Our BamGoogled: Digital skills among newly registered businesses report highlights the lack of digital marketing knowledge and skills among early stage startups. One of the key findings was that less than 10% of startups know what they need to do to get ‘organic’ traffic onto their website from Google, social media and other sources.
A common way around this is for new businesses to artificially boost their website traffic by paying for online advertising. Most commonly they do this through Google Adwords Pay Per Click (PPC) system. For many small businesses Google Adwords becomes their only significant source of inbound traffic to their website and it is easy for them to become dependent upon it. However many startups and small businesses find it costly to run Adwords campaigns. Often this is because of a lack of knowledge on how to setup Adwords and how to manage it to get the best results.
Despite the potential difficulties in making Adwords cost effective it can be a good option for new businesses. Building up SEO and Social Media marketing to a point where it is attracting sufficient numbers of customers does not normally happen overnight. In competitive industries it can take a significant amount of time to build decent rankings in Google for popular products and services. This can also be very expensive if the startup are not doing the content or social media activity themselves. PPC advertising such as Google Adwords gives new businesses a much more tangible response for their money as they can pay for adverts and get instant traffic. As their organic rankings improve they can then scale back their Adwords spend. Many new businesses report that they like having this ability to turn website traffic on as and when they need it by adjusting their advertising spend.
Managed Online Advertising Campaigns
As it can be difficult for new businesses to effective digital marketing campaigns many startups choose to outsource part, or all of this work. Most new business want to see quick results and to start attracting customers straight away. Our study found that startups who outsourced their digital marketing were 80% more likely to stay with their digital marketing packages if it included Google Adwords PPC. The simple reason behind this is because of the immediate effect on traffic that Adwords can have. Where these campaigns are being run by outside agencies they also tend to be more effective as the people running them have the time and knowledge to correctly optimise their performance.
Case Study 1
We recently spoke with a driving instructor based in Luton who was trying to grow his customer base in the local area. He was spending around £400 per month on Google Adwords to promote his businesses but was getting almost no organic search traffic from Google onto his website. When we analysed his website to work out why this was we found that he had virtually no written content on his site beyond the home page. What content was there was not optimised towards his local area. Our recommendations for improving his site were therefore fairly straight forward. They were to start by adding pages to his site to clearly describe his services and packages, to add testimonials from his customers and to include information, links and resources for his clients to use to help them prepare for their test. While doing this work on it’s own might not guarantee a high ranking in Google it would start to increase the number of impressions his site would get in search and increase the number of keywords he was ranking for.
As a knock on effect of improving the content on his website it was also likely that he would get a better return on his Adwords spend. Google partly decide where to place Adwords adverts in search by looking at the quality and relevance of the page they are linking to. By improving the pages on his site his quality score would go up and his adverts would likely gain a better position. By providing more complete information about his services for potential customers it is also likely that the potential customers landing on his site from Adwords or organic search would have the confidence in his services to contact him and book a lesson.
Case Study 2
We worked with a new travel company earlier in the year who were launching their new website and business at a travel show. Because the website only went live the day before the travel show started there was a good chance that Google may not have fully indexed the site. Therefore it was possible that if anyone Googled their business name it might not come up in the search results. Having spent the money to go to the travel show and get their new brand out to the public this would obviously not be ideal. We therefore ran a very short term Adwords campaign for them to cover the period of the trade show and the week after to make sure that if their website itself didn’t come up when someone searched for them their advert would.
The Company Warehouse provide a range of services to new startup businesses including managed digital marketing packages. If you need help getting your startup or small business online then give our team of consultants a call on 0800 0828 727.