We are a small business in South Africa, does Google Ads really work? Is it effective? Will it really benefit our business though? Do we really need it?
We have been asked these questions a number of times when meeting clients – especially businesses owners in South Africa – still doubting the effects of digital marketing and Google Ads.
Here is a question I pose to you, If 92% of South Africans online use Google as their trusted search engine (which means they trust the results that Google continuously provides them) then why would marketing on Google not work?
What is Google Ads?
Google Adwords is a Google platform that helps businesses advertise themselves on Google and on Google’s network partner subsidiary sites like Youtube and it allows you to advertise by placing text ads, images or banner ads, mobile text ads, and in-page video ads etc.
Is Google Ads free?
Us South Africans, really do love ourselves a discount or freebie but this is a little bit of a yes/no question.
- You sign up for a free account and this gives you access to use the keyword planner and see keyword traffic & cost-per-click (CPC) estimates.
- It also gives you access to remarketing & tracking cookie for free. This will help you track the audiences build-up from your website, which you can use for totally free.
- You can create and edit ad campaigns without launching them. This is great if you want to poke around and try Google Ads for a while before actually paying, and for free.
- Here is the not so free bit, of course, to run any campaigns to real people online, you’re going to have to pay for each click. The good news is you only pay when people actually click on your ad.
How does it work?
Google Ads is based on a cost per click (or CPC) basis, meaning advertisers pay when people click on their ads. The average CPC in South Africa is approximately R15. However, CPCs range from R1.50 to R235+, depending on the industry and whether you trying to compete locally, nationally or globally. Google Ads allows you to set a maximum daily budget to limit clicks or spending which is a huge advantage for small businesses in South Africa. Small businesses’ spend approximately on average around R3000 – R100 000+ per month on online ads, again depending on the industry, capital and the campaign goals.
Does Google Ads really benefit us?
So, let us say you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur and you are looking to increase brand awareness and gain customers online in your community, area, country or even globally, Google Ads is definitely the marketing move we recommend you make. Below we listed some of the benefits Google Ads offer:
1) Adwords works almost instantly:
A key benefit of Google AdWords is that it works much faster than search engine optimisation is better known as SEO. Both SEO and Google AdWords are search engine marketing strategies to generate more traffic which in-turn generates more leads. Here are some reasons why it’s faster and more effective:
- Multiple keywords can be focused on simultaneously.
- You have the power to turn the campaign off or on, as your business needs require.
- Top of the page ads get immediate visibility.
Let me clear something up real quick. This does not mean that you should ignore organic optimisation, as they have more long-term benefits. AdWords however does offer the benefit of driving traffic and leads more instantly. Additionally, the platform is more transparent, and you know exactly what is happening with the ads. On the other hand, SEO, though very beneficial, is a long-term process and renders more sustainable long term success. The purpose of this is not to debate SEO or adwords so let’s move along.
2) Grow your brand:
Google Ads, in addition to almost instantly increasing traffic, clicks, and conversions, is also an efficient way to tell people about your brand and make them more aware of your brand. To verify this, Google partnered with Ipsos to run a study, from automobiles to retail. It was discovered that search ads managed to lift awareness by an average of 6.6%. With SEO, your rank also depends on the number of your brand name searches and its variations. That’s another reason you should aim to increase brand awareness through search, as well as display ads.
3) Directly into their inbox:
A key and highly used marketing strategies in almost every business is email marketing. Google did something very clever back in 2015 and integrated Gmail ads with Google AdWords, which means you can reach more prospects directly through their gmail inbox. Here is a little side note: Usually, Gmail ads appear in the promotion tab, but sometimes you can see it on the social tab as well. These ads run on both desktops and mobiles. Since Gmail ads generally tend to cost less than search ads, if you have a small budget, then we recommend you give it a try.
4) Reconnect with previous visitors:
I think this is the coolest benefit of Google AdWords is the ability to reconnect with your website visitors. This is like gently reminding window shoppers who viewed your website, of the offerings, services and/or products you have to offer. Let me tell you a bit more about remarketing briefly. Enter Display Remarketing and RLSA campaigns.
- Display Remarketing: Let’s assume you run a travel business and a visitor is looking for Thailand packages, but for some reason, he decides to leave without purchasing. You can just create a remarketing list to target him. Benefits of Google adwords: Since visitors have already visited your website, there are more chances of converting them to leads when they see your remarketing ads also.
- RLSA or Remarketing List for Search Ads: This is a feature that lets you customise your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they’re searching on Google and search partner sites. Typing in similar searches on Google or their partner sites for what could have been viewed on your website and reminding them of your website first.
5) Performance tracking & measuring:
It is rather difficult to measure the outcomes of traditional advertisements like newspapers, radio, broadcast television, outdoor billboards etc. You can’t control your own budget and spend. You also wouldn’t know the source of the leads coming from them, unless your broadcaster chooses to divulge it and as a result, it is extremely difficult to calculate ROI. But, AdWords, on the other hand, would tell you exactly what happened with the campaign. You would know:
- Who clicked on your ad.
- Amount of leads generated.
- Amount of traffic to your website.
- Which keyword generated the most traffic and leads.
- Cost per lead.
All this helps you understand what worked and what didn’t. Using this information, you can then tweak your campaigns until you achieve optimal results and success.
6) Tackle your competition:
When someone searches for something related to your product/services online, and you aren’t running ads, but your competition is then that means trouble for you. You’ll lose traffic to your business almost instantly. Keep an eye on them to see what and how they are promoting their business etc. Google AdWords helps you do this. Grab the opportunities that come your way, take on your competition and stand out.
Let me close this off by answering the question directly:
Does Google Ads work for businesses of any size and across almost any industry in South Africa?
The answer: YES!
19 Digital is a new innovative full service digital marketing agency based in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. We operate throughout South Africa offering high-quality and affordable WordPress website design, e-commerce and online store web design, effective and result-driven digital marketing, SEO and Google Ads as well as eye catching logo design services.