Grow your business with Google Ads
You might be asking yourself why to use Google Ads for your business. Google Ads is a digital platform that gets better results for your advertising. With Google Ads, you create a campaign that will help achieve your business goals. Some business goals that Google Ads can help with are (Skillshop, 2019):
- Drive sales
- Get leads
- Increase website visits
- Influence consideration
- Build awareness
- Promote your app
Google Ads builds on three primary principals to help grow your business. The first principle is relevance, which involves using Google’s different platforms to promote your ads connect with the right people are the right time with the right message (Skillshop, 2019). Control is the second principle, which gives you control over how much you are spending on your ads each day, week or month. The last principle, results, involves using different metrics to measure the effectiveness of your ads.
When deciding to use a Google Ad campaign, you can select from different types of campaigns. With search campaigns, you create ads that appear on Google search results that allow people to see your brand, products, or take action (Skillshop, 2019). Display ads use Google sites and apps to display your content and help reach your audience across different platforms. Video ads can help to engage your audience differently and appear on video streaming services such as YouTube. Shopping ads appear in Google shopping searches. Shopping ads let people see your inventory, go to your website or get better leads (Skillshop, 2019). The last campaign type is App ads. App ads get engagement, app installs, or take in-app actions (Skillshop, 2019).
You have the option to specialize in your campaign even further. You can make your ads only appear local if you are looking to drive traffic from online to your brick and mortar stores. If you are a hotel looking to use Google Ads, this campaign allows you to display your hotel prices and availability. With Discovery campaigns, it lets you use Google many different platforms to deliver your messages such as Gmail and Google Discover Feed (Skillshop, 2019).
When choosing how to optimize your Google campaign, there are four different options. The first is device targeting, which allows you to choose in what ways you can reach your audience. The second is locations and language targeting, which lets you choose the specific location you want to target. Language targeting allows you to choose to target languages that people are using in their browser’s language settings. Bidding and budget settings allow you to choose how to pay when people interact with your ads and how much you want to spend (Skillshop, 2019). Ad extensions allow you to include additional information on your ads, such as links to your websites and your phone number.
Explore the value of Google Search
You have decided to use a Google Ads campaign to help grow your business. Now you decide you want to use Google Search as your campaign, so let’s look at some of the reasons why you made the right choice. In a single day, there are around 3.5 billion searches made using the Google search engine. When people need anything, their first stop is Google Search (Skillshop, 2019).
To understand Google Search, let’s take a look at the steps someone might take. I’m in the market for a new truck, so I type into Google, Ford 150. When the results load, I will see three different types of results (Skillshop, 2019):
- Shopping ads
- Text ads
- Organic results
I click on an ad that displays a Ford 150. After using the search, I go to my local auto dealer and check out the selection that they have. I’m dissatisfied with the local dealership, so I go back to the ad and then buy the Ford 150 from that company.
You are now ready to begin the journey of setting up your Google Search campaign, but you don’t know where to start! You will want to ask yourself four different questions (Skillshop, 2019):
- Where do you want your ads seen?
- How much do you want to invest?
- What do you want to share in your ads?
- What keywords will match your customer’s search terms?
When starting to create a Search campaign, you want to base it off marketing goals that you want your business to achieve. In Google Search, this can be either sales, leads or website traffic. For the campaign, you want to set up different ad groups. For each ad group, you create different keywords and text ads for them. When thinking of keywords, you want to choose keywords that your customers would type into the search engine. Text ads need to have three different fields that are (Skillshop, 2019):
Another campaign setting you can use is setting start and end dates for your campaign. You also can schedule when your ads show during the day to optimize the performance of your ads.
Now you need to choose which people will see your ads. If you are looking to reach a wider audience, you might choose the options broad match or broad match modifier. With a broad match when a person searches for a product, but either misspells or uses synonyms related to the search, your ad will still appear. With a broad match modifier, it works the same as a broad match, but you include a + sign in front of the keyword so that terms may appear before or after the word, and your ad will still show up on the results.
If you are looking to get more specific with your keywords, you have the option of using a phrase match or an exact match. Phrase match uses “” around a word, and there cannot be any words between the two. With an exact match, you use  around keywords, and there cannot be any extra words before or after the keywords in the brackets. The last option is to use negative keywords. Negative keywords use the – sign in front of a word, and this allows your ads not to be shown if someone types that keyword.
The process of coming up with keywords can be daunting, and you might ask yourself, how can I do this. Google has the answer! Use Dynamic search ads! With Dynamic search ads, Google used the websites that you have provided and create meaningful keywords that will help target your ads (Skillshop, 2019).
