07/28/2014 01:30 pm ET Updated Sep 27, 2014

7 Things Godzilla Can Teach us About Search Advertising

Digital marketing can be overwhelming if you've never stepped onto that stage before. The same is true of Godzilla -- so huge! So unpredictable! So impossible to understand! The good news is there are plenty of well-educated, experienced digital marketers to guide you to the answers you need. And one movie about a few enormous creatures that can do that as well.

1. Standing around looking dazed isn't helpful for anyone.
A staggering number of small and mid-sized businesses have yet to assert themselves online with paid search advertising. Businesses that shake the daze and embrace search marketing are not just leaps and bounds ahead of their competition, they could be the only ad showing up on certain keywords. These are the guys who will avoid being eaten.

2. Go in with all your forces. Or just one strong U.S. Navy Lieutenant.
Spending too little is the same as spending nothing. At the same time, depending on your business and goals, you can spend relatively little and still have an impact with search advertising. This is one reason search marketing was made for small business - total control over the spend at every moment. Go big one minute, pull back and pinpoint your budget the next. Either way can work.

3. Killing three birds with one stone sounds like it won't work. And it won't.
Getting specific with your targeting is critical in search advertising and killing monsters. The nature of search allows you to target in dimensions that will blow your mind: By timing (day, time of day, day of the week, week in the month, seasonally according to your business needs), by geography, and by device type. Drilling into exactly the right parameters gives you the kill shot.

4. When the time is right, breathe fire.
Timing is one of the strongest levers you can pull in search advertising. Aside from serving ads that are sensibly timed seasonally, take a close look at real-life events that can influence consumers. Maybe your city is hosting the Olympic trials for track and field -- you'll know the dates for this event at least a year in advance, and can begin planning your campaigns to take advantage of this. Breathe fire into your budget at just the right time to tip your ads into the best position.

5. The fight for the top is fierce for a reason.
In search advertising, showing up at the top of the search results page is essential -- that's where most clicks happen. Getting to that top spot comes from a combination of bidding and ad quality. Ad quality is determined largely by whether your ad is relevant to searches, which is evaluated by click-thru's to your landing page and landing page quality. Taking care of all of these elements of your search advertising will help you rise like Godzilla, where the power of your reach is matched by your ginormous tail.

6. Mayhem makes everything confusing and upsetting.
Very few business owners are comfortable with disorganization and guess-work when it comes to finances. Fittingly, we don't like mayhem in search marketing - we like order, predictability and reports with lots of neat rows of numbers. These reports are the tools that drive smarter decisions based on actual results. Thoughtful planning, tracking spend and ROI and optimizing to get the most out of every dollar conquers the mayhem and keeps everything ship shape.

7. Your competition might be underground, feeding on nuclear energy and waiting to scramble onto the scene when you're in the middle of a nap.
See above, "Standing around looking dazed isn't helpful for anyone."

Lesson learned? Get into search advertising immediately, corner your specific market with smart budgeting, strong ads, sensible targeting and the occasional firestorm of bidding. Use your reports to make better decisions. Do this before your competitors get strong on nuclear energy and seize the day for themselves.