Reviews

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Google review

A fantastic experience of working with Zigger to develop my website. Hywel is extremely meticulous with his approach and developed a tailor-made website that fulfilled my challenging requirements extremely well, and is always very rapid to sort out any troubleshooting met along the way. A thoroughly positive experience, have no hesitation to recommend!
Jaymee Coonjobeeharry, Surrey

Freeindex review

Very responsive, completely understood my requirements and made many helpful suggestions. Hywel is a complete professional who understands how to get the most out of the web. A delight to work with.
Chris Pearce, Walton on Thames

Google review

I couldn't recommend Zigger enough, it's been a stress free experience from start to finish. I had so much support and felt in very capable hands - thank you!
Nicole Brannan, Esher

Google review

I have worked with Zigger on a number of projects over the past few years, they are always a pleasure to work with and produce fantastic results. I have recommended their services to others and would not hesitate to do so in the future.
Gary Carter, Leatherhead

Google review

Zigger did a great website for my new company and helped me out on many aspects of SEO, email and Adwords. Highly recommended.
J Flock, Cobham

Google review

Zigger has been wonderful at setting up a website for us, and teaching us how to manage and update it to meet our evolving needs. Hywel has always shown extreme patience as we learned how to translate our ideas into a website format. No question is too simple, nor request too difficult and we've never had a delay when there has been a need to implement any updates. We would highly recommend Zigger for creating a website, as I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more personal responsive equivalent out there.
Monique Flynn, Chobham

Google review

It was a great pleasure working with Hywel from Zigger to design and create my Website. He incorporated all my own designs and listened to my views of how I wanted the Website to look and feel, before it all went live.
Lacky Sangha, Weybridge

Freeindex review

I needed a website for my business and tried a few people with no joy…then I found Zigger. Hywel explained everything clearly with no jargon or sales pitch. I sent the photos and text ideas and hey presto two weeks later a live site that was easy to use and looked a million dollars. If you want a website just use Zigger you won't regret it.
Dave Eyles, Southampton

Hywel created two beautifully designed websites for us. He was very helpful when it came to us taking over running them, coming to our offices to show us how to use the web designer program. Since handing the websites to us, he has always been at the other end of the phone to help us with any queries with doing things on the websites, and also providing on-going support with our online marketing. I feel that he went over and above the original remit in order to provide us with a bespoke service, and I would highly recommend his services to anyone looking for a friendly and helpful web designer.
Sue Spencer, Horsham

Google review

Zigger have done a fantastic job with our rather outdated website, gave it a fresh new look, whilst still maintaining the corporate identity. All done very quickly and professionally. Couldn't ask for a better service, and all at a competitive price.
Caroline Smith, Bookham

Google review

I'm very happy with Zigger and the website they produced for our deli. As well as building a great website for the business Hywel was able to advise on the marketing and content side of things, which was a great help and saved me a lot of precious time. Great job, just what we needed.
Matt Arlidge, Stoke D'Abernon

Google review

This was a very simple, easy and friendly experience. Hywel delivers exactly the service he says on the tin. No hassle, just built the website for me and managed it. good communication. I'd use him again.
Will Dennis, Cobham

Google review

I'm very happy with Zigger and the website they produced for our deli. As well as building a great website for the business Hywel was able to advise on the marketing and content side of things, which was a great help and saved me a lot of precious time. Great job, just what we needed.
Matt Arlidge, Stoke D'Abernon

Freeindex review

Hywel is a very approachable chap and explains things clearly. My final site looks "the business"and its great that I can now update content myself... And if I can't Hywel is available to help. Good job!
Andrew D. Brewis, Walton-on-Thames

Google review

Hywel is someone who doesn’t come along every day, he loves his work and really knows his stuff when it comes to website design. Really affable has loads of patience which was most definitely a requirement dealing with us! He also really helped with SEO advice, marketing and general advice to help us run the website efficiently and effectively. We have recommended Hywel and will continue to do so, a really hands on firm is Zigger and we really hope it gets Bigger, coz he deserves it! Thanks.
Clive Bennett, Claygate

