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It doesn’t matter if you are a small local business with one brick and mortar store or an e-commerce site that sells to people around the world. Advertising is one of the primary ways to get the word out about your business. Advertising is changing rapidly as technology evolves and more and more people are going online and to their mobile devices to find information about products and services. So adding digital advertising to your marketing campaign is a must.

Google is one of the largest display ad networks in the United States. According to recent statistics from ComScore, Google’s ad display network reaches 89% of customers through a variety of websites, games, and videos.

So, how do you go about advertising on Google? First we’ll talk about a free opportunity available to businesses that can help get your name out without taking any green out of your pocket. It’s called Google Places. Google Places allows businesses to claim their business listing, add their address, a map, business description, business hours and even photos and video about their business. The best part… it’s free.

There are a few different options when you decide you are ready to start paying for advertising on Google. Being one of the largest online ad networks, Google has made it pretty simple to figure out how to advertise on their site, as well as display, mobile and video advertising.

You will need a Google account to start with, and then go to the Google Ads webpage. There you will be presented with two different advertising options: AdWords Express and original AdWords.

Google launched AdWords Express last summer as a way to provide small businesses who might not be familiar with online advertising a way to set up managed advertising campaigns in as little as five minutes. It’s great for community-based businesses that want to connect with locals through the web or in person but don’t want to spend time managing an online campaign. When using AdWords Express, Google manages your ads for you. Everything from figuring out your keywords to where your ads will be placed. Users decide how much they want to spend based on a maximum daily budget, and they are only charged when someone clicks on their ad.

If you’re familiar with online advertising, your business is online or you serve a national customer base, Google’s original AdWords platform is probably more suited to your needs. Google provides all of the tools and reports you need to set up your advertising campaign and stay up to date on it’s progress. With AdWords, you also have the option to showcase your ads in additional formats, like video and mobile. Through AdWords, individuals manage their own accounts and determine their advertising budget by bidding on their keywords. To set up AdWords, click here and simple follow Google’s step-by-step instructions.

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