So you’ve decided it’s time to bring your business up a level with paid-per-click advertising and what better way to get new eyes on your business than with Google Ads? Google ads are an incredibly popular choice, with 76% of the paid search market belonging to the platform. But with so many different configurations and options, setting up a Google Ad without the right know-how is a surefire way of unnecessary expenditure. But don’t worry, after reading this guide you’ll be able to set up a google ad like a pro!
Preparing to set up a Google Ad
It can be tempting to dive right into the process and set up a Google ad straight away, but really if you want to set up a killer ad campaign, most of your time should be spent preparing rather than on the Google Ad platform.
Are you ready to set up a Google Ad?
The first question you should ask yourself is, ‘are you ready?’. Before you set up a Google Ad, you should:
- Have an amazing website: An amazing ad is useless if clickers are brought to an outdated, unoptimised website! Before you even think about creating a Google Ad, you should make sure that your website is impressive to look at and intuitive to use.
- Have predefined goals: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Make sure you have outlined a plan for your google Ad campaign, and you have done adequate research to have accurate KPIs.
- Have a budget: In a previous version of Google ads, after the initial set up of your google ads account, you would be brought to a page that would tell you to keep a budget in mind. Although this feature no longer exists it should still be your priority. Without a proper budget plan, your company could end up overspending or not getting the same results as your forecast.
Key terms you need to know
There are a lot of different configurations and metrics inside the Google Ads platform and if you want to set up a Google Ad you can’t avoid them.
Key General Marketing Terms
- A/B Testing: In marketing, A/B or split testing refers to having multiple versions of an ad within a campaign with varying configurations. By split-testing your ads, you can compare your results and figure out which option is best for you.
- Bounce Rate: Your bounce rate is a metric that refers to the number of website visitors that leave your website having viewed only a single page. You should always aim to have as low of a bounce rate as possible. If your bounce rate is very high, your Google Ad might not target the right audience, the ad might be unclear, or your landing page isn’t optimised correctly.
- Call-to-Action: A call-to-action(CTA) is a written direction to your ad audience to take a particular action. This could be to buy a product from your store, learn more about your business or to join an email newsletter.
- Conversion: A conversion, in marketing, refers to the point in which someone completes the desired action of your campaign. For example, if you had an email newsletter campaign and somebody signed up to your newsletter that would be a conversion.
Key Cost-related Google ad terms
- Bid Strategy: When setting up a google ad, you will need to choose a bid strategy. This refers to the tactic you want to use when it comes to bidding on advertisement spots. There are several different bidding strategies available on Google Ads.
- Billing Threshold: Your billing threshold refers to the amount of money that you can use on Google Ads before you trigger a charge. You can look at your billing threshold as a sort of credit with google; if your billing threshold is two hundred pounds, that means you can use up to two hundred pounds in Google Ads prior to being charged.
- CPC: Your cost-per-click is the amount of money you spend for each click on your website.
- CPM: Your cost-per-mile is the amount you pay for one-thousand impressions on your advertisements.
- Daily budget: With Google ads, you have the option to set a daily budget. Your daily budget overrides any other billing settings and will prevent you from overspending past a set limit. For example, if you have a daily budget of 5 euros and a maximum bid on an advertisement set at 10 euros, your daily budget won’t allow you to go over 5 euros.
- PPC: Pay-per-click refers to an advertising method in which you opt to pay for advertisements based on each time that someone clicks on your advertisement.
Ad Creation Terms
- Destination URL: Your destination URL refers to the link you want to send your advertisement viewers to.
- Display URL: If your destination URL is unappealing or too long, you can change what the URL looks like to your viewers with the display URL. Though the root domain stays the same i.e. yourcompany.com you can change the permalink to something more appropriate. This can also be useful if you include custom campaign tracking metrics in your links.
- Headline: When creating a Google ad, the headline is a key component. This is almost like the title of your advertisement.
- Side ad: A side ad refers to an advertisement that is positioned at the side of a page i.e. on the left or the right.
- Top ad: A top ad refers to an advertisement that is positioned at the top of the page.
Understanding Google’s Campaign Structure
The Google ads platform operates on a multi-layered system that can be categorised into three main groups.
1.) Your Account
Your Google account is associated with a unique email address and password and will give you the authoritative access to edit/manage your Google Ad Campaigns. If you have a team of advertisers you can use the ‘Google Ads accounts manager resource’ to manage the permissions and options for all your ad accounts in one place.
2.) Your Campaign
You create a Google Ad campaign to manage the overall budget and settings such as location, language, etc. for a particular group of ads. Your campaign settings will override the settings for your ad groups and the ads themselves. For example, if you have a campaign budget of 500 pounds and an ad in that campaign with a budget of 1000, the ad will still stop at 500. This makes it convenient to control the overall expenditure of a campaign that is made up of various ad sets.
There are five types of Google Ad Campaigns:
- Search: Text advertisements that display in Google Search results.
- Shopping: Advertisements that are displayed in Google’s product listings.
- Videos: Video advertisements on YouTube.
- Apps: For advertising your apps on various channels.
- Display: Image advertisements that appear on websites.
3.) Your Ad Groups
Google Ad Groups are used to organise and link ads by a common theme or characteristic. Each ad group can contain a separate keyword list that will trigger the advertisement and can have an individual budget. Advertisers often use Ad Groups to separate ads by pages. For example, if you had a homeware store you could have an ad group for kitchen items and a different ad group for your bathroom products. Your kitchen ad group would contain all of your keywords related to kitchen products and your bathroom ad group would have all of the keywords relevant to that section of your website.
- Avoid Broad Keywords: Keep your ad keywords relevant and niche-specific. Broad keywords are often more expensive per click and will reduce the effectiveness of your campaign because of the higher risk of attracting the wrong audience.
- Use Responsive Ads: For display campaigns, you can use responsive ads. With Google’s responsive ads, you can upload multiple assets such as images, headlines, and copy. Google’s machine learning module will choose which assets to display to the end-user based on your own performance history. This will save you time, broaden your reach and maximise results by personalising the ads for you.
- Use smart Bidding: Smart bidding uses AI technology to find the best bidding options for you and maximise your conversions.
- Use simple language: Avoid complex language in your Google Ad copies. You want to make your advertisement as clear as possible, this will increase the likelihood of the right type of person clicking on your ad because they will actually understand what your ad is about and in turn, this will improve your conversion rate and reduce unnecessary cost.
- Optimise Your Landing Page: You want continuity between your advertisement and your website. Create landing pages specific to your ad campaigns and optimise these pages for conversions. You can learn more about landing pages by clicking here.
- Manually implement Google Ad Extensions: The google ad Extension feature will display additional information on your ad such as your address, phone number, ratings or some additional website links. Although Google Ad extensions can happen automatically you can also manually implement them.
- Test your ads: You can always tweak your ads later. There is always an element of trial and error when advertising with Google. It’s best to start off small, on a lower budget and split-test various ads to see what works best. Upon finding a successful ad, you can scale the ads and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Capture Search Intent: When setting up a Google ad, you must consider search intent! Before you use a keyword ask yourself, why would someone be searching this? If somebody is using your word to search for an informative article then an advertisement for your product or service won’t be appropriate.
- Don’t forget about negative keywords: When doing keyword research for your Google PPC ads your primary focus will be to find good keywords but you shouldn’t forget about the keywords that could damage your campaign efforts. You can create a negative keywords list to prevent your ad from being displayed when certain words are used. For example, if you were advertising red shoes with the keyword “shoe” you could add “Blue” to your negative keywords list to prevent your ad from showing to users search “Blue Shoes”.