Google Ads Campaign Management
It’s gone by a few names since its founding in 2000, but it’s grown into an online juggernaut just as its parent company has: Google Ads, formerly AdWords and AdWords Express, which today bears little resemblance to its original design. Google Ads has come a long way since its first 340 advertisers, and now commands an enormous slice of the Internet pie. As such, any business new or old that’s worth its salt should consider signing up if it hopes to brave the digital advertising frontier.
What are Google Ads?
So what are Google Ads, exactly? Here’s the elevator pitch: it’s an online advertising solution that helps companies promote products and services on Google Search, YouTube, and a sprawling web of related websites that fall into the Google network. It gives owners the ability to choose specific goals for their advertising campaigns and tailor the content sent out with a customized budget and targeted market focus.
Google will display your ads on its search engine after a relatively straightforward setup process:
- Select your goal. What are you trying to get out of your advertising campaign? More visitors to your website? More phone calls to your business? More visits to your physical storefront?
- Choose the geographic area where you want your ads showing up. It could be a small radius around your address or include entire cities, states, or countries.
- Create your ads and set a monthly budget cap. There is no minimum spending requirement, and you can adjust the budget at any time — even scheduled it to change automatically at a later date. Want to put more into your campaign during the holiday season? Lower it during the summer? Plan it all ahead of time!
Once approved, your ad can appear whenever users in your target area search for your products or services. You only have to pay for the ad when users actually engage with it: merely having it appear doesn’t count, but clicking on it does.
From there, it’s a matter of letting Google do its thing. Google Ads now uses a feature called “Google Smart,” which is designed to continuously monitor the success of your current campaign and make changes to it over time to ensure you’re getting the most out of your dollars… all without you having to lift a finger.
What is Google Advertising?
Google Ads has several campaigns available, and which you’ll want depends on your business particulars and what you want to get out of your marketing push. Some of the most popular options include:
Hoping to increase online or in-store sales? Looking for more leads? Trying to drive more traffic to your website? Search ads may be the solution for you. They let you highlight essential information about your business, and you can use optional ad extensions to add additional details, like links to specific website pages or product reviews. You can create multiple versions of your ad’s text and switch between them whenever you wish, which allows you to experiment with variations and determine which are the most effective. And with Google’s built-in dashboard, you can track the success of your ads over time, with clicks-versus-cost data, reports, analytics, and ongoing tips to help you out.
Hoping to promote your online or local inventory? Looking for better-qualified leads? Trying to boost traffic to your website or physical storefront? Shopping ads allow you to show photos of your products alongside your text, as well as prices, store names, and more. And as with search ads, you can use Google’s dashboard feature to stay abreast of what elements of your campaign are working and make adjustments to test new approaches.
Hoping to rep your brand? Looking to generate product awareness? Trying to increase sales and snag more leads? Display ads could be the solution for you! Customize your format to include images or rich media like interactive elements, animations, simple text banners, custom Gmail-centric ads, or image-based pop-ups that appear in mobile apps. You’ll also be able to reach more users with optimizations to keyword sorting, demographic data, location focus, and remarketing opportunities. And don’t forget about the Google dashboard!
Advertisements for apps are their own beast and are shown only to those people who are most likely to perform that action that will drive your business goals. The setup for these ads comes in one of two forms: are you trying to get people to simply install your app, or are you looking for them to take a specific action with it? Perhaps you want users to order a particular product from it or beat a specific level in your game. Google lets you generate and preview what your app’s ad will look like, helping with the design based on information from the Android’ Play and Apple’s App stores, with up to four lines of text, images, or video.
Whichever campaign type you choose, Google also offers a ‘Smart Bidding’ feature to help you predict and improve its performance while taking the time and effort out of the bidding process used to get your ads in front of the right people. Using advanced machine learning, Google will automatically rotate ads and adjust your bids. Doing so will ensure you’re getting the most relevant exposure at the price point you’ve set, all while analyzing over 300 million combinations of possible factors to determine what kind of ad will work best for you. After Google has gathered enough data (usually after around 100 conversions), it will be able to optimize your ads, bids, and budget.
Why Advertise via Google Ads?
It’s a quick way to get noticed.
Building an online reputation via SEO is integral to a winning Internet presence, but it’s a slow-building approach that typically takes months of continual work to return results. Ads are a quick-fix option, helping you gain ground and get people to your website faster: a shortcut to better visibility that requires much less time and effort. Ads typically show up above natural results in search results pages and can include more attention-grabbing elements like images, so a little goes a long way!
Google has a vast reach.
Google gets over 3.5 billion searches every day, so advertising through it gives you access to what may very well be the largest Internet audience out there. In addition to a spot on Google’s near-universal search engine, you can also snag visibility on its many other properties, including high-traffic websites like Gmail and YouTube. And as if that weren’t enough, the Google Display Network gives your ad a chance to extend its reach to over two million other websites and over 650,000 apps. Over 90% of all Internet users are linked to Google daily — why wouldn’t you want a piece of that real estate?
And keep in mind: because of Google’s relevance, there’s a good chance that one or more of your competitors are using it to advertise already and may be bidding on your terms to ensure that customers are directed to their company instead of yours. Even if you’re ranking well organically using SEO, your rivals could still be appearing above you in search results if they’ve got the advertising power.
Target your ads to ensure relevance.
Having the opportunity to reach new people with your ads is nice, but you have to figure out how to reach the right people, not just a lot of them. You want your ad to be seen by those people who are most likely to click on it: the people who need the goods and services that you offer. Google has two different ways of giving your campaign a clear focus:
Keyword targeting ensures that your info shows up in front of people who are searching for specific keywords related to your business.
