So, your planning on spending some money on advertising? Best you spend it wisely using the right medium. What if we told you that there is at least over 246-million unique visitors who interact with Google ads over 3.5-billion times a day, with an estimated return on investment of 700%? Sounds too good to be true? This is Google Ads for you.
Google has grown from being the most popular search engine, to being the leading paid-for advertising platform (known as pay-per-click). The better your campaign, the more clicks it will have, which in return increases the probability of a conversion. Ads from the Google platform span over several channels, including Google, YouTube and millions of other affiliated websites. Given this expansive audience, chances are you’ve seen (and probably clicked on) a Google ad … and so have your potential customers.
We will be covering:
1. Why to advertise on Google
2. Commonly used terms to know
3. How does it work
4. Google Ad campaign types
Why advertise on Google?
Google is a resource/search-engine used by millions to ask questions that are answered with a combination of paid advertisements and organic results. Your competitors are most likely using Google Ads (and they might even be bidding on your branded terms - terrifying isn’t it?). Thousands of companies use Google Ads to promote their businesses and services, which means that even if your website is ranking organically for a specific search term, your results are being pushed down the page, beneath your competitors paid-for ads.
If you’re using PPC to advertise your product or services, Google Ads should be a part of your paid strategy — there’s no way around it. (and Facebook Ads of course!)
Using Google Ads but not getting the results you thought? There are a few reasons as to why your Google Ads aren’t working as well as you had hoped. Here are a few of the common errors when it’s not performing.
Broad Keyword Terms
When it comes to Google Ads, you have to zero in on the keywords used. It is perhaps good practice to include testing and tweaks to your timeline strategy. If you are using keywords that are too broad, Google will be placing your ad in front of the wrong audience. This means, higher impressions, higher spend but fewer clicks. It is recommended to regularly review your ad and analyse which keywords are generating clicks, then adjust your ad accordingly. Chances are very slim for you to have it 100% right the first time, you will have to keep on adding, removing and tweaking your keywords.
If your ad is irrelevant to the searcher’s intent, your ad just won’t get enough clicks to justify any spend thereon. Your headline and copy need to match the keywords you are bidding on. It is having the right combination that will guarantee you the best possible results. You are able to create multiple ads per campaign, this is a great way to do A/B testing to test which ads work best, or even better, use Google’s Responsive Search Ads feature.
Low Quality Score
Your QS (Quality Score) is how Google determines the rank of your ad. The higher it is ranked, the higher your placement.
Poor Landing Page
The user experience after the click is just as important to the ad. If your landing page is not optimised for conversions, you will have a lot of drop-off right there. You should have the same keywords within your landing page as well as resolve the query the searcher had. The transition from the ad to the website to the conversion should be seamless.
Google Terms Everyone Should Know
These are commonly used terms that will help you setup, communicate and optimise your campaign. Please be mindful as some of them may be Google specific.
Your AdRank determines your ad placement. The higher the value, the better you’ll rank, the more eyes will fall on your ad, and the higher the probability that users will click on your ad. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum bid multiplied by your Quality Score.
Google Ads are based on a bidding system, where you, the advertiser, selects a maximum bid amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. The higher your bid, the better your placement. You have three options for bidding: CPC, CPM, or CPE.
• CPC, or cost-per-click, is the amount you pay for each click on your ad.
• CPM, or cost per mille, is the amount you pay for one thousand ad impressions, that is when your ad is shown to a thousand people.
• CPE, or cost per engagement, is the amount you pay when someone takes a predetermined action with your ad.
Before you begin a paid campaign on Google Ads, you’ll select between one of three campaign types: search, display, or video.
1. Search ads are text ads that are displayed among search results on a Google results page.
2. Display ads are typically image-based and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network.
3. Video ads are between six and 15 seconds and appear on YouTube.
Your CTR is the number of clicks you get on your ad as a proportion of the number of views your ad gets. A higher CTR indicates a quality ad that matches search intent and targets relevant keywords.
