How Alerus uses Google AdWords to connect small businesses with resources


Alerus SBC logoAlerus Small Business Connect (SBC) is a website created by the Midwest-based financial services company Alerus Financial. With information ranging from finance and customer service to technology and human resources, it’s a one-stop-shop where small business owners can find valuable information to run their businesses.

Flint Communications worked with Alerus to create the site in January 2010, but we recently decided it needed a little TLC to garner some more attention within the webosphere.

Enter, Google AdWords.

Finally, preaching to the choir is a good thing.

According to search engine marketing company WordStream, 97 percent of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. Check out this interesting infographic WordStream created to show where Google is making its money:

Googlel AdWords infographic

So why do so many businesses invest in online advertising through Google AdWords? Because it’s an effective way to reach an audience by tapping into people who are already interested in you.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I have to tell you, Google AdWords is quite sleek. Basically, you create ads and choose keywords, meaning words or phrases that relate to your business. Then, when people type one of your keywords into the Google search bar, your ad might appear next to the search results.

Connecting users to Alerus Small Business Connect.

The Alerus Financial SBC campaign has multiple ads targeting different aspects of owning a small business, such as customer retention, customer service, financial, human resources, legal, marketing and social media.

The ads appear based on keywords users query and are linked to topic-specific pages within the Alerus SBC site.

For example, if you search funding a small business, the ad below may come up.

Financial keyword graphic

The keyword the user searched for appears inside the bracket. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to this page within SBC’s site with specific financial resources to get your small business off the ground.

If you type in other keywords we’ve identified, such as ideas for a small business, customer service tips or human resources article, these ads could appear:

three keywords graphic


The campaigns have been returning a consistent flow of site visitors each month. So far, the Customer Service ad group has generated the most traffic, resulting in 1,161 clicks.

We’re keeping an eye on the campaign to make sure we’re still getting results, and we’ll tweak it as needed to make sure our keywords are sending the right people to the right pages of the site.

In the meantime, Alerus continues to connect people with the tools and resources they need to create and maintain thriving small businesses.

Does your business use Google Adwords to connect your customers? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Ericka Olin

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