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4 Steps to Create An All-Star Local Paid Search Campaign [WEBINAR RECAP]

Thanks to everyone who was able to attend our webinar last week on how to grow your business using Google AdWords and Pay Per Click advertising, in partnership with PPCPath. If you missed the webinar, you can view the video playback on our Kabbage Kam Webinars YouTube Playlist and download the slides on our SlideShare. Both the slides and video are also available at the bottom of this post, which covers tips shared in the presentation.

Google AdWords is a powerful platform for bringing in new customers to your small business. Just in the U.S. alone, Google records approximately 12 billion searches a month from people turning to their computers and phones to find something they’re looking for. But, it can be incredibly daunting to know how to tackle Google AdWords – what is a campaign, and what should it include? How do you figure out the keywords you should be using? What do all the settings mean in Google, and what are best practices? What if you have a small budget?

This month, we enlisted the help of search marketing expert Matt Hessler, Director of Search at PPCPath, to help answer some of these questions in our monthly webinar.

Matt kicked off the webinar by asking attendees how they think people will find their business, noting that the underlying fundamentals to search marketing is all about language and semantics. How would your customers describe, search for, or find your business online? Put yourself in their shoes for a minute, or think about the last time you searched for a business or service online and what you typed into Google. Also, you’ll want to think about what the phrases people search for tell you about what their intent is when coming to your website – are they ready to buy? Are they just doing research?

Matt also stressed that it’s important to understand the difference between SEO/organic search results (in the middle of the page) and paid advertising (at the top and right-hand side of the page, as featured in red below). Focusing on content marketing, keywords on your website, and other SEO tactics can drive organic search results for your business, which are amazing but often take 3-12 months to build. Paid advertising can get your business in front of people searching on Google immediately.

pay per click advertising vs. organic search results


Here are some of Matt’s tips in getting started and setting up your first paid search campaign for your small business in under an hour:



When starting out with your first Google Adwords campaign, you’ll want to do the following after setting up your account:

  • Start a spreadsheet and write out themes that are the focus of your website (should be 5-15, more for eCommerce).
  • Go to Google’s Keyword Planner (a free tool within Google AdWords).
  • Enter these starter keywords to generate variants and find other similar keywords.
  • Download all results and work in Excel to mark relevant keywords out of the entire list generated. (You’re not yet adding these keywords to AdWords – you’re first starting with research).
  • Start to break out these keywords into your themes – this will help you structure your ‘Campaigns’ and ‘AdWord Groups.’ These buckets of keywords will trigger one ad per bucket and will help you write really compelling ads for your customers that are focused on directly what they’re searching for.

Matt made a note that it’s important for small businesses with small budgets to focus on the right size of your campaign and not go overboard with keywords. He uses a great formula to find out how many keywords you should have based on your budget, which is included in the slide deck on SlideShare that you can download at the end of this blog post.


Matt shared another thing that’s important to look at when setting up your first Google AdWords campaign – make sure to change a few of the auto settings that Google sets when you create your first campaign. These are:

  • Always select all features
  • Never combine search and display
  • Including search partners is good for budgets of $1000+ only – if you have a smaller budget, you want to make sure your ad is served on Google only and not all their
  • Set bids manually — if they’re set to automatic, Google is setting those up to make money from you. Make sure you opt-in to setting your bids manually so you’re spending the right amount of money.
  • Use Multiple regional and local geo-targeting to get the best coverage and connect with your business’ closest customers.
  • Use ‘Day Parting’ to maximize your impact – by limiting your run time to the best hours, you save money and focus your spend on the times that drive the most valuable traffic.


Campaign Structure

  • Separate budgets
  • Separate geos
  • Separate ad network
  • Include campaign level negative keywords

—Adgroups Structure

  • At least 2 ads per adgroup
  • Not more than 4 ads per adgroup
  • Maximum of 20-25 KWs per adgroup


Google has started to emphasize their Google Quality Score, where they look beyond just what you’re willing to bid. They also look at how relevant your ad is, and if your landing page has a good user experience. Google will show you your Quality Score at a keyword level, and this score is from 1-10. Eight, nine and 10 are really hard to achieve. If your Quality Score is 1-2, your ads are probably not showing that often. If your Quality Score is 3-4, you might be paying a little bit more for your spot than your competitors are, if they have a better Quality Score. So to save money and maximize the bang for your buck, you’re going to want to pay attention to your quality score and get it up.

High-level best practices for your Google Quality Score include:

  • Tightly themed adgroups
  • Ad copy that uses keyword themes
  • Aggressive ad position for most important keywords
  • Landing page load times
  • Landing page content and code relevance

Matt closed his presentation by noting that sometimes it’s best to call in reinforcements to help you with your paid search campaigns, if you don’t feel like you have time and energy to spend on optimizing your copy, keywords and campaigns. His company, PPCPath, focuses on helping small businesses compete with big business through PPC advertising. They even put up a special offer for Kabbage customers!

Get 20% off your first AdWords overhaul from PPCPath!


Enter Promo Code: kabbage20

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about Pay Per Click advertising and growing your business using Google Adwords, we are hosting a follow-up webinar next month in partnership with Matt & PPCPath titled, “Using Google PPC Like a Pro to Compete With The ‘Big Guys.'” RSVP today to save your spot next month!

 Catch the VIDEO PLAYBACK on YouTube:

Download our slides on SLIDESHARE:



Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at