Get Your Google Ad Up in No Time Using this Simple Checklist
There are so many platforms to advertise on. You’ve got FB, Instagram, YouTube and more. We highly recommend starting out with Google. Not only does the Google Ads platform give you a ton of options, Google processes around 3.5 billion searches every day. By the time you read this, that number will be much higher. Many of these Google searches are done with the intent to find a local company or a specific product.
A quick example: You’re on vacation and looking for a seafood restaurant. Chances are high that you’re going to do a Google search for “Seafood restaurant near me” or “Seafood Restaurant in xyz location” or some combination of the two.
Google is also by far the #1 search engine with the most users and the most advertisers. “Google it” is a household phrase now, for good reason. It’s fast, easy and it delivers. When your customers search for your product or service, or anything closely related via a single or long-tail keyword (Seafood restaurant near me is one example) your ad can appear right in front of them. When your search campaign is done well with care and continual monitoring/optimizing, you’ll likely be able to reach more users than you ever dreamed. This increases your company visibility, web traffic and conversion rates (sales or direct contacts, depending on your goals.)
Google Ads is Intuitive
No need to be intimidated. It’s detailed and requires plenty of decision-making, but it’s very intuitive at the same time. There’s even a Smart Ads option to take care of a lot of the guesswork. Smart Ads are ideal for business owners who like to wear all the hats. They’re too busy to take on the task of manually creating a Google Ads campaign and they may not have the budget to take on a full-time campaign manager. Read this excellent post about Smart Ads by Hootsuite detailing the good (ease of use) and the bad (less access to data) to help you decide what type of ad platform is right for you and your business.
Google Ads can’t write your creative copy for you, but it can suggest ideal keywords. That’s fine because you know your company inside and out and how you want it presented to your audience. Even when you hire a creative team like our crew here at RankPast, you control the mood and message for your company’s online presence.
Getting Started with Google Ads
Start by going to Google Ads
Once you’re there, Google will ask you a few questions starting with your main advertising goal. Using that information, it will narrow your campaign choices down.
For example, if you want Product and Brand Consideration, Google automatically suggests a video campaign, with a choice of three sub types to choose from, such as influence consideration with video discovery ads.
Video ads are hugely valuable in the digital marketing sphere today, but you may want to create product and brand consideration ads in an image format instead. To skip Google’s suggestions, you can choose to create a campaign without the guidance of a specific goal.
5 Google Ad Types to Choose From
- Search- Your ad will show when a user searches Google for your product or service
- Display- Image heavy, these ads are pleasing to the eye and show up on websites all over the internet
- Shopping- Show selected inventory with pricing and photo
- Video- A short video designed to increase engagement that can be shown on YouTube as well as through display ads on websites all over the web
- App- Specifically designed to promote your app
Visit Google Ads for a full explanation of each type of ad.
Checklist for your Google Ads Search Campaign
- Check the selected Delivery Method
- Check the Ad Rotation option
- Check Location Targeting (narrow to your local audience or broaden to your international audience)
- Check your Advanced Location Targeting
- Check Ad Scheduling
- Check to make sure All Features has been selected
- Opt in or out for Search Partners from the Search Network
- Add relevant negative keywords to target the exact audience
- Revisit keyword matches and match types
- Add 5-10 related keywords
- Verify the broad match keywords
- Check the quality score for all keywords
- Check branded and non-branded keywords
- Check bidding strategy
- Check bid adjustments
- Set a budget that is competitive but reasonable for you
- Check the ads landing page
- Check all ad guidelines
- Use chosen keywords in ad headline and body
- Spell check and edit ads
- Insert strong call to actions (CTAs) in headline and body
- Check conversion tracking code
- Check re-marketing tag and list
Choose 2-3 minimum of the following ad extensions
- Sitelink Extension
- Callout Extension
- Call Extension
- Message Extension
- Structured Snippet Extension
- Promotion Extension
- Review Extension
- Mobile App Extension
- Price Extension
For complete details on the items listed above, keep reading…
Choose Your Target Location for Your Google Ads Audience
It’s important to choose the geographic location you want to target. If you’re in Victoria, BC and are a locally- based business only, you can narrow your audience down to only the areas you serve. If you strictly provide a local home-based service (i.e., Plumber) Google has an ideal local ad services option for you.
Take a minute to read up on Local Service Ads (LSA’s) for more details on this. If you ship your products globally, you should widen your audience to all the countries you serve. You can exclude certain countries or regions not included in your customer base. Depending on your user base, you may need to create multiple campaigns for different languages. Creating separate campaigns for each language will help keep your Ads account clean and organized so you don’t risk an English language ad displaying in a country with very few English speakers.
Go ahead and play with the ad types, budget cap and geographic location. If in doubt, our team can help point you in the right direction and take the reins on creating the most effective copy and managing performance.
Once your ad is approved, it can appear whenever users in your target area search for a product or service like yours.
The Ins and Outs of the Google Ads Quality Score
For your ad to be successful and get the lowest cost per click possible, it must pass Google’s Quality Score. There are several factors that combine to create this score and deem your ad worthy of placement on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These are:
- Keyword Relevancy- Have you chosen keywords relevant to your product?
- Click-Through-Rate (CTR) Are users clicking on your ad?
- Landing Page- Do you have a strong landing page with clear, concise information and a clear call to action (CTA)?
