Creating effective ads on Google that drive results, speak directly to your target audience, and build your presence is precisely why businesses are now choosing to increase their ad spend through this avenue.
With on average over 259 million unique visitors, every day and up to 4.8 billion interactions daily – Google ads should be a big part of your SEO and marketing strategy.
In this guide, we want to look at Google advertising in more detail, taking a closer look at some features Google Ads offers and how you can optimise your marketing and SEO efforts to achieve an impressive ROI.
SEO and Google Ads
Today, SEO isn’t a new-fangled marketing tool that only those solely operating online use. Instead, SEO has grown into a focused engagement tool that allows businesses from all types of industries and all sizes to target their ideal audience and build much stronger relationships.
It allows companies to focus their paid campaigns better, providing more clicks, a higher chance of sales conversions, and increased profits.
Google Ads is ultimately a paid-for advertising platform, part of the pay-per-click marketing channel/activity, where you pay a fee based on the number of clicks or impressions your ad receives.
Why do Google Ads work?
Because they’re cost-effective, simple, and help to drive results and targeted traffic to your business.
The keyword here is targeted. Where people online who are searching for a product or service you are offering will see your ad appear, putting you in the right place at the right time, with the right offer – boosting traffic to your website, an increase in the number of calls, and even more footfall through your shop door.
With Google ads, you show up on the search engine results page (SERPS) when your target audience is looking for products and services you offer.
Google ads also cross-pollinate to other online mediums, including Blogger, YouTube, and Google Display Network.
In addition to this, you can also tailor your Google Ad campaign to suit your budget, i.e., you don’t need thousands set aside to create an effective ad.
Setting a monthly cap or even pause and stopping your advertising when you’ve hit your budget threshold can be done at any time through the Google Ads tool – ultimately, you are in complete control.
Are Google Ads for you?
You could say Google ads aren’t for everyone; however, we’d say they are suitable for everyone when we look at the statistics.
- 8% click-through rate
- 180 million impressions every month
- Those people searching and ready to buy paid ads on Google receive 65% of the clicks
- 43% of people buy something they’ve seen advertising on YouTube.
Let’s take a look at Google
Like it or not, Google is one of the most used search engines in the world. With 5 billion search queries seen every single day, it is a platform that demands attention.
When we think about how we ourselves use Google, we can begin to understand how our customers and potential customers will also use the platform and build strategic and targeted campaigns around this knowledge.
For example, we ask Google questions, and in return, Google provides us with a page full of potential answers WITH some paid advertisements that suit the search criteria.
Another compelling reason to jump on the Google Ad campaign trail is that your competitors are most likely already using Google Ads to promote their business, beating you to that top spot and taking sales that could be yours.
Google Ads Top Tips
If you’ve used Google Ads in the past and found your campaigns to be underperforming, don’t give up just yet, there can be various reasons why this has happened. To help, we’ve provided some of our top tips when creating a solid Google Ad campaign.
Keep your keywords specific.
Testing and changing your keywords regularly is key to finding out which one’s work for you and which ones are grabbing your audience’s attention. At first, it can be a little of trial and error, but due to Google Ads’ flexibility, changing, monitoring, and testing is relatively straightforward.
Keep your keywords specific to make sure your ad targets your exact customer, as this will result in a higher volume of clicks and visitors to your site.
Don’t run ads just for the sake of it.
Make sure your ads are part of a more comprehensive marketing campaign. That you have relevant landing pages set up and that your headline and main copy match and include your chosen keywords. Your ad needs to provide the solution that your target audience is searching to find.
You could carry out some split testing to see which ads generate the highest clicks, or you could use Google’s Responsive Ads feature to provide you with the data you need to make your campaign really pop.
Improve your ranking.
Yes, easier said than done, however improving your quality score through Google will help you move up their rankings, and the higher you rank, the better your placements and chances of being seen.
Create a landing page and optimise it!
