Google Ads is Google’s advertising platform and the largest ad platform on the internet. If you want to build your brand message and promote your business, you need paid media to be a strong component of your marketing budget.
Google Ads allows your business to skip the period of waiting for your website to move up in the organic search rankings. Although organic search is important, it takes time to organically show up at the top for your most important keywords. Enter the solution: paid search.
Google’s advertising doesn’t just reside on the Google search engine—it encompasses millions of websites which, according to WordStream, cover 90 percent of the global internet. Google can place your ads across its display network, which includes those millions of websites as well as Google properties such as YouTube and Gmail.
As you might imagine, Google Ads is a tremendous platform. Below, we utilize our more than 10 years of experience with Google Ads to provide bite-size introductions to the most important elements of this number one tool.
An Introduction to Making Google Ads Work for You
Campaigns: In every Google Ads account, you can set up campaigns including search, display, remarketing, shopping, and video. These house ad groups, ads, and keywords.
Ad Groups: Ad groups are ways to categorize the most important topics within a single campaign. It is essential to know the most important types of keywords you want to target, and then create an ad group for each. The ad groups will contain the ads specific to that keyword category.
Ads: Ads are the bread and butter of Google Ads (go figure). In each ad, you write your messaging in the form of two headlines, a description, and a URL (your web address).
Keywords: There is only so much information we can put into ads, but in the keywords section, we can add multiple single keywords, phrases, and even long tail keywords. Once they are in the system and the ads are running, your ads will show up when those keywords are searched. Because user behavior tends to be unpredictable, it will be important to test your ads often.
Key Measurements You Need to Know
Clicks: Once your ads are shown either in the search results on Google.com or throughout the Google Display Network, those who see them and are enticed by their content will click on them and be taken to your website.
Impressions: This number shows how often your ad is shown to potential visitors. Impressions are the total sum of times the ads are displayed for each search.
CTR: CTR stands for click-through rate. CTR relies on the two previous key performance indicators—clicks and impressions. The click-through rate is the number of times an ad is clicked on compared to the number of times it is displayed. In essence, it is clicks divided by impressions.
CPC: CPC stands for cost per click which is the average price an advertiser spends for each click they receive. When working in the Google Ads platform, you can review the data at a granular level, down to the CPC by keyword. The cost per click often heavily relates to the positioning of an ad.
Google Ads Secret Features that You Don’t Know About But Should
Ad Extensions: With the inclusion of extended text ads, you can now have a greater presence of your text ads on Google Search. However, many advertisers don’t use this additional element to its max. Ad extensions include site links, callouts, structured snippets, reviews, and price.
These are available to you at no additional cost and can greatly increase your traffic. They are add-ons to your search ads on Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The increased real estate causes your text ads to stand out, which means more brand exposure and the ultimate payoff: increased traffic.
Search Terms Report: As you work through the platform, you will see data start to come in with the KPIs outlined above, showing results for your keywords. However, when people search, they may not use only the keywords you put into your campaign. This is where the search terms report comes into play. It will give you a list of terms and the associated data for searches performed that brought up your ads. You will have the opportunity to add these new keyword phrases and continue monitoring them.
Bid Adjustments: There are a number of spots that allow the advertiser to adjust bids based on performance. Those areas include devices, schedule, geography, and audiences. If you see that results are stronger for desktop than mobile, for example, you will be able to increase the cost per click (CPC) so your ads have a better chance of exposure for those searching for your service on a desktop computer.
RLSAs: RLSAs are a little-known element of Google Ads. They are remarketing lists for search ads. This means an advertiser can retarget your search ads toward those who have already visited certain pages of your website. The repetition is imperative because the more often someone sees a message, the better chance that person has of becoming a prospect.
Top Tools for Google Ads Success
With the size of Google Ads and the number of advertisers on such a large network, there are many tools on the market to help enhance the experience. Here are some important tools you can begin using as an advertiser:
The first tool is the Google Keyword Planner. It allows you to enter your website and keywords in order to see other terms that are related from a searcher’s perspective. You will also be able to see the possible competition levels and budgets needed to compete on those keywords. Because the Keyword Planner is in Google Ads itself, you can choose the keywords you like from your instance of the tool and automatically put them in your campaigns.
Yet another Google property, Google Analytics easily integrates with Google Ads. You will definitely want to connect your Analytics property to Google Ads in order to gain a much broader look at campaign results. By importing site metrics into Google Ads, you can see details such as bounce rate, time on site, and so forth, at the keyword level. You will also be able to see Google Ads data in the Analytics platform.
This is a third-party platform but it is quite helpful when looking at the competitive landscape. SEMrush allows you to see such information as a competitor’s average paid search spend, their search exposure, keywords tracked, and the overall health of their paid search campaigns.
HubSpot is one of our favorites and is a highly useful tool for tracking leads. It can give a business owner amazing insights into many areas of lead nurturing and inbound marketing, from when the lead first enters through their entire journey of engagement with your business. HubSpot works with Google Ads, enabling you to see the leads that come in via paid search campaigns, which campaigns they come from, and the steps they take after acquisition.
Google Ads is an incredibly powerful tool in today’s digital landscape. In order to enjoy the full benefits of the number one ad platform and to put your brand message in front of people searching for your product or service, it is important to continue learning and gaining as many insights as possible.
Whether you have campaigns running that aren’t performing to the level you want or you haven’t yet started with Google Ads, SmartBug Media® can help. Contact us today to set up a consultation.