If you’re new to the digital marketing world, welcome. Also, what took you so long to decide to advertise on Google?
Digital marketing is the new battleground on which the war of brands is waged.
Gone are the days where television spots, billboards, and (gag!) newspaper ads were the most effective way to get your product before the eyes of the masses.
It’s all online now, and that’s a good thing!
Online advertising has afforded us an opportunity to target ad messaging to places where it will be highly effective.
If you are brand new to this wonderful world we call digital marketing, it’s assumed that someone at some point has mentioned marketing on Google to you.
There’s a good reason for that!
Through its search, display, and shopping platforms, Google has created the ultimate targeting ad experience that you can maximize to its fullest potential.
But why Google, you may ask?
Google is the most popular and powerful search engine on the planet. Think about it, when you have to perform a web search, you don’t say “let me perform a web search” you say, “I’ll Google it.”
The company has saturated the search market so much that we use its name as a verb for the action it is intended to do. Take that, Bing!
But seriously, if you’re not advertising on Google you’re missing a golden opportunity for increased awareness and conversions.
But the main issue a lot of people have with Google advertising is that there’s a lot of competition out there. (Because it works!)
So, to see enhanced success in the Google Ads world, you really need to know your stuff.
That’s where this article comes in.
Advertise on Google: What Even are “Google Ads?”
You may have heard of Google Ads by its more commonly known former name, Google AdWords. Google decided to change its name back in mid-2018 to the confusion of many.
But while the name may have changed, the effective quality of its marketing campaigns remains consistent.
Google Ads is an online service which allows you to place ads that run either on Google’s search engine or display platforms.
Search ads resemble a typical Google search result, and typically appear before organic results.
This is a great way to see immediate results, as opposed to SEO which can take up to six months to start seeing a return on investment.
That’s not to say SEO is bad. It’s still an essential part of the digital marketing world. Google Ads just work faster is all!
You can tell which search results come from Google Ads and which are organic search results because ads are marked with a small green square, that says “Ad.”
Display ads are visual ads meant to capture the attention of users and link them to a landing page or website where a conversion can be made.
They appear on Google itself, but also through its extensive display network.
The Google Display Network consists of millions of websites that agree to have Google place ads on their pages based on the shopping and browsing behaviors of site visitors.
The site, in turn, receives money for every ad click their users make.
Google Shopping Ads have also become popular. They appear when people are looking for specific products.
A Google shopping ad features a photo of the product along with its name, price, and any promotions that the company might be running.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to stick with Google’s search network and dive deep into the advertising process.
Advertise on Google: Google Search Ads Make You the Answer
The Google search network is the most common form of Google Ad, and the one service most associated with it.
Google search ads run on a pay per click advertising model, meaning that advertisers pay every time a prospect clicks on their ad.
Ads can also be set up to be paid per impression if awareness is the goal of your campaign.
Consumers search for a key term on Google and relevant ads are then shown based on what they were looking for.
These Google Search Ads show up based on what you have bid as compared to competitors. But that’s not all that there is to this process.
Google takes a few factors into account when determining order. The bid is important, of course, but relevance along with the quality of the ad in question also plays a large role.
Relevance and landing page quality are important factors that will allow you to find local searchers with buying intent.
It’s important to make sure that you’re not wasting money on irrelevant clicks.
Thankfully, Google Ads can track your progress beautifully.
Through the service’s reporting system you can see how many people have viewed the ad, how many clicked on it, and how many of those clicks turned into a conversion.
This helps you maximize your marketing budget and invest in the most helpful areas.
Advertise on Google: Me first! How Does Google Determine Ad Placement?
Bids are the price that you’ll pay per click. That’s a fairly easy concept to understand. But, irrelevant clicks are wasteful and can drain your marketing budget.
Strategies can be set up to maximize return on ad spend or cost per click. Advertisers can also set an automated bidding strategy to maximize impressions.
When bidding on keywords, different bids are applied to different terms. This all boils down to what keywords are worth more. Higher value terms get higher bids. Again, this is a simple concept.
Google has a tool called Keyword Planner, which gives you a suggested bid while also telling you how competitive the term is. But in order to effectively bid, you’ll need some more strategy.
Brady Cramm of Directive Consulting recommends using automated bidding rules when running Google Ads in 2019.
Automated rules can be set through your Google Ads dashboard which allows you to optimize your content effectively.
Google Ads can automatically increase the Ad Spend for low-cost terms and it adapts continuously through machine learning in order to maximize your odds.
Yes, you’re giving up some of the direct control, but Google is a trustworthy company and chances are it knows how to maximize its own service better than you do.
Chris Giarratana of Search Engine Journal also recommends geotargeting.
Even if you provide digital products and services, you can benefit by reviewing where your engagement comes from to prioritize media spend in those areas,” he said.
“However, industries like apartments, hotels, and lawyers often qualify their ideal customer by how close they live to their physical offices.”
You can also set negative locations, specifically telling Google where you don’t want your ads to show up. This saves you money while improving your chances of conversion. It also effectively increases your bid adjustment for other geolocations.
The quality score of your ad also has a lot to do with relevance. Not only does your ad need to have something to do with the keyword you’ve bid on, but your landing page also needs to be relevant as well.
To ensure that you’re doing this, make sure that some of the keywords that you’re bidding on are also appearing in the ad headline and title. Take that a step further and sprinkle them throughout the copy on your landing page as well.
Google judges your landing page on both relevance and functionality.
