When it comes to Google Ads, if you’re not winning, you’re losing. Fact!
Our business-boosting advice doesn’t pull any punches and nor will your competition
New leads that actually lead to new jobs, customers and clients are the lifeblood of trades and service-based business. Without a steady stream of new enquiries that lead to business, you are on a merry-go-round of uncertainty and risk. That’s not what success, real success, looks like… and you know it.
This is what success actually looks like
Hopefully, you’re experiencing true success in your company: a steady stream of loyal customers as well as new ones lined up and ready to buy… That’s what winning looks like. Many winning businesses are doing so because they are working their Google Ads perfectly and the results are ticking all the right boxes:
- Generating lots of new leads
- Winning new jobs and business
- Strengthening their reputations
- Expanding their teams, and yes…
- Growing their businesses
Now, if you ignore this checklist you may still do okay. But “okay” doesn’t stay okay for very long and you’ll still work way too hard for what you’re getting which… doesn’t feel like winning, it sounds like a disaster.
Avoid these 3 disastrous steps in order to sidestep disaster
It’s at this point that a knee-jerk reaction, over-enthusiasm or plain old naivety can trip you and send you sprawling headlong into three big mistakes. And it’s generally a result of oversimplification and the right advice was not sought or received.
- Chuck a basic website together – sure why not? Something simple that let’s people know we’re here, nothing too fancy and we can always change it up later once the new business starts rolling in. The problem here is twofold. Firstly, you only get one chance to make a first impression and secondly, new business isn’t going to come flooding in based on a hastily thrown together website – not for long, anyway.
- Throw a few dollars into a campaign – wrong again. This is an investment into your business and livelihood. This investment warrants more than just “a few dollars”, be prepared to invest substantially into your future. And just as important, without a plan and strong foundations, if you do go big on your investment, you may actually lose it all for zero return. And you lose.
- Just start running some Google Ads – only three words required here – wrong, wrong, wrong! But let me explain why. Due to increased competition, Google Ads is now a tougher and more expensive playing field. Cost-Per-Clicks are increasing and your customers more educated and spoilt for choice. As a result, your Cost-Per-Lead and Cost-Per-Acquisition (Job) become increasingly expensive, ultimately unprofitable and simply unsustainable!
At this point, some might say, “thanks for pouring cold water all over my dreams, why should I even bother with Google Ads, then?” Good question, here’s an answer.
Here’s the science behind why you should invest in upping your online game
Alright, so you are looking to secure more business, enquiries and interest in your business and the services you provide. Then there are the two numbers that count towards understanding how that is achieved, every day, by businesses very similar to yours.
- 90% of customers begin their buyers’ journey by searching on Google
- Studies have shown that customers today actually progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process on their own before contacting the business
These two findings alone clearly demonstrate the value of upping your digital game so you can be on the winning side of attracting new business with your online strategy.
Based on my 18 years’ experience, combined with oceans of AiiMS data accumulated from over 3,000 SEM campaigns, I have distilled your critical next steps down to their simplest forms. Why simple? Because I want you to be able to action these steps as soon as possible – remember, time is money, your money.
3 absolute “MUST HAVES” when investing in Google Ads for lead generation
The need for a game plan is very clear, especially if, as the title suggests, you are interested in winning with Google Ads. It will come as no surprise that the first thing you’ll need to look at is one of the first things your customers might be thinking about looking at – your website.
1) Your custom website will help you stand out and attract new business – here’s why
Let’s start with the most important point. Your new customers want to get to know your company: what you do (services), how you do it, why you do what you do (this refers to your values). Now, you can’t get away with a simple one-pager or landing page here and expect that to do the job for you – it can’t. For a start, if you’re offering multiple services, ideally, you’ll be able to dedicate a page to each one. Without them, sure, you’ll win some interest but again, you’re not just looking to do “okay”.
Having a custom-designed and structured website is integral to your business success in general and even more so when running Ads. Remember, for service-based businesses, your website is a major asset, not just for marketing but for your entire company. Invest in a custom website.
2) Social & Business Profile Building gets you known – and trusted!
Perhaps it’s time to take a look at yourself in the (online) mirror. Go ahead and Google searches your business name, see what comes up and then compare that to your competitors…
How does your business stack up online? Do you have a strong digital profile across all social media platforms so that your customers can see who you (and your business) really are? Remember, a positive online reputation increases trust helps convert searches into leads and strengthens your overall brand.
We also found that after searching Google, entering your website and reviewing your content, three out of four users will then review at least 1-2 of your Social Media platforms to help decide whether to engage you or not. That’s why your next step should be to activate and customise a professional business profile on your platforms including:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Business Directories (Yellow, Truelocal etc.)
- Review Sites (Yelp, TrustPilot etc.)
This will play a huge role in supporting your Search Engine Marketing campaigns. And keep in mind that sticking to a basic Social Media plan (a professional-looking profile and regular posts) can decrease your Cost Per Lead from Google Ads by more than 20%.
3) Reviews! Reviews! Reviews!
Reviews are key because trust and credibility are the most important factors in your customer’s decision-making journey. Especially for businesses in competitive trades and currently investing in digital marketing. These stats on consumer behaviour confirm the importance of reviews:
- 87% read reviews online before engaging with a local business!
- 79% report trusting online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation!
- 92% are less likely to use a business after reading negative reviews!
- Only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with an average rating under 4 stars!
The big takeaway is that a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks from Google!
If you’re throwing money at Google Ads but don’t have reviews and trust-building foundational elements in place to support them, stop, and integrate the collection of reviews into your operational/sales/service process.
These are the extras that will win you extra leads, cred, business…
Last but not least, let’s look at what’s else can help you win with Google Ads
Quality Content: Think brand-fit, unique written and visual content across all digital assets
Video is one of the most powerful ways to communicate and connect directly with your customer. Creating professional and versatile videos for different platforms (website, YouTube, Facebook etc.) is a proven authenticity, creditability and trust builder
Unique Selling Points (USPs), Value, Call to Action (CTA) represent your chance to elevate unique aspects of your services in the eyes of your customers, highlight the value and then, actually ask them to take action. Tip: be direct and specific
Budget: Remember Google Ads, being Per-Per-Click, are very competitive and therefore can be expensive but marketing is an investment, not a bill. But don’t under-budget Search Engine Marketing – there’s a saying, “You can either spend $100 and lose $100, or spend $1,000 and make $10,000”. Don’t sabotage all your hard work by short-changing your budget or your patience.
Sales & Service Process as is the case with your digital marketing, you’ll need a solid plan in place for lead management and conversion into customers, sales, quoting, booking, revenue and profit. Otherwise, what was the point?
Yes, this sounds like a heavy investment in time and money but it’s a small price to pay for an impressive return on your marketing dollars. The way people search, engage and buy has changed forever and so you have a choice here: adapt to this evolution in business marketing or miss out on the big wins you’ve worked so hard for.
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