Google Ads for Small Businesses with Small Budgets
Start with Profits, Then with Volume
One of the most sure-fire ways to make sure you’re profitable is to start with highly targeted campaigns containing only your most likely to be profitable keywords. Once you prove the campaigns’ merits, then you move on to broader keywords.
==> What Your Starting Campaign Needs To Look Like
Your starting campaign should contain mostly proven keywords with moderate competition and these keywords should have “high buyer intent”. You might have a sprinkle of highly targeted unproven keywords, but try to stick with proven keywords. “Proven” keywords are basically keywords that at least one competitor has run successfully and profitably. You can use Google’s free tool, The Keyword Planner to do keyword research and paid tools like Semrush and Spyfu to see what your competitors are up to.
You’ll primarily be bidding on exact match keywords. Exact match keywords almost always convert higher than phrase and broad match, because you can specifically target people in the perfect mindset for buying your product.
The goal is to sell just to your most likely buyers first. Yes, the volume will be low. Your profit margins might also be low, as you’ll be paying higher CPCs with exact match and proven keywords than if you were doing more fringe keywords or broader match types.
But by starting with this narrow, proven range, you drastically increase your chances of building something that makes money from the beginning.
Once you’ve proven the concept behind your campaign, how do you scale up your volume?
=> Scaling Up: Stage 1
The next step is to add phrase and broad match modified keywords. Generally, you’ll want to bid a little bit less for phrase matching and a lot less for broad match modified keywords. If you’re bidding R1 for exact match, you might only bid R0.80 for phrase matching and R0.50 for broad match modified.
=> Scaling Up: Stage 2
Once you have loosened your match types, assuming you’re still profitable, you should be getting a lot more volume. But you can still take it even further.
Scale up by adding more keywords. Add keywords that are lower down in the sales cycle. Add keywords that target the same type of person who buys your products, but might only be in the awareness or consideration stage.
For example’ let’s say you own a business in Cape Town selling running shoes.
“ Running Shoe review” or “Best shoe for running” — Awareness Stage
“Shoe discounts” or “Best shop to buy running shoes” — Consideration Stage
Once you have enough volume and are profitable you can look at implementing retargeting to your account. This is showing ads to people that have already visited your website, you can learn more about retargeting in this article: What is retargeting?
Finally, expand your traffic by porting your campaign over to Microsoft AdCenter. Now that Bing has taken over Yahoo’s search traffic, they consist of over 30% of the web’s searches. Not a small market share by any means.
Start by making sure your campaign can actually make money. Then expand your reach and keywords to get as much volume as possible.