Ever done a Google search for a local store, tradie or service provider? Chances are you, or someone you know, has done a local search recently. Millions of Australians use Google every day – many multiple times per day – to search for everything from product specifications and PDSs to consumer reviews and online stores. Depending on who you’re listening to, up to 1 in 3 Google searches in Australia (that’s millions per day) are done for local businesses.

In short, every day there are hundreds of opportunities to get your business in front of people who are already interested in what you offer.

Have you ever seen the ads that appear to the top and side of the results page, and wondered how you could get your practice in the same place? The good news is that it’s easier than you may think. Plus, it could make a big difference to your bottom line, especially if your advertising efforts have previously been hampered by time or cost restraints associated with ‘traditional’ ad platforms such as the local newspaper or radio station.

Search results with ads

The ads that appear on Google search results pages are managed through a system called Google AdWords. Google charges businesses to display their ads alongside relevant search results. Pricing depends on whether you want to pay per click (pay every time someone clicks on your ad to go to your site) or per impression (every time your ad is displayed). The cost of the ads is determined in an auction-style system; as an advertiser, you’re essentially competing with other businesses for audiences searching for the keywords or phrases you want to be associated with. You can choose which keywords or phrases you want your ads to appear for. You can also control your budget, the location your ads are limited to, and more.

Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Check out this primer from the AdWords team themselves:

Basically, you can start small and test the waters with just a few ads, and just a few keywords or phrases.

Start by creating an AdWords account, or alternatively, sign up for AdWords express to get an ad up and running in around 15 minutes.

Then, decide on a budget for your AdWords campaign. Though the success of your campaign may depend on competition levels, you’d be surprised what you can achieve with a small budget.

  1. The next step is to determine the limits of your audience. Choose a geographic location that’s relevant/reasonable for your practice. This may be a suburb or a city, depending on the size and location of your operations.
  2. Decide on a maximum cost that you’re willing to pay each time someone clicks your ad. This is known as your CPC (cost per click).
  3. Write a few simple text ads. If you’re stuck for catchy copy, have a look at these nine handy tips.
  4. Set up your billing, linking your AdWords account to a payment source such as a company credit card.
  5. Review and confirm your ads by clicking ‘Finish and create campaign’. Your ad will need to be approved, so it’ll appear around a day later.
  6. Check back after a few days, one week, or one fortnight to review your statistics.

Got any questions? We’re happy to help with the basics – leave a comment below or send us an email. Alternatively, to find a certified professional to handle your AdWords, look to Google Partners.