Google Ads Explained By The Professionals

By John Reserva on Aug 21, 2020

Getting your digital presence happening so you can be Googled by your potential customers is one thing. Catching their eye, making contact, and converting to cash is another.   

As  Perth’s #1 Adwords Agency,  providing clarity to our customers, and keeping reporting simple is why we thought we’d break down the ins and outs of Google Ads, and how it benefits bottom lines in business.

WHAT ARE GOOGLE ADS, EXACTLY?

What Are Google Ads Exactly

Launched in the year 2000, Google Ads was set up as a platform to enable small businesses to create online advertising campaigns where they Paid-Per-Click (PPC). Google Ads are based partly on cookies (You know, when you land on a site, and it says the site uses cookies), and partly on keywords.

 As customers actively search on Google for goods and services, keywords (what it typed into the search bar) are bid on in the advertising campaign set up.  

 

WHERE CAN GOOGLE ADS APPEAR?

Where Can Google Ads Appear

Just quietly, Google Ads can appear in more places than the top of the search bar when you are looking for a product or service, or the answer to a random fact being debated at the dinner table with your 11-year-old like “Is a pumpkin a fruit?”.

  • Google Search Sites - This includes Google, Google Maps, Google Shopping, and the Google Play Store when people are using the search bar.
  • Websites who use Ad Sense - This is where you may see ads placed in amongst a blog, or as a banner on a site that you visit.  These sites are part of the Google Display Network.
  • Platforms owned by Google - This includes ones you may be familiar with like Gmail and YouTube.
  • Partner Sites  - These are search-related websites that partner with Google to display your ads. Think Amazon and some News/Media focused sites.

 

HOW EASY IT TO GET TO THE TOP OF SEARCH RESULTS IN GOOGLE?

How Easy Is It To Get To The Top

There are two ways to get to the top. The first one is as an organic search engine result, which comes over time by being consistent with the content that contains keywords as part of an SEO strategy, versus the second one of a paid Google Ad.  Great news on two fronts - paid ads can help your organic search results, and our team here at Dilate can help you with all of your SEO content strategy needs, along with choosing the right Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Google Ads strategy.

 

WHAT DOES COST-PER-CLICK (CPC) MEAN, ANYWAY?

What Does Cost Per Click Mean

With traditional media (say radio, TV or print), you would pay a price based on timing and positioning. Prime time would attract a higher advertising price, just like how headlining on the cover of a magazine would be more expensive. Great for brand awareness; really hard to track engagement.

Cost-per-click (CPC) means you are only paying when someone clicks on your ad. This is great news, as you can track the performance of your ad and start to optimise.

 

AS AN ADWORDS AGENCY, HERE’S AN INSIGHT INTO THE PROCESS OF SELLING WITH GOOGLE ADS 

As An Adwords Agency

At the simplest level, you just have to start an online business, create a Google Ad based on your product or service, wait a day or two, and hello customer! 

However, creating cost efficient and effective targeted ads is a bit more complex, so let’s dig into some of the juicy details between starting the business and getting the customer.   

It’s important to work through the following steps to set your Google Ads up correctly.

  1. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
  2. KNOW YOUR GOAL
  3. TICK THE ANALYTICS BOX
  4. SET YOUR CAMPAIGN TYPE
  5. DETERMINE YOUR BIDDING STRATEGY
  6. GOOGLE AD CREATIVE
  7. IMPLEMENT YOUR AUDIENCE
  8. ENTER THE LEARNING PHASE
  9. TRACK CONVERSIONS
  10. CALCULATE YOUR ROI
  11. OPTIMISE
  1. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
  2. KNOW YOUR GOAL
  3. TICK THE ANALYTICS BOX
  4. SET YOUR CAMPAIGN TYPE
  5. DETERMINE YOUR BIDDING STRATEGY
  6. GOOGLE AD CREATIVE
  7. IMPLEMENT YOUR AUDIENCE
  8. ENTER THE LEARNING PHASE
  9. TRACK CONVERSIONS
  10. CALCULATE YOUR ROI
  11. OPTIMISE

1.KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER

01 Know Your Customer

As a business owner, you know your customer best. When it comes to selling and advertising with Google Ads, this information helps you put the right product or service in front of the right customer, or it can help you confirm assumptions about customers if you are launching something new, and even fine tune your marketing campaign and message. Anything that you do know about existing customers, your competitors, or alternate products or services to your offering all help in building out audiences in your ads campaign, but more on that later.

2. KNOW YOUR GOAL

02-Know Your Goal

Businesses and customers all go through life cycles. Your marketing goals help determine what type of campaign you build, and can also help you manage the size of investment of your marketing budget when it comes to setting your bidding strategy.

The great thing about Google is that if people are searching, they have already self-identified a problem or a need and are looking for a solution in the form of a product or service.  

If you are a brand spanking new start-up or company, your first goal may be to raise awareness of who you are and your brand so that you can get some traffic headed to your online offering.

The goal may be a little different if you are looking to convert, or expand your customer base.