Landing pages should form part of your customer’s online journey and their experience with you.
Does your landing page match your ad in terms of the information it provides – does it offer the correct information to help the customer and convert them to a sale?
Make sure to include the same or similar keywords, offering a seamless transition for your potential customer from the first click to the finished sale.
Google Ad terms
To run an effective ad campaign, it’s important that you know some terminologies used.
AdRank – where your ad will be placed on the page. The higher the value, the better you’ll rank, and the more people who will see your ad and click. Maximum bid x quality score = AdRank.
Bidding – here, you decide the bid amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. Of course, there is a catch in that the higher you bid, the better placement you will receive. There are three options within bidding:
- Cost per Click (CPC) – you pay per click on your ad.
- Cost per Mille (CPM) – you pay once your ad has been shown to 1,000 people
- Cost per Engagement (CPE) – you pay when someone acts on your ad
Campaign type – choose between search (text ads displayed among search results), display (image-based ads shown within the Google Display Network), or video (ads that appear on YouTube).
Click-Through Rate (CTR) – the number of clicks your ad receives against your ad’s number of views.
Conversion rate – how many conversions you have received from the total number of visitors dropping onto your landing pages.
Display network – you can choose to display your ads on search results pages or web pages within Google’s Display Network (GDN).
Extensions – provide further information to support your ad through Sitelink, Location, Call, App, or Offer.
Keywords – words or phrases that match or provide a solution to what your target audience is searching for online.
Negative keywords – those words or phrases that you don’t want to rank for.
PPC – pay per click is an advertising channel where you pay for every click that you receive on your advert. PPC is directly specific to Google Ads but is the most common form of paid advertising.
Quality scores – measured by your click-through rate, the relevance of keywords, landing page, past performance.
How Google Ads work
In its simplest form, Google Ads puts your ad in front of potential customers who are using Google to find a product or service that you offer.
Advertisers placed at the top of the search results page are those advertisers who have been the highest bidders on particular search terms and keywords.
However, even if you manage to secure that top spot with your ad, it still needs to be effective and high performing to encourage people to click through to your designated landing pages.
How to create an effective ad
Work on your AdRank
You need to determine the placement of your ads and quickly. Building up your quality score and increasing your bid amount are the two main factors that can help.
You must show a quality ad that is also relevant. Relevancy is then determined by:
- Keywords – your ad offers the answer to a searcher’s question.
- Location – the geographical area that you operate, i.e., worldwide, Europe, UK, etc.
Choose your keywords carefully
Keyword research is vital before you launch any ad online. Ideally, you want to match your target audience’s search criteria perfectly, especially as Google matches your ad with the search queries received based on your chosen keywords.
You should look to target one to five keywords for each ad, again testing and amending, as necessary.
Is it a match?
Your choice of keywords and your keyword selection can be defined by the type of match you’re looking for. For example:
- Broad match – any word within your keyword phrase can be used in any order.
- Modified broad match – lock-in words or phrases by using a `+` sign alongside them.
- Phrase match – matches your keyword phrase in the order you have presented it.
- Exact match – keeps your keyword phrases in the exact order with no additions allowed.
Our recommendation is to test what works for you; trial and error is the best way to achieve the results that work for you.
What’s your headline?
Your advert’s content can be the difference between a click for you or a click on your competitor’s ad. Your headline and ad description must match what the searcher is looking for, it incorporates your keywords, and it offers a solution to your audience’s main pain points.
For us, there is no reason not to be using ad extensions. They’re free, and they allow you to provide more information to your audience, offering them another reason to choose you.
The different categories of ad extensions include:
- Sitelink extensions – add more links to your site that offer users more reasons to click!
- Call extensions – pop your phone number on the ad, so potential customers have an instant way to connect with you.
- Location extensions – include your location and number in your ad so people can easily find you.
- Offer extensions – great if you have a current promotion running.
- App extensions – if you have an app that people can download, tell people about it in your ad!
