First Person: How Google Can Help With Small Business Marketing and Advertising

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First Person: How Niche Marketing Helped My Business Compete Against the Big Chains
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First Person: How Niche Marketing Helped My Business Compete Against the Big Chains

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For small businesses, having an online presence has become a necessity that can't be ignored. But having a web site is only the beginning. Online marketing of your web site and online advertising of your business are also necessary, and one of the biggest names in the internet world offers many ways to accomplish this. Google, through its offering of AdWords and AdSense, give you powerful tools to enable your online marketing to succeed.

To begin with, let's take a look at Google's AdWords program. When you conduct a search on Google, to the right hand side, you will see a column of ads for businesses with keywords from your search. It is these ads that are created using Google AdWords. You create an ad for your business and choose the keywords you wish to target. When someone performs a search using those keywords, your ad may be one of those that are displayed. In this way, you are directly putting your business out in front of customers looking for what you are offering.

The way that Google charges for this service is based on the PPC (Pay per Click) concept, and you are only charged when a potential customer clicks on your direct link. Google gives you the ability to control your budget and the amount you are willing to spend. For example, if your online advertising budget allows for $100.00/mth, you can set that as the limit that will be spent. You can also set at which price each click will cost you. The more you pay per click, the more your ad will be displayed. To help you make the best decisions on how you determine your costs, Google will provide keyword and traffic cost estimates.

Google AdWords also enables you to reach more potential customers by displaying your ad throughout their Display Network, including such sites as AOL, Ask.com, EarthLink, and NYTimes.com. Throughout these sites, Google uses contextual targeting to place your ad on pages that are a match for your keywords. For example, if there is an online article or news story that is based on your targeted keywords, your ad could be placed on that page.

Google's AdSense provides yet another way to increase your online advertising, and as an added bonus, also provides you with revenue. Yes, that's correct! You can MAKE money using Google's AdSense. AdSense is a free way for website owners to place keyword targeted Google ads on their page and receive a percentage of advertising costs. Google enables you to customize the box in which these ads will display, so they can complement your website. You are also given the ability to block ads from your direct competition, while still offering ads in your field that your customers might find helpful. In addition, you can also place a Google search bar on your site, which you can customize to either search within your site, a collection of sites which you choose, or the entire web. With this, you can earn revenue through relevant ads on the displayed search pages.

While Google is a HUGE presence on the web, their advertising opportunities show that they have not forgotten about small business owners. With their AdWords and AdSense programs, they offer a wide variety of advertising options for every small business marketing budget.

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