Google’s Real Miracle:
10,000 New Small Businesses are Now ‘Sticking it to the Man’
Google’s greatest impact on the business world is not their skyrocketing stock values or billion-dollar YouTube acquisitions. Rather, it’s how Google’s advertising program has made possible the creation of tens of thousands of new small businesses.
AdWords is the system of small pay-per-click thumbnail ads you see on the right-hand side of Google’s search results. Google’s own survey data shows that 90% of their advertisers are businesses with fewer than ten employees. A medium this large that favors small players is unprecedented in the history of advertising, says Bryan Todd, co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes ($24.95, Entrepreneur Press, available in stores and at www.entrepreneurpress.com).
“After working with hundreds of small-business owners, we’ve seen again and again that by following the right principles, anyone can compete,” Bryan Todd says. “We spoke with a gentleman named Joe Spratley who got an e-mail from his former boss – now his competitor – saying the company is getting worried that Joe is developing such a high profile. All Joe has been using is Google AdWords and the web.
“You can’t help but find it funny,” Todd observes, “that a two-person company like Joe’s has a $50 million corporation worried.”
One might say that Google has made it easier than ever before to “stick it to the man.”
Why so easy? Pay Per Click is by definition a direct marketing medium, explains Todd, and the most successful direct marketers have always been those who advertise on their own dime. He and co-author Perry Marshall have each started successful businesses from scratch by putting their own dollars on the line with Google and watching the results come in – a process that takes not weeks or months but literally hours. Thus the small entrepreneur gains a competitive edge over big corporate sites, as he learns faster, writes better ads and creates more efficient websites that turn clicks into customers.
The strategy that works, as Todd preaches in The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, is disarmingly simple: get good clicks, make your clicks worth more, and get more clicks from more places. Among the tips they offer for making your online clicks more valuable:
Identify your ideal customer. Having a good quality, unique product is essential, but knowing whose need you can fill best is even more crucial. This means knowing who you’re after and where they can be found, researching to find what keywords they’re searching on, and figuring out where they’re looking for you.
- Filter out the those you can’t help. Every click is a person, but not every person is your customer. Use creative ad copy and carefully chosen keywords to single out more of the folks you want to reach.
- Uncover the conversation going on inside your customer’s head. Use surveys and e-mail and even live chat, to uncover what your customer is thinking and the language he uses to describe his need.
- Reproduce that conversation in your ads and website. The best way to get your customer’s attention is to talk to him about what he’s thinking. Take everything he tells you and echo it throughout your ads and site. Your clicks will turn into more dollars.
“There’s a place in the online market now for nearly everyone who follows sound marketing principles,” says Todd. “That means the work-at-home mom, the small entrepreneur sporting next year’s best new idea, the sales guy who wants to launch out on his own – even the nonprofit, the church or charity – can compete against the big players.”
Focused on real-life business examples, ad samples and case studies, The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords ($24.95, Entrepreneur Press) shows readers how to build an AdWords campaign from scratch, identify keywords that entice people to click on your ads, get the lowest bid prices on your keywords, use search engine optimization techniques and turn clicks into customers.