This approach is very cost-effective as it ultimately allows you to advertise to those who have engaged with you online before but have not yet converted.
Using tracking cookies, you can specifically target these audiences with your Google Ads making them highly effective, especially as it’s reported people need to see your advert approximately seven times before they convert to a customer!
Types of Google Ad campaigns
Search. Quite simply, these are text adverts that appear on the results pages of Google. The main benefit of this ad is that you appear in the place where most people are searching – Google.
Those ads designed to be responsive (you can enter different versions of headlines and descriptions to see what works) allow you to take a more dynamic approach. Testing your copy until you find the best version for you and your target audience, i.e., the Ad that gets the most clicks!
Display. Using the Google Display Network allows you to broaden your ad campaign as you have access to a network of websites and, as such different audiences. Getting your name and brand in front of more people in a short space of time.
Video. We mustn’t forget that YouTube is a search engine too in its own right and as such, Ads pop up before, during, and at the end of videos, your target audience may be watching. Make sure to use the right keywords to grab your potential customer’s attention enough that they feel ok about their video being disrupted!
App. App campaigns focus on encouraging users to download and install your app. Providing Google with your app’s information and placing your bid ensures that Google gets to work putting this information in front of the right people at the right time.
Shopping. These campaigns focus on providing product information such as price, a picture of said product, etc. In these instances, you’re able to promote specific products rather than everything!
Creating a great Ad on Google
Like everything with Google, their online platform for setting up and creating your online ads is seamless and extremely straightforward.
Taking you through a series of steps, and having your ad copy, and images to hand, you can be up and in front of your target audience in 15minutes!
However, it is the additional fail-safe measures that take time to help ensure your ad is fully optimised and trackable!
For example, you need to:
Set your Google analytics. Google Analytics plays a big part of your traffic tracking on your website, and as such, it must be linked to your Google ads to provide you with the same level of intel and insight.
Add UTM codes. Used by Google to track specific link activity, Urchin Tracking Module codes will tell you which ad led to the conversion, allowing you to track and report on your ROI effectively.
Allow for conversion tracking to show you how many leads you have received from your ad campaign. Allowing you to track sales and report on ROI.
Integrate Google Ads with your CRM. There’s no nicer feeling than knowing your data and information are all held in the same place and in some functional, workable order. Allowing you to track, analyse, and report using your CRM system alongside your Google Ads supports your overall marketing efforts.
Now that your ad content and headlines are set up and in place, it’s time to get bidding!
Sticking to your goals and, indeed, your bidding budget is relevant in this section, as is, deploying a winning bidding strategy. For example:
Automated bidding. Here Google is in charge and adjusts your bid depending on your competitors. Don’t panic; they can’t run into thousands as you still have the option to set a maximum spend limit, with Google working within a set range to provide you with the best chance of winning.
Manual bidding. Here you set the bid amounts. You are in complete control and can increase or reduce spending depending on how your ad is performing.
Branded search term bidding, i.e., your bid for those that have your company name or unique product name included in them, for example, `Buzz Panda Digital.` We like to think branded terms are something that would grow organically linked to your other SEO work so budgets can be saved; however, bidding on these terms allows you to dominate search pages.
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), using this bidding strategy means you only pay when you achieve a paying customer, making it often easier to track and justify your spending.
Please don’t forget, to make your ad truly successful, you need:
- An optimised landing page followed by a page that tells them what to do next.
- Consider both desktop and mobile Ads.
- Track your Google Ad spend to monitor your ROI.
There’s a lot of information and detail that goes into creating the perfect Google Ad campaign.
And we want all of our Google Ad campaigns to be successful. Showing a good return on investment and ultimately a boost to our bottom line.
If you’re thinking about starting a Google Ads campaign but don’t know where to start, why not give us a call today?
With experience in the field and a few success stories under our belts, we’re confident we cannot only get your campaign up and running, but we can help increase your leads and conversions too!