8 Tips to Get You Started with Google Ads (without losing your shirt)

Google’s advertising program is an auction in which advertisers like you bid on specific keywords in order for your ads to appear in Google’s search results. Keywords can trigger your ads to appear next to search results on Google and other search sites across the Internet as well as Google’s partner sites. The auction gets run billions of times each month. This results in searchers finding what they’re looking for, clicking on your ads, and advertisers like you connect with potential customers.
Google makes it easy for anybody to set up an account: they walk you through the steps. But once your credit card has activated the campaigns…you’d better be on your toes! Google will happily take more of your money if your campaign’s quality is below average or if you let AI take over. I hope these tips will help you avoid the pitfalls of Google Ads and keep some money in your pocket along the way.

1. It’s not just about out-bidding competitors, it’s about being relevant.
Google Ads can be a very effective program but your money can be wasted if you bid on the wrong keywords or write weak ads. This will affect your CPC, or cost per click, which is the amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Obviously you want your CPC to be as low as possible. And that’s where Ad Rank and Quality Score come into play.
Ad Rank
Now let’s suppose that multiple advertisers use the same keyword as you to trigger their ads or want their ads to appear on the same websites. Google uses Ad Rank to determine whose ads will appear, and in what order. Your Ad Rank is based on a combination of:
• Your bid, which is how much you’re willing to spend
• The quality of your ads and website
• Expected impact from your ad extensions and other ad formats

So as you can see, it’s not just a matter of bidding higher! Google determines what you pay based on the amount of clicks that the company’s advertisement receives. The amount of clicks are determined by the relevance of your ad to what the searcher is looking for. How do you know if you ad is relevant? You look at your Quality Score.

Quality Score
This is a metric Google uses to determine how useful your ad is to the user, based primarily on your ad’s Click Through Rate, keyword relevance, and the quality of your landing page. It is a 1-10 rating scale. The higher your Quality Score, the better. These keywords will save you money and your ad will show up higher on the page and above your competition (ad position).

The bottom line for Google (and you) is this: when the customer searches and finds exactly what he’s looking for through clicking your ad, that’s considered a great user experience, and that’s what can earn you a high Quality Score.

2. You need a great landing page.
When you advertise with Google, you’ll link your online ads to your website. However, you can’t just send your prospects to your home page. Your prospect will be confused by many choices and too little or too much unfocused information. Remember, the ad they click on needs to lead them to the answers they are looking for. That’s why you need a landing page: a page that’s highly focused and designed with the right message at the right time for your potential customer.

What constitutes a great landing page for your ads? Google tells us:

Relevant, useful and original content
• Make sure your landing page is directly relevant to your ad text and keyword.
• Provide useful information on your landing page about whatever you’re advertising.
• Try to offer useful features or content that are unique to your site.

Transparency and trustworthiness
• Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information.
• If you request personal information from customers, make it clear why you’re asking for it and what you’ll do with it.
• Distinguish sponsored links, like ads, from the rest of your site content.
• Openly share information about your business and clearly state what your business does.

Ease of navigation
• Don’t make people hunt around for the information they might need on the advertised product or service.
• Make it quick and easy for people to order the product or service mentioned in your ad.
• Don’t annoy customers with pop-ups or other features that interfere with their navigation on your site.
• Make sure your site pages load quickly.

You can view an estimate of the landing page experience by going into your Keywords tab and placing your cursor over the speech bubble next to the status of any keyword.

Easy right? Show the visitor they have selected the right place to find the product, deal, information or experience they are looking for. What’s the result if you don’t? No sales and you can bet it’s costing you (the advertiser) more money per click than it should be!

3. Your ads need a call to action.
What makes your product or service unique? In Google Ads, you only have a few lines to convince someone to visit your website. How can you stand out from your competition? How can you entice readers to make the click? You need a call to action.
Make use of such phrases as:
• call now, get a quote
• act now, apply now
• buy now, save now
• get it today
• shop now
• Imagine, improve, decide, begin, etc.
Combine your call to action with special offers and include at least one of your keywords. You can add urgency with phrases like, “Before it’s too late”, or “ending soon”.
Don’t be afraid to test out several versions of your call to action. This testing is a basic part of running Ad campaigns.

