Traditional Advertising vs. Google Ads for Trade Businesses

As a trade business owner, you’re constantly looking for ways to reach new customers and grow your business. You may wonder whether traditional advertising methods are still effective or it’s time to switch to Google Ads for trade businesses.

What is Traditional Advertising?

Traditional advertising refers to the classic ways businesses promote their products or services before having digital means. Before the internet became a dominant force in advertising, traditional methods were the go-to for businesses looking to attract customers. Companies invested in print ads in newspapers and magazines, and sponsored radio shows. They even created jingles for TV commercials to catch their audience’s attention and create brand recognition.

Traditional advertising relies on established channels like newspapers, magazines, radio, and television to reach a broad audience. These mediums have been around for years, offering a level of trust and credibility that’s difficult to achieve using new advertising channels.

What is Google Ads for Trade Businesses?

Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform, where you only pay when someone clicks on your ads. You bid on specific keywords, and the platform displays your ads at the top or bottom of the search engine results page (SERP) during a search. Google’s auction system determines the cost of each click, where the highest bidder gets the top spot. Watch this video to learn more about bidding strategies in Google Ads auction:

Google Ads offers a range of ad formats, including text ads, local ads, and shopping ads. Text ads are the most common type and consist of a headline, description, and URL. Local ads are designed for businesses with physical locations and include your business’ name, address, and phone number. Shopping ads, also known as product listing ads, feature images and product information.

Comparison of Traditional Advertising and Google Ads for Trade Businesses

1. Reaching a Local Audience

One of the biggest advantages of traditional advertising for trade businesses is its ability to target local audiences effectively. You typically place the ads in local newspapers, magazines, or on billboards, reaching a wide range of potential customers in your immediate area. This is useful for trade businesses that rely on word-of-mouth referrals and local reputation. But it often lacks the precise targeting capabilities of digital platforms like Google Ads.

Traditional ads have limited control over who sees your message, resulting in wasted ad spend on uninterested or unqualified leads. Google Ads for trade businesses allows you to target potential customers based on a range of criteria. This includes location, search keywords, demographics, interests, and even past interactions with your website. The precision ensures that you show ads to the most relevant and qualified leads, increasing the chances of conversions for your business.

2. Building Brand Awareness

Traditional advertising methods, such as print ads or direct mail campaigns, help you build brand awareness and recognition in your community. When potential customers see your business name and logo consistently across various media, it establishes your brand as a trusted and reputable provider. Tracking the effectiveness and ROI from traditional advertising campaigns can be challenging because you don’t know which ads directly influenced your customers. This makes it hard to adjust your marketing strategies as well as justify the costs.

Meanwhile, Google Ads for trade businesses provides detailed performance metrics and analytics, helping you track the success of your campaigns in real-time. You’ll see how many people clicked on your ads, visited your website, or took a specific action, whether it’s filling out a contact form or making a phone call. But the required constant monitoring and optimization of Google Ads campaigns to continue being effective is a time-consuming process. It may even require specialized knowledge of a dedicated marketing team.

Digital Trek offers Google Ads Management services to help clients run successful campaigns that deliver measurable results. Contact us and get a free quote!

3. Calculating Associated Costs

Unlike digital ads that customers can easily overlook or forget, traditional advertising materials like brochures are something that your target audience can hold. This makes your brand more memorable and increases the chances of potential customers keeping you in mind when they need your services. But factors like printing costs, media placement fees, and the need for professional design services can quickly add up. This makes it difficult to sustain long-term campaigns.

Google Ads offers high flexibility, where you can adjust your campaigns immediately based on performance. You can pause, change, or scale your ads up or down depending on your budget, seasonal demands, or changing market conditions. This agility bodes well with trade businesses that need to respond to fluctuations in demand or take advantage of new opportunities.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Traditional Advertising and Google Ads for Trade Businesses

1. Profile of the Target Audience

Your target audience is the group of people you’re trying to reach with your ads. Understanding who your audience is will help you determine which advertising method will be most effective in reaching and engaging them. Traditional advertising, like newspaper ads or flyers, work better for a target audience consisting of older people and those that likely engage with print materials. But Google Ads for trade businesses is a better choice when your audience is tech-savvy and spends a lot of their time online.

2. Available Budget

Think about how much you’re willing to invest in advertising and which method aligns with your financial resources. Traditional advertising requires a significant upfront investment, while Google Ads allows you to set a budget that fits your financial capabilities. Note that your budget influences the scale of your advertising campaigns. A higher budget in traditional advertising can secure prime ad placements in popular media channels, potentially reaching a larger audience.

Meanwhile, you can start with a modest budget on Google Ads for trade businesses and only scale up as you see positive results. This is perfect for testing different advertising strategies without committing to a large upfront cost.

3. ROI Measurability

Measurability refers to your capacity to track and understand the effectiveness of your advertising efforts in attracting new customers and making a profit. Traditional advertising methods make it hard to measure its direct influence on your sales and profit. You may see an increase in customers after running a campaign, but it’s difficult to attribute those results solely to your traditional ads. On Google Ads for trade businesses, you get access to tools like Google Analytics.

It provides you detailed reports on the number of clicks, impressions, and conversions you’ve got from running an ad campaign. In an economic impact report, Google estimated that a business earns $8 in profits for every $1 they spend on Google Ads, suggesting a high ROI potential. Measurability also sets realistic expectations for your advertising campaigns. Measurability helps you compare how much money you’re making than the amount of money you’re spending on ads.

Let’s say your average ROI for the last 5 campaigns was 80%. This means for every $1 you spend, you make about $1.80 in sales. You can then use that as a benchmark for your succeeding ad campaigns. So when you plan a new campaign, you can set your expectations around this 80% ROI. Assuming you plan to spend $2,000, you can realistically expect to make around $3,600 in sales.

4. Timing Disparity

Consider how quickly you need to see results from your advertising efforts. Keep in mind that the timing difference between traditional advertising and Google Ads stems from how each method interacts with your audience. Traditional advertising has a slower pace in delivering results, focusing on building brand awareness over time through repeated exposure. It often interrupts consumers’ activities, such as watching TV or reading a newspaper, without immediate feedback on their effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Google Ads for trade businesses offers immediate results by targeting users actively searching for relevant products or services. Google Ads does this through strategically positioning themselves within the user’s customer journey, providing relevant information to users. This leads to faster responses and increases engagements with potential customers, eventually improving your conversion rate. According to Wordstream, the average conversion rate for Google Ads is 4.40% in search campaigns and 0.57% in display campaigns.

Combining Traditional Advertising and Google Ads for Trade Businesses

Traditional advertising and Google Ads for trade businesses have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. But the most effective marketing strategy often involves a combination of both approaches. You can use traditional ads for local reach and brand-building and rely on Google ads for precise targeting and measurable results. This creates a well-rounded marketing mix that reaches potential customers at multiple touchpoints throughout their buying journey.

For example, you can use traditional advertising to build awareness and drive traffic to your website. Then re-target those visitors with Google Ads to encourage them to either request a quote or schedule a consultation.

Choose What’s Best for Your Business

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in choosing between traditional advertising and Google Ads for trade businesses. The best approach will depend on your specific goals, target audience, budget, and the unique characteristics of your industry. It’s important that you weigh the pros and cons of each method and consider how they can work together to support your overall marketing strategy. In this way, you can develop a more effective campaign to attract new clients and grow your trade business.

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