How do Dynamic search ads work? You start by which website to use, set your budget and have an ad template. A customer uses the search terms in Google Search. If you have content that relates to the search, Google will develop a headline and URL automatically that people can click on to view your product or service.
When choosing a targeting option for the Dynamic search ads, you have many different choices. When people are searching, you can have the landing page that you want for them to appear in the search. Different categories can be set up based on your landing pages. You can target a specific string of a URL, such as if the URL contains the word blog (Skillshop, 2019). You can have the Dynamic search ads target a specific URL. The last targeting option is using page feeds, which is targeting the feeds that show up on specific URLs (Skillshop, 2019).
Some of the benefits when using Google Dynamic Search Ads are you get more reach from different matching searches. It saves you time and is efficient because you do not need to spend the time creating keywords. You never have to give up control of the ads.
Additional business goals that Dynamic search ads help you achieve is it helps to increase your reach by using not previously thought of keywords. Customers can find more than products. Dynamic search ads also help to expand into new markets.
Understand the Google Ads auction
You might ask yourself; how does Google determine if my ad is to be shown or not? Where your ads show is done through Google Ads Auctions, which is Google’s way to determine the rank in which an ad will appear and the cost per click (Skillshop, 2019). Google first determines if the ad it shows is relevant to the person. The second element is how much a person pays for the ad. Companies will place a bid for their ads to appear, which could be $1, $2 or $3. If you were to have bid $3 and the next highest bid is $2, you only need to pay $2.01, which helps to save you money.
Five different factors determine the rank of your ad. The first is the bid you have set for your ad, and you can change this at any time. Your ad must achieve the minimum quality threshold to be displayed. Next, the context of the query looks at the person’s search terms, location, time and other different factors in determining if your ad is right for them. Google looks at how your ad extensions will perform and impact your ad. Is your ad relevant and does the website link relevant to the person searching for a product or service (Skillshop, 2019).
Three factors affect the quality of your ads. The first is the expected click-through rate, which is users that might click on your ads. Ad landing page extension is determining if the link goes to relevant content based on the search results. Ad relevance is how relevant your ad is to what is being searched by a person.
The quality of the ads will affect your quality score. Higher quality scores can result in lower prices and higher ad positions (Skillshop, 2019). Some things to do to improve your quality score can be to be specific in your ad, add negative keywords or send traffic to the right landing page (Skillshop, 2019). There are many other things you can do to improve your quality score.
Deliver the right message with text ads
A form of a Google Search Ad is a text ad. A text ad consists of a headline, URL, and description. You want your text ads to be informative, relevant and engaging (Skillshop, 2019). A headline can be up to 30 characters each, and you need two headlines with a third being optional. Descriptions are 90 characters each and are used to describe the product or service. The URL is the website address.
You’re thinking text ads sound great, but how do I create one? You can complete it in 5 easy steps. The first is to sign in to your Google Ads Account. On the page menu, select Ads & Extensions, then click the + sign and choose text ads. Then enter the three pieces of information (headline, description, URL) and then Save Ad. Look at that you’ve created your first text ad!
You will need some additional information for creating text ads. You want to try to have 3 to 5 ads in an ad group as this will help you be more successful come auction time. Rotate your ads based on clicks or conversions. Also, use at least three extensions for a campaign or ad group as this helps customers to connect with you.
A type of search ad you might consider using is a responsive search ad. With these ads, you supply the headlines, descriptions, and URLs, and Google will test with different variations to see, which performs better (Skillshop, 2019). Some benefits are you have more flexibility with how the ads will display on a search result. You save time by not having to create the ad, and Google Ads gets to do the testing for you. The different combinations could result in more reach to customers. You get improved performance by having ad combinations that you might not have previously thought of (Skillshop, 2019).
Make ads relevant with search ad extensions
When making a search ad, you have the option to use ad extensions to improve your ads. A user looks for three things for their searches. They are looking for relevant information, information based on the moment of the search and ads that will help them to find answers to their search (Skillshop, 2019). With ad extensions, you get increases engagement because if a search matches the intent, interest or location, Google will rank your ad higher. If the format of the ad looks good, it increases your Ad Rank for being a relevant search. Extensions can generate qualified leads because the ad targets those customers; there is a higher chance of a customer seeing your ad.
When deciding which extensions, you want to use, there are three universal ones that you need to consider using. Sitelinks are additional links to your website that appear below your text ads (Skillshop, 2019). Sitelinks are easy to manage, drive more conversions and increase engagement. Callout extensions are snippets of text that are 25 characters in length that give customers the value-driven factors of your products or service. Callouts extensions boost engagement, and they are easy to implement (Skillshop, 2019). Structured snippets are descriptions of features that come with your products. Theses snippets help to generate qualified leads.
