How Google Adwords Can Benefit Bahrain’s Offline Businesses
Google’s Adwords platform is a powerhouse in online marketing, and businesses across the world use it daily as an integral part of their online marketing mix.
Adwords harnesses the power of intent to serve ads to potential customers who are looking for particular products and services whilst they are searching for them online.
For small and medium sized businesses Adwords can be an extremely effective way of reaching targeted leads and traffic.
Is your Bahrain based business using Adwords? Probably not.
Whilst Bahrain is one of the most highly connected countries in world, e-commerce is relatively new and the vast majority of consumer transactions happen offline. For this reason many small or medium sized businesses in Bahrain might not see the benefit of Adwords. But done right there are many reasons to make use of Adwords even if your business is offline.
Here are 8 reasons why you should be considering Adwords for your business in 2015.
1. Reach your customers when their looking for what you offer.
Google Adwords is all about commercial intent and you can reach your customer exactly at the point they are searching for a product or service you offer. Most small businesses compete with much larger companies and other websites with SEO ranking factors that are very hard to match, and investing time and resources in getting to the top of Google often isn’t feasible.
Adwords gives you the ability to appear on the front page of Google exactly at the point people are searching for what you’re offering.
2. In Bahrain Adwords competition is low.
This is a reason very much specific to Bahrain and should be getting the attention of almost all companies – In Bahrain competition for Adwords is very low. Take for example the insurance industry. Insurance is traditionally the most expensive keyword category with cost-per-click (CPC) in the US over $50. But in Bahrain the situation is very different. For example CPC for ‘home insurance’ in Bahrain is tiny compared to the whopping $30 CPC in the US.
google.com avg. CPC ‘Home Insurance’
Another example is nightlife. Whilst it might be hard for individual venues to reach the top of Google organically by competing with large multinational sites; they could advertise very cheaply through Adwords and dominate an ad space where there is currently no competition.
Paid + Organic Search
As Bahrain is such a small market many companies will already rank highly in Google search for their industry specific keywords and might not see the benefit in using Adwords when they already have strong organic search positions. Research suggests however that there is substantial benefit of up to 50% more clicks in Adwords even if you rank #1 organically.
3. Show your location in the Ad
Finding the location of a business can be hard in Bahrain and a lot of businesses struggle to make it easy for their customers to find them. Using your Google + business page in conjunction with an Adwords location extension allows you to give the location of your store or office directly in the ad.
Your address is clickable and will open in Google Maps allowing the searcher to easily find your location. This is especially powerful on mobile where the user will often be needing the location immediately or is already in the vicinity of your store.
If a business in Bahrain can provide the product needed and instantly direct the searcher to the store location on a map it’s already miles ahead of the competition.
4. Show and easily call your phone number
One of Adwords’ most powerful features for offline businesses is the click to call functionality that allows the user to directly call your company from the search results page. Generally in Bahrain people still prefer to call rather than fill out forms or write emails and Adwords gives your customers the ability to easily contact you by phone from the ad.
Adding contact information through the call ad extensions doesn’t cost more than standard Adwords ads and allows you to track the effectiveness and ROI of your ads in terms of new calls generated. For many businesses with limited online presence and not enough budget to invest in high quality landing pages, click to call ads are a powerful tactic and metric to drive positive ROI through Adwords.
Call extension ads display differently depending on the platform. On a mobile for instance they show as a call-to-action to directly contact the advertiser.
5. Reach Your Local and Saudi Customers
The location targeting options in Adwords are extremely precise. As I’ve talked about before, Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province is a huge market for Bahrain and compared to Facebook Ads, Adwords currently gives you much more control over who will see your ads. Adwords for instance allows you to target the whole of the Eastern Province whilst Facebook does not. This means you can not waste money reaching people who are unlikely to buy from you.
Say for example existing sales data suggests your Saudi customers are mostly located within 80 miles of your shop in Hamala and that you receive hardly any sales from Qatar. With radius location targeting in Adwords you’ll be able to specify your exact target market in Saudi’s Eastern Province as well as remove Qatar from your targeting options. (see image below).
6. Track Offline Conversions
In 2013 Google introduced a Conversion Import feature that allows businesses to upload offline transaction data into Adwords. The system doesn’t allow you to track every offline conversion such as people seeing an ad, not clicking, and then later visiting a store but for certain transactions Adwords can track offline conversions.
It works by passing on a unique click ID to your sales database and once a conversion has taken place the data can be uploaded into Adwords and used to track offline conversions weeks or even months after the initial ad click has taken place. This system will particularly suit B2B businesses where there is often a long sales process which usually ends offline.
7. Advertise Flexibly in Multiple Languages
Adwords isn’t just in English. The ads management system can be used in Arabic to create Arabic ads and because of the way online advertising works, segmentation and targeting of dual language campaigns to the appropriate language of the searcher is available to advertisers.
8. Set Goals and Get Measured Results
There are few marketing goals that Adwords doesn’t have metrics or solutions for. Unlike billboards, online advertising is all about tracking and testing individual keywords or graphics in terms of your marketing goals.
Google also happens to have the most advanced, free web analytics platform in Google Analytics. Connecting your Analytics account to your Adwords account gives you further data about campaign performance and optimisation insights.
Inside the Adwords campaign management dashboard you can set up and measure metrics for:
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Traffic to your Website
- Brand Awareness
- Sales and Conversions
Adwords reporting is extremely granular and provides detailed insights into campaign performance. You can see in real-time:
- What keywords are performing the best
- What headlines get the best click-through rate
- The times your ads are best performing
There is a lot of opportunity for Bahrain’s SMEs to harness the power of Adwords even if all of their sales are performed offline. Google recognises the importance of offline sales, and has over the last few years introduced features specially designed to help offline businesses use Adwords as a profitable marketing channel.
In Bahrain, Adwords is not a channel many companies are exploring. This means there is huge potential, in both reach and reduced cost, for those who are willing to invest. With the inevitable growth of e-commerce in the region, the question is how long will this last?
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