4. Understand your user’s intent and give them what they want.
Is your potential lead in the buying stage or the research stage? When creating ads, we need to structure them so that they speak to the potential customer’s needs. We can do that by using additional action words with our keywords based on the buying cycle. Here are some examples:
Tire Kickers
This is stage one and your potential customer is performing research. They may not be aware of the solution to their pain and use words like:
• tips, advice, help, cheap, best (your keyword)
Providing this educational information can plant the seed for your lead to come back to you when they are ready to buy. Make sure you follow through with the free information on your landing page, or offer of information by email.
Comparison Shopping
Now your customer knows what they want and may be looking to get the best product or service for the least amount of money. Words to use with your keywords include:
• reviews, compare, find out more, learn (your keyword)
Testimonials, reviews and comparisons may lead them to the next phase and make a purchase.
Purchase Mode
These people are ready to buy. They know what they want and they want it now! Use the following:
• buy, purchase, contact, sign up, call, apply (your keyword), specials, don’t miss out
Then remember to continue the conversation on your landing page that you started with your ad to obtain the sale or phone call. Test these to see which results in more conversions for your business.

5. Make use of negative keywords.
Negative keywords prevent your ad from being triggered and may be one of the most important tactics in your AdWords campaign. Without using negative keywords, you can be sure you are hemorrhaging money and lowering your chance of getting quality leads.
With negative keywords, you can:
• Prevent your ad from showing to people searching for or visiting websites about things you don’t offer.
• Show your ads to people who are more likely to click them.
• Reduce costs by excluding keywords where you might be spending money but not getting a return.

6. Align account structure with your website, use themes not keywords.
By creating well-structured campaigns by theme or product, you’ll get more than just an account that’s easy to manage and keep organized: you’ll also have sets of ads and keywords that are directly related to each other, which helps improve your Quality Score.
Use your website to begin by identifying your key products and/ or services. Don’t create campaigns and ad groups for ALL of your products and services, instead choose 3-5 products or services that are your most profitable or that you want to focus on. You can always add more products and services later.

Think in terms of an umbrella structure when organizing your AdWords campaign. Campaigns should be themed by general products and services (i.e. “Massages”). Ad group should feature more specific product details (i.e. “Swedish Massages” or “Hot Stone Massages”). Do not create just one campaign, with one ad group and one ad for all of your keywords. This is a common mistake that people make when starting a PPC campaign. This will get poor CTRs (Click Through Rates) and not bring you the leads you are looking for.

You don’t have to find all related keywords right now because Google will help you find them as you go along!

Now you can write your ads. Experiment with a few different ad variations to see which ones perform best. Make sure ads have a call to action and takes your visitor to the landing page they want to see!

7. Separate your Display and Search ads. Keep an eye on the Display Network.
You might have noticed while creating your campaigns the option for “Display Network”. What is the difference between the Search and Display networks? Google’s Search Network targets users typing directly into Google’s search engine and they are usually in the purchase mode. In contrast, think of the display network as a more passive form of advertising in the form of banners, images or small boxes promoting a product or service, above and to the side of the articles on a web page. These users are in a different frame of mind and may not be actively shopping but these ads can get you thousands of impressions. However, the Display network has many pitfalls and can quickly drain your bank account if not utilized properly.  Consult an expert if you plan to advertise this way.

8. Use location, device and ad scheduling to get desired results.
Setting the appropriate ad scheduling can take your campaign to the next level.

Where to go from here:
And there you have it. You now understand powerful Google Ads strategies you can use to get more leads, save money and rise above your competition. I hope you’ve found this guide valuable and that you’ll implement the strategies outlined to help your business. Best of luck and remember getting more leads with Ads is really about giving your potential customers a great and relevant user experience.

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Author: searchmarketingassistant

Google Ads Certified, Local SEO

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