or to operate campaigns directly, what the suitable levels to pay are, what is an excellent ROI, steps to make banner ads, and how exactly to use the Google tools and reports to optimise campaigns.
With regards to the agency versus direct question, the features of having an agency are the ability you tap into and enough time saved as campaigns can be live exactly the same day. The disadvantages are cost (with fixed monthly charges, a share charge on advertising spend and 6-12 month lock in contracts).
The Search versus Network question on Google depends upon the character of one’s advertising. Google Advertising Services If the service is quite niche and specific to a restricted quantity of keywords then Search is the higher option, otherwise you ought to get businesses from the cheaper network showing banner ads.
Banner ads can be quite a costly exercise and SMEs should try and use a quality online service.
With regards to optimising campaigns, you can find 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 develop 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.