With online advertising spend overtaking TV advertising this past year for the very first time, and almost all allocated to Google AdWords, clearly SMEs need certainly to learn how to master Google to survive and grow online.
The advantages of Google Advertising versus offline are clear: low priced commitment, advanced of control, high measurability, the capability to perform accurate geo targeting of customers, and the capability 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 not many feel they learn how to optimise campaigns with 46% of the survey saying they don’t realize it enough to produce campaigns work effectively and 39% saying they don’t have time to handle the campaigns. Fifty-two per cent said their campaigns were not profitable, with 54% saying they get traffic to their site but almost no converts to actual business.
There also is the fear factor: the fear from the mountain of questions such as for instance whether to use Google’s Search or Network service, an agency or to perform campaigns directly, what the optimal levels to pay are, what is an excellent ROI, making banner ads, and how to use the Google tools and reports to optimise campaigns.
With regards to the agency versus direct question, the advantages of having an agency are the experience you tap into and the time saved as campaigns can be live the exact same day. Google Advertising Agency The disadvantages are cost (with fixed monthly charges, a portion charge on advertising spend and 6-12 month lock in contracts).
The Search versus Network question on Google depends on the character of your advertising. If the service is extremely niche and specific to a small amount of keywords then Search is the higher option, otherwise you ought to pick up businesses from the cheaper network showing banner ads.
Banner ads can be a costly exercise and SMEs should use and try a quality online service.
With regards to optimising campaigns, there are several 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 cost per click paid, testing board and narrow keyword terms, long versus short tail, optimising between click through rate, impressions and conversion rates on your site, to mention a few.