A Beginner’s Guide to Paid Advertising

No matter the size of your business, you know that having a website is crucial to your success.

It’s how people learn about your brand, the products you sell, the people who work for you, and the services you offer!

It’s also how they share the awesome things they learned about your website with their friends on social media.

Unfortunately, recent statistics show that about half of small businesses in America don’t have a website.

I don’t know the reasons for this shocking statistic, but I can guess a few:

  • “I don’t have the time to run my website!”
  • “I’m not tech-savvy enough to understand how my website will work!”
  • “My company does just fine with our in-store numbers!”

And, my personal “favorite:”

  • “I don’t know how to get people onto my website!

Look, I’ll be hoenst with you: it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, whether you’re an e-commerce platform, (AKA an online shop) or if your blogging your heart out everyday.

If you don’t use paid advertising, people aren’t going to be able to find your website.

But what exactly is paid advertising, how can it help drive traffic to your website, and which aspects of it should you focus on?

In this post, I’ve created a paid advertising 101 guide to help your website get higher conversions, show up earlier in Google search rankings and in Facebook feeds, and get more clicks!

What Is Paid Advertising?

In a nutshell, paid advertising means that you’re buying ad space from a search engine or social media platform.

You know those search engine results that show up at the top of your page, with a small “Ad” banner beside them – before all the other results? Those are paid ads.

What about those ads for brands and products that pop up in your Facebook newsfeed?

Yep, that’s paid advertising, too.

Sure, it may be a little bit more expensive than other forms of advertising, but it’s incredibly effective.

In fact, it’s been shown that paid advertising can help to grow awareness about your brand by up to 80%.

Of course, the companies selling you the ad space love it for the revenue it brings them, too!

In fact, Google makes about 96% of its revenue from paid advertising.

There are lots of different types of paid advertising you can use.

In this post, we’re going to be focusing on two main areas:

  1. Search Engine Advertising (Google AdWords)
  2. Social Advertising (paid advertising on Facebook)

Understanding Google AdWords

You’ve probably heard a lot about Google AdWords already. I’m going to break down exactly what it is.

AdWords is a form of search engine advertising. It means that an ad for your site is placed first in paid search engine results when a customer types in keywords related to your business.

For example, if you’re a fishing business, and someone types in “best fishing rods near me” you can pay so that your site will come up in that person’s results.

This means that you have a direct line to people that are already interested in what you’re selling.

To Use AdWords correctly:

  1. Think about what specific products/services you’re trying to sell
  2. Sign up for your Google AdWords account
  3. Use the free Keyword Planner tool to figure out what people are typing in when they search for what you’re selling
  4. Make a list of your 5-10 most popular keywords
  5. See the cost of your keywords, how often they’re searched for, and if a huge competitor (like, if you’re the fishing store, Bass Pro Shop) is already using them. If so, pick another keyword to avoid wasting money.
  6. Choose how much you’re willing to spend per click
  7. Write your ad and start your campaign!

Remember that AdWords is a great use of your advertising budget, because you only pay Google when someone actually clicks on your ad.

You can always elect to spend more on popular keywords later – you don’t have to keep the same keywords forever.

Always make sure that your website is responsive and ready to handle the major traffic boost you’ll get from paid advertising!

Understanding Facebook

Especially if you have a younger market, social paid advertising, especially Facebook, is a must. Facebook has almost 2 billion users.

Some of those 2 billion people will want to buy your products!

Using paid advertising to get your ads and your brand in their feeds helps you find them.

First, create your business’s Facebook page. (Remember to include lots of photos, reply to messages, and to always update it frequently.)

Once you’ve created a gorgeous Facebook page for your business, it’s time to create an ad!

Helpfully, you do this by clicking on the “Create An Ad” option. Then, you can decide if you want more people to see your posts, drive people to your website, sell products directly…there are lots of choices.

Then, you can pick the exact audience you want to see your posts.

You can arrange this by life events (for example, if someone just had a baby, graduated college, or started a new job, you can tailor products they’re likely to buy.)

You can also sort your target audience by age, gender, and location.

Using paid advertising on Facebook is a great way to make sure you’re still connecting with  a market that might not have found or clicked on your website in the Google search results.

You’re A Paid Advertising Expert!

Thanks to this mini guide, you know the basics paid advertising and how it can drive traffic, actions, sales, and shares to your website.

To learn even more about the ever-evolving world of digital and content marketing, check out my website and blog.

Learn more about my services, ask me questions, and make sure you’re always a step ahead of your competition. Contact me with anything you need!

Paid advertising isn’t nearly as complicated as its made out to be. Whether you’re developing your own strategy or working with a professional digital marketing service, understanding the basics is the key to moving forward!

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