No matter your role, if your goal is to increase sales within a small business, then you’ve probably heard the term “lead generation.”
Lead generation is the concept of turning strangers into real potential buyers (i.e., ”leads”) by moving them further through the sales cycle, closer and closer to the final sale.
But with the clutter of brands and products displayed across the web, this task can be daunting.
Small businesses must focus their marketing efforts on finding right-fit prospects, ensuring they stay top of mind throughout the prospect’s decision to buy, and ultimately motivating these prospects to convert.
The good news is that Google Adwords is among the easiest and most effective ways small businesses can reach both existing and new customers and generate online leads.
Every day, 90 percent of Internet users are served at least one ad via Google’s Display Network, and Google’s overall network from YouTube to Gmail to Google Maps serves more than one billion people worldwide.
Google has also worked hard to make is AdWords platform user-friendly, and has provided plenty of online resources to educate businesses on effective AdWords setup and management. To get you on board the Google AdWords train, here are some tips that will help any small business generate leads from paid search.
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Google AdWords Isn’t Just for the Big Brands
Internet users “google” throughout their day without hesitation, making it one of the top most visited sites every single day. However, advertising here is not as expensive or complex as you might think. Google consistently offers advertising promotions to first-time advertisers and provides step-by-step tutorials for setting up campaigns to ensure you’re on the right track.
Think about it, Google wants your campaigns to be successful because you’re the customer! In addition, it wants users to enjoy their browsing experience, so it’s consistently working to ensure ads of interest are displaying to the right audiences.
While launching ads on Google is relatively simple, and they can be extremely cost-effective, a small business must remember to use smart strategies. If you want to get the most out of your campaigns (and ad dollars), you’ll need to ensure your ads are reaching the right audience with a targeted message that propels them into action. With that in mind, let’s get tactical. Whether your budget is $10 per day or $100 per day, these Adwords methods can enable your small business to effectively reach Google’s user-base:
- Reach new customers with highly targeted keywords. Keywords allow you to target highly specific demographics and interests, so test out terms to find out what works best for your business. And be specific. If you specialize in publishing user manuals, would you rather have someone visit your site who searched for “publisher” or someone who searched for “need a publisher for a user manual?” The latter is much more likely to be a qualified lead.
- Make a local impact. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, target customers within your specific market area by city, state, county, etc. With these settings, you can ensure your ads will show up only for users currently located within your designated markets, and not waste your money on irrelevant audiences. Also, include local terms in your keywords list to boost your ad placements for localized search terms like “Best auto insurance agent in (city name).”
- Target customers based on their devices. Many AdWords novices are not aware of the device-specific settings. If you know that your prospects and customers engage more on their smartphones than desktops or vice versa, Google AdWords allows you to target by device, specifically. You can also increase your budget to target users on certain devices. This feature is especially useful to retailers, restaurants, and other local businesses as customers search for options nearby.
- Use Adwords data to improve your organic search results. Bonus tip: Google Adwords and organic (non-paid) traffic are correlated. Within its ad platform, Google provides feedback on suggested keywords and assigns quality scores to help you improve your campaigns. By paying attention to these suggestions and incorporating them into your website content, Google’s algorithm will reward you with improvements in organic Google search results: Hello SEO and higher search rankings.
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Turning Impressions to Leads
Once you’ve got Adwords up and running, (you’re a master now, right?) take it a step further to turn those new prospects into leads. By adding remarketing lists to Google ads, you can retarget prospects that have visited your site within the last 30, 60, or 90 days.
A retargeting setting ensures your brand stays top of mind to those website visitors who may still be in the information-gathering and early decision-making steps of the sales cycle. When “remarketing” your ads with this method, your overall ad impressions will likely be lower, meaning fewer people will see the ads since they are so highly targeted. But that’s okay! These people are more qualified and more likely to turn into a sale.
Here’s a short list of the kinds of visitors to remarket within Adwords settings:
- Visitors of specific pages or a combination of pages (they visited your "Contact Us" page or downloaded a white paper)
- Visitors who did not visit a specific page (they put an item in their shopping cart, but did not check out)
- Visits during specific dates (a certain promotion or holiday)
Lead gen programs that involve search advertisements can be tricky for a small business, but online ads are not as intimidating as they appear. With a well thought out Google Ad strategy, any small business owner can launch a low-cost campaign that improves lead generation efforts.
If you’ve never dabbled in paid advertising before, now’s the time to enhance your marketing program by leveraging the world’s most visited site with campaigns that work for your specific goals and target audiences.
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