As a graphic and digital designer, I can safely say working with Hywel has been a pleasure. Not only does he understand good design and user experience, but he also offers bespoke advice and guidance for your website to ensure it works to its full potential - no matter the industry in which it sits. I have worked with him on four websites now, and all have been a roaring success thanks to his patience, eye for detail and knowledge. Hywel is the only web developer I recommend to my design clients!
Daniel Bennett, Wimbledon

Freeindex review

Hywel has been involved with our company for many years and been responsible for our web site design layout and implementation. He has always been on hand to update/refresh our site and let us know of new systems and site best practice for optimum response. Any issues have been responded to quickly and costs have been very reasonable for the time involved. I can highly recommend Hywel for all web site design and ongoing support.
Kent McMillan, Molesey

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adwords for small uk businesses

6 December 2018

Adwords for Dummies - OK, Google Ads

Sometimes rumours aren't enough, here's a rundown of the pros and cons of advertising using Google Ads for small businesses

A long time ago I bought a book on advertising in Adwords. It had over 500 pages and it took me two months to read. It was a slog.

Since then I have been running Google Ad campaigns for all and sundry. It’s been an interesting journey and I thought it was time I put down my thoughts in writing for anyone who has been considering using it but hasn’t yet plucked up the courage...

The first thing I’d say is that it works. It works if you run it properly, the blindingly obvious counter-argument is that it doesn’t if you don’t.

The problem is, like a lot of things in life, you have to be competent to run a campaign and most small businesses don’t have the money, skill or inclination to spend time trying to work out how it works. This is a shame because it is a powerful tool in your marketing armoury – more powerful than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and just about every social app out there.

There are plenty of videos on how to set up an account with Google Ads, so I don’t intend to cover that, instead I would like to provide you with the reasons why you should consider the system and, quite possibly, why you shouldn’t.

Before we start, here’s a quick rundown of the terms I’ll be using

GA

Google Ads - the old Google Adwords

Ad

The ad that appears on the results page of Google.

Search term

(AKA keyword) – the phrase used by a visitor to instruct GA to show your ad. (If you are a plumber it might be “water leak Bradford”.) A search term can have a bid price determined by the bid strategy or just set by you – so “water leak Bradford” might be 89p.

Budget

How much money you are prepared to spend per day.

Campaign

The top level of any Google Ad work. Here you tell GA about your budget, bidding strategy, location, audiences and more.

Adgroup

One level down from a Campaign. An Adgroup contains the ads that appear in results page.

Bid

The amount of money you, or GA, decide is the price to pay for a click on your website.

Quality score

The score (out of 10) that Google applies to search term which measures the potential, and actual, success of your ad.

Should I use Google Ads?

Pros

Cons

It brings visitors to your website.

It costs you money and visitors won’t necessarily buy anything.

It’ll make you sales if correctly run.

It won’t if it isn’t.

It’s relatively easy to understand once you get the hang of it.

Google are very poor at user experience – they use unintuitive and complicated interfaces. It’s a struggle.

You can easily control your budget.

True

It’s easy to start or pause campaigns

True

GA allows you to slice and dice the results any way you like.

Which is handy because there can be a lot of it.

You attach a ‘bid’ price to all your relevant search terms.

Which might not bring you visitors.

The search terms that you create come in several formats.

Which is complicated. Do you use quotes or the addition sign or nothing?

You can reduce your bid rates by selecting ‘long tail terms’ – in other words search terms visitors rarely use.

Google gets the arse with you and downgrades terms which bring few results.

There are a wide variety of features that allow you to improve your results based on their success.

Many of them simply don’t work. (e.g. Responsive Search Ads IMHO)

Google wants you to get clicks.

You want sales.

Google provides you with free phone support.

Which is not very good. (Don’t remind me about the six different and contradictory answers I received over Dynamic Search Ads)

GA allows you to measure the success of a campaign by providing info on ‘conversions’ – i.e. the number of time a visitor has filled in a form or called you.

Useful, but some of them mean adding code to your website, skills you might not possess.

You can target your ads at particular locations.

Which nearly works.

You can link your campaigns to Google Analytics which shows a lot more detail on your campaigns and goals.

Sometimes useful.

There are a wide range of ad types.

There are a wide range of ad types. (17 in fact)

Google offer a simplified version of Ads called AdWords' Express.

