This post contains affiliate links. As a partner with Amazon and various brands, I am compensated when qualifying purchases are made through my referral links.
As a small business, you should know that advertising for common keywords that searchers use to look for products or services isn’t the only way to use Google Ads.
Just as the lateral-thinking job applicant found a way to use Google Ads inventively, so can you. What follows are surprising new ways to use the cost-per-click advertising platform to your advantage in marketing your product.
1. “Steal” Away The Competitor’s Customers
Before you get upset with me for this suggestion, know that I’m suggesting it because it’s done, not because it’s what I do.
Some may question the ethics of this practice in general.
When consumers come close to making a purchase decision, they often Google up the different stores or vendors they researched along the way, for a last-minute price check to see who is the cheapest.
What do you do if your company isn’t one of those vendors that they lookup? There is a trick that you can use.
Rather than simply bid on the well-worn industry keywords that searchers are known to use, you can bid on the brand names of the most well-established among your competitors.
When searchers search on Google for a competitor’s business by name, you will have an ad for your business show up. This is a trick that many advertisers use, sometimes to great effect.
Whatever you may sell, you can bid on your competitor’s name and put up an ad that promises searchers information about how the competition isn’t as good as your product.
This trick can work, as long as your competitors don’t respond by trying the same method on you.
There’s another way to use your competitors’ names to promote your own business: with misspelled names.
About 10 percent of all brand-name searches on Google are misspelled.
You can cheaply bid on the most common misspellings and get an ad for your product to the top of the listings at a very low outlay.
Example: Peleton vs. Peloton
2. Go after people who aren’t quite ready, yet, to buy
The idea of using Google Ads to pursue consumers who aren’t sure about buying may seem counterintuitive, but doing it can bring value.
In general, advertisers using Google Ads bid on the keywords buyers search with when they are on the verge of making a purchase. They do this because they see Google Ads as a conversion tool.
It’s possible also to use Google Ads as a driver of traffic, however. You could bid on the cheap keywords used by shoppers with low levels of purchase intent, attract those shoppers to your site, and put them into your sales funnels to begin to target them over the long-term.
When they are finally ready to buy one day, they will come to you.
When you see Google Ads as a long-term conversion tool, and not an immediate one, you view each person clicking your ad but not buying not as an expense, but as a long-term opportunity.
You can capture leads cheaply and market to those leads for weeks or months to get them to convert.
3. Understand who you’re not interested in targeting
Consider a business that sells software to independent doctors to help them manage their small practices. Since your software cannot help large hospitals and healthcare systems, you wouldn’t want them to click on your Google Ads.
Unfortunately, if you bid on common keywords in your niche, like medical management software, you may also show for searches by people interested in large hospital management software.
Those people would click your ads, waste your money, and only to then find out that your product was not for them.
It’s important, with Google Ads, to figure out what kinds of searches you don’t want to show for, and to then add these words to your advertising campaign as negative keywords – keywords that your ads don’t show for. Words like open source or free are common negative keywords.
You wouldn’t want to advertise to people looking for free software, be clicked on by mistake, and owe Google money for those clicks.
4. Back up your organic SEO efforts
There is data to suggest that only 15% of searches on Google result in a click on an ad. The rest of the time, searchers click only on organic results. This is the reason that you need to focus on search engine optimization in your digital marketing.
You need to fill your website with great content targeted at the critical keywords in your industry so that Google ranks you for those words when people search for them.
You end up getting people on your website, and you won’t have to pay Google for them.
5. Test new business ideas
It can be costly to develop a new product, try marketing it, and find out if it has reasonable consumer interest. It can even be expensive to commission a market research study to determine if the market for a new product is likely to be viable.
You can use Google Ads to test new ideas cheaply, however.
Before you start creating a new product, you could design low-cost campaigns for the product on Google Ads. If you get a click-through rate of over four percent or so, you’ll learn that the idea has considerable market interest.
If you don’t get too many clicks, you’ll know that your idea could be risky to go with.
Google Ads can be highly useful to help promote your products with well-targeted pay-per-click ads.
When you realize how the platform can be used in different ways to get extra mileage from your advertising dollar, however, you gain a serious edge over the competition.