Illustration of hand clicking on ad representing how to advertise on google ads

You have a website for your business and are eagerly awaiting for customers to not only find your website but to visit your business and purchase your products or sign up for your services. Maybe you have even started on search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your website.  While having a website and working on SEO is a great start, it can take longer than a year for some key phrases to rank on the first search engine results page depending on the search volume and competition for those searches.

So what can you do to get customers through your door now?  Google Ads lets you target your ideal customer by showing your ads to people searching for what you have to offer at the right time and location which can quickly and significantly boost the traffic to your website and your physical store.  Harnessing the full potential of Google Ads requires a strategic approach tailored to the unique needs of brick-and-mortar establishments. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of mastering Google Ads to drive foot traffic, increase sales, and foster sustainable growth for your brick-and-mortar business.

Understanding the Basics of Google Ads

Google Ads is Google’s advertising platform that allows businesses to display ads on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), websites, YouTube, and other platforms. With its vast reach and targeting capabilities, Google Ads enables businesses to advertise directly to potential customers who are already looking for the products and services you offer.  When someone is searching for your products, browsing the internet or watching YouTube and interested in your products or services, Google will show them one of your ads.  You only pay if someone is interested and clicks on your ad.  The cost of the click is determined by an ad auction which is dependent upon competition, ad relevance, bid and other factors.

Google Ads uses an auction system to determine which ads get shown and where. Bidding is your way of telling Google the most you’re willing to pay to achieve your advertising goals. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

The Auction:

Imagine an auction every time someone searches on Google or visits a site that shows ads. Advertisers (like you) compete with each other to have their ad shown in the available ad space.

Your Bid:

This is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for someone to click on your ad. It’s not always what you actually pay, but it sets a ceiling.

More Than Just Bids:

While your bid is important, it’s not the only factor. Google Ads also considers your ad’s quality and relevance to the user’s search. High quality ads with strong relevance can win the auction even with a lower bid than a competitor.

Quality Score:

This is a rating (1-10) assigned by Google Ads that reflects the quality and relevance of your ad, keywords, and landing page. Higher quality scores can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.

The Outcome:

The winner of the auction gets their ad shown in the most prominent spot. Ad rank is determined by multiplying your bid by your quality score. The higher the rank, the better the position.

Bidding Strategies:

Google Ads offers different bidding options to fit your goals. You can bid for clicks, impressions, conversions, or views depending on what matters most to your campaign.

Up Your Google Ads Account

The journey to successful Google Ads begins begins with setting up a well-structured account. Follow these steps to lay a solid foundation:

  • Define Your Goals: Whether it’s driving foot traffic, increasing sales, or boosting brand awareness, clearly define your objectives to align your advertising efforts with your business goals.
  • Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the terms and phrases your target audience is using to find products or services similar to yours. Leverage tools like Google Keyword Planner to uncover high-potential keywords with substantial search volume and relevance.
  • Campaign Structure: Organize your campaigns and ad groups based on product categories, locations, or other relevant criteria. This structured approach allows for better control and optimization of your ads.
  • Ad Extensions: Utilize ad extensions such as location extensions, call extensions, and sitelink extensions to provide additional information and enhance the visibility of your ads.
  • Conversions – Conversions are meaningful actions that people take on your website like getting directions to your store, calling your business, scheduling an appointment, or signing up for in-store events or workshops.  Setting these up allows you to measure the success of your ad campaign.

Targeting the Right Audience

One of the key advantages of Google Ads is its sophisticated targeting options, allowing you to reach potential customers based on various criteria, including location, demographics, interests, and search behavior. For brick-and-mortar businesses, effective audience targeting is paramount. Here’s how to do it:

  • Location Targeting: Narrow down your ad’s reach to specific geographic areas relevant to your business, such as your city, neighborhood, or radius around your store.
  • Demographic Targeting: Tailor your ads to specific demographic segments, such as age, gender, income level, and household composition, based on your target customer profile.
  • Remarketing: Re-engage with website visitors or past customers by targeting them with relevant ads as they browse the web or use Google services.

Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

The effectiveness of your Google Ads hinges on the quality and relevance of your ad copy. Here are some tips for crafting compelling ad copy that entices potential customers to take action:

  • Clear Value Proposition: Clearly communicate the unique value proposition of your products or services and what sets your business apart from competitors.
  • Compelling Call-to-Action (CTA): Encourage users to take the desired action, whether it’s visiting your store, making a purchase, or contacting you for more information, with a strong and persuasive CTA.
  • Relevance to Search Intent: Ensure that your ad copy aligns closely with the user’s search intent and the keywords triggering your ads to appear.

For brick-and-mortar businesses, optimizing your Google Ads campaigns for local search is essential to drive foot traffic and conversions. Here are some strategies to enhance your local presence:

  • Local Keywords: Incorporate location-specific keywords in your ad copy, such as city names, neighborhoods, or landmarks, to target users searching for nearby businesses.
  • Location Extensions: Enable location extensions to display your store’s address, phone number, and business hours directly in your ads, making it easy for users to find and visit your store.
  • Local Inventory Ads: If you’re a retailer, leverage local inventory ads to showcase your in-store product inventory to nearby shoppers searching for specific products.

Measuring and Iterating for Success

Continuous monitoring and optimization are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns. Here’s how to measure performance and make data-driven improvements:

  • Track Key Metrics: Monitor essential metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS) to gauge the performance of your campaigns.
  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different ad creatives, targeting options, and bidding strategies through A/B testing to identify what resonates best with your audience.
  • Performance Analysis: Regularly analyze campaign performance and make data-driven adjustments to optimize targeting, bidding, and ad creative for better results.

Google Ads requires a combination of strategic planning, execution, and continuous optimization. By understanding how to advertise on google ads, the unique dynamics of local advertising, and leveraging the full capabilities of Google Ads, you can elevate your store’s visibility, attract more customers, and drive sustainable growth to your store.

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Amy Masson, Web Developer

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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