You’ve registered your LLC with the state. You’ve paid your annual fees. You’ve drafted your Operating Agreement, and even checked into the LegalZoom LLC cost. And now, you’re finally ready to hit the ground running with your new business.
One of the most effective ways to build your brand and bring in targeted customers is through the use of digital ads, specifically the widely popular Google Ads platform. And thankfully, LLCs can benefit from Google Ads just as much as any Corporation or Sole Proprietorship. All it takes is the right strategy, ensuring you’re using Google Ads to maximum effect.
Google Ads at a Glance
First things first: If you’re new to Google Ads, it may help to have a quick introduction.
Google Ads used to be known as Google AdWords, and it’s an online advertising platform that works on the basis of bids. The Google Ads platform includes text-based ads as well as video and banner ads. These ads can be displayed across Google’s network, including not just Search but also YouTube and millions of partner websites.
To say that Google Ads is a major player in the digital advertising space would be a massive understatement; it’s actually the biggest digital ads publisher by far, accounting for almost a third of all online advertising revenue. As such, it’s a perfect tool for LLC members looking to develop a digital footprint for their new business.
How Does Google Ads Actually Work?
Getting further into nuts-and-bolts territory, how exactly does the Google Ads platform work?
The common conception is that you write ad copy, place a bid on a particular keyword or phrase, and then wait for sales to come trickling in. That’s not inaccurate, but of course, there are a few additional complexities that are worth mentioning.
For one thing, it’s important to note that Google Ads works on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis, which means that when you bid, you’re really bidding on the price you’ll pay every time a user clicks your ad. If nobody clicks on your ad, then you don’t pay anything.
As for the price point, it fluctuates often, depending on a number of different factors. Foremost among them is the level of competition over the word or phrase in question.
Also note that Google Ads allows you to denote your maximum bid, which simply means the top number you’re willing to pay for each click. This provides some budgetary controls, essential for fledgling LLCs.
One more thing that you should be aware of is Quality Score, a value that Google assigns to different ads. Basically, this determines how likely it is that Google will show your ad over another ad that’s linked to the same keyword. All that to say, maximizing your Google Ads ROI means taking the time to develop high-quality ad content.
And that brings us to our practical tips: Once you’ve set up shop in Google Ads, how can you ensure your strategy yields the best results?
Making the Most of Google Ads
Here are a few strategies for your LLC to consider.
1) Use negative keywords.
When you use the Google Ads platform, you choose keywords that correspond with user search queries. Bidding on these keywords is how you determine when and for which users your ads display.
Negative keywords work a little differently. Basically, they allow you to pick the search terms you’d like to exclude. When you denote a negative keyword, you’re telling Google Ads not to display your content for any query that uses that term.
This can be a powerful way to hone your message and qualify your leads. For instance, say your LLC provides lawn services, but you’d rather not bring on any more mulching clients, as mulching can be a low-margin business. You can set mulch and mulching as negative keywords, allowing you to filter out some of those queries.
2) Use long-term keywords.
Keywords come in all shapes and sizes. When you get started with Google Ads, you may be tempted to focus on short-term keywords, which are usually more focused on identifying the industry or niche. For instance, short-term keywords might be personal injury law or law firm.
Those terms aren’t bad, necessarily, but the best campaigns usually incorporate some long-tail keywords, too. These terms offer more specificity, and they may also offer lower levels of competitiveness.
So, instead of the short-tail keywords we noted above, you might try things like best boat accident attorney in Houston, or tips for handling my motorcycle accident claim.
3) Remember voice search.
On the subject of keywords, it’s important for any digital marketing strategy to acknowledge the ubiquity of voice search. More and more users are turning to tools like Siri and Alexa, voicing their queries rather than typing them.
Often, these queries are phrased as questions. Your keywords should reflect this, not just by being long-tail but by being framed as answers to common and specific inquiries. Even bidding on questions (“who’s the best financial planner in Chattanooga,” “what’s the more affordable web design firm”) can be fruitful for your LLC.
4) Experiment with different types of ads.
Keyword strategy is an important part of the Google Ads experience, but it’s also worth taking a step back to consider the different ad types that the platform offers.
There are actually several different types of ads that you can choose within the Google Ads platform, each of them well-suited to achieving a specific advertising goal. We won’t go over all of them here, but we will highlight a few ad types that are especially useful.
- Discovery ads are usually displayed in places where people are researching specific products or services, like YouTube or on a Google Shopping results page. These ads can be excellent for reaching users who are still in the early stages of the sales funnel.
- YouTube ads are great for building brand awareness, announcing a new product, or promoting a new offer. Non-skippable in-stream ads are especially worth exploring.
- Smart Campaign ads basically hand over your campaign to Google’s AI and machine learning technology, which can automate some of your bidding, targeting, and ad placement strategies.
Consider using some of these different ad and campaign types alongside your standard Search Ads. Be sure to keep tabs on your metrics to get a sense for how well these ad types actually work.
5) Use assets.
Assets were once called ad extensions, and they’re basically little add-ons to give your ad content an extra push.
Think about it this way. The typical Google Ad only contains a title and a description. Assets allow you to incorporate a bit of extra information in each ad. For example, you might consider:
- Call extensions, providing a clickable phone number that your target users can use to contact you directly from the ad.
- Location extensions, ideal for establishing a specific office or franchise.
- Price extensions, allowing you to highlight the competitive price of a particular product or service.
Again, we recommend experimenting with different assets, but be sure you keep tabs on your metrics to ensure you’re getting results.
6) Tighten up your copywriting.
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of ad quality. Basically, the better Google judges your ad content to be, the more likely it is to be displayed in a prominent place.
You have a pretty tight character limit, but with some creativity, you can still write ads that are hard-hitting and persuasive. Play around with different way to include:
- Some of the benefits or distinctions of choosing your LLC.
- Information about your pricing.
- Promotional offers.
- Popular keywords.
- Strong, compelling calls to action.
The bottom line: Good writing can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the efficacy of your Google Ads campaign.
7) Keep an eye on your analytics.
Finally, and just to drive the point home, remember that Google Ads provides a wealth of information about campaign performance. Studying your data can offer plenty of insight into which keywords work, which calls to action work, and more. Over time, your data can be critical for guiding an effective strategy.
As you monitor your metrics, also remember the importance of A/B testing. Running two variants of an ad can provide some intriguing results, especially if you keep close watch of any data that the A/B testing provides. Experiment with different ad copy, different calls to action, and more.
Use Google Ads to Fuel Your LLC’s Success
Google Ads can be a powerful tool for any small business, including fledgling LLCs. Make sure you know your way around the platform, including different types of bidding and different types of ads. And, make sure you approach Google Ads with strategy, creativity, and ample data. Doing so can yield long-term success for any LLC.
Amanda E. Clark is a contributing writer to LLC University. She has appeared as a subject matter expert on panels about content and social media marketing.