When it comes to digital marketing strategies, there are many methods that you can use to reach new customers and grow your business. Among these strategies, one of the most popular ones is PPC advertising. For many people, PPC advertising pretty much equates to Google Ads. After all, Google doesn’t just lead the search engine market, it dominates it by having more than 90% of the market share.
Many of my clients are interested in taking the plunge into the Google Ads platform. However, they’re not really sure where and how to start. If you’re someone who needs some help with Google Ads, you’ve come to the right place.
For this article, I’ve made a quick Google Ads guide for beginners, which include strategy and goal setting, setting up your account, optimizing your account structure, as well as a few tips.
Is Google Ads Right for Your Business?
Sure, you’ve heard that Google Ads yield great results but is it really right for you? Before you decide to get into the paid search space, find out if Google Ads is a good solution by answering the questions below.
1. Are Your Customers Searching for You?
The most important question to answer is, is your target audience searching for you through Google.com? If not, there’s really no reason for you to start a PPC campaign. However, everyone uses the Internet for purchasing these days. Plus, Google is the most popular website in the world with hundreds of millions of unique visitors daily.
Here are a few key search engine stats that you should know:
- 90% of customers used the internet to find local businesses and 33% of them are searching every day online.
- 97% of customers have learned about local businesses in their area through the Internet.
- 28% of local business searches have been converted to business sales.
- 72% of local customer searches have resulted in in-house visits within a five-mile radius.
- According to Chat Meter, “close by” and “near me” location-based searches have grown over 900% for the last two years.
- 46% of all Google searches are made up of customers who are looking up local businesses.
With these stats, there’s a good chance that your good-fit customers are using the web to search for your product or service. On top of your PPC campaign, a strong local SEO strategy can do wonders for increasing the local presence of your business.
2. What Are Your Long-Term Goals
Your long-term goals can significantly influence on how to run your Google Ads campaign. Businesses have short and long-term goals. Increasing sales in order to get immediate cash flow is an example of a short-term goal. Expanding your customer base is a good example of a long-term goal.
Every one of my clients is different but many of their short and long-term goals overlap, here are some of the most common objectives they have:
To Maximize Revenue
Every business wants to make as much money as they can, so this is a very common goal. If you’re looking to increase sales and maximize revenue using Google Ads, you need to stay on top of your campaign and that’s accomplished by diligent monitoring.
To Increase Brand or Product Awareness
Do you wish to get your product out there in front of your target customers? Or perhaps, you have an established business and you’re about to launch a new product line? Advertising is all about generating demand. You want customers to visit your website and make a decision to buy. This is a goal where PPC can really turn it around for you.
To Maximize Profits
Return on investment or ROI is the ultimate goal, not just for PPC but for advertising in general. ROI will dictate your decisions with regard to PPC optimization. Fortunately, Google Ads is a very ROI-friendly platform. According to the Google Economic Impact Report, businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 ad spend. That’s double the ROI! Google Ads is a cost-effective advertising channel.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that can affect your success with Google Ads. However, if your short and long-term objectives are similar to the ones above, chances are, Google Ads can work for you.
3. Do You Have the Budget to Test?
It’d be great if every click on your ad converts into a sale but that’s not the reality for most people. A good rule of thumb is to set an expectation that only 1% of clicks will convert into a sale. With the 1% conversion rate, you may receive 99 clicks without ever making a sale, but if the 100th click results in a purchase, you’ll be back on track.
With Google Ads, it’s not uncommon for advertisers to get a lot of clicks and make little to no sales. But again, as long as you can make a sale from 1% of the overall clicks, things will eventually even out.
Having said that, the beginning of your Google Ads campaign will involve a lot of testing. Therefore, in the beginning, you need to have a fairly large Google Ads budget for testing your setup and keywords. This is especially true if you plan to do this on your own, without the help of a digital marketing agency.
If you don’t have a sizable budget, I recommend that you don’t spread yourself too thin across many keywords. It’s better to focus on a small group of keywords that has the highest chance of converting clicks into sales. You can expand once you test and learn what is most effective for converting your target buyer.
Help with Google Ads: Setting Up Your Account
Setting up your Google Ads account is about as easy as it gets. Follow the steps below to set up your Google Ads account:
- Go to the Google Ads homepage and click the big blue “Start Now” button.
- You will be asked to log in to the Google Account that you want to use for creating the Google Ads account.
- After you sign in to your Gmail or create an account, you will be asked about your advertising goals.
- If you want to just create and set up a new account, skip the goals, and click the “Experienced with Google Ads?” link below. This will direct you to the campaign creation page.
- Again, Google will ask you to create a campaign but you don’t have to yet. For the sake of this guide, we’ll click the “Create an account without a campaign” link on the bottom left of the interface.
- You’ll be asked to fill out your business details: billing country, time zone, and currency. Google will likely autofill this data for you.
- At this point, you’re all set. Your account is created!
5 Beginner Tips for Using Google Ads
Tip #1: Understand Google Ads Pricing
To truly master Google Ads, you need to understand its pricing structure if you want to maximize your ROI. You want a sustainable and scalable ad campaign. Here are some things that you need to remember about Google Ads pricing:
- Google Ads is a pay-per-click advertising platform, which means that you only pay whenever a user clicks your ad and goes to your website.
- Google actually rewards advertisers that have well-optimized campaigns and high-quality ads with lower costs.
- You can set up your ad campaign so that ads are only displayed to your target audiences. Google allows you to narrow your ads using criteria like age, devices, gender, location, and many others. This increases the chance that clicks will convert into sales.
- The average cost per click in Google Ads is $1-$2, and that’s for the Search Network. For the Display Network, the cost is generally below $1. Obviously, your campaign cost will depend on numerous factors, such as your industry and targeted keywords.
