Running an eCommerce business is no joke. You not only have to compete for the attention of online buyers with several other small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but also eCommerce giants such as Amazon. And the big guys didn’t come to play. They have the war chest for online advertising. This makes it only more difficult for SMEs to reach the first page of search engine results even with excellent search engine optimization (SEO). It could take months or years.
This is why you need to supplement your SEO efforts with pay-per-click (PPC) ads such as Google Ads. In the last few years, PPC advertising has become crucial for almost every business regardless of industry or size. It has helped businesses, including SMEs, to improve their bottom line. However, getting started on Google Ads can be quite daunting for small businesses. Especially if you want to do it on your own instead of hiring an expert.
In this article, we are going to look at how to run Google Ad campaigns so you’ll be able to reap the benefits of this powerful advertising tool. Let’s get right into it.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads is an online advertising program from the world’s leading search engine, Google. It allows you to create online ads that target audiences interested in your products. You then pay for each click on your ad. Google Ads is effective for driving traffic and customers with high purchasing intent to your business.
When you create ads on Google Ads, your business shows up on the search engine results page (SERP) every time your target audience searches for products similar to yours on Google Search or Google Maps. The ads appear on both mobile and desktop devices. They can also span across other Google platforms such as YouTube, Google Display Network, and Blogger.
Google Ads will help you to analyze and improve your PPC ads so you can be able to reach more buyers online. You can tailor your ads to suit your budgetary limits.
Reasons Why You Should Use Google Ads
There are many PPC advertising mediums and methods you can use for your digital marketing campaigns. It’s a hard job deciding which one would be a good fit for your business. While everyone will have an opinion on which platform you should use, very few explain to you why you should use their preferred platforms. Here are five reasons why you should use Google Ads for your PPC campaigns:
1. Leverage Google’s massive reach
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Google is now more than a brand. It is a verb whose definition you can find in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This isn’t a coincidence. With 92.13 percent of the global search market, Google is easily the largest search engine in the world. In Ireland, 96.05 percent of online users prefer Google to the other search engines.
Basically, almost everyone goes to Google when looking for something online. That’s the place you want to be. Those people are looking for solutions your products can provide and Google Ads will make it easier for you to get to them.
2. Enjoy a range of targeting capabilities
Google Ads also enables you to target buyers at every stage of the sale’s funnel. Your ads will be able to reach those at the awareness stage as well as those at the bottom of the funnel with high buying intent. Additionally, you can use the retargeting feature to bring back those who fall off the funnel before making a purchase.
3. Harness the buyer intent in users
One of the biggest differences between Google Ads and other PPC platforms is that it enables you to reach people with higher buying intent. Take social media, for example. Social media users are primarily on those platforms to connect with their loved ones and network with others. They are hardly looking for solutions to their problems and needs. They are therefore more likely to ignore your ads.
On Google, you’ll be reaching out to people who are looking for something specific. They have higher chances of not only clicking on your ad but also making a purchase. You won’t be disrupting their online browsing experience with your ads.
4. Work within your budget
Google Ads allows you to bring any budget to the table. While there are long-tail keywords that are quite expensive, you won’t have to blow your budget for most keywords. You can always limit your ads to within a specific budget and they will automatically pause when you reach your budget limit.
So if you’re still a small business that doesn’t have an expansive budget, you’re still assured of having full control of your ads and budget. You can always adjust your ad spending as you deem fit.
5. Get quicker results than with SEO
This is not to say that you should abandon your SEO strategy. You still need the organic traffic that SEO generates. However, PPC advertising is the way to go if you are looking for quick, short-term results. If you need to start generating leads now and increase your conversions, Google Ads is the way to go. This can take you months or even years.
A Crash Course on How to Use Google Ads
The question shouldn’t be “why should I use Google Ads?” You should be asking “How do I use Google Ads?” This step-by-step guide will help you to get started on increasing your business visibility and reach with Google Ads:
Step 1: Create your Google Ads account
The first step is to create a Google Ads account. You can do this by clicking on the Start Now button on the Google Ads homepage. You will have to sign in using an existing Google account or create a new one. This will only take you a few minutes.
If you are new to Google Ads, you can select one of the three main advertising goals that Google offers. However, you can select “Switch to Expert Mode” at the bottom of the page for more goals.
Once you switch to expert mode, you’ll see a variety of goals. These include local store visits and promotions, app promotion, brand awareness and reach, product and brand consideration, website traffic, leads, and sales. There’s also the option of proceeding without a specific goal.
Step 2: Choose your campaign type
The next step is to choose the type of campaign you would like to create. There are six different types of campaign types you can work with. They include:
Search: Search campaigns will show your text ads on the Google search result pages. They are usually triggered by search queries from users. You use keywords relating to your brand and products to target these search queries. Most of your Google Ad campaigns will be focused on the search type.
Display: If you are looking to improve brand awareness or reengage previous site visitors, then display campaigns would be a great option. They enable you to target Google users through keywords, placements, and audience among other targeting options. Display campaigns give you access to Google’s network of over two million websites where they place your text, image, and video ads.
App: App campaigns are the best option if you intend to use Google Ads to promote an app. Actually, it’s the only option. This type of campaign allows you to advertise your app on various Google platforms including the Google Play Store, Display Network, and YouTube. App campaigns are usually automated so you won’t have to do much after setting up.
Smart: Lastly, we have smart campaigns. They are usually automated and all you have to do is give Google some basic parameters you want them to work with. After that, their AI will take over.
