As an MSP, Here’s How to Run an Effective Google Ads Campaign in 2021

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    As someone who has managed hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad spend over the course of my career, let me tell you – Google Ads are still one of the most powerful opportunities that many MSPs aren’t taking advantage of. At least, not in the right way.

    Google Ads is the biggest provider of search advertising on the market today. These types of online ads have been proven to increase brand awareness by as much as 80 percent in some cases. But when you also consider that consumers are literally 70 percent more likely to make a purchase when a company leverages certain Google Ads features like retargeting, it’s easy to see why this is so important, especially now.

    All of this plays to the heart of something I’ve been talking a lot about recently, and that is the need to have as many different channels as possible fueling your MSP lead generation engine. You must fill that hopper up with leads, and Google Ads is just one of many, many ways that you can do it.

    The power of Google Ads

    One of the major reasons why I think Google Ads are so important for MSPs in particular is the quality of the leads that you’ll get is far, far higher than what you could match with an alternative outreach campaign.

    When someone is searching for “IT company near me,” that person is likely ready to make a purchase. They have an idea of what they need and may even know what they’re looking for in a partner, they just have to find them. With the right Google Ads campaign, you can increase your visibility to the point where you dramatically increase the chances that when they do pick up the phone to call an MSP, the first number they dial is yours.

    The other great benefit is that you’re talking about a “money for money” transaction, meaning that if you set up Google Ads in the right way, you can literally pay to achieve the results that you’re after. If you start small and spend $200 to make $400 for example, and if you can get that working for you, you can easily scale that out over time to improve your results in a meaningful way. If you can spend one amount of money to make a larger one in return, why would you ever stop doing that?

    This is especially important as an MSP, where you tend to keep your clients for a very long time. As the total lifetime value of those customers goes up, so does your incoming revenue stream.

    Potential drawbacks

    Of course, the drawback to Google Ads is also going to be a pretty significant one for most MSPs: it’s really, really expensive to get this right.

    If you compare the prices in 2021 to what they were even 10 years ago, the cost-per-click has risen dramatically. Today, the average cost-per-click can be $100 or more for some of the top “IT support” keywords that you’ll be targeting.

    But the reason WHY it’s so expensive has nothing to do with the idea that Google has just decided to charge MSPs more than they do to other industries. Instead, you need to see this for what it is – a marketplace based on supply and demand.

    Simply put, there is a significant demand for the marketing space at the top of Google as an MSP. However, there’s only so much supply as the search volume is limited by the number of people who are searching. If you’re a good MSP with a strong sales process, and if you have a really profitable business for each new client you get, you may be able to withstand a tremendous amount to get to the top of that ad space.

    If you average $90,000 to $100,000 of annual profit per client, for example, then it should be very easy for you to spend up to $40,000 or $50,000 to obtain one of those clients through Google Ads. If you’re in the beginning stages of your MSP, however, and your average deal size is closer to $5,000 or $10,000 annual profit, Google Ads may not be the right fit for you.

    Making Google Ads work for you

    So with all that in mind, how do you run an effective Google Ads campaign as an MSP, given everything going on in the world in 2021? In my opinion, it’s simple – even if you’re on a limited budget.

    First, start by focusing on lowering your CPC (cost-per-click) rates on all of your best keywords. Not the best in the industry, mind you, but the ones that you’re already getting the best results out of. “IT Services” and “IT Support,” for example, might get you similar results. But if you can find one or the other at half the price for your particular market, that is absolutely what you should be focusing on.

    If you have a keyword strategy that focuses on lowering your cost-per-click, you’ll continue to get more and more clicks for your same limited budget every month.

    Likewise, you need to make sure that your Google Ads campaign is actually focused on the right areas that will help you perform moving forward. This means more targeted campaigns that are aimed at the goals that matter most to you, like driving people to your website and increasing conversions. You need to make sure that whatever website people are landing on is fully equipped to get people to fill out your contact form or to call you on the phone. That’s how you get the results from Google Ads that you need.

    This also means focusing on sales – which is what will generate the revenue you need to come out on the other side of the pandemic all the better because of it. If you’re not focusing on turning as many of these leads into customers as possible, Google Ads isn’t going to be profitable for you. If you are, it will – truly, it doesn’t get much more straightforward than that.

    In the end, remember that Google Ads is powerful, but it’s also just one of the many, many tools in your MSP marketing toolbox. If you’re interested in getting help with figuring out what the rest of your toolbox looks like, please feel free to schedule your one-on-one consultation session with either myself or a colleague at Tech Pro Marketing. We’ll work to understand where you’re at today, all so that we can build a better vision for your future and let you embrace the tools that you’ll use to get there along the way.

    Nate Freedman

    Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing and Ulistic, the only MSP marketing group with 12+ years of experience helping MSPs generate over 20,000 high quality leads, with over 150 5-star Google Reviews to back it up. Connect with me on LinkedIn.