Conversion Rate (CVR)
CVR is a measure of form submissions as a proportion of total visits to your landing page. Simplistically speaking, a high CVR means that your landing page presents a seamless user experience that matches the promise of the ad.
Google ads can be displayed on either search results pages or a web page within Google’s Display Network (GDN). GDN is a network of websites that allow space on their webpages for Google Ads — these ads can be text-based or image ads and are displayed alongside content relevant to your target keywords. The most popular Display Ad options are Google Shopping and app campaigns.
Ad Extensions allow you to supplement your ad with additional information at no additional cost. These extensions fall under one of five categories: Sitelink, Call, Location, Offer, or App; we’ll cover each of these ad extensions below.
When a Google user types a query into the search field, Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. Keywords are words or phrases that align with what a searcher wants and will satisfy their query. You select keywords based on which queries you want to display your ad alongside. For example, a searcher that types “how to clean gum off shoes” will see results for advertisers that targeted keywords like “gum on shoes” and “clean shoes.”
Negative keywords are a list of keyword terms that you do not want to rank for. Google will pull you from the bid on these keywords. Typically, these are semi-related to your intended search terms but fall outside of the realm of what you offer or want to rank for.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a type of advertising where the advertiser pays per click on an ad. PPC is not specific to Google Ads, but it is the most common type of paid campaign. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of PPC before launching your first Google Ads campaign.
Your Quality Score measures the quality of your ad by your click-through rate (CTR), the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page, and your past performance on the SERP. QS is a determining factor in your AdRank.
How Do Google Ads Work?
Google Ads displays your ad to potential leads or customers who are interested in your product or service. Advertisers bid on search terms, or keywords, and the winners of that bid are placed at the top of search results pages, on YouTube videos, or on relevant websites, depending on the type of ad campaign selected.
Many factors impact your ability to create effective and high-performing Google Ads. Let’s cover them below.
AdRank and Quality Score
AdRank determines the placement of your ads, and Quality Score is one of the two factors (the other being bid amount) that determines your AdRank. Remember, your Quality Score is based on the quality and relevance of your ad, and Google measures that by how many people click on your ad when it’s displayed — i.e. your CTR. You CTR depends on the how well your ad matches searcher intent, which you can deduce from three areas:
The relevance of your keywords
If your ad copy and CTA deliver what the searcher expects based on their search, the more clicks you’re likely to get.
The user experience of your landing page
Your QS is where you should focus most of your attention when you first set up your Google Ad campaign — even before you increase your bid amount. The higher your QS, the lower your acquisition costs will be and the better placement you’ll get.
Ad Campaign Types: Search, Display, and Video
You can select from one of three campaign types on Google Ads: search, display, or video. Let’s cover the optimal uses for each and why you might choose one over the other.
1. Search Ads
Search ads are text ads that are displayed on Google results pages. As an example, a search for “pocket squares” returns sponsored results, or ads, like these:
The benefit of search ads is that you’re displaying your ad in the place where most searchers look for information first — on Google. And Google shows your ad in the same format as other results (except for denoting it as an “Ad”) so users are accustomed to seeing and clicking on results.
2. Display Ads
Google has a network of websites in various industries and with an array of audiences that opt in to display Google Ads, known as the Google Display Network. The benefit to the website owner is that they’re paid per click or impression on the ads. The benefit to advertisers is that they can get their content in front of audiences that are aligned with their personas. These are typically image ads that draw users attention away from the content on the webpage.
Additional options for Display Ads include shopping campaigns and app campaigns, which are displayed on search engine results pages.
3. Video Ads
Video ads are displayed before or after (and sometimes in the middle of) YouTube videos. Remember, YouTube is a search engine, too. The right keywords will place you in front of a video, disrupting the user’s behavior just enough to grab their attention.
Given its reach and authority, Google Ads should be a part of your paid strategy. Use the tips we covered to get started, and remember to refine and iterate as you go. There’s no such thing as a Google Ads campaign that doesn’t work — there are only ones that need a bit more work. Using the strategy and information provided above, you have what you need to create a successful Google Ad campaign that drives clicks and converts leads.
Sources: HubSpot, Enlyft, Google