Hey there folks and welcome to the Quickensites blog! Today I am going to go over everything you need to know about Google Ads. This blog post includes some of my personal experiences over the years with advertising my online businesses. I hope you all enjoy it! Please leave any comments or questions and I will get back to you promptly.
Google Ads is an advertising system within Google that advertisers use to bid on keywords for clickable actions to their website. This is in the form of a Pay-Per-Click Ad (PPC) or Cost-Per-Click Ad (CPC), which means any time a user clicks on the ad in the Google search, the advertiser is then charged. Depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you’re bidding for and the relevancy of that keyword to real conversions for your company, Google Ads may or may not work for your business (Wordstream, 2018). Google Ads gives your business visibility even if your website is not in the top search results which is very effective. This gives your business more exposure to potential bring in new customers.
Pay-Per-Click Ads are displayed at the top and bottom of search result pages. They are also seen throughout individual websites displayed as banner ads. The most common types of ads that are shown can result of text, image, video, or ones with both image and text. Within the Google Ads database you can set up an account to fit your company’s specific goals and needs. Understanding the structure of Google Ads will help in the overall experience. From my experience of setting up PPC ads each platform is pretty straight forward. You will create an account and setup a campaign rotated around your specific audience you want to target.
Pay-Per-Click advertising can be intimidating at first, but it’s a great way to attract traffic, leads, and sales. PPC ads can put you in front of audiences who are actively trying to find products and services just like yours, as well as audiences who had no idea that products like yours existed.
Before Getting Started
Before getting started with Google Ads its crucial that you develop the proper goals you want your business to achieve. This can result in a number of things such as traffic, sales, or even improve brand awareness. The more specific your business goals are with the campaigns that align with them, the better your results will be. To get ready for using Google Ads you will need to create a landing page specific to your product or service.
Once you have chosen the products or services you are going to advertise you need to find the keywords around that product. Taking that into consideration understanding your audience will help create targeted keywords towards your website. In relation to my own experience with my website design services, the keywords play a huge role in getting real results from the advertisement. For example, a few keywords I would target for my specific website would be: website design, web development, web design company, website design services in Edmonton, website services in Canada, etc. Personally, I would target as many keywords I can find that are beneficial to my specific target market. But keep in mind that the outcome you are going for must be realistic. You aren’t going to just make a bunch of money overnight. Trust me I’ve learned the hard way of dumping thousands of dollars into advertising campaigns.
Getting Started with Google Ads
Getting started with Google Ads is pretty straight forward and involves inputting your information where it’s needed. You can even use an existing Google account such as Gmail to create your Google Ads account. Understanding the tabs within the platform is all you will need to get started. The tabs consist of Campaigns, Settings, Locations, History, Keyword Planner, Reports, Account, and Notifications. As long as your billing information and account settings are updated you will be ready to set up your first campaign.
If you choose to go through the process of setting up paid advertising follow my personal tips: keep a weekly or monthly budget, gather data within your landing page analytics and advertisement database, and use Google Keyword Planner for finding your keywords. One of my biggest problems was that I was spending money because I didn’t know what I was doing. So, I hired a freelancer to help me set up PPC ads for my website. A site I have used in the past is Upwork. You can hire freelancers to help you with anything even setting up Google Ads for you. On another note if you don’t want to rush into paid advertising you can also use Bing which is a search engine like Google. Although, the advantage is that Bing offers a free $100 to spend on PPC ads for new account users.
Researching Your Keywords
Once you account is setup and ready to roll its time to research your keywords. This is one of the most important parts of your campaign. Keyword research is choosing the best keywords to bid on that are most likely to result in clicks and conversions. As listed above a great tool to use within you Google Ads account is the Google Keyword Planner. A strategic approach I do when finding keywords for my online businesses is finding my competitors by simply doing a Google search. From the search I take the top domains that offer the same services as me and I plug the URL’s (competitors website/domain) into the keyword planner. This produces keyword results specific to my business that my competitors are using within the search results. Basically, what this does is gives me a rundown of keywords I can now use within Google Ads to target potential customers and beat out my competitors.