There are additional extensions that you can use too. Location extensions show the address, phone number and map marker of where your business is. This extension can help to increase traffic to both your online and brick and mortar stores. Affiliate extensions allow a manufacturer to get people to visit a store that sells their products. This extension also helps to drive online and in-store sales. Call extensions provide a phone number to call if the person is on their mobile device. It makes it convenient for the customer and allows them to schedule an appointment when they are free (Skillshop, 2019).
App extensions promote your app and can give the option to download your app from the extension. Price extensions show the pricing for your services and products so customers know upfront what they can expect. Promotion extensions allow quick changes to display promotions going on without having to change all your ads. Message extensions are for mobile users and allow them to message a business. Sending messages can be convenient for the customer and allows you to prequalify them for products or services (Skillshop, 2019).
When using ad extensions, it is essential to keep these best practices in mind. Use at least 3 to 4 extensions since this is how many Google can show in an ad. Use the three universal ad extensions (sitelinks, structured snippets, and callouts). Keep the extensions up to date whenever there is something new you provide. Continually monitor the performance of the extensions and make any necessary changes (Skillshop, 2019).
You also have to option to use automated ad extensions when creating your ads. Google creates automated extensions and requires no part on your end (Skillshop, 2019). Automated extensions can auto-generate sitelinks, structured snippets, and callouts.
Seller ratings are another type of automated extension. Seller rating gets data from different sources and develops a rating score for your business. The different sources of data are (Skillshop, 2019):
- Google Customer Reviews (GRC)
- Google-led shopping research
- Google Consumer Surveys
- Third-party review sites
When you want to check the performance of your automated extensions, complete it in two easy steps. First, click ads and extensions then click automated ads.
Increase efficiency with automated bidding
Automated bidding is Google setting up the bid prices to allow your ads to perform better during search results. Automated bidding uses machine learning to set an appropriate bid for each auction (Skillshop, 2019). Going through your data can be a time-consuming task that with automated bidding can solve that problem by doing it for you. Automated bidding allows that when it comes time for the auction, the amount you bid will reflect the conversion rate you can achieve (Skillshop, 2019). Automated bidding allows for cross-analysis and seeing different combinations while considering new ones (Skillshop, 2019).
When setting up your bid, you need to keep in mind which bidding strategy you choose. The first is to set an awareness-based bid strategy. These ads increase visibility, and you want to target impression shares (Skillshop, 2019). Consideration-focused bid strategies focus on maximizing the number of clicks within your spending limit. With conversion-focused bidding strategies, you want to maximize conversions, target cost-per-acquisition or enhance cost-per-click (Skillshop, 2019). Revenue-focused bidding strategies you want to gain revenue within the return on ad spent (Skillshop, 2019).
Reach valued customers with search audiences
You might be asking yourself; how can I reach my most valued customers? The answer is using Google’s Search Audiences. Search Audiences allows you to create different lists of customers to add on top of your ad groups. These audiences are created by the intent of what the audience wants with any insights you might have about them (Skillshop, 2019). By providing this information, you can make sure the customer is reached at the right moment, with the right bid and message (Skillshop, 2019).
There are different Search Audiences you can reach based on your marketing goals. With awareness as a goal, the audience solutions Google would use are detailed demographics and affinity audiences. With drive conversions, the type of audience solutions is in-market audiences, remarketing lists for search ads, and similar audiences for search. Increase purchase and loyalty with your existing customers, the audience solutions would be customer match and remarketing lists for search.
How do these solutions help with your search strategy? You can bid differently based on the different audiences by the value they provide to your business (Skillshop, 2019). The keywords that you use will differ based on the audience. The creatives that you use can be tailored to the specific audience. An important thing to note is that customers do have the option to opt-out of receiving personalized ads (Skillshop, 2019).
I talked about the different Search Audiences earlier, but let’s dive into a little more detail about each one. Affinity Audiences are people how have demonstrated interest in a topic related to your products (Skillshop, 2019). For example, someone searching for mountain bikes that have done some research and watched some YouTube videos would qualify to be an Affinity Audience member. Detailed Demographics are going beyond the traditional demographics you look at. These would include parental status, parenting age, homeownership, marital status, educational status (Skillshop, 2019). In-Market Audiences are people who are in the market to buy a product (Skillshop, 2019).
