Public Interest

Google Ads for Small Business: Does it Work?

by | Aug 19, 2021 | Digital Marketing

You may be very aware of the ads that show up when you do a Google search. Many of these ads feature well known brands and companies with big marketing budgets. But do Google Ads for small businesses really work?

Google Ads can be a worthy investment. Many small business owners are hesitant to invest in paid search ads due to budget constraints. And while it can be considered expensive, the truth is, with the right strategy in place, results you can gain through ads can directly improve your bottom line, making every single penny you’ve invested count. 

It is the guaranteed way of getting your site on top of search results for important keywords and driving qualified leads to your site. While there is a FREE way to do it, you will still have to invest a lot of hours and resources learning SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. Moreover, results do not come instantly as compared to paid and are not guaranteed.

If you’re brand new in the digital space (and literally have just launched your website), starting a campaign with Google Ads would be a great way to kick start your marketing and be seen by your audience.


How Do Google Ads Work?

The principle behind Google Ads is quite simple. It works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model wherein marketers bid on their target keywords in competition with others who are also targeting the same keywords. Once the user sees the ads and clicks on them, the marketer/business pays a small fee —thus, pay-per-click.

Clicking your ad is just the first step. You want to engage your site visitors and complete a specific goal whether it be making a purchase or become a lead.

There are three bidding options:

  1. Cost per click (CPC) is how much you pay when users click on your ad.
  2. Cost per thousand (CPM) is how much you pay per 1k ad impression.
  3. Cost per engagement (CPE) is how much you pay when a specific action is performed on your ad (form sign-ups, click phone number, watch a video, etc.).


You can monitor your budget in two ways: setting a maximum bid or how much you’re willing to pay for your ads; and setting a daily budget or how much you’re willing to spend for the ad per day. Setting a daily budget gives you a sense of how much you could actually spend for your campaign.

Google then reviews your bid in line with your ad’s Quality Score, which is an estimate of your ad’s quality, keywords selected, and landing page relevance. Higher quality ads tend to have lower prices and better positioning.

Your bid amount and Quality Score combined will determine your Ad Rank. This is the position your ad will appear in the search results. 


Types of Google Ads

To better understand how you can set up your Google Ads campaign, you need to know what ad types Google offers. There are five (5) ad campaigns you can use to boost your online presence:

Search Campaign

Search campaigns are text ads that appear on the search results page. This is probably the most recognizable as these ads usually appear on the very top of Google results with the black “Ad” symbol next to the URL. We call this intent based, as users are actively searching for your type of service or product.

Display Campaign

These ads are a bit more flexible as they can be in the form of GIFs, text, images, or videos. The greatest benefit of having a Display Ads Campaign is its reach. The Display network leverages Google’s website partners to showcase your ads outside of Google search and can be targeted to audience interests, users in-market for your service/product or remarket to those already familiar with your brand.

Shopping Campaign

Those who have a physical product can benefit from Google Shopping Ads as you are able to showcase your products directly to customers. These ads can appear on both the search results page and under “Shopping” just below the search bar. They can be used for intent searches, broad audiences or retargeting.

App Campaign

These are ads that are also in Google’s Display Network focused on apps. No need to design individual ads per app though. Google will automatically assign your ad according to your text and assets (photos, etc.).

Video Campaign

Video ads appear before, after or during YouTube videos. What makes this more effective compared to Display Campaign is that it’s more specific and targeted to YouTube users who are likely interested in video content as compared to Display which is broader.

Different types of video ads include: 

  • Skippable ads (in-video)
  • Discovery ads (appears on top of YouTube search results)
  • Banners


How Can Google Ads Help You Advance Your Business Goals?

Simply put, Google Ads for small businesses can help you drive traffic and generate leads to your website as well as in-app, in-person, and over-the-phone. It is a great way to build brand awareness and influence users to consider your products and services. There are over 3 billion searches made on Google every day and your customers are part of it. You don’t want to miss that opportunity.

Google Ads also allows you to segment audiences based on their activities, online behavior, devices used, location, and/or specific needs—making your ads more effective and of higher quality. You’ll get more of the right people to visit your website increasing the chance of conversions. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your budget is tight, it’s always best to consult an expert Google Ads manager like Public Advertising Agency to set up your campaign for you. It is much more cost-efficient than DIY and spending dollars without a strategy.


In a Nutshell…

The fact is businesses have always had to pay for visibility. Traditionally, brands have to shell out a hefty amount for advertisements on TV, newspapers, radio, and even billboards to reach a wider audience. While Search Engines can reach a broad audience in the same way, paid search ads are generally cheaper, much more targeted and results are easier to track.

When done right, Google Ads for small businesses can be a cost-effective way to acquire new customers and generate leads and sales. The best thing is that everything is measurable. By looking into your analytics, you can easily identify gaps and fix them. If you’re thinking about investing in Google Ads but still aren’t sure if it’s right for your business, read our article: PPC Campaigns: 3 Things to Consider Before Taking The Plunge.

Also take a look at how one small business used Google Ads to save money and bring in more leads than they could handle.


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