Welcome to our Little Black Book, an inspirational series of business stories and insights from our brilliant members.

Victoria Chapman

Victoria Chapman on the search for results

By Victoria Chapman

Founder - SMEketing

Through multi-faceted marketing and digital dexterity, Victoria Chapman has become a Google Ads lead generation specialist – enthusiastically navigating the ever-changing ad algorithms of the global search engine giant on behalf of her clients.

Victoria Chapman began her career in New York with a year’s placement at Ben Sherman where she first discovered her love of marketing – a passion which she continued to nurture upon returning to the UK as Marketing Coordinator for Swiss watch brand Longines, and later as Marketing Executive for IT company Documation Software.

Having discovered her flair for digital marketing, Victoria established SMEketing in 2009, which now focuses purely on the niche of lead generation; harnessing the power of Google Ads and developing custom landing pages specifically tailored for maximising lead generation effectiveness.

Connect on LinkedIn

What types of businesses do you help with Google Ads?

At SMEketing, we cater to companies at the larger end of the SME spectrum, primarily focusing on lead generation. Our client base spans a diverse range of sectors, including professional services, technology, manufacturing, as well as training and education firms. We don’t work with e-commerce businesses, as our strength lies in lead generation for companies offering specific services or solutions.

A lot of companies come to me having used Google Ads before but were left unsatisfied with their experience with larger agencies. So we place a strong emphasis on not just achieving great results, but also on fostering excellent client relationships.

Do you want more articles like this in your inbox? If so then register below...

How do you help businesses with their Google Ads?

Our services are tailored to the specific needs and challenges of each client, ensuring a bespoke approach – there are no one size fits all scenarios with Google Ads!. For existing accounts facing issues like declining conversion rates or increasing costs per conversion, we will conduct a comprehensive audit. This involves a thorough examination of the account to identify and address wasted spend and inefficiencies.

When it comes to new clients or businesses looking to expand their online presence, our focus shifts towards the development and implementation of new Google Ads accounts. This process includes in-depth research and planning to ensure that the campaigns align perfectly with the client’s goals (understanding client goals and their business KPIs is a vital part of the planning process)..

Long-term account management is a key part of our services, providing continuous support and optimisation. Our approach includes consistent monitoring, data analysis, and necessary adjustments to ensure the accounts continually run at optimum levels. We also work with clients to integrate new products and services, make seasonal adjustments and incorporate any promotions or events they might want to promote.

One of the biggest changes we made this year was the introduction of custom landing pages for our clients. And this has really been incredibly effective at helping to further boost their results. These custom pages are crafted to complement and enhance the Google Ads campaigns, focusing on converting visitors into leads. We employ A/B testing to fine-tune these landing pages for the best possible results.

What new Google functionality is on the horizon?

I think it’s probably similar for almost every industry across the board – it’s all about AI. Every year, Google hosts the “Google Marketing Live” event, where they announce their future plans, new product releases, and updates. This year, pretty much everything that they announced was AI-focused.

There’s a lot of AI in Google Ads already – things like Smart Bidding and their latest campaign type, Performance Max, are rooted in AI But in the future, Google will be able to take a product or service landing page, analyse it; understand it; and suggest keywords, headlines, descriptions, and images to create a Google Ads campaign entirely for you automatically.

In one sense, it will be brilliant; it will make things a lot quicker. But it does rely on your landing page being high quality in the first place. The prompts you give dictate how good the output is – how good your landing page is will equate to how good any potential AI-based campaign generated for you will be.

It’s interesting how it’s evolving, but the fundamentals of marketing advertising haven’t ever really changed. I think the human insight and management of marketing and advertising campaigns will remain quite crucial. It’s all about learning how to effectively use these tools and technology for the future.

In the last few years, Google Ads has been changing quite a lot. Previously, Google didn’t really make a lot of updates, and you could implement the same things that worked 12 months ago. Now, there are so many new updates being made to Google Ads that if you’re not proactively managing it, it is easy for your campaign to slip.

"Now, there are so many new updates being made to Google Ads that if you're not proactively managing it, it is easy for your campaign to slip"

What are some of the common challenges your clients have with Google Ads?

For the bigger clients, a common issue is the reduction in quality leads coming through and the cost per lead increasing. With Google Ads, if you haven’t got your conversion tracking setup properly, you’re feeding inaccurate data back into Google and it creates a knock-on effect on everything that Google does with your campaign. If you’ve gone wrong with your conversion tracking, then often the best thing is to start from scratch.

A key thing is also patience. You’ve really got to give Google Ads at least three months to run before you can start getting any results: it takes a while for a campaign to establish itself.

For smaller businesses, I’ve got clients who’ve tried Google Ads themselves and didn’t get any results. When you’ve got a smaller budget, you’ve got to be so much savvier with how you’re using it. You can do things like narrow the location settings and look at the audiences you’re targeting. Unless you’ve got experience in Google Ads, a budget can be spent very quickly.

Do you have any top tips for using Google Ads?

One of the key things is knowing your business numbers before you go into a Google Ads campaign. Things like your profit margin, your average client lifetime value, how many leads you generate each month, and what your conversion rate on those leads from enquiry to sale is. Getting all those numbers before you start a campaign will help to figure out what your cost per acquisition should be on Google, and then you can work backward from there to establish how much budget is realistically needed.

Many businesses just allocate a random monthly budget and put it into Google Ads to see what happens, but that’s a good way to waste your money – you need to know what your benchmark KPIs are before you go in. Know and understand what your goals are: with lead generation it’s things like how many, and what kind of, leads you want to generate.
Then from a nitty-gritty Google Ad point of view, it’s worthwhile doing good keyword research and making sure your adverts are compelling. Do some competitor research – look at what your competitors are saying, but also what they’re not saying to promote your USPs, and make sure that your adverts stand out from the competition. Then test your advert – what you think might be amazing content might not resonate with the audience. But test more than that – you should always A/B test adverts, but also bidding strategies, keyword match types, landing pages and more. Constant testing and experimentation is key to continually grow an account.

And make sure you have a good landing page with messaging that matches what you’ve got in your adverts so it’s a smooth and streamlined process for the user. The landing pages should be optimised to convert, using things like lots of social proof with your reviews prominently displayed. It’s trying to give your searcher and website visitors the best experience possible, making them more likely to get in touch and make that enquiry.

"You’ve really got to give Google Ads at least three months to run before you can start getting any results: it takes a while for a campaign to establish itself."

Victoria Chapman - Founder, SMEketing

How do you spend your time outside of the business?

I’ve got two young children, and like most parents, they take up a lot of time – I enjoy spending time with my family.
I love running – I like to combine running and listening to audiobooks. I tend to listen to fiction; my current genre is World War II historical novels. Although I’ve also recently been using this running time to listen to some new podcasts – a mix of business and random comedy ones keep me going.

What are some recent things that you’ve searched for on Google?

For work, it’s things like searching for my clients’ websites, and doing competitor research. As well as researching for articles I’ve been writing for the SMEketing Google Ads blog. I’ll also search for information relating to recent Google Ads updates, and training on specific areas that I’m interested in.

My personal searches are more likely to be parenting-related searches like: How to stop your three-year-old waking up at three o’clock in the morning!

Victoria Chapman Portrait