Since my website design company is an online business my audience reach could be anywhere in Canada which opens up even more keywords to target. There is an option within the Google Ads platform called Location, in this tab I can specify which location around the world I want to target. I can also use targeted locations within my keywords as well such as: websites for sale in Canada or website design services in Alberta. Creating a targeted list of basic keywords along with long-tail keywords gives your business the opportunity to more search results. Long tail keywords are 3-4 phases that are very specific to what you are selling.
Creating Your First Campaign
Creating your first campaign is not a simple task and can be frustrating. You will want to go into your Google Ads account and go to the “Campaigns” tab and select “New Campaign”. The types of ads available are search, display, video, shopping, and universal app. From my experience with advertising my website services I’ve worked with search and display ads. Although the main target and I feel works best is search ads. Once you’ve selected your choice of campaign you will start to fill in all the information. The information will include: location, demographics, bid price per click, language, and spending budget. These settings much be setup properly to avoid any problems with your ads displaying as you move forward.
Some examples of the information I would put in for my website design business. I would choose the location within Canada or pick out specific cities such as Edmonton, Calgary, or Vancouver, etc. Then for the demographics I would make it both male and female living within Canada. We don’t want to target those visiting or have travelled within Canada (these are also options within the Location settings of the campaign). The reason for this is simple – we want business from those who reside in Canada and who have businesses in Canada that could use my services.
As for the bidding price per click and budgeting these to go hand in hand because you want to have a successful bidding price but don’t want to have that price eat up your budget quickly. It all comes down to deciding how much your want to bid for a certain keyword. For instance, its about the customer value to your business and the maximum we’ll pay to acquire this customer. If I have an offer for creating a website and there’s a price tag of $1000 which would be 100% profit since I am the one developing it. I would be okay with spending $500 to acquire a customer. This being said I can now set my bids throughout my keywords and have a budget of $500 to spend on my advertising campaign. Taking the performance data from the ads created will help modify my bids and develop better ads in the future.
Creating Your First Advertisement
Once your campaign is complete its time to create your first advertisement. The first task is to develop your ad group which “contains a set of keywords, ads, and bids that you’ll manage” (Batesole, 2018). From the information I have provided above the process involves plugging in the information we already know. So, from using the keywords from the keyword planner you will input them and set a default bid for the keywords within the ad group. Remember to stay within your budget but allow a competitive bid price.
Now when creating the actual text ad, you will want to be strategic with the words you use. Grab attention to those viewing the search results, make it standout amongst competitors. The ad will consist of a final URL, headline 1, headline 2, display URL, and a description. To break this down the final URL is the website or landing page to your product or service. The displayed URL is a keyword targeted URL that is really just there for provide a cleaner looking domain. Headline 1 and headline 2 is the key information to attract users to communicate with your ad. This is where you would promote a “15% in Saving” or “Save $10,000 A Year with This Lifehack”. And lastly, the description is usually one sentence that states the benefit your services or product will have to the customer.
Creating any advertisement with Google Ads it comes down to your call to action. A call to action is basically the information that make people click on your ad. Without a clear call-to-action, your click-through rate will suffer. Having a unique value proposition helps. A technique I’ve done to help me with creating ads is check out what my competitors are putting in their search displayed ads. With your advertisement, be precise. You don’t have a lot of room to express your business or offer. So, be short and sweet.
Monitoring Your Advertisements
Monitoring your advertisement is where you will be able to find statistics on which ads are performing and which ads aren’t. Google Ads comes with predefined reports that help you answer questions about your data (Batesole, 2018). These reports are helpful because they give you specific insights, and you can schedule them to even run at a certain interval and email you or others on your team the results. The goal is to check the health of your campaigns. Quickly fix what’s not working in order to minimize the amount of wasted ad spend. As I said this earlier this is where I’ve gone wrong and just felt since I was receiving visitors that the ads were working. But really, they weren’t bringing in any targeted customers.
The main tasks to improving your ads will consist of search terms and re-creating ads that aren’t performing. Checking your searching terms and how relevant your keywords are positioning your site will justify your click-through rate (CTR). A click-through rate is the rate at which people see your ad (impressions) and then click on the ad. For example, if you had 6 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 6%. Any ad that isn’t hitting a 4-8% CTR, I recommend should be tweaked or scraped. You don’t want to waste your budget on poor performing ads.