Step 3: Configure your campaign settings
After selecting the type of campaign you want to run, you’ll have to configure the settings for the campaign. You should start by naming your campaign. Campaign settings are broken into General Settings, Targeting and Audience, Budget and Bidding, and Ad Extensions.
i) General Settings
After giving your campaign a name, you’ll have to choose which networks your ads should appear on. You can choose either Search or Display. If you are working on a strict budget, then it’s advisable to uncheck the Google Display Network option. It will help you to save money as your ads will only appear on the search results.
ii) Targeting and Audience
Next, you have to fine-tune the targeting options so your ads get seen by the right audience. You’ll have to optimize the following:
Locations: This option allows you to select the geographic locations you want your ads shown in. you can target a specific area or be as broad as entire Ireland or even globally. After selecting your location, you’ll be able to choose whether to target people in the chosen location, those who are regularly in the location, those who’ve shown interest in the location, or people searching for the targeted location.
Languages: Next, you’ll choose the languages that your target audience should be speaking. For example, you can target English and French speakers. Google will only show your ads to users who speak these languages. It’s important to ensure that the languages you select to match with the ones used in your ad copy.
iii) Budget and Bidding
Every business works within a given budget. So you’ll have to define your advertising budget so Google Ads won’t go beyond the defined budget. The budget setting is pretty straightforward and easy to go through. All you have to do is indicate how much you want to spend per day.
It’s always advisable to determine your monthly budget first then divide by the number of days you intend to run your campaign. For example, you may intend to run your ads only on weekdays.
Then you’ll move to the bidding section where you choose a bidding strategy. The strategy largely depends on your campaign goals. For example, you may look to increase conversions or clicks. Google also offers you an automated bidding strategy where it sets your bids for you automatically. Some of the automated bidding strategies available to you are:
Target impression share
Maximize conversion value
Target Return-on-Ad-Spend (ROAS)
Target Cost-Per Acquisition (CPA)
We mentioned earlier that you can dictate the number of days your ad will appear to Google users. You can do this through Ad Schedule. It enables you to set the day and time will show.
iv) Ad Extensions
This is the final part of your campaign settings. There are three types of ad extensions you can use. They include:
Call extensions: This extension will show your business phone number alongside the ad so users can directly get in touch with you. They won’t have to visit your website first. It shortens their purchasing journey.
Callout extensions: You can use the callout extension to highlight the promotions, discounts, and competitive advantages that your brand or products offer to buyers.
Sitelink extensions: If you want to add additional links to your ads, then sitelink extensions will come in handy. You can add up to four extra links. They are useful if you intend to showcase different web pages to customers.
You should enable all three extensions.
Step 4: Set up your ad groups
You’re almost done. At this point, you have to create your ad groups. These are simply sets of related keywords. You should start with a single ad group. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to research and organize your keywords in an ad group.
Step 5: Create your ads
Now you have to write an ad for the ad group you created. Each ad will have the following elements for you to fill:
Final URL: This is the link to your website page you’d like to link the ad to. The page contents should match the product described in the ad. If the landing page doesn’t match the product, you can link to the homepage.
Headlines: You can add up to three headlines on your ad. They usually address the product you’re promoting and should include a call to action. The character limit for headlines is 30 characters.
Display path: This refers to the part of the URL that will be visible with your ad. It usually gives users an idea of the page they’ll be directed to when they click on the ad. You don’t have to match the display path with the final URL. But ensure that you use a keyword relating to the product.
Descriptions: The description element is for giving more details about your brand and products. You can use a maximum of two descriptions, each limited to 90 characters.
Step 6: Set up your billing information
This is the last step after you’ve set up everything. It’s a straightforward process as you are only required to enter your billing information. You can fund your Google Ads account using a bank account, a credit card, or a debit card.
From time to time, Google offers promotion codes that you can use to get discounts. If you have a discount code, you enter that in this section too.
Google Ads Best Practices
At first glance, Google Ads can be very intimidating. It has so many moving parts and you want to ensure that you get the best ROI you can from your PPC campaigns. Here are a few Google Ads best practices that will help you along:
Have clear objectives: Just like other digital marketing campaigns, you need to lay down clear goals before you get started on Google Ads. You should set attainable objectives in order to realize a return on investment. Some of the objectives you can set out to achieve include increased leads, conversions, or more traffic to your website.
Target long-tail keywords: Always avoid broad keywords. Long-tail keywords enable you to be very specific and target the right audience. For example, “wine brewery in Dublin” is more effective than just “brewery.”
Develop your campaigns with the customer in mind: When writing your ads, always keep the target audience in mind. It enables you to create customer-centric ads that attract the right audience, spark their interest in your brand, and enable you to achieve your objectives.
It’s also important to ensure you are not misleading your customers. Each ad should be relevant to the landing page it’s directing users to.
Optimize your ad landing page: Your campaigns don’t stop with your ad. You also have to optimize your landing page in order to enhance the customer experience. It will help you to give users a seamless transition to your landing page and improve your conversion rates.
Track and measure everything: Lastly, you should track and measure everything. This will enable you to tweak and improve your campaigns as you go along. Measure and analyze key metrics such as impressions and click-through rates.
We Can Help…
These tips can help you to get the most out of your marketing budget. However, Google is always making changes to its advertising platforms. It can be difficult to keep up. Instead of creating and tracking Google Ads campaigns yourself, you should leave that to an expert. So you can have time on your hands to focus on your area of expertise- serving your customers.
Our PPC experts have helped thousands of businesses like yourself and we would love to show you how Salt Marketing could skyrocket your digital marketing objectives. Click below for a free consultation with our experts.
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