How does Google determine which people get pooled with a particular Search Audience? Google uses different algorithms that signal patterns that a person is exhibiting. Google validates this behaviour through the use of surveys. Google also looks at differences between what people search on mobile or desktop to gain a better picture (Skillshop, 2019).
Three other types of Search Audiences use your own data to create. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) are people that might have already searched using a keyword in your campaign and have visited your website (Skillshop, 2019). These types of ads would be targeted towards those individuals that never completed a purchase that they wanted to make. Customer Match uses data that you have in your customer relationship management (CRM) system to help create a new type of audience (Skillshop, 2019). This type of audience might include re-engaging with customers or reach customers, not part of the RLSA. Similar Audiences use the data you have from your remarketing lists to generate a new list of customers with similar interests.
Boost performance with optimization score
How can the optimization score help increase the performance of your ads? Optimization scores allow you to see how successful Google predicts your Search campaigns will be. The score you receive is between 0 – 100% (Skillshop, 2019). Google recommends changes that you can make to improve your score. Three benefits that you get when you use optimization score are (Skillshop, 2019):
- Scores are instant and work in real-time to show how well your campaign is doing
- Recommendations are customizable and tailored to your specific campaign
- By having a score, the recommendations are scalable and measurable.
Let’s go over how optimization score works and how you can make it work for you. When calculating the score, Google looks at crucial items on your account, such as statistics, settings and industry trends (Skillshop, 2019). Based on these items, Google gives you a score and can recommend how to improve your score. Points are weighted more heavily based on statistical models, simulations, and machine learning (Skillshop, 2019). Google’s optimization score is made up of 50 recommendations to help your advertising. All of this leads to recommendations that can help you achieve your business goals.
Increase conversion with Performance Planner
The most essential thing you can do with Google Ads is to plan your monthly budgets in advance. By doing this, you can help your campaigns to (Skillshop, 2019):
- Understand the future spend potential of current Google Ads campaigns to help drive budget decisions
- Take advantage of seasonality to capture incremental opportunities
- Set optimal bids and budgets across your campaigns to help ensure that ROI performance is maximized
- Find new opportunities to grow your sales volumes with Google Ads
This is where Google Ads Performance Planner comes into play. Performance Planner is a tool that uses machine learning to estimate forecasts for your upcoming budgets. Performance Planner will determine the right bids and daily budgets that you should be using (Skillshop, 2019).
You might ask yourself, how does this all work? Four components working together make it possible. Forecasting uses the power of the search engine to determine what is being searched. Simulations are used to see how relevant ad auctions will perform. Machine learning measures the level of accuracy. Validation is done to ensure that the recommendations will work for you.
Let’s look at the general overview of how the Performance Planner works. Google creates a budget plan with the best bids that will drive conversions. Google explores how optimizations and forecasts can grow your business. You can then review and implement the changes recommended.
Here are some best practices for using the Performance Planner. Marketing objectives look to achieve different results, so use separate plans for each objective. You are looking to drive conversions, so use the non-last click conversion option for accurate results (Skillshop, 2019). Check your plan monthly because of seasonality, fluctuating auctions, and competitors.
There are three changes that the Performance Planner will recommend to you. Search manual cost-per-click (CPC) or enhanced CPC campaigns recommend an average daily budget and bid scaling. Search maximize clicks or maximize conversion campaigns to recommend an average daily budget. Search target CPA or target return on ad spend (ROAS) campaigns recommend an average daily budget, campaign-level target CPS or campaign-level target ROAS (Skillshop, 2019).
Some additional factors to also check with the Performance Planner. Look to take advantage of seasonality trends (Skillshop, 2019). Think ahead of fluctuations in the auction and plan accordingly. Look at previous Performance Planners to identify any trends and plan ahead.
Google Search Ads are a great tool to help promote your business. Google makes the process easy by giving you control over your ads. Google helps to deliver your message to the right audience and the right time with the right message. Google also has tools to help optimize and improve your ads.
Before I end this blog, I would just like to take you through the journey of my experience with Google Search Ads. You have the option at the end of the course to take an exam to get certified in Google Ads Search. After I had finished reading the content of the course, I decided to take a stab at doing the quiz. As you can see below, the results were not the one I was expecting.
I decided to start writing the blog as a way to help study for the exam. This allowed me to explore topics that I was unsure of the answers in the exam. As you can see below, my second attempt was a success, and I am now certified in Google Search Ads!
If you are wanting to learn more about Google Search Ads, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and let’s chat.
Skillshop. (2019, September 7). Google Ads Search Certification. Google. https://skillshop.exceedlms.com/student/path/18128-google-ads-search-certification