google_tipsWhether your small business operates completely online, as a bricks-and-mortar storefront, or some combination of the two, there is no denying the importance of using search engine advertising to both attract new customers and to keep your business top-of-mind with existing customers. And while there are many outlets for search-related advertising, Google is a big player you simply can’t ignore.

The core of Google search advertising is their AdWords platform, and on April 22 they announced a set of new tools to help businesses of all sizes better utilize AdWords for both traditional search and Mobile search advertising.

Before looking at the new AdWords innovations, let’s take a step back and review some program fundamentals. At its core, AdWords enables you to identify keywords and key phrases that relate to your business, designate how much you are willing to spend for your ads, and show advertisements to prospects when they search any Google platform for what you offer.

Creating an effective (and cost-effective) AdWords program is more complex than you might think. The How Does Google AdWords Really Work infographic provides a high-level overview of the bidding, ranking, and display formula Google uses when deciding when to show your ads, in what position to show them, and how much to charge you for them.

28 Tips For AdWords Beginners I Wish Someone Had Told Me offers great advice for AdWords novices and experts alike. It provides dos and don’ts related to advertising strategy, campaign configuration, and keyword selection. For example, advertising on one word, such as “shoes” is ill-advised as it will typically attract buyers too early in the decision process; and you can increase conversion rates for ads viewed on mobile devices by mentioning the mobile device in your call to action—i.e. ‘use your smartphone to call us now.”

The newly announced AdWords tools are designed to help you build on the basics of creating content that converts to sales, and for better leveraging Mobile search. The following are highlights of the newly available tools.

  • New Mobile advertising features will enable better exposure to mobile users based on the type of apps they have installed. For example, if you are a health food store you can target your advertising to people who have fitness apps installed. Additionally, a new feature will drive re-engagement with already installed apps (which Google estimates go unused after initial download 80% of the time). For example, if you are a restaurant review site and someone who has downloaded your app searches for “Mexican Restaurants in Denver” your ad can take them directly to the relevant review page in your app.
  • An enhanced Estimated Total Conversions tool. The tool helps you measure conversions related to your advertising that take place across multiple devices—such as a computer, smartphone, and tablet. The planned enhancement will help measure off-line sales related to your online and mobile advertising.
  • Enhanced campaign management tools that enable you to make changes to your campaigns, optimize your bidding and your content, and test different scenarios prior to putting campaign changes live. Previously, tools like these were available only in paid third-party offerings. The enhancement helps small businesses maximize their marketing budgets by providing these tools for free, which enables funds previously spent on third-party search management software to be allocated to the ads themselves (which by no coincidence is where Google makes its money).

You can read the full Google announcement here, and you can watch the webcast to see the new tools in action.

While you may not want to jump into advanced AdWords right-away, you should at least take the time to learn exactly how you can best leverage AdWords to help make your small business more successful. You can stay up to date with all the latest new features be reading Google’s Inside AdWords blog.

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