With Google advertising, you have the ability to build an incredibly successful business online.
In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about advertising on Google from start to finish.
Google allows people to advertise on a platform called Google AdWords. In just a few minutes, you can set up an account and launch an ad campaign with the most popular search engine in the world.
Before you get too excited about that prospect, though, you need to know how to run a successful AdWords campaign. Otherwise, you’ll likely waste money.
In this article, we’ll go over how you can build a business with Google advertising.
Google Advertising: The Proof Is in the Pudding
Google advertising doesn’t just give you a great opportunity to promote your products or services. It also offers an outstanding way to boost your bottom line.
Consider the following statistics:
- On average, businesses earn an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords.
- 72% of online marketers plan to increase their AdWords budgets.
- 70% of mobile users call a business from Google search results.
- 70% of mobile searches result in nearly immediate actions (within an hour).
In other words, there’s plenty of anecdotal and historical evidence that you can grow your business with Google AdWords. That’s why you should use it as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Going Straight to the Top with Google Advertising
Wouldn’t it be great if people searched for a keyword related to your brand and saw a link to your website at the very top of the results list?
You can make that happen. With Google advertising.
Of course, you might be able to make that happen with search engine optimization (SEO) as well. But if you go that route, you’ll have to hire professionals to optimize your site, create content on other blogs so you can get some backlinks, and establish yourself as an authority in your space.
It’s also going to cost you some money.
And, even after all that, you still might not reach the coveted #1 spot in the search results. That’s because you could be competing with more established websites for a keyword.
Fortunately, you don’t have to play that game. Instead, you can go to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) almost immediately with a Google AdWords campaign.
Take a look, for example, at the search results when you Google “marketing automation.” At the top of the results list, you’ll see a few ads from companies offering marketing automation solutions.
Those companies paid for top spots with Google AdWords.
The first non-paid (or “organic”) result, as of this writing, is the HubSpot article entitled “What Is Marketing Automation?”
HubSpot snagged that top spot because it’s an authority on the subject of online marketing and the article is optimized for the search term “marketing automation.”
Suppose you’re running a new company that sells a marketing automation service. You want to push HubSpot off that top spot and land a link to your own website there instead.
How much SEO do you think you’d need to perform? You’d have to invest a significant amount of your working capital into that effort.
And even after it’s all done and you wait 6 – 9 months for the results to kick in, you’d still probably not secure the #1 result.
You can, however, move all the way to the top of the results list tomorrow with Google Advertising.
You Can Get ‘Em Right Where You Want ‘Em
Another advantage to using Google advertising is that it allows you to find people who are the verge of making a purchase.
People who search for keywords like “digital cameras on sale” or “discount projectors” are doing so because they want to buy those products.
If you can promote your business to people who search for keywords that show purchase intent, you’re all the more likely to land a sale.
That sure beats advertising on Facebook or Twitter where it’s not likely you’ll find too many people who are interested in immediately buying whatever it is you’re selling.
The Other Option: Display Advertising
Google AdWords also offers another great way to promote your brand: display advertising.
Display ads are those banner and sidebar ads that you generally see on your favorite blogs. It’s often the case that you’ll see those ads because savvy marketers are retargeting you.
Did you ever visit a commercial website, leave it, and then see display ads for that website as you browsed around cyberspace? That’s retargeting. The marketers behind that website are trying to reconnect with you after your initial visit.
Retargeting is a great way to reach people who’ve shown an interest in your brand but didn’t make a purchase. Usually, online strategists use display ads for retargeting.
In fact, Google AdWords offers retargeting as part of its feature set.
You Can Add Extensions
Remember the stat from above about how 70% of mobile users call a business directly from the search results? They can do that because of another great feature of Google AdWords called extensions.
With extensions, you can provide more information about your business and make it easier for customers to get in touch with you.
In addition to the call extension that allows customers to call you with a simple tap on a smartphone, there are other extensions as well.
The message extension allows customers to text you. Price extensions highlight your products or services with their prices. App extensions encourage people to download your app.
In a nutshell, extensions make it easier for people to select your business over a competitor’s business.
