It’s the world’s biggest advertising medium. And millions of businesses every year use it to lift them to prominence in Google’s search results. But if you go in there without a plan, it can quickly spiral in to a high-spending, high-maintenance mess.

So what have we noticed when we’ve done campaigns of our own, and advised others on theirs?

Be very specific about what you are advertising

Because people tend to search for almost exactly what it is that they want to find, you also need to be specific about what it is that you are advertising. What you call your services, may not be what your customer calls it. Technical terms and industry “in-talk” isn’t what the average customer understands. So keep it general in language, but specific in subject.

Advertise one thing in each ad

Listing all your products, services and features in a text ad on Google is going to be overwhelming to a person on Google search. If they are asking Google for an “after hours plumber in Townsville” then you want to make sure your ad answers that question or search query. Mentioning the words that they typed in is a great way to match what they are looking for.

Know your competitors

Search for your competitors on Google. And search for what it is you are doing, that you want to advertise for. See who else is coming up for that search. Take special notice of the ads that appear. You don’t want to copy what they’ve written – you’re looking for the difference between what they have written in their ads, and what you typed into the search. This gives you a chance to write an ad that better matches what you – and others – are searching for.

Know what you’re willing to spend

Have a monthly budget in mind. $100 isn’t going to get you far. Think in terms of at least $15 a day to reach the average regional area in Australia. That adds up to around $450 per month. If you can’t commit at least that much, then Google ads may not work well for you.

Understand how people search

You can check your Google Analytics to see what people are typing in to Google when they find your website. This is a good reference for what you may want to include in your ads’ keywords. It’s a good idea to ask friends and family what it is that they would type in to Google if they were after a business that does what your business does. It will give you some great insights in to what real people think when they are searching for businesses like yours – and give you much of the wording that you can use in your ads. Using Google’s own Keyword Planner tool inside the Google Ads platform is one of the best ways to get an idea of how many people each month are searching for the things you do, and gives you a lot of ideas on other words and phrases that they use to find businesses like yours.

Dante St James is Head of Digital at Treeti Business Consulting. He is contactable via our office on 08 8967 1788 or via email through dante@treeti.com.au.