It’s no hard sell to convince small business owners of the benefits of SMEs Google AdWords. The flexibility, the high Return on Investment, the transparent results, and the ability to tap into a colossal, high-quality traffic source – any other paid online advertising service you can think of must surely come second.
Prospective customers from different corners of the world go to Google to search for different kinds of products, services, and promotions. Since Google can tell what they’re actually looking for from the search terms keyed in, they can connect them right to your business through SEO, SMEs, and AdWords.
SEO is effective but slow. It’s an ongoing and long term marketing strategy, whose benefits come in drips, in addition to lasting you for years.
AdWords, on the other hand, places you at the top of Google without much ado, provided you outbid all your competitors. You get to bang on top of SERPs from the very first day, instead of waiting to be crawled and indexed by Google spiders.
Suffice it to say the two complement one another.
PPC in general helps to reduce the time you’re likely to take to secure a top spot. But in order to hold and maintain the position, then it’s crucial that you also work on your SEO.
So think of SEO as a long term investment strategy, while AdWords offers a good way to get started with small-time ventures and marketing plans.
How Small Businesses Benefit from AdWords
Variety in Advertising
Online marketing isn’t about doing one thing over and over again until it finally pays off. Every opportunity counts, and there’s no way any serious marketer or business owner would want to center all their online marketing effort on one thing.
One way to look at it is that your business attends to the needs of all kinds of people. While some look for what they want on social media, a great majority will prefer to simply Google it, and limit their choices to the few top search results displayed.
Google AdWords offers the much-needed variety. One is by offering different ways to connect with potential consumers. For instance, you have the option to choose between app ads or search ads, if not both, depending on the platform you prefer to promote your brand.
Another good thing about banking on variety is that it allows you to gain an edge over your competition. For all we know, your competitors might only be capitalizing on one marketing platform.
Also, variety allows you to come up with different goals and strategies. For instance, you could use display ads to increase your web traffic, and at the same time launch an app ad to boost up your brand awareness.
Target a Specific Audience
You don’t want your ads to be seen in America when it’s pretty obvious your market is deeply concentrated in Singapore. This is particularly important if you’re running a paid advert.
With Google AdWords, you can narrow down your marketing campaign and start targeting people from a specific marketing region, instead of running your adverts to all online users.
Start by choosing the country you want it to run then narrow it further down to specific a town, city, or radius measurement.
That way, your advert will only show to people within your selected location instead of being plastered all over the place.
Target a Specific Audience
Only a few of the visitors you get are actual customers. Meaning, a good number won’t be remotely interested in your products or services. Some may even visit your site but be turned off by your price and an endless list of other things.
Good marketing campaign entails drawing in the right kind of visitors and NOT just anyone. As much as you’re interested in traffic, the end goal is to get more of your visitors to actually buy what you have to offer.
So it’s important that you understand your target audience first before you can finally decide to go ahead and launch your marketing campaign.
Start by understanding their interest, their behaviors and everything else to get a holistic view of how best you can start targeting them.
AdWords make it possible to target audiences based on a number of things including, interest, age, behavior, and sex. You have the option to target a specific group of people instead of parading your advert to everyone.
By doing this, you’re able to save on both time and resources. So instead of working to drive in a huge traffic, you also get to work on the quality of traffic you get.
Work Within you Budget
Google AdWords are designed to accommodate all amounts of budget. Whether small or big, the service allows you to set you ad based on the amount you have, however small it is.
With the flexibility given, you can invest as little as $10 or as much as a few million dollars, and your advert will still show. The only difference is that you’ll be outbid by the person with a higher budget. Which could mean you get to rank below them.
But that’s no big deal if you combine the effort with SEO and learn to compensate it with a nicely crafted title tag and Meta description.
What really matters is the plan you have at your back pocket. With proper planning and a well laid out strategy, you’d be surprised at how much you can do with a limited budget.
You can Keep Track of Your Performance
With AdWords, you can measure every aspect of your ad campaign and be able to calibrate accordingly for even better results.
By tracking your performance, you also get to develop a deeper insight on how your visitors behave and react. For instance, you get to find out which keyword registers the highest count of adverts or sales, so you can know where to direct the bulk of your ad money.
Unless you have years of experience running AdWords, everything starts with experimenting with the different parameters until you’re finally able to make the most of your limited ad budget.
