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Paid search strategies that work well for small businesses

Posted on 3rd August, 2017 by gregdoyle

Google Ads

If you run a small business then you’ll want to do everything you can to market your business and reach new customers. And while most business owners can see the benefits of SEO and the chance of attracting new customers to their website’s, not as many understand the virtues of Google Ads. Most small businesses think they can’t afford to run an Ads campaign and those that have run one in the past may have had their fingers burnt. But did you know there are some simple strategies that can help ensure your paid search campaigns are successful?

Stay local

For most small businesses your ideal customer lives locally to your business and is someone who is searching for products or services that you offer. Reaching these people is something that is easy to do with Google Ads – if you know how. Setting realistic location targeting for your campaign can ensure your adverts are only shown to people who are searching in your key locations. So for example, if you’re a plumber in South Manchester you may only want to serve adverts to people within 5 miles of your business premises.

It may seem like you are cutting down on the number of people who could view your business but this is a good thing. After all, do you really want to be commuting for long periods of time to quote for a job that you may not win? Being realistic and setting the right targeting can help you reach the right people at the right time.

For brick and mortar businesses you can take this a step further by creating a location extension for your business. This will show below your advert with the address of your business and contact details and even directions to your business.

Use extensions

Ad extensions serve a couple of purposes, they help your advert stand out from the crowd and they give potential customers additional information about your business. From reviews and app downloads to your business address and phone number, ad extensions have been proven to increase click through rates for adverts and will help give you a competitive advantage over other small businesses in your area.

Keyword targeting

We’ve seen it time and time again where small businesses have wasted their budget on irrelevant clicks to their website by either bidding on the wrong keywords or having keywords set to broad match with no negative keywords. Start off by putting together a list of keywords that you think are relevant to your business. Put these into Google’s Keyword Planner tool and download a list of all the keyword suggestions. Using these suggestions you can get ideas for additional keywords to target as well as also flagging any keywords to add as negatives.

Top tip – Use keyword matching types such as phrase match and exact match when working with shorter keyword search terms.



Is your website mobile friendly? If your site isn’t mobile friendly then you’ll want to make sure you’re not serving adverts to mobile users. You can do this in your campaign settings by setting a mobile bid adjustment of -100% the same also applies for tablet devices so if your site doesn’t work well on tablets then don’t forget to set your adjustment lower for these.

To still reach mobile users you can create a click to call campaign which means mobile users will still see your adverts and to find out more they can click to call your business. This is a great way to target mobile users if your business doesn’t have a mobile friendly website.

Conversion tracking

A lot of small businesses don’t have conversion tracking setup in their Ads campaigns. This means that it is almost impossible to measure the performance of the campaign and see what does and doesn’t work. Without conversion tracking, you may decide to delete keywords which only generate a couple of clicks a month but these might actually be leading to conversions.

Conversions that you may want to track include: contact form fills, calls to your business or email sign ups. By measuring these events you can help see which ad groups and keywords are generating leads for your business and measure the cost per conversion.


Google Ads is a powerful and complex tool which when setup correctly can help small businesses get great returns. If you want to gain maximum exposure for your business then you’ll need to pay to play and Ads can help your business grow.

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