The AdWords Nitty-Gritty: 5 Details to Help Your Small Business Grow

Regardless of the industry in which you work, the odds are pretty good that you find yourself in a daily race to keep your head above water. Running a small business isn’t easy, and while it’s incredibly rewarding, trying to stay abreast of everything from your finances and personnel to your current marketing campaign is enough to send you racing toward the nuthouse as you try anything and everything to keep from landing in the poorhouse.

It’s a complex world, and in the realm of advertising, the Internet has increased that complexity considerably. Still, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, which is why the best small business owners rely on others’ expertise to fill in their knowledge gaps on advertising platforms like AdWords. If you’re looking into how AdWords can help your business grow, look no further. Here are five details that will definitely help your small business get bigger – if you pay attention to them.

Small shop owner

1. Size Matters

When it comes to ads created with AdWords, there are a lot of options to choose from, like: Should you go with search ads or display ads? While search ads can be beneficial and tend to get more click-throughs, display ads can be more carefully curated in terms of text, color, font, graphics, and overall branding. They often lead to better conversion rates and more sales down the road, but not all display ads are equal as some Google display network ad sizes perform better than others do. Google lets you and your competitors in on this information, so be sure to adjust accordingly.

2. It’s the Conversion Rate, Silly!

Small restaurant owner

The great thing about AdWords is also the worst thing about AdWords. Namely, you only pay when someone clicks through, regardless of whether or not that click-through resulted in any sort of meaningful conversion. If your keywords are too broad, you can end up paying for a bunch of click-throughs that never result in your desired conversion. Do your keyword research. The goal isn’t just getting people to click-through. The goal is getting them to convert.

3. Get Narrow

Keywords are the heart and soul of good AdWords campaigns, and while you only have to bid on the keywords you want rather than buy them outright, you still need to get narrow enough to make your bid — and the money you’ll eventually pay when people click-through — matter. To that end, you need to conduct solid keyword research.

Google has a free tool, and so does WordStream, but your keywords need to be those that hone in on the customers who are actually searching for you. While “womens shoes” may be the fastest route to generating ads, it won’t be the fastest route to conversions. Get as specific as your business and your customers are: “womens athletic shoes made in USA” is the kind of long-tail, narrow keyword that can yield higher conversion rates.

4. What’s the Landing Page Like?

Improving your conversion rate with AdWords isn’t just about finding and utilizing the right keywords, either. You also need to make sure your landing pages — the different Web pages your ads send guests to — are up to snuff. First, make sure the ad is appealing to something that is offered on the landing page. Next, make sure your landing page has a strong headline that’s compelling and related to the keywords and ad text. Then, make sure the design is clean and the copy concise. Finally, make sure it includes a call to action that is clear and clickable.

5. Know Your Competition

Analyzing the competition

One way to make your AdWords campaign even more effective is to reduce the risk of paying for non-converting click-throughs by scoping out what your competitors are up to. Most of the time, at least some of the companies with whom you compete have already tested and optimized AdWords campaigns. When that’s the case, you can use what they’ve already learned and paid for to your advantage.

From which keywords and ad sizes are best to landing page designs, your competitors can be a fountain of wisdom. All you need to do is make use of a helpful tool called KeywordSpy. It collects historical ad information, which means you can see what keywords were used, when they were used, and depending on what your competitors kept using and decided to abandon, you can also deduce what keywords worked. From there, you can use that information to hone your own campaign even further.


So, get the most out of your AdWords campaign. From narrowing your keywords to making great landing pages, you can grow your small business if you follow these five pieces of advice.