Google Ads is a complex platform always evolving to meet the advanced needs of, and enhance capabilities, for marketers. Making the most of its features to improve business performance and achieve marketing goals requires an understanding and skill that must be constantly developed and intelligently applied. For most new users, becoming familiar with Google Ads is quite daunting, and you may be unsure of just where to start. But you don’t need to know the ins and outs or be a marketing guru to set up and run an effective campaign. Here’s what you should know to get started!
Before you begin setting up your campaign, you should start by brainstorming what specific goals or outcomes are important, and which you want your Google Ads strategy to achieve or drive. When setting up a new campaign, you can select a primary type of goal, which Google Ads will then use to inform and automatically apply certain settings. Goals could include generating a certain number of conversions per month, driving phone calls to your business, or building brand awareness through high impressions and directing website traffic.
Immerse yourself in data surrounding – keywords, your competitors, and your audience. Keyword planner is an excellent tool to get you started with keyword research, allowing a list of suggestions to be generated from entry of a particular web page, or even your whole website. Add particular words that are most relevant to the product/service you are offering, and have a high volume of searches. Take note of the cost-per-click (CPC) estimates as initially, and depending on your budget, you may not want to bid on keywords that cost $10+. Try a Google search yourself of certain words and queries relevant to your offering, and see who your competitors are and what their ads are saying. Finally, have a thorough understanding of your audience, specifically what they are looking for and what primary selling points are likely to persuade their click. This research offers valuable insight regarding what your ideal prospects are searching in relation to your product/service, which companies are appearing at the top and winning their attention, and how you can craft your ads and landing page to match your audience’s intentions.
Ensure the page people land on after clicking your ad has content that is clearly and directly related to search queries/keywords, and highlights a unique, attractive offering. Website visitors directed from your ad want to see that your product/service aligns with what they were looking for, so displaying relevant information that further addresses potential customer considerations will go a long way to support conversions.
Separate ad groups should be created to address different searcher intentions, and contain only keywords that specifically relate to a particular query. If you’re looking to generate leads for a service, think about why people would need to make use of it, and how it can solve various problems. If you’re wanting to boost sales for a certain product, focus on including key details that most influence purchase decisions like price, quality, shipping information, and an appealing, accurate image on the Display network. When developing your keyword list for each ad group, select appropriate match types, being as targeted as possible. Using Exact Match will serve your ads only to consumers whose search exactly matches (yep, pretty self-explanatory) the keyword or phrase, and therefore are most likely to complete a conversion. However, using a mix of Phrase Match and Broad Match is helpful to ensure impressions are not limited initially.
Ads should be highly relevant, including the most descriptive and effective keywords, and highlight key selling points. Create at least two ads in each ad group, to test performance of different text and observe what product/service benefits seem to be the most appealing. Aim to create at least two types of ad extensions, with Sitelink and Callout extensions being the most common, as this provides additional info that is of interest to potential customers.
After 2 – 4 weeks of your campaign being up and running, you can take a look at the data provided by Google Ads to assess performance across different devices, days of the week, locations, ad groups, and more. In this way, you can easily see where, when, and on what device, you are receiving the most clicks and conversions, and then make valuable adjustments to your campaign to maximise these results. This can be done through bid adjustments, creating an ad schedule, and other changes that are even recommended for your particular campaign (these recommendations improve what is called your ‘Optimisation Score’).
This is key to assessing achievement of set goals and providing a benchmark for later campaigns. Google provides helpful tools and instructions to implement conversion tracking, so that you can view relevant metrics in both Google Ads and Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides a much deeper analysis, and can segment website traffic by source (PPC campaigns, organic search, social, etc.), number of new users by demographic (age, gender, audience type), and much more. Conversion tracking therefore enables a thorough insight regarding overall performance of online marketing campaigns, and can be used to inform a very tailored strategy to optimise ROI.