What is Google Adwords? A Guide for Endurance Coaches

  

Whether you just started your coaching business or you are an established coach with dozens of athletes, there is always more to learn about growing and sustaining your coaching business. With so many marketing tools out there like Google Adwords, it can be difficult to know what your business might benefit from the most and where you should put your time and money.

Adwords is a powerful tool that you may want to consider to reach targeted audiences through the power of search, display, and video ads. This article should help you understand how Adwords works and how you might be able to take advantage of the tool as an endurance sports coach.

What is Adwords?

In the simplest terms, Google Adwords is a paid digital advertising tool that allows you to deliver ads to targeted audiences using search, display, and video. If you have ever used Google to search, watched a video on YouTube, or visited any number of websites, it’s almost a certainty that you have seen ads generated by marketers using Google Adwords.

Why should endurance coaches think about using Adwords?

The real power of Adwords comes from the massive amount of data Google has access to through its many products and tools. That allows you to directly target your advertising to the athletes you think are most likely to be interested in your services.

Do you specialize in coaching local, middle-aged triathletes attempting their first IRONMAN? Are you more interested in attracting competitive marathoners trying to reach the next level? Or maybe you want to reach parents of youth athletes in your area dipping their toes into endurance sports?

With the power of audience targeting, you can find creative ways to communicate with your future athletes where they already are, and tell them about why your coaching business is right for them.

What types of ads does Adwords offer?

There are three primary types of ads that Google Adwords offers that might work for endurance coaches. Let’s take a look at each one:

Search

Every time you search using Google, there is a good chance you see “sponsored” ads at the top of your search results. Those ads appear based on the search terms you used and the demographic information Google has collected (for example, your location, age, gender, and interests).

Search Ads

Display

These ads display on websites and apps external to Google through the Google Display Network, which Google claims reaches “90 percent of internet users worldwide.” Display ads have the potential to include more visual content compared to many search ads and can extend to specific websites that your potential customers might be visiting.

Video

You can also use Adwords to target customers on YouTube. You can set up your video ad to run before other YouTube videos or appear in YouTube search results. Of course, you will need existing video content to use video ads.

Video Ads

How much does Adwords cost?

Just like many of the other features in Google Adwords, you have a lot of control over how much or little you pay. However, that means that there are a lot of potential decisions to be made concerning your budget, and that can be overwhelming to the Adwords beginner.

Available payment strategies may vary depending on what type of advertising you choose, but search advertising revolves around bidding for ad placement based on keywords. In other words, as you decide on your ad and audience parameters, you will also set a budget and bid against other advertisers to get your ad placed. Then, if your customer makes a desired action specified by you (seeing the ad, clicking on a video, clicking to your website and taking a specific action) then you pay for the ad.

There can be a lot more complexity to optimizing your ad bids well, but the good news is that Google has several way to automatically optimize bids for you. As you become more familiar with the tool you may want to experiment more and take more control.

Is Adwords right for my coaching business?

Adwords is an extremely powerful tool, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every business. Before jumping into building your first campaign, consider your goals and whether targeted online ads make sense.

Do you have specific, measurable growth goals you are trying to reach? Would you accept any new athlete or are you trying to reach a subset of athletes specific to your coaching style? Are you ready to expand your business to entirely new audiences? Do you have a web experience that clearly explains who you are as a coach and provides an easy way for athletes to reach out to you?

Based on your goals, Adwords might be right for your business.

Where do I start?

There are countless advertising strategies and subtleties to take advantage of using Adwords, which can make it difficult to know where to start. Here are a few ideas that might work well for your coaching business:

  1. Keyword search. This is the “bread and butter” of Adwords advertising. Consider your business and coaching goals, and then set up a campaign to reach your desired audience. For example, a coach specializing in local, female, first-time triathletes could target women in a 50-mile radius, aged 24-55, making between $75,000 and $150,000 a year, and interested in fitness. Then, whenever someone in that group searches terms such as “triathlon training” or “how to run an IRONMAN,” you could bid to have your ad appear in the search results.
  2. Remarketing. Remarketing is a powerful way to advertise to individuals who have already interacted with your website. By installing a remarketing tag on your website, Adwords will have the capability to serve ads to athletes who have already visited, but not converted on your website.
  3. Use existing content. Think about content you may already have and use it to your advantage. For example, if you have an active YouTube channel full of fitness tutorials, explore video marketing. If you keep up with regular blog posts about specific issues, target your desired athlete searching for instruction related to those issues.
  4. Get certified. As you become more experienced with Adwords, you might consider taking free courses in Google’s Academy for Ads. With a variety of courses ranging from business basics to bid optimization, you will improve your marketing skills and earn your Adwords certification in no time.

About the Author

Evan Moore is a content editor at TrainingPeaks specializing in coaching content. Previously, he worked in marketing in the outdoor industry and higher education. He enjoys running, mountain biking, triathlons and many other outdoor activities.

View more posts by Evan Moore