Grow Your Business With Online Ads

SCOREThis article is provided by the Greater Scranton Area SCORE chapter.

Not so long ago, millions of small business owners turned almost exclusively to the tried-and-true Yellow Pages to advertise their wares. But the Internet revolution has changed that, as small businesses have rushed to embrace new ways of attracting customers with technology.  

Internet search advertising is the hottest marketing trend to hit small business in decades. These are tiny, text-only paid ads that you create and which pop up as search engine results when potential customers type in key words and phrases related to your business.

Business owners in every industry and location are turning to these low-cost online advertising campaigns conducted through search engines to help drive business. The trend is unmistakable. According to an A.C. Nielsen survey, consumers are not letting fraud concerns stop them from shopping online. Results of this survey, commissioned by eBay, indicate that consumers are buying more each year online and that most believe the Web is becoming a safer place to shop.

Meanwhile, the spread of high-speed Web connections and hardware improvements are giving the Web advertising market a boost, and paid search engine advertising, also known as keyword advertising, is leading the way.

Small businesses are showing a marked preference for the new online marketing tools, which offer tremendous flexibility to control costs and test various marketing approaches almost instantly.  For example, florists can quickly change from prom to wedding season or an air conditioning service can exploit an early heat wave.  What’s more, results from these types of ads can be tracked, and return on investment measured in tremendous detail never available with traditional print types of advertising.

If your business uses a Web site to sell or market products and services, online marketing will be critical to your success. Targeted ads attached to keyword search results are the clear winner among Web-based marketing methods. Their simplicity, low cost and popularity among small businesses have pushed flashy banners aside as the main method for connecting buyers and merchants online. You pay only when someone clicks your ad and visits your site. A prospect that reads your brief ad but doesn’t click it costs you nothing.

Two leading search ad outlets are Google AdWords,, and Yahoo! Search Marketing, Visit the sites for complete details and to open an account.

For additional planning help for your small business, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.”  SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners.  Call (570) 851.1608 or visit to contact the Greater Scranton Area SCORE Chapter.