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Google Ads Changes for Small Business Owners [Podcast]

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Changing Google Ads

Google recently made some big changes to its advertising program – with a name change, from Google AdWords to Google Ads. Some of the changes are technical, such as changes to the interface. Others represent a fundamental change in the way Google ads are viewed. These will not only affect your Google advertising efforts, but will also affect how you approach other marketing strategies, SEO, and content.

Google is the dominant force in online advertising, so you can’t ignore what they’re doing. Here, I’ll walk you through the most important changes and new features that small business owners should be aware of.

goodbye, adwords

The biggest change is that we know the primary Google advertising tool as AdWords. Now, they have given up on Word, and it is only Google Ads. This is more than just a technicality, I think it signals a fundamental shift in the way they see ads.

When Google originally launched its advertising product, advertising was only about keywords, but times have changed. Google is much more than just a search engine at this point, and the change in name reflects their ubiquity across the web.

The new name signifies a move towards a more comprehensive approach, which will incorporate machine learning and behavior tracking to better understand the real intent behind people’s actions online.

Google Ads on your desktop

One of the other significant changes small business marketers will notice is that there is now an application you can download to your desktop: the AdWords editor.

Similar to the Facebook editor, the idea here is that you can now download your campaigns, work on them offline, and then re-upload them. This means you don’t have to sit on the platform the whole time, and you can now get more done if you’re offline and on the go.

Google Sheets Integration

If you’re not already familiar with Google Sheets, it’s essentially a free, online version of Microsoft Excel. Integration with the new advertising program lets you get reporting from Google Ads and in Google Sheets.

Doing so gives you more flexibility in parsing the data. You can filter by your criteria, create reports and track data more easily. This will be especially useful for agencies or consultants who need to generate reports for multiple clients.

new massive campaign

With its new advertising program, Google is providing extra support to small business advertisers who don’t have the time or energy to create their own campaigns, leaving it all in Google’s hands.

The skeptic in me thinks there is a compromise between convenience and price. They make it very easy for you to give them a budget and they’ll do the legwork, but you’re also delegating the controls and appropriate measures to monitor and adjust how that money is spent. Without visibility into exactly what is being done to market your business, how can you figure out how to get better results in the future?

  • Local Ads: Google allows you to create a campaign that will promote against Search, Maps, Places, Pages, Display, and even YouTube. This means you only have to design one campaign to be used across all of their multiple platforms, while Google makes decisions about how best to tailor the approach in each location.
  • Lead Ads: A new entity on YouTube, Lead Ads allows you to aggregate an email address through an advertising message. This is similar to Facebook’s lead ads, which have been around for a while.
  • Reactive Search Ads: You create a pool of titles and descriptions, and Google tests each of those possible combinations to determine which one is most successful. Depending on how many concepts you create, you could end up with thousands of possible combinations – that’s A/B testing in hyperdrives. It is designed to help you significantly increase click-through and conversion rates.

responsive search ads

What about organic search?

While these new campaigns are great for those taking advantage of the Google Ads platform, what about marketers or small business owners who are putting their full faith in the power of organic search?

These new ads will drive up conversion rates, as Google continues to do analytics to create the most successful campaigns for its paid advertisers. These ads are successful as well as huge. They still have extensions, and so they’re going to take over. This will only serve to push organic results further down the page. Users searching on a mobile device will have to scroll for a very long time before they hit the first organic result.

The message here for small business marketers is that you can’t ignore Google Ads. You still need a comprehensive marketing system including social media and content as a means to get into organic search. But at the same time, you can’t ignore paid ads.

Google Local Services Ads

The last item, which doesn’t affect everyone yet, is local service ads from Google. Formerly known as home service ads, local service ads are currently focused on merchants, technicians and providers of other services to homeowners, and there are plans to expand into additional categories.

Business owners must apply to join the program and become “Google Guaranteed,” which means they’ll have to pass a background check and Google will provide a money-back guarantee to anyone unhappy with the company’s services.

Google Local Services Ads

This comes at a cost: Google doesn’t send users directly to a website when they click on this type of ad. Google uses a tracking phone number to see which leads have been generated from these ads; The business owner is then charged for those leads. And instead of charging a nominal fee per click, Google will now ask for $25-$100 per lead, depending on category and competition, because they have provided a verifiable lead.

This new approach allows Google to be more fully involved in the lead generation process, which gives them valuable insight into how people search for services and allows them to get more information about pay-per-click advertising from small business owners. Allows for a higher fee than ,

As we see that move towards a focus on advertising intent, a shift that is driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, we will see Google Ads make more and more inroads into the search space. Google has built a system that encourages you to give them more of your ad budget, and while you certainly can’t ignore Google ads as a part of your overall strategy, I’d argue that There’s still a lot of benefit to participating in your other marketing channels.

If you’re struggling to manage the rapidly changing online advertising landscape, Duct Tape Marketing can do an audit for you. Our Total Online Presence Audit is a comprehensive review of your online assets, including your ads. We can assess your strengths and weaknesses, and point you in the right direction.

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If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Finding Paid.

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