Formerly known as AdWords, Google Ads has the broadest network for paid digital advertising. It encompasses all of Google’s products, including YouTube, as well as multiple websites that use the Google Display Network. This makes Google Ads an ideal way to get your feet wet with paid ads, which can help new customers discover your business.
But don’t people ignore online ads? Not necessarily. In fact, well-targeted Internet ads can make a greater impact than TV or radio ads— which are also more expensive. Read on to learn how you can leverage Google Ads to grow your business.
How Do Google Ads Work?
Google Ads are a form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. As the name suggests, this means you only pay when someone clicks your ad. Many other ad networks, including Facebook, charge you for impressions, i.e. how many people see your ad. That quickly adds up even if you don’t generate any revenue from your campaign!
Businesses can start running Google Ads for less financial risk. The challenge is that you can’t tap into any audience you’ve already built, such as you’d have on Facebook. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Opening up your ad audience means new people can discover your business! The key is to, well, find the right keywords so your ad shows up to the right people.
Note that if you’re targeting certain high-competition keywords, you could face a high cost-per-click. This is in contrast to Facebook, where you’re paying for impressions, not clicks. On Google, though, if you want clicks for a popular keyword, you could pay more than $50 per click!
Don’t worry: with a bit of research and testing, you can find your business’s best keywords. Aim for a mix of high-volume, low-competition keywords with those that specifically target your ideal audience. (We’ll get to that in a moment.)
Also, you can set your target budget before the campaign even runs. Google Ads is essentially an auction: you will bid on keywords you want to target and tell Google how much you’re willing to spend per click. As per basic economics, high competition for keywords, limited by available users, drives up the price. Even well-crafted ads can underperform if you don’t win the bid. That’s okay, though — as user activity fluctuates and keywords change, you still have the option to capture your ideal audience.
That’s a key benefit of Google Ads: the ability to continually tweak and optimize campaigns, compared to Facebook/Instagram advertising or basic SEO!
Types of Google Ads
If you’ve used Google, you’ve seen Google Ads in action. You’ve also seen them as you browse YouTube and the rest of the web. While all Google Ads use the PPC model, they can be categorized into 3 main groups:
These ads resemble webpage listings and appear at the top of search results. If your target audience is searching for solutions, the right keywords can place your ads precisely where you’re most likely to get their attention! Search ads are excellent for keywords that reflect a strong intent to buy (e.g. “book medical massage near me”). In fact, they garner 64.6% of clicks for such keywords! Try running search ads to drive traffic to your core offering.
There is also a shoppable version of Search Ads that appears in “Google Shopping” results. These ads highlight your product and price but appear among organic search listings. These ads take a bit more time to get approved, but if you’re running an e-commerce website, they’re often well worth the investment. Three-quarters of all online shoppers rely on Google products listings!
Google also offers a network of PPC ads across various online publications. These are the typical banner ads that appear alongside blog articles and news stories. It is true that users are more likely to ignore or block these ads. However, they still have a place in your campaign. The cost-per-click is typically lower, so you can experiment a bit. Try creating display ads to appeal to your target audience’s interests. For example, rather than overtly pushing your workout equipment, target people interested in “home fitness” and drive them to your free e-book on building a home gym.
You can also create Video Ads, which work like Display Ads and appear alongside YouTube videos.
Benefits of Google Ads
Social media advertising takes a long time to get right, whether you’re taking the organic content marketing route or running paid ads/sponsored posts. And you’ll always pay for impressions, which means that if you don’t get the keywords and audience precisely right, you could be out hundreds of dollars.
By contrast, Google Ads charges you only for the clicks you get, and you’ll usually start seeing results right away. Even if users don’t buy, Google logs their visit. As it collects data about your site, you can make more informed decisions about future campaigns.
Tips for Boosting Your Google Ads Results
Configure “negative keywords.” These are search keywords for which you don’t want your ads to appear. For example, if you want to promote your cycling club but you don’t offer bike repair services, target “cycling near me” and “bike help” but set “repair” as a negative keyword.
Manually set your maximum bid-per-click. If you let Google Ads automatically determine this, you could end up blowing your ad budget. Remember, you may not gain many clicks for high-competition keywords,
but rather than spending a high cost-per-click, experiment with keyword variations until you find the right mix.
Optimize your landing page. When someone clicks on your ad, they should land on a relevant page. This is almost never your website’s homepage. Send traffic to highly targeted landing pages, such as product descriptions, webinar signup forms, etc. to improve your conversion rates.
Why Your Business Needs Google Ads
Whether you’re eager to boost your sales in your e-commerce store or want more people to discover your business, Google Ads is an affordable way to achieve your goals. The beauty of this network lies in its ubiquity — Google is where 90 percent of all searches happen! Plus, you can fully customize your keyword targeting to reach your best customers. All these benefits make Google Ads a lucrative, sustainable way to generate new traffic and revenue for your online business.