What You Need to Know About Google Ads

Feb 1st, 2021 Advertising, Marketing

Are you happy with where your business is right now? If not, paid-per-click (PPC) Google ads can help you generate brand awareness, more leads, and ultimately, more conversions, which means more customers and more revenue. If yes, that’s great! But, with simple, smart executions of PPCs, you can yield 50% more conversions than with organic advertising alone. 

However, creating an effective PPC is more complex than simply writing a few lines about your business and waiting for the money to roll in. You have to deeply understand your market and target audience, invest in keyword research to improve your SEO, include valuable ad extensions (which doesn’t mean using every possible option), and bid wisely so your money is well spent. 

If this sounds overwhelming or a little bit like Latin, that’s okay, we’re here to break down what you need to know about PPCs—starting with Google’s shift from Adwords to Ads. 

Google Ads

Google’s platform for PPCs, Adwords, got a little rebrand in 2020. With a shorter name and more powerful optimization tools, Google Ads allows users to control campaigns, drive more quality leads with more effective ad extensions, gather insights, and bid smarter with the Smart Bidding feature, a tool that provides ad performance updates and helps you better target CPAs (cost per action) and ROAS (return on ad spend) so you can manage your budget in real-time. 

Basically, Google Ads dropped the “words” at the end of its name and made significant changes to the way users discover, manage, and apply data. 

How Do Google Ads Work? 

Here’s the simple part. Let’s say you’re looking to buy a kayak, specifically a 10 footer. When you get on Google and type in “10 foot kayaks,” you’re met with the most relevant search results based on that original search term. This is how organic search engine result pages (SERPs) work, but, Ads offer two distinct differences: 

  1. Bidding 
  2. Quality Score

These two factors work together to rank your ad. The higher it ranks, the more likely users will click. 

When you use Google Ads, you can determine the terms you want to rank for, how much you want to spend per click, and build complimentary ads for common search terms. Many brands also create supporting landing pages, which ads link to, so searchers can find what they’re looking for immediately. 

How Do Rank, Spend, and Quality Score Work?

It’s important to understand that the more money you spend on an ad will not always determine your rank. You can spend hundreds on an ad, but if its relevance, keywords, and user experience setup is low, your quality score goes down, and so too does your rank. 

Your ad relevance (strong keywords, URL) + user experience (landing page quality and relevance to keywords and search terms, relevance of your ad text, and even past Ads performance) = your ad quality score. So, a lot goes into calculating if your ad will or will not appear on the top SERPs. Why does this matter so much? By improving the quality of your ads and increasing your score, Google gives your ads higher rankings and lower costs, giving you a higher ROI. 

How? Because there is a major difference you are aiming for with your PPC: cost per click and cost per conversion. Clicks are how many people click on your ad, which is good, but it’s not the best end goal. Clicks help build brand awareness, but they don’t necessarily mean money for your business. Conversions do, and those are what you want to see. If your ad’s quality score is high, the cost per conversion will be lower. Google Ads rewards you for meeting your users' needs and wants with high quality, relevant ads. 

How to Improve Your Quality Score and Rank

We know these are two very important areas for effective PPC, but what can you do to ensure your efforts are going to get you the rank and score you need? To start, you need to put your users first and understand their search intent, one of the foundations of good SEO. Think about your target audience’s needs, research their search habits, and build your ads based on these findings. This will position your ad to be relevant and in turn, help its score. 

When creating PPCs, keep the following in mind: 

  • Group keywords in the proper ad group (this ensures the right words are going to the right ads)
  • Use keywords in your ad copy (SEO works just as well in PPCs than in organic content) 
  • Create at least two to three ads per each ad group to allow for different keywords and testing
  • Make your landing page URL and its content relevant to the ad group and ad copy (you can get penalized for leading content if ads and landing pages don’t match) 

What Are Ad Extensions and How Do They Work? 

Ad extensions are Google’s way of giving you more space for information within your ad, which gives users more reasons to choose your business. Ad extensions are also a simple way to increase your click through rate because you can curate content for users. Instead of having just one link in your ad, you can include links to your contact page, additional text (like your specific services), location information, and call buttons. This gives users a direct connection to exactly what they need from you. 

To make sure your ad extensions are getting the most reach, use as many as possible—up to six extensions. When Google runs your ads, it will present the extensions to users based on their search, which means not everyone will see the same extensions. By using the maximum number of extensions for each ad, you are ensuring that Google has the most information about your business to give to users, giving you more visibility and value. 

The most commonly used ad extensions are:

  • Sitelink Extensions
  • Call Extensions
  • Location Extensions
  • Callout Extensions
  • Price Extensions
  • Structured Snippet Extensions

Call in the Professionals (Hey! That’s Us!)

Google Ads, or any pay-per-click advertising tools, are complicated systems that often require certification. It’s not that no one can learn them, it’s simply that you likely have a million other things to do to keep your business running. Hiring digital marketers, like Kicks, is the best way to ensure your hard earned money is going to good use. 

We often work with clients to help undo accidental damage done by mismanaging paid ads. By discovering where mistakes we made, we’re able to readjust ads, budget, content, and spend so clients get the most from their paid ads. 

Paid ads will extend your reach, boost your brand, strengthen your targeting, and maximize your content marketing, but they also are available at any budget. To learn more about PPC and how we can help you set up and manage your ads, give us a call or sign up for our newsletter below.

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