Tip #2: Take Advantage of Google Local Service Ads
As I’ve pointed out earlier, 46% of all searches on Google are looking up local information. Even more important, 18% of local searches are converted into sales.
Targeting local audiences is the key to success because it allows you to use keywords that are not only more specific but with a reduced cost per click as well. Specific long-tail keywords, which typically include local searches, are less competitive and will help you generate sales with a better ROI. For another tip, you should take advantage of ad extensions because it improves the quality of your ad. For instance, including a phone number extension with your ad will enable customers to call you directly.
Tip #3: Focus on the Metrics of Quality
Although Google Ads uses a bidding system, you can’t simply bid high and the clicks will start rolling in. In reality, Google isn’t interested in the highest bidder. The quality of your ad and landing page is going to make a lot of difference. This means the information you provide to your target audience after they click your link must answer their questions.
Google wants to deliver the most relevant content to its users and that includes the ads they display. You’ll generate more sales if the clicks coming from your ads lead to worthwhile information.
Keep in mind that each click doesn’t have to lead to a direct sale. The ad clicks may lead customers to a content offer like an eBook, newsletter sign-up page, or a coupon code that they can use in the future.
Tip #4: Consider Using Branded Terms Alongside Broad Keywords
The Quality Score of your ad determines the cost and placement of your ads. One of the best ways to improve your ad quality score is to include the name of your brand in your copy. However, if you only use branded terms, you will miss out on users who are not searching for your brand. If you’re a new player in a market and no one knows who you are, you may want to limit the use of branded terms.
By combining branded terms with broad keywords, you can improve your quality score as well as reduce your CPC. You can do this by setting the generic keyword to a modified broad match and leave the brand keyword as a broad match. Therefore, if users search for your targeted generic keyword, your branded terms will also show up.
Tip #5: Optimize Your Campaign for Mobile
These days, reaching customers requires a multi-channel and multi-device approach–this is why mobile advertising is so important. Here are some key statistics about the value of mobile advertising:
- 95% of mobile ad clicks go to a Google Ads campaign.
- 64% of all mobile searches are done on Google.
- 60% of users click on mobile ads at least once per week.
- 52% of online overall traffic is coming from mobile devices.
- 40% of online transactions are done on a mobile device.
- 63% of the overall total ad spending is on mobile devices.
As you can see, getting mobile advertising right can make all the difference for your campaign. Mobile search has long surpassed desktop. So, for starters, make sure that you optimize your landing page for mobile. Nothing turns off visitors more than a poor mobile experience, which can lead to low conversion rates.
This is why you should make sure that the load speed of your mobile website is fast. According to Google’s study, a mere second delay in page load time can lead to a 20% decrease in conversions.
Help with Google Ads: Should You Work with a PPC Expert?
While Google Ads is a very accessible platform, it’s easy to waste a lot of your money and time, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you need help with Google Ads, you should consider working with a PPC management company.
Here are the top reasons why you should hire a PPC management company:
1. You Don’t Know Where to Start
Signing up with Google Ads and creating an account are the easy parts (and I hope that this article helped). However, you may realize that developing and executing a successful PPC strategy is too much for you to handle. I’ve had clients who were able to set up their accounts and made a few bids but it simply went nowhere.
A good digital marketing agency has a team of PPC experts with proper tools and training to get your PPC campaign going.
2. Keyword Research Isn’t Easy
Using the right keywords is crucial to your success. Picking the wrong keywords can quickly burn through your advertising budget and get very poor results. There are many free keyword tools that you can use online but any marketer knows that the best tools are the paid ones.
A PPC management company will have access to a suite of paid tools that will give your campaign a much-needed competitive advantage. This ensures that your Google Ads will be optimized using the right keywords.
3. Poor Ad Copy Means Poor Conversion
One of the best things that a PPC expert can offer is the ability to write persuasive ad copy that converts.
Poor ad copy doesn’t convey the right message, fails to answer questions that customers may have, and doesn’t motivate viewers to click. The right copy can really improve your ads’ click-through rate (CTR), which can lead to more conversions.
4. Campaign Monitoring Requires Technical Expertise
Staying on top of your Google Ads campaign is a must because you want to know what you’re doing wrong or right, and then adjust accordingly. A PPC expert can analyze your campaign results and determine which keywords and placements are most likely to generate sales.
In addition, tagging your campaign allows you to see which keywords and bids are most effective. To install campaign tracking codes, you need to have basic HTML knowledge and be able to access your website’s code. Thus, if you have no knowledge about website management and campaign tracking, it’s a job that’s better left to the experts.
5. You Don’t Know How to Create a Good Landing Page
Relevance isn’t just exclusive to SEO, it’s equally important in PPC advertising as well. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a good and relevant landing page is a must if you want your ads to have a high Quality Score. A poor landing page will not only result in fewer conversions but your CPC will increase as well.
An expert on PPC doesn’t just understand the principles that go into creating a landing page, they also know how to test such principles.
6. Keeping Up with the Changes
The online advertising landscape is constantly changing through new policies and upgraded tools and features. If you want to be competitive, you need to keep up with the changes.
Any self-respecting advertiser knows the importance of staying up to date with the latest online marketing trends. Aside from reading news, blogs, and forums, a digital marketing expert may also attend trade shows and networking events to get expert advice and insights on the latest trends. Of course, as a client, you’ll be involved in the learning process, every step of the way.
Need Any Help with Google Ads?
If you’re interested in launching a campaign with Google Ads but you’re not sure how to start, you have come to the right place. Cardinal Digital Marketing is a leading PPC management company and we have helped many businesses maximize their pay-per-click advertising ROI.
We’ll be more than happy to work with you!
Founder and CEO
Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year,and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).