Startups : Google Ad-Words for Beginners

If you build it… you may still need Google AdWords.

Jennifer Mesenbrick

In case you’re similar to most entrepreneurs, running promotions on Google is both enticing and alarming. All things considered, assuming you do it right, AdWords could change your business. Be that as it may, in the event that things don’t go as planned, you could burn through a huge number of dollars and get literally nothing for your difficulty. 

So in this article, we’re  going to discuss briefly about Google Adwords, things you should know before rolling out an ad and hence making you more familiar with the tool.

What is Google Adwords

To give you the word reference definition, Google AdWords is an online advertising service developed by Google to help marketers reach their customers instantly. Google Ads is an effective way to drive qualified traffic, or good leads, to your business while they’re searching for products and services  similar to those which your business has to offer. Great advantages come with advertising on Google Ads including boosting your website traffic, receiving more phone calls, and increasing your in-store visits(in case you have one). 

Now if you are probably thinking where do these ads are displayed, the answer is everyday right in front of your eyes. Suppose if you search on Google for a specific term, say ‘travel packages’, Google will display various relevant results for you. Now if you look closely,  you will see that the top and the base results are primarily by large advertisements and are denoted as ‘Ads’

Why should you choose Google Adwords ?

People nearly search about 3.5 billion search queries a day, making Google the most used search engine. The Google Ads stage has been around for almost twenty years, giving it some status in the territory of paid advertising. 

One of the most accepted reasons for choosing Google Ads is that they allow you to create and display ads to display in front of your target audiences. This means your business will show up on the search engine results page (SERP) at the moment your ideal customers are looking for products and services like yours via Google Search or Google Maps. This way, you reach your target audience and Google uses your information to show to users, a win-win situation for both.

And, according to Google, advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Seeing the statistics, it clearly suggests how people benefit and consider advertising on Google. Another important reason is to stay at the top of market trends. Your competitors might be using Google Ads and bidding on some keywords that you rank for organically. 

Google Ads Ranking

Now that you’re convinced to dig in further about Google Ads, you must be wondering how Google decides which ad to rank first as there might be so many businesses like yours who are competing for the same. Let’s know about Google Ranking Algorithm in detail and how you can outrank your competitors.

To start with, there are few terms that you need to be familiar with in order to know the insight working of Ranking Algorithm and how Ad rank is calculated. Basically Ad rank depends on two factors:

  • Bidding: Maximum Cost per click: It refers to the maximum price you are willing to pay for each click on your ad.
  • Relevance : Quality Score: It is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads and is determined by various factors such as observing landing page or keywords used in ads.

But you don’t actually get charged according to your CPC bid. The CPC you pay is determined by the Ad Rank of the person below you divided by your Quality Score plus one cent. Confusing? Let’s try to understand through an example shown in this image:

So by this you understand that Ad Rank clearly depends on both of the factors: Max Bid and Quality Score. Even when an advertiser is willing to pay more than anyone but if its Quality Score is low, Google will not allow that in the ranking competition. You need to find the balance between two when you know you cannot beat the competitors quality score. 

Even after having insights from our perspective, let’s hear what Google says about Ad Rank and how they calculate: 

“Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount, your auction-time ad quality (including expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience), the Ad Rank thresholds, the context of the person’s search (for example, the person’s location, device, time of search, the nature of the search terms, the other ads and search results that show on the page, and other user signals and attributes), and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.”

What is google adwords - how ads work

Types of Ads

There are different types of ad formats to choose from where the campaign types are always centre around Google’s advertising networks: the Google Search Network, the Google Display Network, and the YouTube Network. Google Ads allows you to create and share well-timed ads (via both mobile and desktop) among your target audience. 

Search

When you search for something on Google, the list of ads that appear above the organic listing are called search ads. They are highlighted by a small ad box and might occur at the top of the page or bottom.

The benefit of search ads is that your ad is displayed where most searchers head to and moreover in the same format as other results(except Ad) so users are very likely to click on your ads.

Tip : Site-link extensions: Although your advert already links to the relevant page you’re advertising, you can add additional links under the main body of text, helping to increase your advert’s visibility and user interaction rate. Like here amazon has offered related products to earphones in the site-link extensions like Mobile & Accessories | Cameras.. and such.

Display

You must have noticed these Ads while surfing some random website. They are placed like banners with different dimensions which might be an image or video format. These are referred to as Display ads.

