You can start a content business without paid advertising, but growing a content business is difficult if you don’t invest in it.  If your target audience uses search engines to find content related to your tilt, Google Ads can be a good investment. 

If your goal is to secure sales, Google Ads can be a good choice, according to Shopify. (Facebook Ads work better for building brand awareness and connecting with customers. The Tilt will share a primer on social media advertising in December.)

@GoogleAds work better for #Entrepreneurs with sales conversion goals, according to @Shopify. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

But how do you get started? What’s the process?

First, it’s back to basics – keyword research. What words and phrases does your target audience use to find content like yours? Google Keyword Planner can be a good starting point, as can multiple paid services. You can assess how frequently users search for those keywords and how competitive the keywords are for advertising. In the beginning, look for lower-volume keywords with some or no competition, as your ad is more likely to be delivered to and noticed by the searcher.

Next, you tell Google what you would pay for the ad to be seen and clicked by the searcher. Google refers to this as a bid. The goal is to win the auction and get your ad in front of the searcher. Of course, you can’t attend, and you can’t watch the actual auction. So you set a maximum bid – the most you would pay for a searcher to click on your ad.  You can set bids for individual keywords or by groups and campaigns.

Bid pricing varies widely. In industries with high-ticket clients, such as finance and law, companies are willing to pay high prices to get a lead. I see Google ad pricing operating similarly to dynamic pricing for a sporting event – the cost fluctuates depending on advertiser interest, available inventory, and timing.

Think carefully about the value someone clicking on the ad and visiting your page will bring. (And recognize not everyone who clicks on the ad will convert into a paying customer.) 

Wordstream reports the average metrics across all industries:

  • Click-through rate: 6.11%
  • Cost per click: $4.22
  • Conversion rate: 7.04%
  • Cost per lead: $53.52

Wordstream also breaks down these figures based on industry.

Average cost per click for @GoogleAds is $4.22, according to @Wordstream. Click To Tweet

Price isn’t the only thing that matters to Google. Quality does, too. Google gives a quality score to every ad – including its linked page – based on its relevance and usefulness to the searcher. 

Then, Google calculates an ad rank by multiplying the bid amount by the quality score. Ad placements are prioritized based on those rankings. 

In the beginning, your Google Ad program is based on educated guesses, but that will soon evolve as you have the data to know what works and what doesn’t. Closely monitor the analytics to understand who clicks, what ads convert better than others, what visitors who click do once they land on your site, etc. Scrutinize to see if geographic targeting or ad delivery timing could make a difference.

Analyze the metrics around your ads to identify who clicks, which ads convert better, and what click visitors do on your site. Adjust your ads and strategy accordingly, says @AnnGynn. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

Even if you have big success early on, don’t stop reviewing the metrics. Audience behaviors change. New competitors enter the market. And if you keep investing in Google ads, you want to keep up your success.


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About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.