Download: Understanding Google Ads
I previously published a blog article titled Insights From My First Google Ads Campaign and from the feedback I received, it was clear that there are quite a number of people out there, who have no idea what Google Ads is all about. I therefore saw it fitting, to make this week’s post about Google Ads.
Before you can understand Google Ads, you need to have an appreciation of search. Anyone who uses the Internet, is well familiar with search engines and for most people, Google. Google is a search engine that indexes content on the web, and allows us to find information from the vast collection of online resources, just by specifying a few phrases or keywords.
The task of the search engine is to crawl the web and index information, such that it can be easily retrieved, and retrieved at high speed. Over the years, search engines have evolved to the point where they aggregate the information they gather, and present it according to contextual relevance. Taking into account who is carrying out the search, or where they are located, for example.
In a world rife with competition, it becomes critical that any party is interested in appearing at the topmost of search results. There is one distinguishing characteristic about the search results that you should be aware of. The search results on Google and many other search engines, are made up of organic results and sponsored results.
In order to be placed in the topmost result for organic results, the content being indexed by Google must be deemed by them, to be of high quality and relevance.
There is no way to directly throw money at the problem, in order to appear in the topmost organic results. The only way to rank high in these results is to produce quality content, and implement an effective search engine optimization strategy.
Sponsored results appear at the top of the search result pages, as well as on the right. They are clearly highlighted as ads, with a coloured marker whilst the organic search results are not. These results are paid for. This is Google Ads. Essentially, Google Ads is paid advertising based on the relevance of the search term a user enters into Google.
Google Ads provides an interface through which a Google Ads account is managed. The Key to understanding Google Ads is to gain an appreciation of keywords. Keywords are targeted words, searchers specify in a Google search, in order for the search engine to determine the search criteria for a particular search.
The keywords have to be selected in such a way that they are able to show a searchers intent, so that the right ad may be shown. The selection of the right keywords is an involved process of keyword research, that includes analysing the buying funnel and extracting keywords that reflect buyer intent, at various stages of the sales funnel.
The keywords in a Google Ads account, are triggered when searchers enter the corresponding keywords in a Google search.
The challenge for a Google Ads marketer after an Ad is triggered, is to ensure that they write compelling ad copy that will catch the searcher’s attention. This has to be done using only a title of up to 25 characters, two description lines of 35 characters each and a web address no longer than 35 characters.
It is important that the ad reflects the search query that triggers it. The idea is to ensure that, the searcher is not disappointed by finding ad copy that has no resemblance to what they searched for. Otherwise, this leads to searcher frustration and the ads not converting into leads.
The final step in setting up a Google Ads account, is the landing page for each ad, which is created on the marketers website. Whilst it is OK to lead prospects to any page on your website, such as the home page, once they click on an ad, it is a good idea to create special pages as the landing page for an ad on the website.
This is important because you do not want to confuse the searcher by bombarding them with a lot of content that is on your website, but which my be irrelevant to the search query.
A specialised page is better positioned to answer any questions the searcher might have, that is directly related to what they searched for. Taking this approach results in better conversion rates, and less abandoned landing pages, which translates to less lost customers.
The way Google Ads works is that the Ads marketer pays Google, every time a searcher clicks on an ad, or for a certain number of impressions that an ad makes on the Google platform and its partner network. An impression counts for every time an ad is shown to potential customers.
Pay Per Click(PPC): This is a billing mechanism in which a marketer is billed according to the number of times their advert is clicked. In other words, it is the amount that the marketer pays to have their advert clicked.
Cost Per Impression(CPI) / Cost Per Thousand Impressions(CPM): This is the amount the marketer is billed to have their advert shown to potential customers. You use this option if your are more interested in having your advert seen, more than it being clicked.
What is so great about Google Ads is the Ability to target searchers from different Geographic locations. You may choose to target a city, region, or country. For certain countries however, you may only be able to target the entire country, and not its individual cities, due to a small search footprint.
From my experience, Google Ads is a great platform to market on. The fact that you are able to set up your own budget for ads is great, along with the ability to target geographically.
I also find the fact that people are already searching for something relevant to their search, by the time they see your ad. Because the searcher’s intent is high, they are more likely to convert into a sales prospect, which adds unparalleled marketing power to the platform.
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