Giarratana speaks on the importance of keeping your ad copy and landing page consistent by saying,
Maintaining consistency between your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages should improve your click-through and conversion rates while lowering your CPC. This means you should be able to make more money while also conserving your budget. Repeat whatever you say in your ad on your landing page. Since you know your customers are interested in your offer and message in your ad, you can increase the conversions by presenting the same message and CTA on your landing page.”
The quality score and your bid amount work together to determine the overall placement of your ad. That means someone with the higher bid but a low-quality score will be ranked under someone with a lower bid and a perfect quality score.
Advertise on Google: It’s All About the Platforms
Google Ads are not a one size fits all formula. Ad experience differs depending on which platform your prospects are using.
Mobile devices and desktop computers are very different from one another and require different strategies.
It’s important that you don’t overlook mobile platforms as they have a lot to offer. Mobile internet use is sharply gaining in popularity and people tend to perform internet searches when they’re on the go.
Ensure that you are using mobile-preferred ads within your enhanced campaigns,.
This allows for customized message and mobile-specific calls-to-action that will speak directly to your mobile users.
Coupling this with a mobile-optimized landing page will result in higher conversion rates and a positive user experience.”
When optimizing content for mobile, your messaging has to be more concise in order to make up for the device’s smaller size.
People on mobile are also usually on the move, so messages should be tailored accordingly.
Giarratana echoed the importance of mobile ads, saying:
If mobile drives a significant portion of conversions, then I will usually copy an existing campaign and simply negative bid mobile for the original campaign.
In the same way, I will negative bid desktop in the new mobile-only campaign.
CPC for mobile ads can be 25% lower compared to desktop-only campaigns.
You can also take advantage of mobile-only campaigns by focusing on click-to-call extensions.”
As he said, the cost per click can differ based on device. Desktops have the highest cost and tablets have the lowest, with mobile falling somewhere in between. That’s why it’s important to optimize your bidding strategies accordingly.
Decide in your Google Ads account if you’re choosing desktop, mobile, or both. If you’re running on both (and you should!) make sure you’re running different campaigns for each platform and optimize accordingly.
Advertise on Google: Ready, Aim, Fire (Targeting on Google)
In order to reach the right people, you have to target your ads based on a number of important criteria.
Geographic location plays a huge role in this.
You can also target ads according to type of website (health and wellness, automobiles, etc.).
And you can target prospects by certain Web behavior, like often visited websites that are relevant to your business” .
Targeting takes time but it saves you a lot of money in the long run and directly increases conversions.
When it comes to targeting a geographic location, you can select a specific radius from a zip code by clicking on advanced search and selecting the option labeled radius targeting.
Remarketing is a targeting strategy which shows your ad to people who have been to your website before. These prospects are viewed as low hanging fruit and should be easier to close due to their familiarity with your brand.
According to Christopher S. Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Innovator at Trust Insights and an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology:
As long as you’ve configured it correctly in Google Analytics, Smart Lists leverages Google’s big data capabilities to track who has visited your website by any means and identifies who is statistically most likely to convert.
Google then pushes that data back into (Google Ads) for you to use in your campaigns for remarketing. It’s a powerful tool that not many people know about or have talked about for making the most of your ad dollars.”
Advertise on Google: Keys to the Kingdom (Keyword Selection)
When you’re selecting your keywords, you will want to make sure that they have a high volume and are relevant to your service.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to help with this.
If your competition is too high, try finding alternative or more specific keywords.
For example, instead of using ‘email client,’ try ‘email client for Windows.’
This way, you’re targeting specific people who are looking for an email client for Windows.
These keywords might have a lower search volume, but they represent a niche in the market that your competitors are not utilizing.
Your cost per click will be lower and your chances of reaching the right people will be higher.”
There are three different means of getting your keywords to match with a Google Search.
Implement all three types of keyword targeting — exact match, phrase match, broad match — into your targeting strategy, then bid the most for exact match keywords and the least for broad match keywords.”
She went on to suggests that: “You separate ad groups by keyword type, in addition to category, to keep the campaign well-organized.”
Let’s take a look at these three types of keyword targeting.
- A Broad Match means that your ad will show if any of the keywords you’re seeking are hit in the search query. Synonyms are also possible with a broad match. They also come with the danger of showing on irrelevant searches which wastes your ad spend. You can include broad match modifiers in the campaign to give yourself some added control. You can lock certain keywords in place by putting a “+” in front of the word.
- A Phrase Match means that the terms need to be in the same order that you’ve specified in order to show up in a search. Other words can be included around them but that ordered phrase has to exist in there somewhere.
- An Exact Match means that the entire search has to match your keyword or key phrase 100% with nothing added or changed in any way.
In order to help ease the financial burden of irrelevant clicks, you should use negative keywords. That’s what Mirkin said.
Always remember to include negative keyword targeting.
“Negative keywords are keywords related to other keywords in the campaign that are not related to what is being advertised.
“This further qualifies the ads within a campaign, ensuring ads do not show to users who would not find them relevant anyway.”
Now You’re Ready To Advertise on Google
Advertising on the Google Search Network is a great way to get your content out there, but it must be optimized if it has any hope of fighting back against prepared competition.
When you’re running a targeted Google Search campaign, it’s important to closely monitor your results and make adjustments where needed. Doing so will help you stay on top of your goals.
Bring the power of Google to bear for your company and increase your overall visibility and profitability by advertising on Google.