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How Do Google Ads Work

Google AdWords (now known as Google Ads) is platform for online advertising of products and services using the Google browser. Google Ads makes it easy for businesses to reach their target audiences through organic search and targeted keywords through online campaigns.

When users search a keyword — such as “marketing consultants near me,” they get the results of their query on their search engine results page. Often, these results pull up both organic search results and paid advertisements that contain a targeted keyword. It may even pull up results alongside Google maps, and information from third party websites.

Google Ads & PPC

Google Ads works based on a PPC, or pay-per-click, model. PPC is an online advertising strategy in which advertisers pay search engine companies or other companies for displaying their ads. With this model, publishers only get paid if someone clicks on the ad. As a result, this marketing strategy reduces costs and helps better manage an overall marketing budget.

PPC allows small businesses to advertise on Google using a specific keyword, and to compete against other marketers who are also targeting that keyword. All bids you submit should be considered “maximums,” or your maximum bid.

Marketers typically have several options for their bids:

  1. Cost-per-click (CPC). This is the amount you pay per click on your ad.
  2. Cost-per-mille (CPM). How much you pay per 1,000 ad impressions.
  3. Cost-per-engagement (CPE). How much you pay when a user performs a specific action on your ad (e.g. clicks on a link, signs up for a mailing list, or watches a video).

The typical ad bid is between $1 and $4. But, it’s important to keep in mind that a big ad budget doesn’t necessarily guarantee visibility. When you set up a campaign and set your ad bid, Google submits your campaign into Google’s Ad Auction, which uses an ad rank system to compare your campaign and associated keyword with other marketers using those keyword match types. Then, Google assesses the final ad ranking based on Quality Score. Higher quality ads often receive higher Quality Scores and therefore a better ad ranking on search results pages and the Google search network.

To best understand how Google ads works, there are also a few other terms you’ll want to keep in your back pocket:

  • Target keywords: One word or phrase that best summarizes your product, service, brand or company. These relevant keywords are what you hope your ideal customer will type into a search engine to find the page.
  • Ad position: This is a value that’s used to determine where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads, and whether your ads will show at all. This value is continually recalculated based on eligibility.
  • Conversion: An action taken by a web visitor once they are on your page. This could be clicking a link, buying a product, or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): Determines the relevance of your ad content to your keywords and target audience.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): This is a bottom-line metric that evaluates the effectiveness of ad spend overall at driving financial goals.
  • Conversion rate optimization: An analysis of your conversion rate will determine if your ad spend may be better suited for different keywords.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): Indicates the strength/competitiveness of your keyword to help determine investment options.
  • Quality Score: Measures the effectiveness of several factors (ad relevance, landing page relevance, and click-through rate)

PPC Benefits

Because PPC works on a per click basis, publishers don’t have to set aside large amounts of money for their monthly or yearly ad spend. In fact, they only pay when someone clicks on the ad. Additionally, effective PPC management services can also boost online traffic and increase ROI at a much higher rate than other marketing tactics.

Other benefits include:

  1. Higher Quality Scores. Google’s Quality Score helps measure the quality of your ad on a scale from 1-10 — the higher the score the more relevant your ad and landing page are. Running PPC alongside a Google Quality Score tool can help boost your your campaigns while also reducing CPC (cost per click) and providing insight around your overall ad experience.The three main factors for determining QC are:
    • Click-through rate
    • Ad relevance, and
    • Landing page experience
  1. Better Rate of Conversions. A PPC ad can help deliver effective, short-term results when it comes to getting more leads and attracting more traffic to your website.
  2. Increased Brand Recognition. PPC marketing helps increase online visibility by remarketing your ad to your target audience. As a result, you’ll receive better quality leads and web users who recognize your brand. Remember, the more you appear online via your Google ad campaigns, the more comfortable a visitor will be to make purchases or subscribe to your content.
  3. Ideal Target Audience. Keyword research allows you to better target your ads and, as a result, reach your ideal customer. PPC ads are customizable, so they can be delivered based on your user demographics, and therefore better determining the hours, locations, and platforms they’re most likely to use.
  4. Valuable Metric Tracking. Google analytics can improve your Google search ads and help you create more compelling content. Additionally, many PPC campaign platforms offer automated tools which are built in and allow you to measure critical data about your ad clicks and website traffic including:
    • PPC rates
    • Click-through rate
    • Quality score, and more
  1. Cost-Savings. Many types of advertising require you to pay the same amount for your advertising spot — no matter how many people (or how few) see it or interact with it. But with pay per click, you only pay when someone engages with your ad. And you can also set a budget ahead of time, so you don’t go over your allotted spend.

Types of Google Ads Campaigns

There are several different types of campaigns you can choose from when it comes to crafting your first google ad. These include:

  1. Search campaign. A search campaign is your basic Google ads campaign. This type of ad appears when paired with a specific keyword, such “beauty supplies” or “skis.”
  2. Display campaign. A display campaign uses Google’s ad groups and website partners to place an ad on different third party websites, such as spots on video ads via Youtube or even as promotional ad on Gmail.
  3. Shopping campaign. A shopping campaign promotes your products or services as shopping ads which appear in Google’s search results as well as on the Google Shopping tab.
  4. Video campaign. A video campaign usually appears as part of the pre-video info that comes before you watch Youtube videos.
  5. App campaign. Much like video ad campaigns, an app campaign appears in Google’s Display Network as well as individual app ads.

Prep For Your Google Ads Campaign

To make sure you use Google adwords optimally and to ensure google ads work for you and your business, there’s a few things you’ll want to do ahead of time:

#1 Set Your Goals

To build a successful Google ad campaign it’s critical to outline both your short and long-term goals are. This will help you determine which platforms and which ad types are best suited for your marketing needs. Typically, the most common PPC goals include increasing site traffic, generating leads, boosting, sales, and raising brand awareness.

#2 Identify Your Target Audience

Do you know who your target audience is… where they live and what their pain points are? Understanding exactly what kind of individuals make up your target audience will help not only help improve your conversion rates but will help get you closer to your goals. Additionally, knowing the type of audience you need to target can help you best determine which advertising options you should invest in as well as the keyword research we’ll need to use. Your target audience will fall under three main categories:

  1. Transactional — individuals who want to make a purchase
  2. Informational — individuals who want to learn more about a product, service, or topic
  3. Navigational — individuals in search of a specific resource

#3 Optimize Your Landing Page

The most successful Google Ad campaigns understand the bridge which connects audience targeting and landing page optimization. The more relevant a landing page is to a user’s search the more likely you’ll convince a visitor make a purchase or engage with your content.

To get started with Google Adwords, you’ll need to set up your Google Ads account so you can start creating your Google shopping ads and managing your Google ad campaign or PPC campaigns.

#4 Jumpstart Your Campaign

When you’re ready to set up your first google ad campaign, go to the Google Ads homepage, and select Start Now to get started. You’ll likely need to set up an adwords account. From there you can add a New Campaign, select your campaign goal, enter your business name/keyword match types, and select where you want your ad to direct traffic when someone clicks on your ad… and voila, your very first Google ads campaign is underway!

Looking for some insight into how to optimize your SEO and get your Google ads campaign off the ground? Our digital marketing partner and SEO/PPC guru, Local Blitz is well versed in the many strategies to make sure you win a better ad position, time and time again, all while reaching more potential customers. If you’re looking for help with your local search engine optimization, Nick Bennett at Local Blitz is one of the co-founders and happens to be one of our fav people. Give Nick a shout and tell him we sent you.