with: Richard Routson, Dentmasters (Virginia, USA)

The Yellow Pages are dead.  Online searches are your number one source for acquiring new customers.  Google is the leader in internet searches.  The Google search results page is broken down into 3 sections (sponsored, organic, and locations).


Ideally you want your website to show up at the top of all 3 sections, whenever someone searches for “dent repair” in your area.  Organic and location results are free and can be obtained through creating great content on your site and linking from social media accounts and directories.

To have your website placed at the very top of the page in the prime location of the sponsored ads, you have to spend a little bit of cash.  The answer is Google Adwords or Google Adwords Express.  Google Adwords is a powerful tool that allows you to really dial in a pay-per-click campaign.  However, the interface is hard to navigate and all of the features are very confusing and hard to master.  A whole industry of 3rd party companies has been formed to help small businesses manage their Adwords campaigns.  That’s who is cold calling your phone constantly, not Google.

In 2011 Google Adwords Express was introduced as a more user friendly fully automated option for establishing a pay-per-click campaign.  In my opinion, Adwords Express is a nice entry level advertising platform for a local PDR company.  Sign up is easy and starting a campaign takes about 15 minutes.  You can do-it-yourself online or call Google (1-855-500-2762) and have someone walk you through it.  Here are the basic steps:

  1. Complete a company profile page
  2. Select your targeted geographical area
  3. Select your business category – Automotive Dent Removal
  4. Select wording for your ad
  5. Select a landing page for your ad – home page or estimate request form
  6. Select a daily budget

Once set up, your ad should start appearing in the sponsored section at the top page of google search results. Adwords Express has a very easy to use interface and can deliver a limited amount of analytics.  It is a great option for someone that doesn’t have a ton of time to manage a full Adwords campaign and doesn’t want to pay someone else to do it.  You can basically set a daily budget and forget about it.  You also don’t have to sign any contracts.  You can can turn the ad on and off whenever you please.

Express does have it’s drawbacks. The analytics are far better on Adwords. You can’t dial in your ad as precisely as you can on Adwords. Also, the amount of times your ad is seen and clicked on is totally determined by Google’s choice of keywords associated with your business category and algorithms they create.  There is no opportunity to choose your own keywords and set an amount you want to pay for each click.  All that being said, I’m too busy pushing dents and trying to build a web presence through social media to spend a lot of time managing a full blown Adwords campaign. Adwords Express is the proper fit for me.

Create an ad, get found, and keep pushing!