What is Google Ads and how can it help your business to meet its sales targets?
Google Ads is Google’s own advertising service, which allows you to bid on certain keywords in exchange for clickable adverts that appear in Google’s search results. These ads appear exactly when a user is searching for a term that is relevant to your business.
The bulk of Google's 162 billion dollar revenue in 2019 came from its proprietary advertising service, Google Ads.
So, how can PPC marketing help you achieve your sales goals?
According to Wordstream, the top 3 search results on Google now attract 41% of all clicks. This means that if you aren’t yet on the first page of Google organically, you should really think about investing in Google Ads in order to show in one of those locations.
With a clear understanding of your goals, knowledge of your marketplace and customers, correct configuration and monitoring, Serenity Digital ensures that you always see positive returns from your investment.
Quality not quantity
One of the biggest fears experienced by organisations trialing Google Ads for the first time is wasting money on clicks (leads), which then don’t convert on their website.
Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads.
As you can see Google Ads can be hugely powerful for businesses who are using the correct approach, but far too often we see accounts which have been configured incorrectly, targeting the wrong audience, not delivering the right message, forgetting to use the best facilities available and failing to convert the leads when they reach your chosen website.
What we're seeing
We work with clients across a huge variety of industries and as such have seen the struggle that marketing professionals face when choosing which channels will work best for them. Google Ads is an essential piece of most marketing recipes, but so often we see prospects who have fallen foul of one (or many) of the following Google Ads pitfalls:
LIMITED RESOURCE AND TIME
Marketing professionals now wear many hats, but with so many mediums to manage and with little time to distribute between them, it becomes difficult to optimise all your messages. Finding time for regular Ads campaign management becomes incredibly difficult as such budgets get wasted on leads who are unlikely to convert to customers.
Google Ads requires regular maintenance and optimisation in order to work most effectively. Despite Google’s best efforts to move towards pushing automation, it’s should not be treated as a ‘plug-and-play’ solution, as much as Google would like it to appear that way.
VAGUE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY
Casting the net too wide to include keywords which are very general or don’t have the correct match types can make for a disastrous and expensive Google Ads experience.
This is also the best way to attract irrelevant searches (users who may not be looking for what you are advertising), low click rates (advertisement content which doesn’t match the search performed) and wasted click spend budget (users who follow your Ad but don’t convert).
Measuring performance is as important as the results themselves. Without knowing what’s working, you’re simply spending blindly.
The problem is, only 57.7% of Google Ads accounts actually have tracking set up for their site and campaigns. That means only 57% of all Ads users know what their leads do once they land on the website. Without this information, there’s no way of knowing what’s working and driving conversions and what’s not.
Once tracking is applied, you can learn from both your successes and failures as you continue to test and optimise. According to Hubspot’s state of Inbound Report, companies that track their inbound marketing are 17X more likely to see a positive return on investment than those without good tracking in place.
POOR USER EXPERIENCES
The relationship between the users’ search terms, your advert content and the landing page on your website must be seamless. Google judges you on the relevance of the content on your landing page and your advert. If these two things do not align, not only will your adverts be penalised with lower positions on page but you’ll also pay higher CPCs.
Put simply, Google prioritises the user experience over everything so keeping this in mind is key to Google Ads success.
When we review a new customers’ account and see low click through rates, or low conversion rates we also normally spot a disjoint in the user journey.
NOT ENOUGH TWEAKING
As mentioned earlier, regular account management goes a very long way. A common misconception is that once you have set up an account you can simply leave it running itself. Unfortunately, configuring the account is simply the start. Revisiting the campaign, ad group and keyword performance on a weekly, if not daily, basis is key to the success of its performance.
Succeed using a watertight strategy
When used in combination with an engaging website, a well thought out strategy, robust account structure, measurement of the results and consistent refinement will deliver a successful return on investment.
Our 9 tips below will get any campaign well on its way to success:
CONSIDER THE INDUSTRY YOU’RE IN.
Is it a competitive sector? When dealing with new customer accounts, we’ll always carry out research to see if your competitors are investing in ads. We’ll then review their approach and discover opportunities to outperform them. Don’t forget - it’s likely that if your competitors are using Google Ads, that they are seeing a return on investment.
REMEMBER THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
We build campaigns with an awareness of your full customer journey and monitor success by reviewing return on investment. So, If it takes on average, 12 months to acquire new customers, a more conservative approach may be required to your campaign strategy.
FIND KEYWORDS THAT WILL DRIVE CONVERSION.
Of the billions of searches that happen on a given day, 15% of daily searches are new to Google. This is why, as part of our ongoing management of clients’ Google Ads accounts, we regularly carry out keyword research to identify any new keyword opportunities.
INVEST IN MANAGEMENT WITH A DEDICATED GOOGLE CERTIFIED ACCOUNT MANAGER
Find a supplier who asks about and understands your company objectives, and exactly what you’re looking to gain from your budget. A good agency will guide you on what is realistic and which keywords are worth investing in, as well as being able to optimise the account so you don’t have to.
CREATE EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN STRUCTURES
Targeting is important when thinking about bid strategy and how you can find your audience. For example, you might want to target by location, at set times of the day and with rotating content as well as by search terms.
ELIMINATE WASTEFUL CLICK SPEND
No account is built to perfection; therefore, it is important to eliminate search terms which are not relevant and are leading to wasted click spend in the early stages of the campaign.
SET UP CONVERSION TRACKING
Conversion tracking can often be a little tricky, particularly if you’re new to Google Ads. It is, however, essential to attributing exactly where that ad spend is workng and where it’s not. Take the guesswork out of Ads and make decisions based on what the data is telling you.
ENSURE YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY IS SEAMLESS
We talk to our clients a lot about relevance and good user experience in terms of web design, but this also applies to search engine marketing. Creating a good flow between the user’s search term and the landing page increases a chance of conversion by xxx%.
It’s imperative you direct people to content which reflects their original search, but also trusting the numbers more than your creativity once you have data to work with. If your landing page does not convert leads, it may be time to rethink that beautiful design.
Whether you are managing an account internally for your business or outsourcing this to an agency, it’s important to give Ads a good amount of time to demonstrate results and gain traction. It takes a little time for performance to ramp up and to decipher what exactly is working and what’s not. Likewise, f your budget is too small, you won’t have enough to test your campaigns.
In a nutshell
Whilst some companies struggle to make Google Ads work for them, most businesses can succeed in making significant returns by fixing these common place problems. And for those without existing Pay Per Click accounts, investing with the best partner will ensure that the benefits of search engine marketing will become clear from the onset.
To learn more about how Pay Per Click campaigns and Google Ads can help you achieve your sales targets, please get in touch. We’ll happily meet with you to learn more about your challenges, understand or help you specify your future targets or review your existing accounts if you feel they are not performing.
First written October 2019, updated in January 2022. « All blogs