Google AdWords is Gone

How Google Ads is Changing the Small Business Marketing Landscape

After 18 years of serving up Google AdWords to Internet searchers, Google rebranded its behemoth advertising platform to Google Ads. The change helps advertisers understand that advertising with Google goes beyond search, and includes:

  • Display and banner advertising on websites across the Internet
  • Video ads on YouTube
  • Remarketing ads that follow your target audience as they browse the web
  • In-app advertising on mobile devices
  • Google Map advertising

3 Tips to Make Your Google ‘Smart Campaigns’ More Intelligent

To capture more advertising revenue from small businesses, Google also introduced Smart campaigns, which are easier to setup and manage. The company explains:

“For 90 percent of small business owners, the main goal of advertising online is to get customers to call, visit a store, or make a purchase. When you use Smart campaigns, we’ll ask how it’s working for your goals, so we can fine-tune your ads to get the results you care about most.”

While this move makes perfect sense for Google’s bottom line, small businesses need to be careful with their online advertising budget. Google’s machine learning is smart, but often lacks common sense. Here are three tips for optimizing your Google Ad campaigns to spend your ad budget wisely:

  • Geography: Many local small businesses serve a specific geography beyond choosing a simple state or city. For instance, instead of “Cincinnati, OH,” perhaps it would serve your business more effectively to choose the top five ZIP codes, or the eight counties in Ohio and Kentucky that surround the city center.
  • Search Term Synonyms: Not all synonyms are created equal, and Google tries to broaden your reach. To Google Ads, “keynote speaker” and “cheap Bose speaker” are equivalent. It takes human discernment to train Google to avoid useless keywords and stop wasting your ad budget.
  • Demographics: You can include or exclude various demographics from your Google Ads. There are options for household income, gender and age.

Change is the only constant you can expect from Google (as anyone who has struggled with the new Ad Interface knows). But when you stay up-to-date with new features and opportunities, it’s a significant competitive advantage for your small business.

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