The benefit to the website owner is that they’re getting paid for each click or any interaction with the ad. The benefit to advertisers is that they can display their content in front of audiences that are matching with their personas. There are variety of formats offered in display advertising:

  • Text ads: The ads are identical in format to the text ads on the search network, but are these displayed across the network of partner websites.
  • Image ads: This is a more eye-catching ad type, allowing you to use images on the display network to get people to click through to your website.
  • Responsive ads: Responsive ads are similar to image ads, but have interactive elements and animations that make it more eye-catching and interactive.
  • Video ads: This is similar to Responsive ads, but a video can be embedded to play directly within it. (Don’t confuse these with Video campaigns as those specifically for YouTube while these are not)

Tip : Create 3 to 4 ads per ad group, trying out different messages with different images. See which ad performs the best with your customers and so works out for your business. Google Ads has this feature where it can automatically show the better-performing ads within an ad group more often.

Video

Do you recall when you are streaming a video on YouTube and some ads interrupt your viewing? Those are the Video ads. Youtube is a search engine too where you can place your ads on relevant videos to grab the user’s attention.  They can be displayed before, after and also in the middle of YouTube videos and so different options are available:

  • TrueView in-stream ads: Ads that appear before, during and after other YouTube videos, and are skippable after five seconds of viewing. 
  • TrueView video discovery ads: Ads that appear on YouTube search results, next to related YouTube videos and on the mobile YouTube homepage, with advertisers charged only when viewers click through to watch.
  • Bumper ads: These ads appear before, during or after other videos on YouTube and partner sites, but are a maximum of six seconds in duration and cannot be skipped by viewers. 

Tip : You can produce the greatest video ever made, but if it’s not relevant to the viewer, they are not going to pay attention. This means you need to be extra-focused with your keywords and constantly testing and removing keywords that aren’t performing, especially if your budget is small.

Shopping

If your business is more aligned to that of a retailer, this ad type would make more sense for you. They appear at the top of the search page and display various products with images. This ad type helps to redirect and increase traffic to your website and is helpful in generating quality leads as well as increasing your conversions.

Tip : To put yourself ahead of the other merchants using the platform, it can be beneficial to add a promotional tag to your products. If you’re running a discount code on your website, this can be displayed on Google Shopping, attracting customers to use it to get the cost as low as possible.

App

This campaign is helpful for businesses with a mobile app. Here, you can promote your mobile app across networks like search, PlayStore, Display & YouTube. AdWords uses ad text ideas and other assets right from your app store listings. All you need to do is provide some text, a budget. and a starting bid. By accessing all this information, Google designs a variety of ads in different formats on its very own.

Here’s some of the mobile-specific ad formats available:

  • Universal App campaigns: This format allows ads that encourage viewers to download and install apps to appear on the search network, Google Play store, YouTube and across the display network. 
  • Call-only ads: They simply require a display URL, business name and two lines of descriptive text, but the headline is replaced by a phone number, encouraging searchers on smartphones to call the business, rather than visit their website.

Different Types of Bidding

Although there are 12 different types of bidding strategies, we will focus on the main and most preferred ones. Bidding can be either Automated (Google does the work for you) or Manual ( you can tweak as and when needed) which varies for everyone and mostly depends on what actually your goals are.

Each bid strategy is suited for different kinds of campaigns and advertising goals. Identify your goals from the list below which specify what bidding strategy you should adopt if this were your goal:

  1. If you want customers to take a direct action on your site, and you’re using conversion tracking, then it may be best to focus on conversions and Smart Bidding lets you do that.
  2. If you want to generate traffic to your website, focusing on clicks could be ideal for you. Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding may be right for your campaign.
  3. If you want to increase brand awareness focusing on impressions may be your strategy. You can use cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) bidding to put your message in front of customers.
  4. If you run video ads and want to increase views or interactions with your ads, you can use cost-per-view (CPV) or cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) bidding.
  5. If you run video ads and your goal is to increase product or brand consideration you can use cost per view (CPV).

If your goal is not listed down here, not to worry. We have jotted down a few more strategies and explanations of the above ones as well that could help you. Here are the smart bidding strategies that are focused on conversions and use Machine Learning to optimise.

  • Target cost per action (CPA): If driving conversions are your primary goal for the campaign, then selecting Target CPA bidding will help you focus on trying to convert users at a specific acquisition cost. Your Cost per Acquisition is simply the amount of money you can afford to spend on acquiring one customer.
  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS): If you want to optimise for conversion value, you can use Target ROAS to help increase conversion value while targeting a specific return on ad spend (ROAS). Target ROAS can be calculated using this formula:

Sales ÷ ad spend x 100% = Target ROAS

  • Maximise Conversions: If you know how much you want to spend on a daily basis for your ad, Maximise Conversions is the one for you. You just need to set your daily budget and Google will automatically run your bidding for you to get you the most conversions for your money.
  • Maximise Clicks: It is the simplest and safest way to bid for clicks. All you have to do is set an average daily budget, and Google automatically manages your bids to bring you the most clicks possible within your budget.
  • Enhanced cost per click (ECPC): If you want to automatically adjust your manual bids to try to maximise conversions, you can use ECPC. If a search is too competitive and CPCs are too high, Google can automatically lower your bid to cost less as it knows there are less chances of converting.