Among the things to play around with are the headlines you use or the Call to Action. In the end, you only get to pump money on what generate the most sales, which goes a long way into preventing your hard-earned cash from going to waste.
Excellence in web design is achieved when you find a sensible middle point between a friendly user interface and the site’s aesthetic value. You certainly want your website to function just as good as it looks.
Sadly, most web designers tend to fall in the trap of focusing on only one of the two elements, with a blind eye turned on the other. So they end up with sites that appeal to the eye, but are lacking in terms of usability, uniqueness, and originality.
Your visitors want to hang around your site for longer. They want to consume every single bit of content on your site. A great design delights them and gives them more reasons to continue reading or watching what you’ve provided for them.
Dull, soul-sapping websites are not captivating in any way, regardless of how friendly they are. The site needs to standout and, above all, perfectly blend with what you have going on with your brand.
Achieving this is NOT something you wake up and get done. You have to be creative. Stay up the whole night cudgelling your brain for some inspiration on how best you can optimize your site.
And even with this, you’re still NOT guaranteed of coming up with a design that feeds into your site’s user experience, usability, and functionality, besides complimenting both your brand and content.
If the design isn’t coming along, then there’s no need to continue beating your brains out. Instead consider looking into a list of tested web designing ideas to set you off on the right foot.
Here are 16 ideas to get you started:
Interactive in web designing means control. Users need to feel like they’re in control of what they’re seeing and reading. They can scroll down to a section that piques their interest the most or skip whatever they don’t feel like reading or watching.
In other words, your visitors should have an easy time accessing whatever content they feel like reading or watching with a simple click of a first-glance-noticeable button or link.
The idea is to make the experience your visitors have while navigating your site as lively as it’s humanly possible. You want some sort of engagement between them and your site, and the best way to achieve this is to consider incorporating a series of interactive elements on your site.
Where you could have used a typical menu, consider using a lively animation instead. The designs used should also change upon hovering and clicking, rather than remaining static all through.
Use Original Illustrations
You want the design to match you brand, and NOT come off as if you pulled a canned illustration off another website or recycled one of the overused stock images floating around.
A good graphic designer should help you achieve that. The illustrations made need to be original, and in a position to tell the world about your brand. The pages you have on site should all tie in together — and not randomly patched up as if each one of them represents a different brand.
Use Background Videos
There’s no harm in letting some videos play in the background. There’s a lot this does to a page that you can’t afford to miss, besides enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your website.
These videos can tell a story, which can go a long way to reduce the amount of content you could have otherwise used to explain the same thing.
A background video also acts as a snippet of a full video. Visitors can decide whether or NOT they want to watch the full video with a simple click of a button.
A good background video should be centred around capturing the attention of a visitor the moment they land to your page. They may also be designed such that they also allow visitors to learn about the key points surrounding your company through a single line of text when a visitor lands on it.
Use Hamburger Menus, if possible
This applies if the website you’re designing is set to have an extremely long menu. You don’t want the menu to take up lots of your site’s space. So what do you do?
You create a hamburger or hidden menu.
This form of menu will simply be super compressing your menu options by stacking them horizontally one on top of the other.
This removes the busy navigation, thus leaving a user with a clear path to take and minimal distractions on the way.
Users know how to progress to every section of the website, but until they decide to do so, everything stays out of the way.
Use Larger Product Images
There’s a reason many B2B are now displaying super large product images on their sites. One being these images allow them to highlight different parts or features of their product.
You scroll an image and it automatically expands exposing a large coverage of the selected part and feature. These images tend to be also responsive, and will automatically adjust to fit any screen size.
With a larger product image, you give users an opportunity to zone into a certain feature of a product and meticulously analyse it.
As a web designer, all you have to do is work on making the images scan-friendly. The giant images should respond with scrolls and clicks, allowing visitor to scan through product features at a much deeper level, but only on a whim.
Feature videos allow you to highlight a specific use associated with a product. These videos are great because they’re short enough so as NOT to cut much into a visitor’s time.
At a time when videos are fast becoming the most prominent way to increase conversion rates, this comes as a great way to convert greater amount of the traffic you’re getting into actual sales.
As a B2B company, the point is to come up with a video explaining your products in full details, with a strong aim of influencing buyers’ decision-making process.
One thing about the short videos is that they allow your prospect to completely understand the value of your products within seconds of watching. This saves times, besides allowing you to cut on fluff and get straight to the point.