Google Advertising is an Auction System
You’re not the only one who wants to advertise with Google. There are plenty of other marketers who want to do so as well.
That’s why Google set up an auction system in AdWords. You bid on what you want to pay for a click.
Let’s stop right there and highlight another benefit of Google advertising: you only pay when people click on your ad.
That’s called pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.
The amount you bid is your maximum cost per click (CPC).
If you bid 30 cents per click and 100 people click on your ad on a given day, that means you’ll spend at most $30 for advertising that day. Keep in mind, Google will charge you less per click if demand is particularly weak that day.
Now, lest you think your advertising costs can spin out of control if a million people in one day click on your ad, keep in mind that AdWords lets you set a daily budget. Once your ad spend reaches that limit, Google will just stop showing your ads so you don’t have cash flow problems.
Your advertising will only succeed if you target people who are likely to become customers. Fortunately, AdWords offers a number of targeting options.
For starters, you can target people by location, language, and device. For example, if you want to target only local people on a mobile device, you can do that.
On the display network, you have even more options. You can target people by demographics and topics, in addition to the other targeting options.
Of course, the best way to target people on AdWords is by keywords. Those are the words that people plug into a search engine when they’re looking for information online.
Pick a Keyword (But Not Any Keyword)
When you decide to pull the trigger on Google Advertising, you’ll need to associate one or more keywords with your campaign. The keywords that you choose could (and probably will) determine the success of your campaign.
As we’ve seen, it’s a great idea to choose keywords that carry purchase intent. That’s how you’ll snag people who are at the lower end of the sales funnel.
Search terms that include words like “buy,” “sale,” “cheap,” “discount,” and similar words are used by people who are ready to make a purchase.
Of course, you’ll also want to use generic keywords associated with your business model. As we saw from the example above, “marketing automation” is popular among advertisers even though it doesn’t carry immediate purchase intent.
Once you’ve selected one or more great keywords, your work has only just begun.
Google Advertising Quality Score
Before we delve into the additional effort that’s required to launch a successful AdWords campaign, let’s take a look at the Quality Score.
The Quality Score is a number between 1 and 10 that reflects the quality of your keyword, ad, and landing page. Unsurprisingly, 10 is the best score and 1 is the worst score.
Why is it important to have a high Quality Score? For two reasons: you’ll generally get higher ad rankings and lower ad costs.
So what factors determine your Quality Score? There are several:
- The click-through rate (CTR) of your ad. That’s the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it.
- The relevance of your keyword to the ad copy.
- The relevance of your landing page to the ad copy.
- The performance of your AdWords ads in the past.
There are a couple of new terms in that list. Let’s take a look at both of them:
- Ad copy – That’s the text of your ad, including the title. It’s what you use to induce people to click on your link.
- Landing page – That’s the web page people go to when they click on your link.
So if you want a high Quality Score, you need to run an ad with a landing page that’s relevant to your keyword. You should also create compelling copy so that people are likely to click on your ad.
Fortunately, Google makes it easy to check your Quality Score.
Keep in mind, though, the Quality Score isn’t the only factor that determines where your ad will appear in the search results.
Google Advertising Ad Rank
Your ad position is determined by your Ad Rank.
How is Ad Rank calculated? It’s determined by three factors:
- Your CPC
- Your Quality Score
- Your extensions
That means if you have a high CPC, a high Quality Score, and your extensions are expected to resonate with people in your target market, then you stand a great chance at landing the top spot in the SERPs.
On the other hand, if you have a low CPC, a low Quality Score, and your extensions aren’t very valuable, then your ad probably won’t appear often, if at all.
Now that you know what it takes to rank an ad let’s look at the rest of the work you have to do to launch a successful Google advertising campaign.
Ad Copy For Google Advertising
The first thing you need to do in your ad copy is to make sure that it’s relevant to your keyword. If it’s not, you won’t get a high Quality Score.
As a rule of thumb, you should include the keyword itself in both the ad headline and the description.
Let’s look again at the search results for “marketing automation.” The top two results use the keyword in both the headline and the description. That’s probably not a coincidence.