Here are other manual bidding strategies that are mostly focused on ‘cost per’ different aspects and are best if you know your budget and commercials.

  1. Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): This bidding is solely based on impressions. This option is reserved for the Display Network and YouTube campaigns like TrueView and is not for use on the Search Network.
  2. Cost Per Thousand Viewable Impressions (vCPM): vCPM bidding is a tactic of manual bidding best reserved for brand awareness campaigns. Again, like CPM bidding, it is reserved for the Display Network. Basically you are mentioning to Google how much maximum cost you are willing to pay per a viewable 1,000 impressions.
  3. Cost-per-view bidding (CPV): is strictly reserved for video advertising on Google Ads, and can be used on the TrueView video platform. Using CPV bidding, you pay for video views or interactions. A “view” is determined by how long someone watches your video ad for, otherwise known as the duration. Interactions on the TrueView platform could be a call to action clicks, overlay clicks, cards or companion banners.

Types of Campaigns

Google offers you two types of campaigns to run your ads. If you are not so familiar and still exploring out Adwords, Smart Campaign is the one you should go for and if you are looking out for more manual optimisation, Expert Mode is for you.

Smart campaigns let advertisers choose their business goals and where they want to advertise, then Google uses machine learning to deliver real results tailored to those goals, like phone calls, actions on their website, and store visits, making it easy to reach more customers.

Expert Mode offers the full range of Google Ads features and campaign types. While it gives advertisers more complete control over their bidding strategies, it also requires more advance management. It is highly recommended only for those who consider themselves as advanced marketers and advertisers.

Why your ads might not be giving results

There might be instances when you might not be getting desired results from your ads. Although there are many reasons why your Google Ads could not be performing, we’ll cover some common mistakes to look out for.

  1. Keywords : You really need to get your keywords utmost right and spend a really good amount on adding, removing, and tweaking keywords until you can see a better response. If your keywords are too broad, Google will be placing your ad in front of the wrong audience which means fewer clicks and a higher ad spend. 
  2. Irrelevant Ads : If your ad doesn’t match the searcher’s intent, you won’t get enough clicks to justify your ad spend. Make sure your headline and ad copy match the keywords you’re bidding on because that is what convinces the user to click your ad. 
  3. Quality Score : Google calculates your Quality Score (QS) to determine how your ad should rank or placed. The higher you rank, the better will be your placements. If your quality score is low, you’ll have fewer visibility on your ad leading to decreased chances to convert. 
  4. Landing Page : This aspect is often ignored and people forget to realise that Google not only views your ads performance but also analyses user experience after clicking an ad. If Google finds out that people are exiting your website too early, they will rank you as less relevant. Your landing page should always be optimised for the keywords in the ad.

Some Tips to Note

Optimise for negative keywords

Negative keywords are the words that you do not want your ad to appear for. For example, there are common negative keyword lists that include terms like, “free” or “jobs”. These terms indicate that the searcher is very likely to find a free version of the product or service you sell or that the person wants to find jobs in your industry. Neither one of these situations will bring you customers.

Many people tend to ignore this feature or aspect while designing and optimising their ads. It is very important to add in some negative keywords and optimising those you can help eliminate any potential searches that would waste your ad budget without bringing you the return you want to see. 

Bid on competitors’ names

Ever wondered you could benefit from your competitors in any way? Yes, you heard that right, this one is actually a good yet sly trick to reach more potential customers through your competitors’ listing. 

Only thing you have to do is bid on a competitor’s name. This empowers you to reach out and remind potential clients of competitors that you might have something worth examining before they make a purchase.

These ads can be beneficial because you already know that these prospects have an interest in your industry. Also keep in mind that Google does not allow you to pretend to be your competitor in the ad. You also cannot use the competitor’s name in the actual text. You just have to be smart to use this one correctly.

Remove any ads that do not perform as expected

Remember that you want to keep your ad groups as tightly controlled as possible. You do not want to have keywords taking up space and potentially draining your budget that do not perform as expected.

Regularly check the performance of the different ads you have running and remove the ones that do not drive the results needed. Your click-through rate will likely be the most helpful metric here for determining the ads that need to be changed, but some will prefer to use their direct conversion rate.

Use all your available space for text

Google offers several different fields for the posting of relevant content. Using all of the available space will help you give the optimal picture of your product or service and also offers the option to include variations of targeted keywords you want to use.

You should include a URL, which links to that awesome landing page along with headlines, a place to include your location, context for your ad, and a description of the product or service you want to promote.

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