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Technology / SEM strategies

Is AdWords too expensive for small business in 2016?

With AdWords more competitive than ever, here's what your small business can do to turn those expensive clicks into more customers.

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$7 per click, $12 per click, $40 per click (gasp) – AdWords is more expensive than it used to be. But is AdWords too expensive for your business? Who can compete with those companies spending up big on AdWords?

You can.

AdWords no longer works as well for businesses selling low-cost products (under $100), but there’s still money to be made if your business ticks these two criteria:

  1. You’re selling a service where a sale is worth hundreds or thousands.
  2. You’ve got a bunch of competitors advertising in your niche.

Here’s how to compete with the big boys and girls:

"Remember, sales and enquiries don’t happen in your AdWords account, they happen on your website."

1. Compete on your turf

When someone searches for an accountant in Fortitude Valley and finds your ad, you’d better send them to a page showing that Fortitude Valley is your turf. If you have an office there it’s easy (show your address, show your office), but if not there are other ways to show it:

  • ‘We have 24 clients here.’
  • ‘We often meet clients for coffee on James St.’
  • ‘Ben’s Burgers on Winn St is one of our favourite local clients.’

Geography is one of the most important reasons people choose a business, and many larger businesses will have no genuine link to your area, so you need to win that battle. Own your turf.

2. Compete service by service

When someone searches for ‘air-con installation’ (and finds your ad), you’d better send them to a page about your air-conditioning installation service.

Not your homepage.

Not your range of air conditioners.

Not your cleaning service.

Give people exactly what they’ve asked for and you’ll get more sales than a competitor who doesn’t do the customer this common courtesy.

3. Don’t look like a scammer

Alongside the established companies in your industry, there are dozens of ‘websites’ trying to cash in on your market. These include:

  • Scam sites.
  • Brand new companies who’ve popped up overnight.
  • Websites that target customers locally but outsource overseas.
  • Lead generation sites who sell their customers for a commission.

These websites have one thing in common – lack of transparency. They do not want anyone to see their real business model, so they can’t show their company (no address, names, photos, owners, staff, clients, results, or testimonials).

You’ll get lumped in with them (and lose sales) unless you have a website that shows the reputable company behind your website.

Beyond your AdWords account

Notice we haven’t spoken about bidding or keywords or other AdWords geek-speak? That’s because simply working on the finer mechanics of AdWords will leave you short. Remember, sales and enquiries don’t happen in your AdWords account, they happen on your website.

So, where to start?

It’s a competition remember, so start where you have an unfair advantage. Advertise your most profitable or most popular service in your town or suburb and you’ll be hard to beat.

Clicks still may not be cheap, but they will be focused on your strengths and hopefully now worth more to your business than the $2, $8, or $25 they’re costing you.

Are you still finding Google Ads affordable in your market?

Dave Gillen

improves under-performing AdWords campaigns at Bankable Online Marketing in Brisbane.

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