SEM 101 – Introduction to Google Adwords, How It Works and Why a Professional is Key to Profits

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]

Overview

Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords until July 2018) helps businesses increase their website traffic via search ads and display ads video (YouTube). Advertisers pay Google each time a user clicks on an ad they’ve placed on any of Google’s three ad networks. By increasing website visitor traffic, businesses can grow their conversions and thus their revenues. The Google Ads interface is user-friendly and has excellent analytic capabilities including an overview page, campaigns snapshots and advanced insights. Here’s a brief look at some of the things you need to know.

Types of Google Ads

There are four types of ads—search ads, display ads, video ads and application ads. 

Search Ads

Search ads are the most popular and what many people will first think of when Google Ads comes up in conversation. They appear as text ads in search results when a Google user runs a search query. For instance, if one searches for ‘medical malpractice attorney’, the search results will include a number of text ads for medical malpractice lawyers. 

As an advertiser, you’ll bid on the keywords you’d want your ad to appear on so you have better odds at increasing your conversions. Search ads are the easiest to setup and require no video or image production.

Display Ads

Display ads are banner or text ads that show up on key websites such as Gmail and other sites within Google Ads’ display network. Google Ads’ display ads network is expansive. Whenever you come across a display ad on a website you visit, there’s a high likelihood that it’s from Google Ads. 

The display ads a visitor will see are significantly influenced by their browsing history. So if you are shopping for a new television online and visited a couple of retail websites in the process, expect to see these showing up on display ads for a few days or weeks even when you are visiting sites that have nothing to do with retail or electronics.

Video Ads

Video ads appear at the start or during YouTube videos.

What is the Quality Score?

The Quality Score allows you to lay the groundwork for a successful Google Ads campaign. It looks at three factors—your campaign landing page, the expected click-through rate (CTR) and the ad’s relevance.

In general, the higher your Quality Score, the higher your CTR and therefore the lower your advertising costs per click.

It’s a great way to get impressive results from your ad cost without having to increase your bid.

How to Use Google Ads

Google has a setup protocol you could follow to get your ad up and running. But remember, Google is in business. Despite the company’s long-held policy of ‘Don’t be evil’ (though it was quietly dropped in 2018), following Google’s own guidelines won’t necessarily place you on the right track toward maximizing the return on your ad dollars. Google won’t do something that will hurt their revenue prospects. If you want to get moving in the right direction, you’re better off following these steps.

Pick a Budget

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to daily Google Ads budgets. Preferably, you should pick a conservative value you are comfortable spending and then adjust it upwards or downwards as you go along.

Choose a Target Audience

Target your ads toward locations you want to sell to. If your product is geared toward people in the United Kingdom, there’s no reason to include Brazil in your audience as you’ll only be increasing your ad costs needlessly.

Create Custom Audiences

Use the Audience Manager on the Google Ads Dashboard to create custom audiences. You can customize your target audience by affinity and intent. 

Affinity would cover interests, places, mobile applications and URLs. For example, if you want people interested in parkour, you’d key that into the affinity bar. You can continue to add more interests in order to further refine your audience.

Intent looks at what people are searching for online. For instance, if you sell laptops, you could enter a link to a comparison or review article. Anyone looking for a review article is likely at the final stages of making a purchase decision so this would signal a high intent to buy.

Creating a Remarketing List

Remarketing is recontacting people you’ve previously reached out. Like someone who came to your website but left before they bought anything. Remarketing is vital because the overwhelming majority of people won’t convert on their first visit to a site. Create a remarketing list on Audience Manager based on app users, website visitors, YouTube users or your customer list.

Use Google Ads Keyword Tool to Choose Some Keywords

Google will suggest you add 15-20 keywords. This is a classic example of Google sending you to almost certain failure. It’s only when you attempt to create 1 to 3 ads for all these keywords that the magnitude of the problem becomes apparent. How do you create ads that are relevant for so many keywords at the same time? It’s not practical. 

“If your ads aren’t optimized and specific, your quality score deteriorates which means you pay more money to Google for the same results.”

Michael Jenkins

That’s because you’ll have people clicking on your ads who didn’t have a real interest in buying your products, clicks that you’ll have to pay Google for. Instead, identify a single keyword phrase that you want to focus your ad campaigns on.

Work with an Expert

Google Ads can deliver a return on investment that is dozens of times your cost, it all depends on how well you understand the platform and its latest features. Google Ads is crucial for online business success in large part due to the dominance of Google in the search and online video sharing space. But if you don’t know how to wield it to your advantage, your dabbling in it can be an expensive nightmare. 

You can easily spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on Google Ads with nothing to show for it. Working with a seasoned professional who has a deep grasp of how it all works is vital in getting your Google Ads investment into profitable territory almost from the get-go.

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