7 Tips for a Killer Google Ads Campaign
Online advertising, when used correctly, can do wonders to your brand’s exposure. With millions of people going online on a daily basis, leveraging the power of the Internet indeed allows you to expand your reach and connect with a much broader audience.
However, to say that online competition has become much tougher these days is an understatement. Because everybody is advertising on the Internet nowadays, your ads can easily get buried under hundreds or even thousands of similar ads. This is why if you’re going to spend money on online ads, you have to make sure that you’re doing it in the right place.
Why Advertise on Google
Receiving billions of search queries every day, Google is without a doubt the most popular and widely used search engine in the world. In fact, it is so popular that people use the word “Google” itself to refer to the act of looking up something on the Internet. Want to know if Taylor Swift has a new beau? You should Google it. Want to know if it is okay to feed your dogs chocolate? You should Google it.
You see, Google has become so ubiquitous that we’re using the search engine’s name not only as a noun, but also as a verb. So if you’re wondering where you should advertise online, yup, the answer is Google.
Here’s another factor that makes Google a compelling place for your online ads: Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords). The Google Ads platform is one of—if not—the oldest paid advertising platforms today and according to comScore, 210 million unique visitors see Google ads every month in the U.S. Across the globe, the Google Display Network reaches 90% of all Internet users.
How to Ensure Your Google Ads Strategy is Effective
Because the Google Ads platform is so popular, there’s a huge chance that your competitors are also using it. In fact, they might even be bidding against your keywords or branded terms. To stay ahead of the competition, therefore you have to up your Google Ads strategy. Here’s how you can do it.
Your ads are not everything
When creating ads, ensure that your ad copy matches the user’s intent. The copy should also support your target keywords and more importantly, present a clear solution to your target audience’s problem.
However, take note that there is more to running a successful Google Ads campaign than crafting good ad copies. It is because Google uses quality score to determine the quality of your ads. Aside from that, it also determines the amount you bid and whether or not your ads will be shown.
So how do you improve your quality score? Apart from crafting good advertisements and using the most appropriate keywords, you should also make sure that all of your ads have relevant landing pages. For instance, if the ad says “shoes for sale,” then your target audience should be directed to a page where they can buy shoes after clicking.
Ideally, landing pages should be both mobile- and user-friendly. Since most people these days are switching from desktop computers to mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones, to access the Internet, you have to make sure that your landing pages are optimized for hand-held devices. This is to boost not only your ads’ quality score, but also their conversion rates.
Avoid duplicate keywords
Using duplicate keywords across all campaigns is a no-no because it can cause your campaigns to compete against each other, which is the last thing you’d want since you’re already up against many competitors. Instead, what you can do is to identify the campaign where a particular keyword would be most relevant to and have a higher success rate in.
To do this, you can run an initial test by placing your preferred keyword in multiple ad campaigns. Then, find out which of these campaigns have the most number of clicks or conversions.
Optimize for local search
Another way to improve your Google Ads strategy is to utilize geotargeting. With geotargeting, you’ll be able to customize your bids for specific locations, thereby making your ads more relevant. For instance, if you’re selling winter clothing across the country, it makes sense to reduce your bids in Florida or Texas because it’s unlikely that the locals would need your product as much as those in Alaska or Utah.
Going local also helps increase your conversion rate, especially if you have a physical location. Research showed that 72% of users who perform a local search visited a store within a five mile radius and 50% of those users visited a store within the day.
To make your ads local search-friendly, you can include specific locations in your keywords and description line. You can also use extensions that display your location on a map thumbnail.
Equip your ads with extensions
Speaking of extension, Google Ads extensions are something that you should include in your online marketing arsenal. For starters, they give you more space and characters in your ads, allowing you to provide additional information that encourages your target audience to click. Second, Google says extensions can boost your click through rate (CTR) by 10% to 15%, which, in turn, helps increase your conversion rates.
There are many types of extensions and you can use more than one on each campaign. You can also use a single extension across different campaigns if you want to save time. Below are some of the most important ones:
- Location extension – ideal for local searches and for businesses with physical locations.
- Call extension – adds your phone number to your ads, encouraging users to call you. When your ads are shown on mobile devices, users will see a phone icon, which they can use to call you.
- Message extension – equips your ads with a messaging function so users can write and send you messages directly from Google.
- Callout extension – allows you to place a second call to action in your ad for higher CTRs and conversion rates.
- Price extension – shows the prices of selected services or products in your ads.
- Sitelink extension – directs users to specific pages in your website.
To create ad extensions, you can do it either from your Google Ads dashboard or from the campaign creation system. However, take note that the extensions aren’t always displayed with your ads. According to Google, they are shown depending on certain factors, which include your Ad Rank and the position of your ad on the search results page.
Timing is everything
When it comes to advertising, be it online or by using traditional methods, timing is vital. This is particularly important if you have cost per action or CPA campaigns as they are heavily dependent on being active when your target users are online.
Prior to posting your Google ads, you should do a bit of research. Identify when your target audience is the most active and then post your ads accordingly to get the best possible result.
Keep an eye on your campaigns
It goes without saying that you should monitor your campaigns as it allows you to optimize them and make the necessary adjustments to improve their performance. You can use Google Analytics to track your campaigns, but if you want a more thorough analysis of their performance, you can use UTM codes.
In Google Analytics, UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are basically small snippets of text that you can add to any link so you can obtain more tracking data. They can help you identify the type of clicks you get from each campaign, as well as the campaign that sends you the most traffic, the traffic that spends the longest time on your site, and the most viewed pages among other metrics.
Alternatively, you can use an application like Google Tag Manager, which pretty much provides you with the same tracking info you’ll get when using UTM codes. It can also show you the best times to run campaigns and where you should target them.
It cannot be stressed enough how important testing is when it comes to digital marketing. That being said, before you implement a campaign, you should test everything that can be tested. Question everything. Be as thorough as possible. You can mix keywords, target groups, geotags, and even your messages (ad copies) as often as you can until you’re able to identify the combination you think will give you the most promising results.
Keep in mind that expert online marketers test everything that can be tested. Therefore, it would do you well to follow their lead so you can have well-performing ad campaigns and a bigger return on investment.
When it comes to Google Ads, or any other digital marketing strategy for that matter, there is no single rule or formula that guarantees success. Rather, it is a combination of best practices and strategies that will help you achieve your goal, whether it’s to improve sales and revenue or to attract new talents to your organization. As such, make sure to follow the pointers discussed above so you can take full advantage of Google’s massive reach and marketing potential.
Chris Anderson is an online marketing expert with 15 years of experience with SEO and Google Ads campaigns. His company is also a Google Partner, specializing in SEO and Google Ads Services. Find him on Twitter @springhillmktg.