Business and Operations
The ins and outs of Google ads
By Alan Zelcovitch
Here’s what you need to know about pay per click and organic advertising on Google.
By Alan Zelcovitch
Having a great website will not do you much good if people who are looking for services like yours do not know you exist.
This article will explain two ways for people to learn about you. I am going to explain two terms you may or may not be familiar with: organic and pay per click. Google uses both and if you really understand how it works, you can attain some dramatic savings.
Let’s bring you back to how you have used it in the past so you can have a better understanding of how to use it going forward. Say you are shopping for a convection oven and you type in “commercial convection oven.” Google will list many companies that sell it. There will be a yellow advertisement next to a few of the companies (it says the word “ad”).
If you were to click on anything with a yellow ad, Google would immediately charge a fee to the company that you clicked on, hence the term pay per click. The fee will vary for reasons too numerous to tackle in this article. Companies choose pay per click because if they pay enough, they will always appear on the first page. People don’t scroll through the many pages of results, so this is a proven way to get people to visit. You will pay no matter what — even if they do not buy, you will pay for that click. If a user does not click, you will not pay. These ads are funded by you giving Google your credit card and telling it how much you will allow it to charge you per month. Once you reach that threshold, your card will not be charged anymore that month and your ads will disappear until the next month.
Sometimes, you may have a business that is only busy during certain times. If you do, you can tell Google to only display ads at certain times and you can save some money this way.
If you are an online store, a really smart way to manipulate this is to look at when your sales occur. If your sales occur at, say, six peak cycles a day, it would make sense to only have ads show at those times. Google allows great flexibility when it comes to this.
There is another way to be seen without paying any money. Notice the ads from your Google commercial oven search that have no orange ad banner. If you clicked on this ad, the company would pay nothing for the click. That is real, free advertising, and it is called organic. The only catch here is these ads always appear under the orange pay per click ads and usually you have to scroll down to additional pages to see them. I always recommend a combination of both pay per click and organic.
How you achieve good rankings in organic advertising is heavily dependent on how your website is set up. Without getting too technical, search engines look for certain criteria and those sites that meet those specifications the best get the best rankings. Longevity also plays a factor in it. It would be a serious mistake to think that only appearing on page 1 would make a difference, because that is not true. Another thing to remember is that just because you see it as page 1 doesn’t mean another user will see the same thing. It changes all the time.
Another really good tip here is the two lines that Google gives you that we all read and make that decision to click from. Using the right words here will make someone click.
If you are selling disposables for the baking industry and you use those two lines to say “We have been in business since 1950 and have supported our local community” you likely won’t get anyone to click in. If you say “We supply a huge range of disposables for bakeries across Canada” you likely will. In reality, your business will need to be scaled down to two sentences.
Another point that you need to keep in mind is the Internet is a giant store. When a user clicks into your store (site) you will be judged, the same way we all judge when we walk into a store or restaurant. If it looks old and out of style, people will likely not want to shop there and end up just moving on. Having a simple, effective, modern website will make a shopper feel comfortable in doing business with you. If they click on your link and see a website reminiscent of a decade ago, they may not feel so comfortable with that.
Photography plays a major role in this. Since we cannot touch or smell the product, the best pictures sell.
Online stores are very susceptible to this, more so than businesses which are just displaying their goods and hoping someone calls about them.
The small business needs to examine its needs, focus and create a budget. Once these specifications have been established, they start to point you in the right direction as to where to spend your time and money.
Alan Zelcovitch owns Zelcovia Cookies, an online bakery business, and also owns a computer technical support company, CSN Canada. He has had both for 13 years. He is an expert in technology and how it relates to food businesses. He offers a wide range of consulting services, with an emphasis on food businesses. He can be reached at 416.488.3886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.