Demographic targeting lets you tailor your advertising based on gender, age, and general online interest. Google has a lot of data on these demographics, and you can use it for your own ends.
Only pay when somebody clicks.
Visibility is good, but advertising is about getting customers, not just getting people to look at what you’re offering. Google uses a PPC (pay-per-click) payment model, which ensures that you don’t have to pay anything to get your ad to show up. Ultimately, then, you’re only paying for actual results with your ads, not just exposure; Google claims that advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend with them.
Remarketing connects you with relevant leads.
Google allows companies to create meaningful ads specifically targeting past visitors to your site. Better your chances of snagging their business when you didn’t the first time by capitalizing on what they did when they previously looked at your information. Was a user visiting a page for a specific product before they left your site? Make an ad unique to them that prominently shows off that product!
Improve your campaign over time.
Google’s analytics system provides a detailed review of what’s working with your campaign and what isn’t, allowing you to improve your ads and maximize results. The longer you run a particular campaign, the more data you’ll have, and the better you (and Google) will be able to optimize your investment.
How is a Google Ads Campaign Run Professionally?
Though Google can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, running a good ad campaign still takes a lot of work if you want to get the most bang for your buck. That’s why BizIQ is here to help: we’ll help you with all of the details and interconnected processes that Google can’t do for you. You’re busy enough running a company! So let us handle optional but vital things like:
This helps you optimize a campaign’s performance by showing you what happens when customers interact with your ad. Did they purchase a product from you? Sign up for your newsletter? Call you? Download your app? When a customer performs an action that you’ve defined as “valuable” for your business, it counts as a conversion. But which action is most important to you? And how should your ads be tailored in response?
Smart bidding strategies
Automated bidding uses machine learning to optimize the right bid for every ad auction, while “smart bidding” is a specific subset of automated bidding that optimizes everything for conversions. A lot of this is handled by technology already, but you need to keep a careful eye on the specifics and guide the course as needed. Machines are smart, but not infallible!
Expanded and sharpened targeting
Tailoring ads to only a single, small city or a handful of keywords can keep you from finding many new customers. Conversely, targeting too large an area or using a huge number of keywords can spread you too thin and get you irrelevant traffic. You want to target locations where your customers are, not just your business location, and use as many relevant keywords as you can. Determining the best keywords is a lengthy hurdle in and of itself, however, requiring a lot of constant tweaking and testing to figure out the sweet spot between quality and quantity while also keeping in mind those words that your competition may be using.
Spreading keywords beyond more than one ad group
Ad groups incorporate multiple ads that share similar targets: you set a price (bid) to be paid when an ad group’s keywords trigger one of your advertisements to appear. They help you organize ads around a common theme, and a good campaign can have multiple groups with unique types of ads and branches of keywords that all need ongoing management.
Ads directly related to what customers want to buy
It takes a confident hand to write good ad copy. You have very little space to make your case, be clear about what you’re promoting, make sure it’s relevant to the customer’s problem, and set up proper expectations so that a reader who follows your link is getting what they expect. And, of course, it all needs to look professional!
Three ads in an ad group.
Having more than one ad lets Google figure out what kind works best for certain types of searches. Headlines should mention at least one of your keywords, but each of your ads should highlight different aspects of what you’re offering to cast the widest net: perhaps one focuses on the brands you carry, while another zeros in on a particular promotion you’re running. What are the best characteristics to target, and in what combination? There are a lot of possibilities, and you don’t have time to test them all out!
Multiple extensions (at least four).
Extensions fill your ads with additional information via things like call buttons, location details, links to your website, and more text. You must set up many manually, and even those that Google automatically adds are not guaranteed to appear all of the time. Google will only use them if it predicts that the extension will improve your ad’s performance, or if your ad’s Ad Rank is high enough. Extensions can make your ad larger, more informational, and typically increase click-through rate, but you have to know how to design an ad to get Google to use them in the first place.
A lot of balls to juggle on top of everything else in your marketing efforts, especially if you’re also working on SEO. Many of these require a thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of online marketing to be set up and maintained, so why not let us take the reins and leave your already-full plate a little lighter?
How Do I Measure Success?
Unlike SEO’s slower, future-minded results, the success of a good ad campaign can be measured rather quickly and with some hard numbers to give you instant feedback on what’s working. That data can include:
The number of times your ad shows up on somebody’s screen. More impressions equal a higher brand awareness for your company.
The number of times that your ad is clicked on can help measure customer engagement and levels of interest. It also determines the cost per click (CPC): how much traffic you’re getting with your current budget. You want to generate as much attention as possible while paying as little as you can, after all! However, you have to regard clicks as a proxy for interest rather than an end-all, be-all metric, since some may be interested in your offerings and visit your website without actually clicking on your ads.
Actions taken on your website. You define what actions are “important,” and therefore what counts as a conversion. They could include a customer adding a product to their cart, giving you their email address, or watching a video. Your conversion rate indicates how likely a visitor to your site is to take the action you want them to.
“Return on ad spend” is your revenue divided by how much you’re budgeting for advertising. This kind of metric is used mostly for immediate sales and results: the higher the return, the better. Of course, it’s vital to remember your long-term goals, which include building brand awareness and driving engagement to see improvement over time.
The projected revenue that a customer will generate for you during their lifetime. More advanced marketing campaigns will set a goal: to ensure that the cost of acquiring new customers through advertising will ultimately be less than the profit margin that they generate over a year or longer.
Google Ads gives you a great many tips, tricks, and nifty features to help simplify all of this as much as possible, but, like with any kind of marketing strategy, it’s only the tip of the Internet iceberg. If you want to see your company thrive online, you need to be willing to put a whole lot more time and effort into several avenues of improvement and maintenance. Don’t try to do it all yourself: let BizIQ carry that weight around!