Everybody Googles – and if your shop is like many small businesses, Google is probably the primary way that potential customers are finding your store online. A recent analysis of our website showed that although thousands of people connected with us thanks to Google, we have a rather disappointing keyword ranking in the categories we feel are our strongest: gifts, kitchenware, cooking school and wedding registry.

DesignCraft, the designers of our site, suggested that we consider GoogleAds on the Search Network (which includes Google maps, Shopping and even YouTube) to supplement our organic (free) results. This is something we’ve never done before, so I thought I’d share a few of my findings as I explored the concept. Even though we haven’t tried Adwords, we probably will soon.

There is a big difference between paying to promote a post on Facebook, targeting customers matching a demographic that you select, and doing a PPC (pay per click) promotion on Google. The purpose of using GoogleAds is to have your store close to the top of the first page when someone is looking for a specific place to buy something, and you only pay when someone clicks through to our website or calls. You set up the campaign by setting the maximum amount you want to pay, and when that is reached the promotion ends.

You can easily see this in action by Googling any product – for example jump ropes. Because not very many people search for jump ropes, the amount you would pay for each customer who clicks through to your business would not be very high. If you wanted to be at the top of the page for wine, the cost would be much higher. You can specify the geographic area you want to use as your target, which is important if you are primarily a brick and mortar store. But if you sell online nationally, or even internationally, this distinction might not be important.

As Google points out, “You set your own budget, so your costs will depend on what you are trying to accomplish with your online advertising. Some businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars a month, and others are comfortable investing several hundred.” There is a $10 a day minimum in order to work with a Google Ads Specialist, and getting professional advice would be a great idea when you start out.

According to The Balance Small Business blog, “Google AdWords is the most popular form of pay per click advertising for small businesses, partly because of Google’s popularity, and partly because it allows you to control your expenses by setting daily maximums for each ad.” If you haven’t tried this form of promotion, it may well be worth exploring.

Happy Retailing,
Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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