Along with analyzing your CTR you should then see from those clicks how many are buying. This will provide you with an ROI, which is return on investment. The ROI will justify if the spending of your ads is profitable once all expenses are accounted for. If you’re seeing a positive ROI, you can continue to scale your advertising campaigns. If you’re seeing a negative ROI, it’s time to identify what’s wrong and fix it.
Advanced Advertising Tracking
There is a variety of tools across the internet that you can use to better track your advertisements. Google Analytics is one of the top tracking interfaces used for providing statistics of your website. You can track your website traffic by which pages are most viewed, keywords clicked from search engines, and more. Another great tool that I have used for my Facebook Ads but can also be used for Google Ads is Wordstream. This is the best platform I’ve used to track conversions, ad performance, traffic, keywords, and spending habits. For instance, I was wasting money on my advertisements and Wordstream was able to show me where the performance of my ads was failing. The analytics provided allowed me to identify where I was wasting money and what keywords were best performing. By setting up tracking of conversions and traffic, you’ll be able to understand right down to the individual keyword, what’s working and what isn’t.
Key Optimization Strategies
Once you know how to set up an account and campaign, and understand monitoring your advertisement, its time to optimize your ads. These strategies involve building better ads from those that are already converting. This is how you will make a better return on your investment. Being an advertiser the feeling when your ads perform is an amazing feeling. Some of the key tips to optimizing your ads better involve highly targeted keywords, creative ad text, and device options like mobile and desktop. All this information can be found when monitoring your advertisements.
The goal is to get your keywords to perform well and optimize with your ad text. You don’t want any bad keywords dragging down your overall effort. A great way to measure if a specific keyword is performing with your ad is by finding the quality score. Each keyword has a quality score which ranges between 1 and 10. Having a high quality score basically means that Google thinks that your keyword and landing page are relevant to your ad. If your keywords are performing and you are getting a positive ROI it may be a good choice to increase your budget. Since the business would be gaining sales and continuing to be profitable, you would have the capital to reinvest it into your advertisements. This is how smart businesses capitalize and increase market share within their industry.
Beyond the Basics
Understand everything up to this point will allow you to develop and implement successful advertisements. An advanced technique to better ads is using bid adjustments which are ways to automatically increase or decrease how much you are willing to pay when various factors are at play. There are many of areas you can make bid adjustments from such as: “the device someone is using, where they’re located, what time of day it is, or even using demographic data” (Batesole, 2018). This can be an incredible resource to help optimize the performance of your campaigns. Taking on new strategies at an expert level can be detrimental to the outcome of your advertisements. You don’t want to play around with features you don’t feel comfortable executing on. Be sure to only adjust the ads you can indicate where the problem is and fix it. As for bid adjustments they can help you get a leg-up on your competition, save money, or even develop creative advertising.
Advertising with Google Ads can be rewarding yet time consuming. Being an advertiser, this Google Ads series has enhanced my education and knowledge of the online advertising platform. Although, a lot of the information was relevant to what I knew and have experienced, I feel I was able to give a great amount of personal value. There are a variety of tools such as the keyword planner, Wordstream, Google analytics, and various in-platform techniques that can help kick start any new advertiser to the Google Ads community. Overall, developing an ad that performs well and creates conversions while allowing a positive ROI is what will justify a successful advertisement.
An applied example that I can relate to is the realization that you aren’t going to become rich over night and it takes time to get a return on investment. However, if you aren’t getting any results or sales from your ads then there may be something wrong with the product itself or your website landing page. I managed to learn a few great things from these series of videos and one of them was to just assess the data, revise your ads, and focus on what needs to be fixed for better converting advertisements.
Batesole, B. (2018). Google AdWords Essential Training. Retrieved from: https://www.lynda.com/Google-AdWords-tutorials/Google-AdWords-Essential-Training-2018/693109-2.html
Wordstream. (2018). What Is Google AdWords? How the AdWords Auction Works. Retrieved from: https://www.wordstream.com/articles/what-is-google-adwords