March 12, 2020 By BriteIdea

Google Ads: The Basics

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Just like building a perfectly optimized post-click landing page, there is a science and artistry to creating high-converting, low cost-per-click, Google Ad campaigns. If you’re considering spending any amount of money on ads to reach your target audience, then you’d better spend it in the right place. Google Ads was launched just two years after becoming the leading search engine. Google’s advertising platform came on the scene in October 2000, named Google AdWords initially, but later rebranded to Google Ads in 2018. On average, businesses make $2 in income for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Given Google’s expansive reach, chances are you’ve seen and probably clicked on a Google Ad, and so have your potential customers! It is essential to know some basic best practices, so you can maximize your results without wasting any budget. 


Account Setup 


Campaign Basics 

The truth is, setting up your paid campaigns on Google is relatively quick and easy. The platform takes you through the process step by step with helpful hints along the way. If you have your ad copy and/or images, then setting up your campaign could take no more than 10 minutes! Where the magic happens is optimizing your ads to ensure they are reaching your audience and delivering results. Let’s walk through this together!


Identify Your Keywords

The first step of your campaign is identifying keywords to help guide your efforts. Think about how your target audience will be searching — what are their biggest pain points? For example, say your company is in the solar energy space, and your customers tend to search for “eco-friendly energy solutions.” You may want to use both eco-friendly and solar energy as your keywords to ensure you capture the right audience. If your company only operates in a particular area or city, you will also want to use geography-based keywords. If you’re a Houston area catering company leads coming in from Austin or San Antonio won’t be helpful. To avoid this, use keywords like “catering company Houston.” If you’re having trouble coming up with keywords for your business, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool  can help. Not only will you be able to find keywords that could work for your business, but you’ll get insight into the popularity and average cost of each keyword. Lastly, you may want to include negative keywords. Adding negative keywords can be helpful if your business has a similar name to something unrelated to your product or service. Using negative keywords will ensure your ad does not appear on the search page for that term, thus ensuring your ad is being seen by your target demographic, which will help increase your conversion rate and not eat up your budget. 


Create your Campaign

Google Ads allows you to create many campaigns, and each campaign consists of ad groups. Ad Groups, by their very nature, contain which keywords your ads will show on, what your ad will say when shown, and where the users are directed once they click on the ad. So in this section, you are deciding who to advertise to, what to say to get them to take action based on your ad, and where they land on your website. It is imperative to keep a single message or theme within your Ad Groups to ensure you aren’t sending mixed messages or confusing your target demographic.  You can select from one of the three campaign types on Google Ads: search, display, or video. 


Setting a Location 

Once you have determined which ad type you will be running, it’s time to set the location your ad will appear. If your product or service can be sold anywhere, selecting a broad reach will be to your benefit. If you have a location-specific product, the best strategy is to hone in on where your target demographic is located and set that as your location parameters. You can further specify your results by entering locations that you don’t want your ad to appear, meaning specific zip codes, cities, or states will not see your ad.


Track Your Conversions

As a final step, you will want to set up conversion tracking. Conversion tracking lets you know precisely how many customers or leads you have acquired from your ad campaigns. Tracking your conversions is not a mandatory step, but we highly recommend it, so you’re not left guessing the ROI of your ads. Conversion tracking allows you to track sales on your website, app installs, or calls from your ads, among other activities.


Bidding Strategies

Now that you’ve created your campaign, it’s time to setup your bidding strategy. Something to keep in mind is that the cost of a click can change throughout the day depending on the volume of companies bidding on a specific term. Take a moment to think through which bidding option works best for your budget and goals: 


Always be Testing 

Like every aspect of your digital marketing strategy, you should consistently test new strategies in Ads. This is how you ensure you are offering quality ads to your potential visitors and customers. You never want to let your account run on auto-pilot. If you aren’t getting the results you’d like, then think about how you can rework your strategy. Make sure you are diving into the data regularly and reviewing and analyzing your results. Regularly checking-in on your account can help you quickly catch any low performing ads and help ensure you don’t waste precious budget. As a small business, if you don’t have the bandwidth to be checking and retool your Google Ads daily, then you may want to outsource to a digital marketing agency, like BriteIdea Marketing Group


Given Google’s expansive reach, Google Ads should be a part of your paid strategy. We hope this breakdown and tips have you feeling more confident to navigate the Google Ads landscape. If you have any questions and would like to schedule a consultation, we’re only an email away!