In 2018, the number one way people learn new things is from the internet. Brick and mortar stores are going out of business, and online stores are growing in sales.
So if your business is still relying on older methods of marketing from the past, like flyers, brochures, magazine ads or business cards, and you're not putting over 50% of your marketing investment into the internet, then you will definitely see a decline in your business over the coming years. More and more people do their research online, and that trend will continue to rise for several more years.
I've mentioned multiple times before that Google SEO (the way Google ranks your website when someone does a search) is an important way to help people find your business online.
But the 2nd most important online marketing tool is Google Adwords, which is the paid version of how Google shows your website in searches.
Now, Google Adwords is not for everyone. If you don't know what your business model is, or if you sell low-cost products, then Google Adwords is not for you.
There are 4 things you need to make sure your business has before you start using Google Adwords:
1. You must run a business with high margin services or products.
The cost per click of a Google Ad is very high. The average click for a competitive keyword is usually around $5 or $10 per click. So let's say you need 100 visitors to your website in order to get one person to sign a contract with you and start a project. That means you've spent up to $1,000 USD on Google Adwords to get that client. If the product you sell is $1,000 USD, then you have broken even. But if you perform a service, like a custom home design service that brings in an average of $20,000 USD in profit per client, then $1,000 USD in advertising is likely worth the investment. Google Ads is very expensive, but can be very effective, so you must know what your margins are for whatever you are selling. An average Google Adwords campaign will typically cost about $300 USD per month in order to effectively drive people to your website and capture a few good leads.
2. You must be specialized in your field of expertise with not too much or too little competition.
Google Adwords works well if you're not competing with huge brands with giant budgets. But if you are a small service business with a popular type of service like an architect, interior designer or photographer, Google Adwords is more likely a better fit for you. If you sell things that are too easily accessible to everyone like selling jewelry or clothing, then Google Adwords will likely be a wasted investment.
3. You must have a well-designed website that is easy for people to use and understand.
Nothing is worse than getting 100 people to your website, and then seeing them leave your website because it doesn't make any sense. Your website must be clean, easy to use, and match what the visitor was expecting to see. You must clearly explain what your business does and how it will help your visitors solve the problem they are thinking about. Without doing this, Google Adwords is a total waste of money.
4. You must have a way to clearly capture email addresses and leads through contact forms, phone numbers and clickable email addresses.
Your website must not only be easy to understand, but visitors must have a clear way to interact with it. That's why a "Call To Action" is so important. If someone finds your website for the very first time with a Google Ad, they need to understand what they need to do in order to "Take the first step" with your business. It could be to download a pricing sheet, request a phone consultation, schedule an appointment, get a free online course, or simply ask a question. Whatever you have seen work well for your business with previous clients or customers is what your website needs to do in order to clearly lead people to interact and take action on your website.
If your business matches these 4 main criteria, then you will likely find success with using Google Ads. The cost of using it might scare people away, but compared to traditional methods of advertising, such as Magazine Ads, Newspaper Ads, or postcard delivery, Google Ads is still often less expensive.
Plus, with Google Ads you are targeting people specifically by the keywords they type in, as well as their demographics - such as by Zip code or by age or gender. With traditional marketing, you are trying to hit everyone at once, and just hoping that someone might be interested in your service. With Google Ads, you have a higher chance of matching your ads with someone who will be interested in working with you.