- Historical Performance- Has your ad performed well in the past? Has your site performed well in the past?
- Ad Relevancy- Is the ad relevant to what users are searching for?
Your Quality score combined with your pricing determines your ad ranking.
Quality Score x CPC Bid = Ad Rank
The quality score creates a more level playing field for digital marketers. As a bonus, you can reduce the cost of your ad by improving your quality score.
Google Ads Pricing
Digital marketing is very much becoming pay to play. To make money, you’ve got to spend money. It doesn’t have to be big bucks though, especially if you’re just getting started and just sorting out what type of ad campaign is best for your company.
Google Ads operates on a bidding strategy. To set up your billing, you’ll need to choose a bidding strategy and a daily budget. Pick a budget that you’re comfortable with. You can start low as you get acclimated and then bid higher if it makes sense for you. You can also try automated bidding with a sensible spend limit. This smart automation reduces all the hours needed to spend manually optimizing and potentially adjusting keywords and phrasing, while automating the bidding process.
Google Ads uses three types of payment models:
- CPC or PPC (Cost Per Click or Pay Per Click)- You’ll only be charged if someone clicks on your ad.
- CPM (Cost Per 1000 Impressions)- You’ll be charged based on how many times your ad was shown.
- CPE (Cost Per Engagement)- You’ll be charged when someone watches your video ad for a certain length of time. This is another option you can set.
Best Practices for Creating a Google Ads Campaign that Works
The number one thing you need to do is have a strategy for mobile and desktop devices. Your ad needs to be visually appealing and clickable for all device types. Just like with your website, blog, social media, etc.… it’s so important to consider display for both desktop / mobile devices. Easy accessibility and a seamless shopping experience lead to higher conversion.
Clearly Explain Who You are and What You Do
- Create a clear headline that drives curiosity and answers users’ initial search query.
- Highlight deals and sales in the headline.
- Use flagship product for headline- easily recognizable, in demand.
- In the first few words, explain what you sell and why you’re a great brand.
- Give a bit of detail about the service and benefits you can offer.
- If you can, show approx. pricing up front to increase the likelihood of warm leads and conversions.
- Include a local store extension that shows user the nearest location.
Build Trust with your Ad Copy
- Use third party reviews to build trust.
- Include a Google review ranking.
- Use a trademark sign if applicable.
- Use strong authoritative keywords like “the best” “quality” “expert” “professional” etc.…
- Highlight any awards or recognition’s received that add to the trust factor.
- Convey a positive or neutral sentiment. According to an in-depth study of successful Google Ads by WordStream, only 2% of ads conveyed a negative sentiment.
Create Great Calls to Action (CTA)
- Place a strong CTA in your headline.
- Use site extensions to direct users to the most important pages on your site- the pages that you wish every user would immediately stop and read.
- Use clear CTA links that users can’t help but click.
Optimize Keywords Often
- Use just the right amount of relevant keywords. Use too few and your ad could go unnoticed. Use too many and you risk annoying your users and making Google suspicious.
- According to WordStream, the top advertisers repeat only 2 words per ad.
- Don’t be afraid to break patterns and use some punctuation marks in your ad copy. Experiment and see which ones elevate your ad above the rest in the SERPs. If you have a legitimate question for your users and it fits well in your ad copy, give it a try.
- Use exclamation points in moderation. They’re well received by users and do generate a feeling of positivity and excitement for the product, but if you create copy like this: “Cheap mobile phones!! Get! Yours! Today! Sale on now!!” your ad won’t run. Only use 1 exclamation mark per ad.
- Aim your ad to the 9th grade reading level (about age 14).
- Use top-performing keywords like your, get, free, save, our. “Get” is a top-performing word for a great Call to Action for potential customers.
- Always be on the lookout for relevant keywords and search terms. Take a look at the competition to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
- Use scarcity language. Have you ever grabbed something off the shelf because it was the only one left? Even if there was more product in the warehouse, your brain told you, “that’s running out, get it now before someone else does. It must be in high demand!” That’s the (very) basic psychology behind scarcity language. Amazon’s Lightning Deals are a great example of this. The limited time offer (whether real or perceived) creates a sense of urgency.
We hope you’re feeling more confident about Google Ads and everything this incredible tool can do for you! We highly recommend that you research your campaign options, billing options, your ideal audience, keyword strategy and learn as much as you can before you create an ad campaign, to prevent any accidental spend.
You can tweak your ad as many times as you like before you ever enter a credit card number, so really take your time with it and get a feel for all the different features and options.
The complete overview can be viewed at ads.google.com and you can contact a Google representative for help with setting up your ad. For an awesome info-graphic explaining the Google Ads (formerly AdWords) bidding strategy in more detail, visit WordStream.com.
At RankPast, we specialize in Google Ads campaigns. Whether you’ve tried Google Ads or you feel like you just won’t have time to manage a successful campaign among all your other daily tasks, give us a call. At RankPast, we have well over a decade of experience in PPC, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO and more. We’ll develop a high-performing Google Ads strategy that creates highly targeted traffic for your business and higher engagement / sales for you. We develop and maintain winning SEO and PPC campaigns for companies around the globe. Contact our Vancouver Island, BC office via our contact form and ask how we can get you $600 in free Google Ad spend.