Keep these in mind as you think about your products or services, and which ones are a profitable focus for your business in terms of the investment of time and money.

3. TICK THE ANALYTICS BOX

03-Tick The Analytics Box

Yes, this little piece of code is an important part of the process - if you aren’t sure if it is set up on your website correctly, our Adwords Perth team assist clients from all over the country to make sure this is set up and optimised accurately.

Google Analytics help in the customer data mining process, and assist with important information to help you optimise your campaigns and understand what is working for you in the online customer journey.

Analytics can help you understand where people are coming from geographically, what devices they are using to search, all of which helps better target and optimise your advertising strategy.

4. SET YOUR CAMPAIGN TYPE

04-Set Your Campaign Type

Within Google Ads, you can create different types of campaigns, and choosing the right one is about making sure it fits with your marketing goals.

The types of campaigns that you can set up (either by yourself or have it managed by an AdWords Agency) include:

  • Search Network Campaigns -  This is where your text, dynamic search and call ads appear on the Google search engine and partner network.  These are great for people already on the hunt for what you have to offer.
  • Display Network Campaigns -  These aim to show your ad to the right audience at the right time, and can be on websites or YouTube videos that your customers may tend to visit, or show and share with their friends.  Ads set here are great for raising brand awareness and getting you in front of your ideal customer before they are ready to purchase. Within the Display Network campaigns, you can use images, text and video to help engage people, and there is also the ability to automate your campaign. Display ads can pop up at the top of an inbox in Gmail, ready for that click to find out what you are all about.
  • Shopping Campaign - Designed for retail, Google Shopping campaigns can help people make a buying decision by displaying a product that fits their search needs. For example, if you type in pink cake stand, Google will seek out companies selling pink cake stands ready for buying consideration.
  • Video Campaigns - These are within the Google Display Network and allow you to pop your video ad either within other video content (think YouTube) or as a stand alone ad. With a little creativity, you can incorporate Call To Actions (CTA) within your video to get customers clicking on through.

Now you have your goals, customer, and campaigns sorted (plus the all important analytics working on your site), we get into budget and bidding.

5. DETERMINE YOUR BIDDING STRATEGY

05-Determine Your Bidding Strategy

Bidding strategy is where we start getting into the money and the motivators - what do you want to spend, and which keyword are people most likely to click on?

THE MONEY TO SPEND ON CLICKS

Setting a budget becomes an important part of the process.  How much of your marketing budget are you prepared to spend, and what is the goal?  This will help you when looking at keywords to bid on, selecting the bidding strategy, and lining it up with your campaign investment, and time frame.

Full disclosure - while there is ample opportunity to make money, there is equally as big an opportunity to make mistakes and spend money without a return, so selecting the right bidding strategy is important.

Google’s bidding strategies include the following options:

  • Smart Bidding - This is great for getting customers to take action on your site, and it uses machine learning to optimise your Ad set.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Bidding - This is about getting traffic to your site - as customers Pay-Per-Click.
  • Visibility Bidding - This raises brand awareness and be seen by your preferred customer, where you are paying per thousand impressions (CPM).
  • Video Views or Interaction Bidding - This is where you pay-per-view or customer interaction on your video ad.
  • Portfolio Bid Strategies - This takes a combination of all other bidding strategies, and also allows for you to set your target based on search page location, or ranking.

Within each bidding strategy family, you can get further aligned to your marketing goals by choosing your targets, including target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), target Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and aligned to what motivating behaviour you are seeking to influence with your Ad set.

THE MOTIVATION TO CLICK

Google’s Keyword Planner helps with estimating budget, based on traffic, estimated clicks, and impressions for each bid strategy that you may be considering.  The insights here help guide spending decisions, as you get to understand what keywords attract a higher bid, and what affects ad performance.

It’s not just a case of “who has the most money wins”.  Just to keep ad creative teams on their toes, Google factors in quality score over bidding amount, meaning that you can get results with the right keywords and ad creative. Speaking of….

6. GOOGLE AD CREATIVE

06-Google ad Creative

Now that keyword strategy is set, to sell effectively with Google ads, you want to get your ad creative sorted.

The creative needs to do a few things - get attention, be authentic with the keyword strategy, and get recognised by Google as a quality ad to help with the ad performance.

Thinking of the customer experience once they click comes into play here.

Visuals and ad copy that are aligned to your keyword strategy are important, and so is what is called split testing.

Within the creative process, split testing ads helps to determine what your customers respond to best.  What this means from a design perspective is that you may have the same visual graphic, but a different headline, or you may keep the same headline, and tweak the visuals.

This is important in optimising your marketing spend.

Split testing means that you get to monitor which ads get the best performance, based on which ad copy and creative customers react to positively. This also allows for better analytics, to better optimise future ads to perform at a high level.

7. IMPLEMENT YOUR AUDIENCE

07-Implement Your Audience

Remember your customer intel?  This is where it comes into play, as ultimately we all want the right ad to reach the right audience.

