SEO is a great way to move up on Google, but there’s one surefire way to get to the top of a desired Google search page.
Google Ads allows your business to be placed at the top of the desired search term through paid advertising. Google Ads, previously known as Adwords, is a powerful online advertising platform that allows advertisers to display their product or service offerings. Online advertising allows advertisers to show ads to people who are likely to be interested in your products and services. Investing in your business by creating a Google Ads campaign is a great idea, but what makes a Google Ads campaign effective?
Setting up your Google Account
First, Google will try to help you by suggesting some default settings, but we will stay away from that advice. Google will ask you for your generic campaign goals. While these goals sound enticing, they are not useful for the person who wants targeted advertising.
Generic goals don’t look at the whole picture and cannot take an accurate inventory of your campaign. But don’t worry, Google has an option that we highly suggest. Creating a custom campaign, forgoing the automated choice, gives experienced advertisers full customizability to create an advertising campaign with many layers. Just like a cake, the more layers, the better! However, this option works best only if you are a Certified Google Ads expert with real-world experience.
Understanding Google Ads Account Hierarchy
Let’s talk about those layers. A campaign contains one or more ad groups that share settings such as location targeting, language, and keywords.
At the campaign level, some of the things that you can manage are your
- ad scheduling,
- device targeting,
Campaigns should be made for your most profitable services.
Within a campaign, we have multiple ad groups. Ad groups create the structure within each campaign. They are organized by theme and share keywords with the other Google Ads in the ad group. Ad groups contain your keywords that inform the structure of your advertisement, and the landing pages users will be sent to when clicking on the individual ad. Because of this, Google pays exceptionally close attention to your ad groups when deciding which searches your ad will appear in, and how relevant your ad is to specific users inquiry.
So, one technique is separating ad groups into the different products or services you offer. For instance, an excellent start to any campaign is taking a spin through your website and analyzing the text for keywords. It will be different for everyone, take an inventory of your drop-down menu on your website to analyze the category structure. Also, this also might be a good time to rethink your website strategy. Is the information on the site still relevant to what you are doing now? Do I have the right landing page for this campaign?
We do a competitor search to see how they are structuring their Google Ads for some inspiration and contrast. The most important takeaway here is that being organized will help you in the long run. It takes a lot more work to create hyper-targeted ad groups rather than taking a shortcut by creating one ad group to cover all of your needs. By being thorough, you will analyze your data more clearly, so you will be able to manage your campaigns more efficiently. Strategically structured ad groups are highly effective in getting you more placements on the results page and more clicks to increase conversion.
Setting Up Your Google Ads
Strategically structuring your Google Ads is vital to the success of your campaign. Within ad groups, there are usually 2-3 ads. Your Google Ads contain a list of similar keywords. Some guidelines to keep in mind are that there should be a max of 7-10 ad groups per campaign and about 20 keywords per ad group.
Writing Ad Copy
Your company is unique, and we make sure to add why in your advertising campaign – copywriting is essential; this is the time to get creative! We experiment with each of your Google Ads to see which one does best (A/B testing) – Google rotates all of your ads and serves one per user search creating a randomized study if you will. We will talk about this in more detail in Ad Rotation.
You must comply with Google’s policies, including no cursing, inappropriate content, misspelling, incorrect use of punctuation and symbols, unnecessary spacing, or repetition.
Your ad copy must mirror the messaging on your landing page to create a successfully relevant experience. You want to reinforce the message, and you want to reassure the user they clicked on a legitimate page. Highlight what makes your business competitive and tell people about your promotions and exclusives.
People use Google search to decide on something, so empower your customers to take action by including a compelling call to action. Are you running a promotion? Tell people to act fast before the discount expires. Tell people to contact you so they can receive their free consultation. Maybe you’re the best in a category; tell them why creatively.
Headlines & Descriptions
The most important part of your text advertisements are your headlines because the descriptions aren’t as visible. So, make sure to include at least one of your keywords in your headline. The tricky part is that Google gives you a limited amount of characters for each ad. You have to be particular with your wording so having thoughtful copywriting goes a long way.
We optimize every campaign by utilizing all the space that Google provides with professionally written content. There are three headline options, and two of them will be rotated by Google whenever your ad appears. Both headlines will be separated by a dash “-” or a pipe symbol “|”. The secret formula we use for our Google worthy ads is: keywords + benefits/features + call to action.
A keyword is a word or phrase that triggers your ad to appear based on the similarity of someone’s search term on Google. Understanding the keywords is essential and every ad group has them. Keywords instruct Google as to which search terms should trigger your advertisement to be served. Before you start your keywords list, research what keywords users are looking for. You’ll discover how they rank and how many searches they have appeared in.
Our digital marketing team uses Google Keyword Planner to get an idea of what keywords your competitors are bidding on. A good trick is to bid higher with top-performing keywords. As digital experts, we use vetted tools to guide us in creating successful ad campaigns. Some commonly used tools are Google Keyword Planner, Adwordswrapper.com, Soovle.com, and Ubersuggest.com.
But it doesn’t end there, you need to be continuously reviewing and updating your keywords. So many campaigns fail because they “set it and forget it”. There are a variety of factors that fluctuate during the lifespan of your campaign. Trends change, new competitors may appear, or tweaks to your keywords might need to occur. Think about how ineffective the automated google method will be here. Your goal is to optimize so that you can catch the next whale of a client.
