We get asked all the time if we manage Google Ads, and if so, what we think of it as an advertising platform. The answer is yes we do manage Google Ads, and what we think of it depends on your goals. In order to be successful with Google Ads, you must evaluate where it fits in with your overall online marketing strategy and end goal, and be realistic about what the platform can and can’t do for you.

#1 Drive Traffic, Increase Conversions & Brand Identity

Google Ads can be an incredibly useful tool to drive traffic to your website, increase conversions, and boost brand identity. Because Spark Marketer serves local service businesses, we concentrate first on driving traffic to your website. We have seen consistent traffic increases of around 25 to 30% and as high as 45% in a few cases. This is mainly due to a focused and more directed approach, rather than the shotgun approach that we often see. We look for opportunities for increased exposure where visibility might be low, and try to identify strategies to increase clicks to your website.

#2 Reach Out of the Way Locations

Clients often want more search visibility in specific locations or service areas where they don’t yet have a good organic presence or an office that can rank on the map. Because Google Ads has the ability to target specific areas down to zip codes, it is a good viable way to reach those locations. Data research from Google and various other sources suggests that location targeting can be incredibly useful, be it to a very select audience. This can also makes your advertising management more complex as you add more areas. That said, you can’t use ads to show your map listing in an area that is way out there. Google still follows proximity with maps, so you can only target out of the way locations with text ads.

#3 Promote Specials & Sales

Two of the biggest uses for Google Ads that often get overlooked are special promotions and sales ads. These type of ads not only get great exposure, but they also get the most clicks and best click-through rates. It is hard for some people to pass on a good deal if they see one, and Google Ads are a great way of getting that deal out to the public. Again, you do have to make sure it is a good enough deal for your customers, without losing your shirt! Either knowing the item is a loss leader or has enough built-in profit that you are not losing money in the long run accomplishes this. Ads with early bird specials and manufacturer’s promotions can be great during less busy times. As long as the deal is simple and a good value, the clicks will come. But remember, every click in Google Ads costs, even if the searcher doesn’t contact you.

There are things Google Ads can do for you and things it cannot. It is not a place for PR and long-form type exposure. It is direct, targeted, and takes a fine aim and a direct approach to reach your audience and meet your advertising goals. So when deciding whether or not to include it as part of your strategy, make sure you think things through and talk with someone who’s experienced with the Google Ads platform. We’d be happy to help!