Audiences targeting within Google means that you can get really specific about who you are reaching, and when.  There are so many different ways that you can target your audience, that Google simplifies this with the following audience types:

  • Affinity - This means you are reaching an audience based on their values and behaviours.  What are these customers passionate about, so that you can reach the customers who are likely to have common ground with your business and your products or services.  Think someone who is passionate about the environment and will choose eco-friendly products.
  • Detailed Demographics - This means you are reaching people based on age, gender, occupation, where they live etc. Just remember, demographics are about the facts, affinity is about the feels.
  • Life Events - Think of major life events that one may occur, and who is often involved in the decision-making process. Events such as like learning to drive, starting school, moving out of home and welcoming life into the world, are just a couple of common examples.
  • In Market - This audience is in consideration mode.  They are actively on the hunt for your product or service, and can be really helpful in Remarketing to give someone a little reminder.
  • Custom Intent - This audience type is not available in the Search Network with Google, but is available on the Display Network and YouTube channels.  Great for awareness building, a custom intent audience means you are wanting to get front and centre for people who are interested in what you have to offer, but may not be in consideration mode.
  • Remarketing - This allows you to reach the audience that have been clicking on your site but did not follow through the buyer funnel, or customers that you have gathered details and information on.
  • Customer Match - Reach and re-engage with existing customers based on your database and online activity.
  • Similar Audiences  - Want to reach more customers like the ones you already have taking action and transacting with you?  Great news. Google uses machine learning to update your similar audience list in real time by taking information from existing customers and interactions.

8. ENTER THE LEARNING PHASE

08-Enter The Learning Phase

Once your Google Ad is activated, the status of your bid will change to “learning.”  This is where machine learning kicks in so that your ad spend can be optimised, as Google gathers real time data to see what actions are being taken by prospective customers, and where - including time, location and device.

All of this “learning” data that occurs helps to achieve your campaign goals, and with the support of our Google Adwords team, you have the added bonus of an expert being able to watch and monitor campaign performance 24/7 to tweak and adjust both bids and split tests to find the best path for results, which are ultimately, sales or conversions.

9. TRACK CONVERSIONS

09-Track Conversions

Conversion tracking allows you to see how customers are engaging with your ad or website so that you can make informed data-based decisions on what campaigns or ads are performing the best for your business.

With Google Ad performance tracking, you can track email sign-ups, purchases and phone calls - think of what you deem valuable to your business.

You can track how these are classified in terms of the value they bring to your business. For example, every purchase of a product or service on your website means every conversion adds value, however if you are collecting prospective customers on a list, you may track these differently, as they are likely to add value in the form of a sale, just not yet confirmed.

It's the conversion through to sales, and getting into understanding your Return On Investment (ROI) that helps determine how Google ads are optimised to give you the best business result for your money.

10. CALCULATE YOUR ROI

10-Calculate Your ROI

Return On Investment (ROI) is an important metric to track within business so you can focus on growth opportunities, and which products and services are the most efficient and effective in delivering profit.

Getting into the ROI of your ads means that we go a little further than looking at the return on ad spend.

We work with you to deep dive into the cost of a product, or cost of a service so you get a true indication of what your return on investment to your business is,

To calculate your ROI, we take the following formula:

ROI = (Revenue – Cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold

The cost of goods sold takes into account the cost of your Google Ad, and how much it costs to produce the product you are selling, including materials, labour and overheads.

The goal here is to improve your return on investment over time, so keep this in mind when thinking about your campaign goals, and your customer journey.

This is where we get into the last area to sell effectively with your Google ad campaigns…

11. OPTIMISE

11-Optimise

Having a dedicated account manager to partner with is where you can start to look at what worked, and how you can fine tune your Google Ads set to get your desired results.

Optimising is all about learning what audience, what bid strategy, what keywords, and what product or service are producing the best results for your business.

While this is on the front end of getting you the customer connection and potentially conversion (depending on your sales process), the optimising takes a combination of tweaking your Google Ad set, and also looking at process improvements within your business.

If your sales process is completed on a call, there will still be a need for staff to intervene and complete the task.  If your sales process is completed online, it may be looking at what keywords are completing this the most effectively and efficiently.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET GOOGLE ADS WORKING FOR ME?

How Long Will It Take

Reality is, it depends on the goal and how new you are to the digital space.  A Google Ad strategy combined with an SEO content strategy to help your ranking and ROI takes time.

The upside is, with a dedicated Google Adwords specialist to partner with like the team here at Dilate, you know you are working with someone who has a track record across multiple industries to help guide and inform you of what works best.

It’s why we have been awarded the status of Google Premier Partners, and are Western Australia’s #1 Digital Agency for Adwords.

To find out more about how the team at Dilate can help you with all your Google Ads needs, reach out to the team today.

John Reserva

Wasup, Wasup! Digital Marketer, food lover and super fan of tennis. Digital marketing is my passion and I find joy helping businesses achieve their goals online. Outside work, I like travelling and meeting different people. I find that life is short so do the best in everything you do.

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