Thinking about advertising on Google? With billions of people using the search engine every day, it’s one of the best ways to reach your target audience online. Formerly known as Google Adwords, Google Ads allows you to communicate with customers looking for specific products, services, or information. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what Google Ads is and how your business can benefit from using this paid search platform.
What Is Google Ads?
Google Ads is an online advertising platform that gives businesses the opportunity to show up at the top of search engine results pages through paid advertising. If your ad is chosen to show up, it will be visible in one of two places: at the top or bottom of search results pages.
That means, even without having a website that may rank highly in search, you have the chance to show up ahead of other businesses. While it’s not a sure bet that your ad will be chosen to show up every day, any chance to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) can increase the likelihood that potential customers will click on your ad, visit your website, contact your business, or make a purchase with you.
Keep in mind that 86% of all searches are conducted on Google, which amounts to a whopping 63,000 searches per second—and all those searches can lead to profitable clicks, with businesses generally making an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on Google Ads.
How Does Google Ads Work?
By advertising with Google, you don’t have to compete in organic search results to get visibility, the way you would with a more traditional SEO strategy. Instead, you compete for paid search spots at the top of SERPs, where you’re able to get more instant visibility when search results load for a query.
Of course, it’s not that simple. To create paid ads with Google Ads, you need to do the following:
- Bid on Keywords: To show up for specific search queries related to your business name and the products or services you offer, you have to select relevant keywords and bid on those keywords. Your bid will determine your placement and how much you pay for your ad. (But more on that in a moment!)
- Create Quality Advertisements: A defining factor for your ad getting seen in Google is its Quality Score. An ad’s Quality Score is based on the expected click-through rate, its relevance to the search term, and the landing page attached to the ad. If all three are low, you’re less likely to show up in paid results. But as you improve your score, you increase your chances of getting your ad seen by more Google users.
- Set a Budget: You’ll need to set thresholds for how much you’re willing to spend on pay per click (PPC). With a PPC campaign, you’ll pay a certain amount every time someone clicks your ad—and if you’re in a competitive industry or running an ad for a competitive keyword, your ad costs could go up quickly.
How to Build a Google Ads Campaign
Throwing money at keywords and building ads without a target audience in mind won’t help you see success with paid search advertising. You must be strategic in how you identify your best keywords, design your landing page, and compete in the Google advertising auction.
Utilize Keyword Research
Finding the right keywords to use in your paid ads is all about identifying a searcher’s intent. When your target audience enters a query into Google, what are they looking for? What problem are they trying to solve? Do they want to make a purchase? Are they researching local services?
Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner—a free keyword tool managed by Google—to see how many searches per month are conducted for terms you’re hoping to be found for. One thing to note is that, while terms with higher search volumes are more frequently searched, they’re also increasingly difficult to rank for and can often cost more in a PPC campaign.
This is where it’s good to find related keywords that tie back to your business and consider bidding on those. While related keywords may not be searched for as often, they typically have a high enough search volume that makes them worthwhile to target.
Putting together a good keyword list will require work and some trial and error, but the better your keywords match your business and your customers’ search habits, the more clicks you could receive.
Similarly, you should also identify negative keywords—those that are semi-related to what you offer, but don’t match your search terms or what you want to rank for exactly. You can tell Google what these keywords are and have them removed from consideration while bidding so these don’t affect your overall Quality Score. This is also a great way to funnel out irrelevant traffic and prevent excess spend.
Design a Great Landing Page
Though it’s only one part of the overall Quality Score that Google uses to determine if your ad should be shown or not, putting together a high-quality landing page should be a priority no matter what. Whether your ad is designed to get people to utilize a service, buy a specific product, or sign up for a current deal, your landing page should reflect that.
Google is most likely—no one really knows exactly—ranking a landing page based on its relevance to your ad, how well put together the page is, and how many customers are actually clicking through the page and not bouncing off. So regardless of your campaign goals, you want your landing page to be simple. Quickly tell people what your business does, what you offer, and how they can get it. Don’t leave anything to the imagination!
Create High-Quality Ad Copy
Every ad that shows up in SERPs is accompanied by a strong CTA and accompanying ad copy, both of which can play a large role in whether or not Google will choose your ad to show up.
No matter what, your ad copy and CTA should closely match the keywords you’re bidding on and deliver on what the searcher is looking for. On top of that, you need to get your point across quickly. Headlines only allow for 30 characters, though you can have up to three headlines; and description text is capped at 90 characters, but you’re allowed up to two descriptions. So work on a few different options beforehand so you can change course on the fly while still mentioning the right keywords and maintaining your messaging.
Place Google Ad Bids
Once you’ve selected the keywords you want to rank for, you can enter the Google Ads Auction. Here, you place a maximum bid on what your brand is willing to pay for a click related to each keyword. Google weighs your bid amount with your Quality Score to determine the “winners,” who are then placed in the prominent ads positions in Google SERPs.
You can bid in two ways:
- Manual bidding: This puts you in complete control of your maximum PPC for your ads. Though it requires more attention, manual bidding ensures your advertising spend goes exactly where you want it to and easily allows you to make adjustments.
- Automated bidding: This allows Google to adjust your bid based on your competitors’ actions. You set a maximum budget, and Google works within those constraints to give you the best chance at being placed in SERPs. Automated bidding can cause you to churn through your ad budget quicker if you’re not careful, though.
Interested in advertising with Google Ads? Hurrdat can manage your Google Ads campaigns and help get your business in front of more customers in relevant SERPs. Learn more about our Paid Advertising Services!