Learning the Basics of Google Ads

computer screen with search engine

You know about Google Ads, and maybe you’ve thought seriously about taking the next step in launching a paid campaign. But for those who are newer to Google Ads, how they work and what to expect, we’re here to help. Today, we’ll highlight the basics all business professionals should know when considering investing in a campaign. Some introductions, best practices, and benefits might be just what you need to take the next step to paid advertising success.

Why Google Ads?

Google has seniority in the search engine space and with over 240 million unique visitors and 3.5 billion daily engagements. If you’re going to consider investing in an ad campaign to reach your customers, chances are, you’ll reach them here. If you plan to catch fish, you’ll want to find the fully stocked lake to cast your line. It’s also important to mention that your competition is already there as well. If you have a website, technically, you’re all listed in Google. Now, where your company appears on the search engine results page (SERP) is entirely up to you.

How does it work?

With Google Ads, you’re embarking essentially in a pay-per-click platform. Here you, as the advertiser will pay per click (PPC) or per impression (PPM), based on the number of clicks and impressions your ad has. The goal is to generate as many of each as possible, thus driving the audience and traffic to your website for conversion. The system is set up for bidding, where you can choose a maximum bid amount you’re willing to invest for your clicks.

  • CPC: Cost Per Click
  • CPM: Cost Per Thousand (1000 Impressions)

The choice you make here will also depend on the type of campaign you decide is best for your product or service.

Campaign types

Google Ads offers great flexibility in campaign strategies, including three primary types of campaigns. You can opt for basic text ads, also known as Search Ads. If you prefer to get phone calls you may select “call-only ads”.  Or if your company offerings are best presented with graphics, you can select a Display Ad which is image-centric. If video is more your style, they also offer Video Ads which appear on YouTube and generally run 15 seconds or less.

Common pitfalls to avoid

As you put together your ideal campaign strategy, there are few tips to help keep you on the best results track. Sometimes Google Ads don’t work, or they under-perform. When it fails, it’s typically due keyword weakness, irrelevancy in placement, low quality score (QS), or a poor landing page.

Keywords are just that, key

When developing your campaign, spend a considerable amount of time creating specific keywords to your products or services. Avoid being broad and try to focus on those search terms that directly related to your business.

Headlines that don’t jive don’t work

It’s essential to make sure your ad’s headline and content match those dedicated keywords. Otherwise, you might end up displaying in irrelevant searches and lose your audience.

Google judges your ad with a Quality Score

Your quality score is based on how Google decides where you should rank. You’ll be provided your QS, which would be a direct reflection of viewership for your ad. It’s also based on how Google views your call to action, landing page, and keyword strength. You can’t control how Google sees your ad, but you can definitely make ongoing adjustments to increase your score and favorability.

What happens after they click?

The landing page is critical. When people click on your paid ad, you should have next steps that lead your audience to conversion. You’ll want to make sure that your potential customers are getting their questions answered, and being prompted through your conversion funnel. Design a reinforcement of continued engagement on your page. For example, a thank you prompt after purchase, with a redirect for continued reading, is a strong engagement strategy.

To avoid these common pitfalls, it’s best to know your buyers’ habits and preferences. You’ll want to be able to think like them, as they make purchasing decisions, and create an effective campaign to meet them when they’re searching.

Measurable results

Now, this may all sound complicated at first, but actually setting up Google Ads is relatively simple. Google offers a series of prompts that walks you through the process and to get your ads up and running. Of course, to get the best ROI, you’ll want to make sure you have other mechanisms in place to help you track the results of the campaign. For starters, you should have Google Analytics set up on your website, with customized measurement and tracking that is most important to you. You can link your Google Analytics to your Google Ad campaign, which will make tracking, managing, and reviewing your results seamless.

Customer engagement

You might have spent a great deal of time in growing your organic reach and frequency, through content, email, or social media. Google Ads is a great channel for connecting with your target audience and genuinely engaging with them. Potential customers may have come across your company information or Instagram post in passing. But when they’re searching for something on Google, there’s a chance they have an immediate need. Your ad will help you catch them when they’re ready and will make sure your business is a top choice for services.

Outpacing your competition

When you search for your services or products on Google, take a look at the competition in your space. Another great aspect of using Google Ads is it allows you to gain strategic positioning in those results. You don’t necessarily have to outbid every competing business, especially if you’re competing with national brands. You can, however, keep your business near the top of the list, edging out any non-investing competition.

If you’d like more information about paid advertising or ideas on how to craft your most effective Google Ad campaign, contact us! While we think it’s beneficial to share the insights and benefits, you don’t have to do it alone. You have experts available to help make sure your Google Ad campaign is a success.

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