Which offers very little granular control over your advertising.

Keyword Planner is a helpful tool which provides a wide range of alternative keywords for your campaign.

This is true; it is helpful, but it can also get you using terms which may not work; something you won’t know until you try them - and spend money.

You can target your campaign to the demographic and audience characteristics of your audience.

And you may be wrong. (Like a dating agency where you rule out red heads only to find your greatest love is a red head…)

GA provides you a mass of data to help you find the perfect ad, search terms and approach to hone your campaigns.

And you’ll have to spend money to discover what it is.

You can add extra text and links to your ads using ‘Extensions’

True

Google constantly come up with new ways of doing things.

Google constantly come up with new ways of doing things.

You can direct any search term used to a particular page on your website. (the ‘landing page’)

Cool if you are able to produce fast changes to your website to accommodate search terms.

GA measures Click Through Rate (CTR) – the rate at which visitors click on your ads when they are shown. This shows the usefulness of your ads to the user in relation to what he is looking for.

It also affects your Quality Score and the price you pay for your ads.

The more you ‘bid’ for a search term, the higher up on the results page your ad will appear – it’s ‘position’.

Generally true, but your ad, your landing page, your website speed, the CTR will also affect your position.

Google shows you what people actually type in to find your services, not ‘what you think’ they will type in; it deals in the real world.

But you won’t know what works until you try it. (Or 'spend money' as it's also known.)

Your ad can be guaranteed to be at the top of the search results.

It’ll cost yer.

Don’t forget, at the end of the day, Google are a commercial operation and want to encourage you to spend money; they are less worried about whether it actually works for you.

Recommendation

Despite my misgivings about GA, I believe it’s worth trying – even for a few months – it can transform your business. But you must bear one thing in mind:

Google receive most of their advertising income from medium to large companies, companies that either have the money and skills to do the work themselves or can afford to outsource the work to a specialist company. So, if you are a small company, you have a choice:

  • Learn GA and run the campaign yourself.
  • Employ or get an employee to do the work.
  • Outsource the work to a specialist.

Each option will cost you either time or money and the problem with employing an outside company is that you will need to pay (usually) a monthly charge to look after your campaign – and if that company gets lazy, you will see your ad budget spent without increasing your sales.

Let’s look at your options:

Run the campaign yourself

  • You need to be comfortable with technology. (I don’t mean mending computers, I mean understanding the basics of spreadsheets and pushing buttons)
  • You must be patient – GA has a tendency to frustrate.
  • Read up all you can about how it works before you start a campaign.
  • Kick things off with a) a low budget and b) a stop date. (I recommend a month)
  • Start off with a small number of Adgroups and search terms – don’t go overboard.
  • Start with text ads and call-only ads.
  • Set the search term bids manually – don’t let GA decide what the price should be. (But look at GAs bid price recommendations.)
  • Analyse the results regularly.
  • Add terms and Adgroups when the results come in.
  • Measure conversions – send the code to your web guy so calls/form fills can be recorded as conversions.
  • Create Adgroups for the best performing search terms – visitors are more likely to turn into customers if your ad provides them with what they are specifically looking for.
  • Create landing pages on your website for the best performing search terms.

Employ someone to do the work

  • Make sure they are comfortable with GA – or they can cover the areas outlined above.
  • Check their work on a regular basis.
  • Be clear on budgets, stop dates and reviews.
  • Measure success. Check sales over the period you are running the campaign – and check where they came from.
  • Be clear on your expectations. If you decide to spend £100 a month for six months and your expectation is £3,000 worth of sales, then stick to it.

Outsource the work

As above, but check customer reviews (on Google, Trustpilot etc) before asking a company to help and make sure you are comfortable with them. Make them understand that you will use them for as long as they produce results. Don’t sign any long-term contracts – always test first.

Final Word

A small website, especially when it’s new will never show on search results, Google Ads is a good way of getting there.

A wise old businessman I met a few years ago said: “I get a third of my business from current customers, a third from marketing and a third from AdWords.”

If you don’t try it, you’ll never know. Good luck.

Hywel Thomas web designer

Author: Hywel Thomas
Web Design and Google Ads person
Email: hi@zigger.co.uk

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