Negative keywords prevent your ad from showing up when people use terms that don’t apply to your business or may vaguely apply.
A sophisticated Google campaign will give you the tools to exclude any search terms from your campaigns and help you narrow down the keywords relevant to your customers.
For example, let’s say you are selling sunglasses. In this case, you may want to apply a negative keyword tag for search terms like “blue light glasses” or “reading glasses”.
Another example: If I’m a painting business, I’m going to exclude the search term “DYI Painting”. The painting company has no interest in customers who are do-it-yourselfers.
By doing so, there is an increase in conversion rate and a decrease in cost per conversion. Your negative keywords list is ultimately more important than the keywords you assign to your ad groups. We don’t want our clients spending money on click-throughs that aren’t going to convert. Not assigning negative words is like throwing money out of the window.
We cannot stress how vital ad extensions are. All successful campaigns have ad extensions, so we recommend using a mixture of the 11 different types of ad extensions available. Ad extensions offer the advertiser more “real estate” on Google, and more information is accessible to the user.
This feature shows extra information about your business, therefore increasing its quality score and click-through rate. Examples of ad extensions include: site link extensions (highly recommended), call out extensions, call extensions, structured snippet extensions, location extensions, etc. Since ad extensions showcase your ad with additional information, it gives people more reasons to choose your business.
Think of Ad Rotation as A/B testing. This is the place where you tell Google what order you wish to display your Google Ads. With this advanced feature, you are presented with two options. You can either optimize your Google Ads or choose not to optimize them. When you select to optimize, the advertisements that are expected to attract more clicks are delivered more often into the auction than other Google Ads in the group.
Without optimization, you are essentially telling Google to run lower-performing ads as often as higher-performing ads. If you hire a professional to run your campaign, they would most likely want to make the optimization decisions themselves based on your specific needs.
Ad scheduling is a feature that lets you specify what hours or days you want your ads to show. You want to show your Google Ads when your customers are active online – time is money. Running your ads all day without any reason could be a waste of money. However, this is not to say that running your ads for 24 hours is a bad idea at first, it is beneficial to do so.
It’s an excellent tactic to have in the beginning because you’ll learn what hours are working the best for your campaign. You will notice that your Google Ads will have different performance metrics throughout the day. You can optimize your bids based on the data by increasing or decreasing bid rates during certain times. If you aren’t constantly optimizing your ad schedule, you can spend money on all the wrong clicks and not enough for the clicks that will lead to higher conversions.
Optimizing your Ad Through A/B Testing
There will always be something you can tweak in your Google Ads. A/B testing involves running slightly different versions of messaging, designs, etc. to see what is resonating with your audience. This is testing at its finest! Successful Google Ads take time and data to observe what performs better with their audience. That said, you will need to consider the amount of time and traffic necessary to collect enough statistical data. The data doesn’t lie – make decisions based on empirical evidence.
A quality score is a scale from 1-10 that Google uses to determine how relevant your campaign is and if it’s structured properly. A higher score gives you a better chance to be placed higher in the search results when an ad is triggered. Google depends on revenue from advertising so they have a big incentive to make sure users are finding ads that are relevant to the viewer. Advertisers want to aim for a quality score of 6 or higher.
Google assigns this score to your ad by looking at your click-through rate, the relationship between your keywords and ads, search queries, and landing pages.
1. Click-through Rate
Click-through rate, the most important factor in determining the quality score, is human feedback on the quality of your ad and keyword combination. It tells Google how appealing your keyword and ad combination is. This percentage signifies the number of people who saw your ad and “clicked-through” to your landing page. Google wants the user to continue to have a great experience, even after leaving Google.
2. Keyword and Ad Relevance
Google wants to see a reflection between keywords and ad text, and Google knows that a relevant ad shares the theme of your keywords in your ad text. Sometimes, people will try to outsmart Google and “keyword stuff” their ad copy – Google is smarter than that! A good tip is to try to include your main keywords within your headline or the first line of your description.
3. Keyword and Query Relevance
Whatever the user types in the search box is referred to as a query. Google takes into account the relevance between the query and the ad copy. The more relevant the searcher’s query is to an advertiser’s keyword and ad text, the more relevant and useful the user experience will be. It is all about the user experience.
4. Landing Page
After all, Google is a referral service, so verify your ad and landing page have some correlation. A referral service is only as good as the places it refers to its users. Make sure that the promotions or products in your ad are included in the landing page.
Creating an effective landing page combines good design with proven techniques that lead to conversion. One important factor is page speed, does your landing page load fast. People are more likely to bounce if it’s a slow loading page and Google will discount points for that too. People might leave your website if they don’t find what they expect. The landing page will tell the visitor, “You’re in the right place!”. No ad can convert a prospect without a strong landing page.
There is a lot that goes into creating an outstanding Google Adwords campaign and we understand that it takes time and effort. Google Ads takes experimenting to learn what works best for your ad. You have to test! That’s why we recommend hiring an agency to take care of your online advertisements. Digital marketing professionals will give you measurable results while you focus on running your business. Feel free to reach out to us if you would like someone in the industry to help you with your Google Ads campaign. Mighty Fine would love to help – it’s our passion!