Written by Jessica Ann on October 2nd, 2013
The Recent Changes to Google AdWords
Just when you think you have the latest Google changes figured out, something new teeters through. When you're a small business owner, the last thing you want is to have your current strategy and approach taken for a roller coaster ride. Luckily when it comes to technology, you'll often find that your strategies and approaches are improved and things go smoother than before.
The recent changes to Google AdWords called for an adjustment of advertising campaign styles. The good news? Small businesses seem to benefit the most and fare the best in the face of these changes.
Here's why: Many of the changes to AdWords work to consolidate and simplify campaigns, which means less work needed. Small businesses with fewer employees than large businesses will now be able to keep up with AdWords in the same way that their larger competitors do.
With the introduction of the single campaign structure, small businesses get a better chance to reach more people. Single campaigns group all of your campaigns, be it for mobile, or a tablet/PC, under one simple campaign. Before these changes, if you wanted to run a campaign that would reach every single different type of mobile device, each type of device would have to be individually and manually assigned to a campaign. Large businesses have the resources to dedicate to this, but small businesses often do not. This meant that only the largest businesses were able to run the most thorough and widely-reaching campaigns across all devices, while the smaller businesses had to stick to the basics, often times without mobile device campaigns.
Mobile ads are more important now than ever as more people are viewing web content on mobile devices rather than computers. To get the most out of this mobile movement, make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing before running mobile campaigns. Otherwise you'll frustrate potential customers. Carefully plan the design of your mobile ad so it looks eye-catching on a small smartphone screen. Keep it simple!
Ad Extension Scheduling
Most small businesses don't have a 24-hour help line or around the clock customer service. A new feature of AdWords lets you schedule your ads and when they'll run. During your business hours you can advertise with your phone information, GPS location and encourage people to call or stop in. When you close your shop for the night, you can turn the ad off and turn one on that will direct people to your website. This allows potential customers to check your business out from home rather than getting your voice mail or having to peek into your darkened windows. This scheduling feature is a great addition for small businesses that have different advertising needs based on the time of day or year.
Content Over Clicks
While the new features of AdWords are beneficial to small and large businesses alike, there's something you should know. The stats on the number of people who actually click on banner ads are shocking, and not in a good way for those who rely solely on these types of ads. According to HubSpot, a typical banner ad has a 0.1% clickthrough rate (CTR) and your standard banner ad measuring 468×60 has a 0.04% CTR. Consider this when thinking through your marketing strategy. Tip: your strategy should go beyond banner ads.
You can reach potential customers many ways without direct advertising. Focusing on creating high-quality articles or blog posts that relate to your business is a classic yet innovative way to show people your business is knowledgeable and trustworthy. People like being informed, and being useful to potential customers instead of distracting them with banner ads will get you far.
Quality content leads to more customers clicking their heels – not on ads. With the banner ad information presented above, this is a good thing. Potential customers will feel like they’ve landed in a magical world where value (not ads) is delivered regularly. And they’ll keep coming back because there’s no place quite like it.
Small businesses that currently use or wish to use Google AdWords will find the process far less complex and flexible with the recent changes. But a good mix is the most beneficial to your business and it’s the most efficient way to reach the widest range of potential customers. Check out and test everything, but don't limit your business to just one approach.