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How to target small business owners with Google display adds

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# 1
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I'm a Web designer and I want to start with Google display ads to get more customers.


Most of my current customers are small business owners.


What is the best way for me to target small business owners that are in need of a website or want a new website?





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How to target small business owners with Google display adds

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# 2
Top Contributor

Good question.


I have a couple of points and I am sure others will chime in.


Firstly, most small businesses aren't necessarily aware that they could use a new website. so your decision to go with the display ads is a good one. but you need to present a strong argument as to why they need a new site. and it cannot just be because it would be nice! Focus your ads on how a new site can help them make more money by attracting more business.


Beware of making promises you can't keep - such as - your new site will be top of Google... instead focus (perhaps) on the failings of most SMB websites - out of date information, hard to update, not mobile friendly etc. These are things the SMB will be aware of but don't feel they have the time (or the budget) to fix. Many, many businesses have a website because they feel they have to - but they've never really thought of the site as a sales tool. These are all buttons you can press.


Then think about where these people are likely to be going when they are online.... what kind of pages will they be visiting and where should be run your ads. With tight geo targeting and carefully selected placements you can often penetrate a local market very effectively - and you don't need to spend a fortune.


Think about topics - an SMB might be looking at Wordpress and other online solutions as a self serve option - you could find then there.


And I would propose offering some kind of simple website audit document where you could offer the SMB a checklist that they could run through to see if their website is helping or hindering their growth objectives - many will be hindering!


This could include simply things such as : Does your website work effectively on a mobile device? Do you have Google Analytics implemented on your website.


You could provide links to site analysis platforms which would highlight 404's and broken links... this simply checklist could highlight shortcomings and you could give that away for free.


And... don't forget to work offline. Offer to run a couple of workshops for SMB's through your local chamber of commerce or similar. There are all kinds of themes for these that would position you as an expert and the CoC would be promoting your event which is the same as an endorsement of your business in the eye of the SMB owner.


If you don't have much of a track record, go out and build a couple of sites for local non-profits. They will thank you publically and you can run PR off the back of that.


I organised a Google Grant account for one of our local charities and got a lot of local press coverage as a result. I manage the account pro bono and it has led to a few other meetings and client acquisitions.


I hope this is food for thought ;-)