The third result uses a variant of the search term in the description: “automation in your marketing.” The fourth result only uses the keyword in the title.
Also, you should include the keyword in your display URL as well. If that URL contains your keyword, you might get a better Quality Score.
But remember that ad performance also helps determine Quality Score. That means you need to produce compelling copy that’s likely to get clicks.
Here are a few pointers to help you do that:
- Write from the perspective of the customer. Think about what people in your target market are looking for. Create ad copy that speaks to them.
- Use stats. Headlines with facts and figures like “77% of dieticians endorse this weight loss formula” are far more likely to get clicks than boring sales pitches.
- Appeal to their sense of entitlement. The old McDonald’s motto (“You deserve a break today”) appealed to people’s sense of entitlement. Go and do likewise.
- Emphasize benefits, not features. Don’t tell people what you’re selling. Tell them why they should buy it.
You want your ad to be clickbait. That will help your Quality Score.
The Landing Page
You also need to make sure that your landing page is relevant to both the keyword and your ad copy.
So let’s start with the bad news: that probably means you can’t just use one landing page for all of your keywords. That’s especially true if you’re selling multiple products or services.
You might have to bite the bullet and create different landing pages for each keyword.
Of course, some keywords are so closely related you might be able to use more than one for a single landing page. As we’ve seen from the example above, “marketing automation” and “automation in marketing” are close enough that you could probably get away with the same landing page for both of them.
Just pay attention to your Quality Score over time to see if Google agrees.
Keep in mind, though, that Google doesn’t just look at how relevant a landing page is to an ad and a keyword. It also evaluates the overall user experience of the landing page.
Here are some ways that you can improve your landing page user experience:
- Offer original content. If you swipe content from somebody else, you can be pretty sure that Google will pick up on that. You won’t likely get a highQuality Score.
- Offer valuable content. If people quickly bounce out of your landing page, Google will interpret that to mean that you aren’t offering them what they’re looking for. Your Quality Score will suffer.
- Make your landing page user-friendly on all devices. Be sure that your landing looks great and is easy to navigate on a smartphone, tablet, phablet, laptop, and desktop. In addition to testing your landing page on different devices, use the mobile-friendly test as well.
- Make sure your landing page loads in a jiffy. A slow-loading page creates a poor user experience. Check the speed of your landing page with the PageSpeed Insights tool.
Step-by-Step Guide to Google Advertising
Now that you know the basics of Google advertising, here’s a step-by-step guide to launching a campaign that will increase your sales.
- Determine your goals. Why are you running ads? To build brand name awareness? To generate income quickly? To find more leads? The answer to those questions will determine the kind of campaign you’ll create.
- Identify your target audience. Start by segmenting your market. Then, create a campaign that’s tailor-fit to a specific segment. Be sure to configure your campaign to reach people in that segment with your targeting options.
- Research keywords. This is arguably the most important step. Grab a tool like SEMRush to find the best keywords related to your niche. Also, find keywords that competitors are using so that you can outbid them. Be sure to pick the most popular keywords that you can afford.
- Set your budget. Next, set your budget. That will give you a chance to see how well your ad performs without exceeding your anticipated ad spend. Remember: your Ad Rank is in part determined by your bid. So if you bid too low, your ad might not appear in the top spot.
- Write the ad copy. Write ad copy that’s both relevant to your keyword and likely to get some clicks.
- Design the landing page. Hire a development team to put together a landing page that loads quickly and looks great on any device. Ad some marketing text to it that’s sure to earn you more sales. Be sure to make your call to action (CTA) button clear.
- Add conversion tracking. You want to know what people do once they get to your landing page, don’t you? That’s why you need to add conversion tracking.
- Check your analytics. Finally, check your analytics to see how well your ad is performing. If you need to see more conversions, look at changing your landing page. If you need to see a higher CTR, consider improving your ad copy.
Wrapping Up Google Advertising
Google advertising is a great way to earn more revenue from an online audience and reach people who might become customers for life. Additionally, Google AdWords offers you the potential for significant ROI.
If you haven’t already launched your first PPC campaign, why not get started today?