Understand What You’re Trying to Accomplish
You could spend hours figuring out the correct ad copy and keywords to use. But if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want your ads to accomplish, all that effort will be wasted. You need a plan to measure the success of your advertising campaigns.
When crafting your plan, ask yourself:
- What problem is my product or service solving for my customers?
- What does my competition look like in terms of their products, pricing, and messaging? How am I different?
- Who are my customers and potential customers? (Hint: If you don’t know who they are, check out our post about creating persona-based marketing for more info.)
- How will I know if this campaign is successful?
This last question may seem obvious: More sales means more profit! Right? Well, not necessarily — especially when you consider the cost of paid advertising.
Understand What Makes Up A Successful Google Ads Campaign
Before we jump into how to set up a Google Ads campaign, it’s essential to understand what makes up a successful one. Here are some of the most critical elements:
- Keywords – Target keywords relevant to your offering and have high search volume. For example, if you’re running a local gym, you’d want to target keywords such as “gyms near me” and “best gyms in Dallas” rather than general terms like “fitness.”
- Geo-targeting – Most businesses serve specific areas and don’t need their ads displayed to users from other locations. Be sure to geo-target your ads to only show them within the locations you serve.
- Match types – When adding keywords, use the right match type for each keyword based on its relevance and how broad you want its reach. For example, “gym near me” should be [exact match] because it’s definite, while “best Dallas gyms” can be modified broad match or phrase match because there may be variations of that phrase people search for (e.g., best gyms in downtown Dallas).
- Ad quality – Pay attention to ad quality because it affects your ad rank and determines whether your ads will appear. Ad quality is determined by click-through rate (CTR), expected CTR, ad relevance, landing page experience, etc.
Use More Than Just the Search Network
The Google Display Network allows you to specifically target customer demographics and interests through images, rich media, video, and other engaging formats. For example, you can bid on an advertising space that shows up next to blogs discussing weight loss tips or cooking recipes. These ads tend to generate a higher click-through rate (CTR) than traditional search ads because they are more visual.
You might think you don’t have the budget to advertise on major websites or blogs, and you don’t need to spend $5 per click to get a great ROI. I’ve seen great success with leveraged display campaigns that cost less than 10 cents per click.
Link Your Google Ads Account to Google Analytics
It’s time to track the performance of your ads by linking Google Analytics with Google Ads. Here’s how:
- Log in to your Google Ads account.
- Click on “Tools & Settings,” then click on “Linked Accounts.”
- Select “Google Analytics.”
- Click “+ LINK ACCOUNT” at the top right of the screen.
- Select your Analytics property and view you want to link, then click “Next step.”
- Check that you agree to the terms and conditions, then click “I Accept.” You will see a green success notification letting you know that it was successfully linked!
Make Sure You Are Building Out Your Keywords
When you create a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, you want to gather as many clicks on your ad as possible. However, it is vital that your ads only be clicked on by people interested in the product or service you have to offer. To attract the most-qualified audience to your ads, you must do a little research.
You will use Google Ads Keyword Planner for this purpose. Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you determine which keywords are best for your business to create an effective strategy for attracting highly-targeted traffic. Here’s how it works:
- You tell Google what kind of business you have and what keywords you think would be relevant to your business.
- Google then pulls data from its database and provides keyword suggestions based on relevancy, search volume, and relative competition in the market.
- You select the keywords which seem like they would be good choices for attracting qualified leads. You should work with long-tail keywords because they tend to be more specific than common keywords and will drive more targeted traffic to your PPC ad campaign.
Use Highly-Specific Ad Copy That Is “Cookie Cutter” Friendly
If you’re asking, “What is the cookie-cutter ad copy?” you’ve come to the right place.
Cookie-cutter ad copy is a term used to describe the process of creating a template that can be used multiple times with different keywords.
For example, this is cookie-cutter friendly: Hire our [insert service here] company to [insert benefit here].
To clarify, the “[Insert service here]” and “[Insert benefit here]” are just placeholders for specific keywords that would make sense for your business. The nice thing about this ad copy is that it allows flexibility and speed when creating new ads.
The advantages of using cookie-cutter friendly ad copies are as follows:
There are some advantages to creating cookie-cutter friendly ads:
- It saves you time because you only have one template (instead of multiple templates) that can be adapted for any number of keywords. So if you want to create three new ads, all you have to do is fill in your keyword blanks! This way, it takes less time than writing three completely new ads from scratch.*It also makes A/B testing easier because all your ad copies follow the same structure and format. Hence, they’re easier to compare against each other.*It lets you write longer-form ads because most of your word count will be brand names or short phrases like “for sale” or “company.” (“Company” only counts as one word on Google Ads.)