Choose a Flat Design
There’s a reason Apple decided to switch to a flat design in 2013.
Quite simple, a flat design is a term cutting across all elements that do NOT give a three dimension perception. A good example is shadow.
Flat designs are widely treasured for a number of reasons, one being their simplicity.
They also tend to load more quickly compared to their complex counterpart.
This explains why many organisations are following the apple footstep. You can even decide to throw in your own spin by including a few three-dimension features, and so long as you’re NOT overdoing it, your website should continue to load just fine, in addition to realising all the benefits associating with a flat design.
Among them is the ability to understand your content rather quickly. This might cut into the aesthetic appeal of your website, but it does a great deal of favour to usability and all else.
Large and Unique Typography
There’s no harm in using the same font type throughout your website. All you have to do is play around with the font sizes to lead users to the various sections of your site.
Your choice of typography can also tell what line of business you’re in. If your business is all about fun, then it’s common knowledge to choose a playful font.
As a designer, it’s also important that you test the font type you choose across all devises before deciding on whether or NOT you’re going to use them. You certainly don’t want your site to be displaying awkwardly in some browsers. So be extra careful while choosing one.
Shift Your Focus to Content
Don’t strain much into layout, menus, widgets and side bars, but instead try channeling all your effort into what really matters — your content.
Strive to make your content more visible and accessible. Make it easy to read and captivating enough to stay hooked all the way through.
Otherwise referred to as content-hub, the idea is to pick as many spots as possible on where you can place your content. Be it at the front or center, your content must be the first thing your visitors see upon visiting your site.
This idea works well with media companies, whose model is for the most part concerned about marketing their content.
Find a Way to Make Your Visitors Want More
Not an understatement — in web designing, less is more. With simplicity in mind, you get to shift your focus to the key features.
You want your visitors to keep scrolling and navigating to every corner of your website. So you decide to get rid of all the fluff. Cut off everything you don’t find useful and instead shift your focus to what really matters — your products and content.
The site can be simple to only include the name of your brand and call to action button. Nothing else, except for a menu option leading to the blog.
Going the minimal way could work for some brands. But for others, the more colourful the site is, the better it works for them.
A good example is a website involved with fashion. There’s no way you can afford to make such as site dull, unless your plan is to scare away some of your visitors.
But be extra careful when choosing colours. If the basic colour scheme doesn’t blend with the idea you have in mind, try looking into the vibrant colours, but take a more careful approach to ensure nothing falls out of place in the end.
You can get someone to design simple whiteboards that you can strategically place at different locations on your website.
These video can also work at the background, with simple illustrations highlighting the various components of your products or website.
It’s important that you make the video subtle enough not to distract your visitors. The video can be followed by a CTA at the end so that visitors can known what to do at the end of it all.
Make the CTA Bold and Conspicuous
Web designing is for the most part concerned with creating an entirely new user experience. But at the end, everything is about getting your visitors into doing something for you.
People have to know what you site is all about, and once done, be able to move to the next stage of your interaction and make a decision.
You want them to buy your product, subscribe, or fill up a form; why NOT make it visible early enough instead of hiding your supposedly good intentions?
Embrace Parallax Scrolling
With parallax, you’re simply increasing the visual appeal of your website by making it change with every scroll you make.
It could be the background that changes or the animations you have on board. Either way, scrolling your website alone should be able to create a memorable experience that will keep users coming for more.
Adopt a Fun Navigation
You don’t have to limit your website theme to only one look. Why NOT let your visitors decide for themselves instead.
Simple, let them pick a version of your site that they prefer best, by offering them a number of options.
The choice they make can be based on their persona. Or something simpler like, choose your area of interest, adventure or preferred way of fun.
Provide a Visual Tour
Pulling this off is bound to be even easier if you’re working with a photographer or happen to also double as one.
Works if your line of business is involved with a physical location. Speaking of which, a restaurant, church, or guest house website should perfectly work with the idea.
Visitors get to interact with images of your brand, location, and the working personnel, exactly as they are while on duty.
It’s a Wrap
AdWords is a sure way to direct relevant visitors to your site. Even so, because you have Google to do all the hard work for you as you get to reap the benefits without overstretching your budget.
There’s a whole lot to learn about Google AdWords, and this article barely scratches the surface. So if you’re interested in getting to learn more about Google AdWords, feel free to consult MediaOne today for a free AdWord and SEO consultation.