Thanks to the COVID pandemic, many businesses are fighting for survival at the moment. If you are a small business owner and you haven’t embraced digital marketing yet, then now may be the best time to advertise your business digitally.

Many small businesses need all the edges and advantages that they can get. You can hire an agency to do all things digital marketing on your behalf, but often this is beyond the budget of entrepreneurs. Freelancers can be found on and UpWork and are often more affordable. Still, it takes time and effort to find a reliable specialist.

You can have a go at creating your graphics with a tool such as Canva and podcast with the Anchor app. However, mistakes with Search Engine Optimization (SE0) and advertise your business digitally can be very costly. Even if you are going to go down the route of hiring someone to do the bulk of work for you, it can certainly help to have an understanding of Google and Facebook Ads.

Please note that you will be better off using Google Shopping Ads rather than standard Google (text) Ads if you have an eCommerce store.

Setting Up Your Google Ads Account

You do not need technical skills to set up a Google Ads account – it’s just a step-by-step process. So if you only have basic computer skills in general, you can do it. Following along with a step by step video like this one by Santrel Media is the best way to do it, but some of the key steps include:

  • Set up a Google Account (if you don’t have one already) here
  • Set up a Google Ads account at
  • Use “Expert” Mode even when you are a beginner – it gives you much more control
  • Use Search Ads only to begin with (unless you have an e-commerce store)
  • Start by unticking/unchecking the Search & Display network options
  • Set a start and end date just in case you forget to stop your ads – it’s essential to review them often
  • Locations – choose a precise location if you are a local service-based business
  • Start with a low daily budget – Google will go over this sometimes
  • Find keyword ideas by searching for your business niche or service and looking at the predicted search terms and the related search terms at the bottom of the Google results page

Use Exact Match Keywords

In general, you will want to use exact match keywords rather than phrase match, broad match modified, or broad match. Be careful with this; Google will ‘assume’ you want to use broad match keywords and often put them live before you realize.

If you want your ad to show for “personal trainer equipment,” using broad match keywords will mean that your ad will show up on all kinds of searches. These searches could include terms like “fitness equipment,” “gym apparel,” or some random terms such as “gym sneakers” even.

The exact match, in the main, should only show your ad when someone searches for “personal trainer equipment.” However, they still let a few variants slip through, with searches such as “personal training equipment” showing your ad too.

You will know that your keywords are an exact match because they will show with [square brackets] inside your account. Phrase match keywords can often work well, too, usually, if there is a low volume of searches for your keyword.

Have a different Ad Group for each service or product you offer and include only a few exact match keywords in each group. Google will prompt you to have around ten keywords, but this is far too many in most professional opinions.

Check The Search Terms Report

It is essential to check the search terms report to ensure that your ads are showing only for relevant searches. As outlined earlier, even exact match keywords will allow ads to show up for terms that you have not specified in your account.

If you find keywords that you do not want to show up for, add them to your negative keyword list. For example, if you are a builder, you will not want to show up for search terms such as “builder salary” or “how to become a builder.”

Have a Specific Web Page or Landing Page

A big mistake with Google Ads is to send people to your website homepage. Have a specific landing page for each type of ad that you are using. For example, if you have an ad for personal training equipment, send people to a page regarding personal training equipment. If you have another ad for home-based personal training services, send people to a page about home-based personal training.

Another example would be a builder who builds walls, puts up roofs, and does paving. He or she should have a separate web page for each of these services and, of course, a separate ad. Specificity is critical with Google Ads.

Use Bid Adjustments on Devices

Use Bid Adjustments on Devices

Bid adjustments are a big part of Google Ads optimization. How you adjust any bids will largely depend on how profitable your product is. If you are selling real estate and the cost per lead on a tablet is $15, but only $10 on a desktop – that’s probably still a highly profitable cost per lead, so it’s not worth reducing tablet bids just because they cost 50% more.

Check the ad schedule and locations that are performing the best and worst and consider lowering bids for the poorly performing times and locations.

You should be checking how mobile, tablet, and desktop devices perform. As outlined above, consider the potential Return on Ad Spend before making any adjustments though.

Use Click to Call Ads

Some products and services will sell much more efficiently and more profitably if potential clients and customers can speak to someone quickly and easily. Many people will want to discuss the options and details for life-changing purchases such as an RV or a property.

Generating calls can be achieved with Google Ads, by using Call Ads and Call Extensions. If you cannot answer your phone all of the time because of other commitments, consider using a phone answering service.

Call extensions, like other ad extensions, should be tested for their effectiveness. Locations extensions can work well for local businesses like tradesmen/women.

Ad Text Optimization

Ad text often gets modified and changed slightly by Google. However, ad text is still an essential factor when improving click-through rate.

Think about who your target market is and what their objections might be. For example, a personal trainer may want to address time, trust, cost, and credentials.

Sometimes, however, you do not want a high click-through rate. Think about it – you have to pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad. Although this does help your Quality Score (a Google Ads metric), if it costs you $30 each time, it’s probably not worth it.

With this in mind, you may want to add some ‘qualifiers’ to your ad text. Outline that, for example, you provide a higher quality of service (be specific about why and how it is high quality) and include your price in the ad text. Hopefully, if people are not willing to pay your prices, they won’t click. If you are a personal trainer, for example, and have a master’s degree or a Ph.D., then include that in the ad text.

These tips should at least give you an idea of how your account should be handled and optimized. It’s not unknown for some agencies to set up an account and then leave it for months at a time without any adjustments. Two final tips are aware of to advertise your business digitally – using audiences and remarketing can work well for some businesses.

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