How Google Adwords Can Help Your Website

Google Adwords can help a small business website in many ways. There is the obvious, of course. It can bring you visitors. That’s not what I’m going to talk about right now though. What I’m going to talk about is the ways in which Adwords, and other marketing efforts, can help you improve your site so that it brings you more custom.

If you have been living in the back of a field with your head covered by a blanket, you may never have heard of Adwords. Alternatively, if you have been living on Mars and your TV was also broken, you may not have heard of Google. Or, you may just be new to this notion of marketing your website and not be certain what Adwords is, so I’ll explain it just in case.

Adwords is Google’s advertising programme. It allows advertisers to purchase pay per performance advertising on Google’s search network. The system allows you to bid on particular key phrases and ads show as sponsored links either above, or to the right of the editorial search results. Usually you pay for every visitor that clicks through to your site. Adwords also provides advertising space on a content network of third party sites that sell their adspace through Google in a programme called Adsense. For right now, we aren’t worried about that and it’s the search ads that I’m interested in.


If you run a small business, how is Adwords going to help improve your website?

Google is the biggest search property in the world by a country mile. The first major advantage that I’d like to talk about when you run your Adwords campaign is accurate information on what terms people search for and in what numbers.

For many small business websites, setting up an Adwords campaign is the first time they have considered the keywords people will use to search for their products or services. Or, rather, the first time they have considered their keywords objectively, backed by data and with suggestions. In the initial steps of setting up your adwords campaign you will use Google’s keyword suggestion tool to find keywords you want to bid on.

This is a good start but when your ad campaign has been running for a while you will accumulate a real sense of the volume of people that are searching on various terms. You will gradually expand your list of target terms and in some cases, take them away. You will learn which terms are more relevant to what you do and you may begin to sense alternative intent in some terms that originally seemed relevant. In short, you have accurate info on actual searches. You are getting to know what your potential customers are looking for and the language they use.

The language that customers use and the language that providers use to describe the same products and services is not always the same. In fact, while there is obviously crossover, there are almost always substantial differences. It is common for people that are new to this to assume that they understand what people will search for from their offline activities and that visitors will understand the language of the company’s offline marketing material. This is, in fact, rarely the case. Customers will almost always understand the marketing language and jargon that we create to sell our products or services (they aren’t thick after all) but rarely is that marketing language and jargon part of how they think about your service. Rarely is it what they are searching for.

Paying for visits tends to focus the mind of the small business website owner. You should have done your keyword research while planning the content for your site and it should be an ongoing process. It should be backed by a search engine optimisation campaign (whether run internally or by consultants). If it isn’t, then often the paid ad campaign is the point at which you learn these things.

All of a sudden, you have figures on what people are actually looking for. You realise that your ad gets more clicks when you are speaking the language of your customers.

… And we’ve taken a step.

We’ve started to understand the language of our customers and think in terms of their needs.

Once you have visitors clicking through to your site the accountant in your brain will really start working. Now these visitors have cost you money, it is time for your site to do its stuff. Now you need a landing page (the page the visitor sees when they click your ad) that can convert (create contacts or sales or whatever is the purpose of your site).

All of a sudden, you need to start thinking about some of these things:

  • You need content relevant to the searches you are targeting.  Relevant content converts better.
  • You need content that targets an actual need that your prospect perceives.
  • You need to talk in the prospect’s language and often you find that the jargon and the impressive marketing language you put so much store in when writing your brochure is less impressive to real customers than you might think.
  • You want visitors to take some action and you realise that you need a “call to action” in your page(s).
  • You need to think about defining a sales funnel or mapping what steps will take your visitor from arriving at your site to buying your product, or contacting your company or whatever your end goal is.

That’s a start. 

You also find that new search information gives you ideas for related key phrases that you think you should be targeting.  This new search information expands into related areas of content and can give you new ideas on how you can serve your visitors.

Basically an adwords campaign can focus the activities of a small business website.  It’s amazing what spending a little bit of money can do to how professionally you approach your site.  Often the adwords campaign is spurring you to do a lot of things that you should have been doing all along.

You read these, right?

Planning your website design: Goals

Planning your website design: Target Audience

Planning your website design: Content


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