Google Ads Changes Affecting Small Businesses

Google Ads
Changes Affecting Small Businesses
written by John
read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Podcast with John Jantsch on Changes to Google Ads

Google has recently made some drastic changes to their ads
program—starting with a name change, from Google AdWords to
Google Ads. Some of the changes are technical, like tweaks to the
interface. Others represent fundamental shifts in the way Google
views advertising. These will affect more than just your Google
advertising efforts, but also how you approach other marketing
tactics, SEO, and content.

Google is the dominant force in online advertising, so you
can’t afford to ignore what they’re doing. Here, I’ll walk
you through the most important changes and new features that small
business owners need to be aware of.

Goodbye, AdWords

The biggest change is that we have known the primary Google ad
tool as AdWords. Now, they’ve dropped Words, and it is just
Google Ads. This is more than just a technicality, I think it
signals a fundamental shift in the way they’re viewing

When Google originally launched their ad product, advertising
was all about keywords, but times have changed. Google is so much
more than just a search engine at this point, and the change in
name reflects their omnipresence on the web.

The new name indicates a move towards a more comprehensive
approach, one that will incorporate machine learning and behavioral
tracking to better understand the true intent behind people’s
actions online.

Google Ads on Your Desktop

One of the other significant changes small business marketers
will see is that there is now an application you can download to
your desktop: AdWords

Similar to the Facebook editor, the idea here is that you can
now download your campaigns, work on them offline, and then upload
them again. This means that you’re not stuck sitting on the
platform the entire time, and can now get more work done if
you’re offline and on the move.

Google Sheets Integration

If you’re not already familiar with Google Sheets, it’s
essentially a free, online version of Microsoft Excel. The
integration with the new ads program allows you to pull reporting
from Google Ads and into Google Sheets.

Doing so allows you greater flexibility in parsing the data. You
can filter by your own criteria, create reports, and track data
more easily. This will be particularly useful for agencies or
consultants who need to create reports for multiple clients.

New Comprehensive Campaigns

With their new advertising program, Google is providing
additional support to small business advertisers, allowing those
who don’t have the time or energy to create their own campaigns
to leave that all in Google’s hands.

The skeptic in me feels that there is a tradeoff between
convenience and value. They make it very easy for you to give them
a budget and they’ll do the legwork, but you’re also handing
over control and the appropriate measures to monitor and adjust how
that money is spent. Without visibility into what’s actually
being done to market your business, how can you understand how to
get better results in the future?

  • Google Local SearchLocal
    : Google allows you to create one campaign that will
    propagate against search, maps, places, pages, display, and even
    YouTube. This means you only have to design one campaign to be used
    across all of their many platforms, while Google makes the
    decisions about how to best tailor the approach in each place.
  • Lead Ads: A new unit on YouTube, Lead Ads allows you to collect
    an email address through an ad message. This is similar to
    Facebook’s Lead Ads, which have been around for a while.
  • Responsive
    Search Ads
    : You create a pool of headlines and descriptions,
    and Google tests each of those possible combinations to determine
    which is most successful. Depending on how many concepts you
    create, you can end up with thousands of possible
    combinations—it’s A/B testing in hyperdrive. This is designed
    to help you lift click-through and conversion rates

Responsive Search Ads

What About Organic Search?

While these new campaigns are great for those who are taking
advantage of the Google Ads platform, what about those marketers or
small business owners who are putting all of their faith in the
power of organic search?

These new ads will drive up conversion rates, as Google
continues to do the analytics on what makes the most successful
campaigns for its paid advertisers. In addition to being
successful, these ads are also huge. They still contain extensions,
and so they are going to take over. This will only serve to force
organic results further and further down the page. Those users
searching on a mobile device will have to scroll for a very long
time before hitting the first organic result.

The message here for small business marketers is that you
can’t ignore Google Ads. You still need to have a comprehensive
marketing system with other tactics, including social media and
content, as a means to get into organic search. But at the same
time, you can’t ignore paid advertising.

Google Local Services Ads

The last item, which does not impact everyone yet, is Local Services Ads
from Google. Formerly known as Home Service Ads, Local Services Ads
are currently focused on tradespeople, technicians, and providers
of other services to homeowners, with plans to expand to additional

Business owners must apply to be in this program and become
“Google Guaranteed,” which means that they’ll have to clear a
background check and Google will provide a money-back guarantee to
anyone unhappy with the company’s services.

Google Local Services Ad

This comes at a price: Google does not send users directly to a
website when they click on this type of ad. Google uses a tracking
phone number so that they’re able to see which leads are
generated from these ads; the business owner is then charged for
those leads. And rather than charging a nominal fee per click,
Google will now ask for $25-$100 per lead, depending on category
and competition, because they’ve delivered a verifiable lead.

This new approach allows Google to be fully involved in the lead
generation process, which gives them valuable information about the
way people are searching for services and also allows them to
charge small business owners a greater fee than they would for
pay-per-click advertising.

As we see advertising moving more towards a focus on intent, a
shift that is powered by machine learning and artificial
intelligence, we will see Google Ads encroach more and more in the
search space. Google has created a system that encourages you to
give them more of your ad budget, and while you certainly can’t
ignore Google Ads as a part of your overall strategy, I would argue
that there’s still great benefit in attending to your other
marketing channels.

If you are struggling with managing the rapidly-changing online
advertising landscape, Duct Tape Marketing can do an audit for you.
Our Total
Online Presence Audit
 is a comprehensive review of your assets
online, including your ads. We can assess your strengths and
weaknesses, and point you in the right direction.

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Source: FS – Marketing 3
Google Ads Changes Affecting Small Businesses