Today, Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) is one of marketers’ most essential tools, allowing you to create a variety of ads that can appear on Google and other sites such as Youtube and Blogger.
Just think about it: every second, Google process over 40,000 search queries, That’s a LOT of chances for a high-performing ad to be seen- millions a day, if you invest and optimize. It’s an opportunity you definitely can’t pass up!
To make the most of this space, you need to know the basics. Adwords recently updated its interface to offer even greater benefit to its advertisers with a new ad experience.
If you’re new to the world of digital advertising and want to start learning how to run campaigns on Google, this guide is for you. Read on!
How does Google Ads work?
Google Ads is an advertising platform that displays your ads on the search results page and other partner sites to attract leads and customers who are interested in your product.
Your goal will always be to appear at the top of the results page- however, whether this happens depends on several factors.
What does Google take in consideration to position your ad?
One of the most important features of Google Ads is its bidding system. In order to advertise on this platform and be eligible to appear on Google’s search results page, it’s necessary to bid on certain search terms or keywords. Although it seems like a simple process, carrying it out can be quite tricky, as it requires choosing a bidding strategy.
Google Ads offers you several bid strategy options. Depending on your target KPIs- clicks, impressions, conversions, views, and the type of campaign you want to launch- you can select from several strategies:
- For conversions:
- Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition)
- Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend)
- Maximize Conversions
- Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC)
- For clicks:
- Maximize Clicks
- Manual CPC bidding
- For Impressions:
- Target Search Page Location
- Target Outranking Share
- Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)
- Cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM)
- For views:
- Cost-per-view (CPV)
In each bid type, you can specify a maximum bid amount, maximum payment per click on your ad, and make these rates adjustable depending on the campaign’s performance.
The quality score is how Google rates the quality and relevance of your ad. Relevance of landing pages, keywords, CTAs and expected click-through rates are taken into account when making this estimate.
Remember, the higher the quality of your ad and its content, the lower the cost of your bid and the better your positioning will be. The best thing you can do is to be consistent, use relevant and VERY specific keywords, and display them in both your search engine ads and landing pages. The idea is to be as specific as possible about what the user will get so, so they’ll click on your ad faster.
The ad rank dictates the position your ad will have in search engines. This positioning is determined by the quality score, and your maximum bid per click.
Keep in mind that this value may change. Your ad rank will be recalculated every time your ad enters an auction, in which Google decides which ads with the relevant keyword will appear on the page, and in what order.
With each new query to the search engine, there’s a new auction and probably a new ranking.
Now that you know the basics of how Google Ads works, let’s move on to the good stuff: the types of campaigns you can create.
Google Ads Campaign Types
Currently, AdWords has a good variety of campaign options to choose from, each built around an advertising goal based on the actions you want your customers to take.
Google Ads goals include:
- Website traffic
- Product & brand consideration
- Brand Awareness & reach
- App promotion
Once you have an idea of what your goal is, you can select the type of campaign you want to launch. Google Ads offers you the following options.
Search Network Campaigns
The search network campaign allows your ad to appear in the search results page when potential customers search for terms related to your keywords:
These campaigns focus on getting a person to take action, whether it’s clicking on the ad or making a call to your company. They are a good choice if your goals are making sales (great for retargeting), gaining new leads, or driving traffic to your website.
Display Network Campaigns
In this campaign, ads can be displayed on several advertising-supported websites- not on the Google results page.
This campaign allows you to attract the attention of customers before they even do a search for your product. Your ad can appear in different places depending on your targeting criteria, such as keywords, topic, placement, and remarketing.
The goals for these campaigns are quite varied: sales, leads, website traffic, brand and product consideration, and brand awareness and reach. The selection will always depend on the actions you want users to take.
If you’re a retailer, this is for you. Shopping campaigns allow you to create ads to promote your products, bring traffic to your website and attract more qualified leads. These ads will also be displayed on Google and all over the web.
Here you can see more specifically where Google Ads will place your ads:
- Google Shopping (in select countries)
- Google Search, next to search results (separate from text ads) and Google Images
- Google Search Partner websites, including YouTube in some countries (if your campaign is set to include search partners)
- The Google Display Network (for local catalog ads only)
In this case, Google uses your Merchant Center product data to decide where and when to display your ads. For example, once a user makes a query in the search engine, Google uses the data from the Merchant Center to display the most relevant product for the potential customer.
If your goals are to make sales, drive traffic to your website or win new leads for your retail business, this is the type of campaign you want.
The great thing about video campaigns is that you can create more creative ads that engage better with your audience. The ads generally appear before, after or in the middle of a Youtube video. They can also be shown on Google partner sites (Google Display Network).
Usually, these ads cannot include text, still images, or other ad formats such as bumper ads (6 seconds ads that appear at the beginning of a Youtube video). Video campaigns are ideal for creating brand awareness and consideration, winning leads, and bringing traffic to your website.
This type of campaign works for people or businesses that want to promote their apps. With this campaign, ads are positioned in Google’s properties: Google search, YouTube, Google Play and all partner sites in Google Display Network.
Google creates ads with various formats based on the text and language you propose. Once the platform creates the ads, it will display those that have performed better.
How do you always create high-performing ads? Try different options to see what works best- different bid levels, geographic segmentation, and image sizes. Find the combination that brings you the greatest benefits.
As you can see, campaign types determine where your ads will appear. This variety of options allows you to engage with new customers in different ways and on a variety of sites. However, none of this would be possible without bidding on the right keyword. Let’s quickly delve into keywords- and their counterparts, negative keywords.
Keywords And Negative Keywords
A keyword is a word or group of words, that Google uses to match your ads with the queries people do on the search engine. The more relevant and specific the keywords you bid on, the more likely you’ll appear on the results page and be at the top.
Once a term used by a user matches your keywords, your ad enters the Google auction mentioned above. Here, your keywords play a very important role, as they determine your quality score which directly influences the ad rank of your ad.
The more relevant your keyword, the better your quality score and ad rank. How do you make your ad focus specifically on relevant keywords to your audience? A good strategy is negative keywords.
Google Ads gives you the option to exclude certain terms, known as negative keywords, that are related to your keywords, but are in fact relevant to a different audience or product.
For example, if you are a retailer specialising in orthopedic sneakers, you may want to add as a negative keyword terms such as “running shoes.” Why? While your orthopedic sneakers are running shoes, people searching with the term “running shoes” are less likely to be interested in your specific product- making your keyword a lot less relevant to them, and a lot more likely to lower your overall quality score for appearing to an excessively broad audience.
You want your ad to be as targeted and relevant as possible: excluding words with a large audience is an important strategy. To learn more about how to use negative keywords effectively, watch this Google Ads video:
Keywords are the key to a successful campaign. Choosing them carefully is mandatory when creating new ads. Always look for terms that your audience uses in search engines, and which are related to your industry and product.
We’ve covered the basics of Google Ads! You’re ready to start creating ads and try all the features this tool has for you. Want to explore the full power of Google Ads? Contact us– we’re ready to answer all your questions, and even build your new ad campaign from scratch!