Google Ads (formerly “Google AdWords”) is the largest online advertising marketplace in the world. With over 3.5 Billion searches on Google every day, the search engine offers incredible marketing potential. Moreover, Google advertisers make $2 for every $1 spent (on average), making it a very lucrative marketing platform for business owners.
However, paid advertising models can be difficult to run successfully, and many have blown thousands of dollars on ineffective campaigns. In contrast to SEO or content marketing, paid advertising requires more detailed analytics and market insights.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads is an auction system where advertisers bid on certain keywords. Advertisers first identify keywords they want to compete for and then establish the maximum amount they are willing to pay. This maximum amount can be calculated primarily by checking the conversion rate of the website.
Along with the maximum bid, Google also considers the quality of the site and its relevance before awarding the ad placement. An advertiser with a lower bid can attain a better position due to a high quality score. When determining the quality score, Google will consider –
- The relevance of the Google ad to the keyword.
- The relevance of the Google keyword to the ad group.
- The relevance of the ad to the target page.
- The historical click-through rate of the ad and the ad group.
- The overall historical account performance.
The ads can be observed on the first two/three spots for most keyword searches, with a green “ad” tag. Google also offers display advertisements, which is a collection of third-party organisations who have agreed to display Google ads. These include remarketing ads and banner advertising.
Google Ads is a complex process, and it is important to take note of key items to launch a successful campaign in 2019 and beyond.
#1 – Understanding Google Ads
Google Ads is useful for conversion and relies on real-time metrics and figures to work. So to launch a campaign, you need to know the numbers and how to operate the platform. It can be useful to hire a specialist depending on what you want to achieve. Google Ads is perfect to reach a specific target audience with immediate conversion. But it requires a significant and ongoing investment and constant optimisation.
Starting a campaign involves identifying a list of keywords that you wish to rank for and establishing ad groups. You can customise each campaign with a budget and the ad groups allow you to focus on variants of the core campaign. The campaign might be around “shoes”, and the ad groups might be around “white shoes” or “Nike shoes” or “black running shoes Hobart”.
#2 – Create the Best Landing Page Possible
What this may seem like common sense to many advertisers, a large number of Google Ad campaigns direct traffic to a home page instead of a landing page. A home page is a terrible place to direct traffic towards. A landing page that is specifically designed to attract an audience and convert into sales is far more targeted.
Many business owners write off Google Ads as a waste of money due to a lack of conversions when they did not even create a targeted landing page. Users click on ads when they want something specific, and a home page often contains a number of different resources and elements which leads to the customer clicking elsewhere. Landing pages, by contrast, are single-purpose machines designed to sell products. Another benefit of having a good landing page is that Google assigns a lot of weight to it in determining the overall quality score. No expense should be spared in creating the best possible landing page.
#3 – Test and Identify What Works
There are many ways to find out what works, but it requires a mindset of constant optimisation to really find the gold. One way is to create a large number of ad copy variations. Google limits ads to a certain character limit, so there is not much room for innovation. Break the campaign up into small segments and identify what copy sells the best. While this might cost more in the short term, it will generate far more revenue on a long-term basis.
Google Ads can be extremely profitable, but it requires a dedicated campaign manager who is constantly looking for what works best and how to optimise. It’s also important to frequently verify return on investment and that the campaigns are generating money for you.
#4 – Understand the Target Audience
The more you understand your target audience and what they want, the bigger your profit margins will be. This is the case regardless of what industry you happen to be in. Fortunately, you can use the Google Ads platform itself to research and find out what your audience looks for. You can see the kind of sites that your target audiences visits and what the style of writing is. Obviously, your landing page should be customized to maximise the conversion rate as much as possible.
#5 – Get Specific and Focused
With all the tools available, it is very easy to blow a budget on Google Ads campaigns. There are so many keyword variants and different kind of campaigns that it can be difficult to keep track. This is why it is so important to start slowly with one or two keywords and see how it works. One certain way to improve your return on investment is to identify one goal per campaign and not mix and match. Trying out too many different things can be a recipe for disaster in terms of Google Ads.
For small and medium sized businesses, it is nearly always more profitable to use keywords with a location. This makes the keywords more targeted and less costly, generally speaking. Generic keywords can be very difficult to rank for due to a high search volume.
In sum, Google Ads can be extremely profitable. But it is necessary to have compelling ad copy, an excellent landing page, and focused keywords at an affordable price. Once you have these 3 ingredients you are very likely to have a successful Google Ads campaign. The more time you spend on the campaigns the more profitable they will be, and constant optimization is a necessity.
Richard is the owner and head of digital at Tailored SEO. He has worked in the digital marketing space for over 10 years and has worked with a wide range of clients.