Choose Your Targeting Options Carefully
So how do you choose the suitable options? Let’s look at each targeting option in turn:
- Keywords. These are the words or phrases that you want to trigger your ad. When someone searches for these keywords on Google, your ad will show along with the results. You can include broad terms like pizza or more specific ones such as “deep dish pizza in Chicago. The first step is to brainstorm all of the keywords you think your ideal customer might use to search for services like yours.
- Location. If you have a business that only serves a specific area, you can target people within that location (for example, all of Manhattan or just a neighborhood). You can also target by radius around your business address and zip codes, cities, counties, states/provinces, regions, countries, and territories. Again — think about where your customers live and where they would be searching for products or services like yours.
- Time. You can schedule when you want your ads to run during the day and week. This is great if there are certain days and times when people are more likely to be looking for what you have to offer. For example, if most of your customers work during the weekdays from 9-5 but may be searching online after hours on their smartphones from home (or in front of a computer at work!), it would make sense to adjust when your ads run accordingly so that they appear when potential customers are performing those searches.
- Device type – computers/laptops vs. mobile devices/tablets vs. handheld devices (such as smartphones). Does one type of device typically perform better than another? You can check this by going into Google Analytics under Audience > Technology > Browser & OS Reports > Network Properties Report (if not already enabled, click Mobile -> Overview). Here’s an example:
Use Text Ads & Extensions that Speak to People on Different Devices/Stages of Buying Cycle
When you’re creating paid advertising campaigns on Google, you have the option to use Google Text Ads and Extension to attract more highly qualified leads.
Extensions are a great way to enhance your text ad and provide more information about your business. Think of extensions as a way to give additional space for the type of information that can be helpful to those who see it. You can have an extension that shows the address of your business, call-to-action button, phone number, or app download link.
Here are some examples of extensions:
- Callout Extensions: These show short lines of text beneath a text ad to highlight key benefits and promotions.
- Structured Snippet Extensions: These allow you to add headers like “Brands” or “Types” that display lists of items such as brands or product categories you offer. They will appear below the ad copy in a box format. They’re especially useful if there’s not enough room in your text ads for all the types of products/services you want people to know about when they visit your website from an ad click.
- Sitelinks Extensions: Sitelink extensions are additional links within each ad on search results pages that lead directly to specified essential pages on a company’s site and its landing page (typically its homepage). For example, suppose someone searches for something like “SEO services” and sees one of the ads displayed at the top. In that case, they might also see site link extensions that connect them with specific pages on the advertiser’s site where they can learn more about SEO services explicitly related to local businesses or eCommerce websites instead of just general SEO services at large (e.g., “SEO Services for Local Businesses).
Optimize/Disqualify Based Upon User Behavior, Conversion Data, & Results
Once the campaign has run for about a week, you’ll want to start optimizing it. There are many approaches to optimizing Google Ads, but in this post, I will focus on the ones that will help you attract more high-quality leads.
First, we need to take a look at your conversion metrics. Don’t worry if you don’t have any conversions yet – as long as your campaign has been running for at least seven days and is getting clicks and impressions, and there should be enough data to analyze. You can view your conversion metrics by clicking the “Tools” drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the page and selecting “Conversions.”
You can then sort by column headers so that “Total Conv Value” shows highest first (or lowest first if you’re optimizing for cost). This will show you which keywords bring in converting people to your site (and give them an overall value based on how often they convert). You also want to look at which keywords have a high cost per conversion to know where not to invest your money. Be sure to create separate campaigns and ad groups for each of these keywords to get their budgets and bids!
Next, let’s take a look at behavior metrics. This can be found in Analytics under Acquisition > Adwords > Campaigns or Ad Groups
Any behavior metrics outside of 1% bounce rate, 90 seconds or more time spent on site per visit, and 3+ pages visited per session indicate low engagement with your content. These visitors won’t likely convert even if they’ve clicked through onto your site from one of our keywords, so we will exclude them using bid adjustments using negative keyword lists within our Google Ads account.
To do this, go back into the account interface and select “Keyword” from the drop-down menu shown below:
Then click on the “Negative Keywords” tab:
Now add any keyword phrases that were
To run a successful Google Ads campaign, you need to make sure you track the right metrics and optimize your campaigns accordingly. In addition, it is vital to understand who your target audience is and what keywords they use to find you.
To run a successful Google Ads campaign, you need to make sure you track the right metrics and optimize your campaigns accordingly. In addition, it is essential to understand who your target audience is and what keywords they use to find you.
If you’re brand new to pay-per-click (PPC), or even if you have a history of running ads but want to get more bang for your buck, then this article will walk through seven steps that will quickly put your business in front of highly-qualified leads with the right messaging at the right time.