Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. Advertisers bid on certain keywords which trigger clickable ads when users search for them. Users are then directed to a landing page where they can learn more about a product or service. Advertisers only pay when users click on an ad, hence the name.
Here’s an example ad for a search query:
Google Ads is a highly effectively digital advertising channel. A campaign essentially allows you to jump to the top of the search results and drive targeted traffic to your landing pages.
This all sounds great but if you do any research on Google Ads online you’ll find many conflicting opinions — some encouraging everyone to use it and others doubting its effectiveness. Here we’ll set the record straight with Google Ads.
Truth: Google Ads Work
Let’s get this one out of the way first: Google Ads work.
Even as Google has diversified its revenue with Android and numerous acquisitions, a large portion of its annual revenue still comes directly from paid advertising.
Some of the biggest spenders on Google Ads like Amazon and Booking spend upwards of $50 million a year to advertise on this platform. These companies wouldn’t drop that much if they weren’t getting a decent return on their investment. A report from Google even estimates that businesses generate an average of $2 in revenue for every dollar spent on Google Ads. But read that first figure again. $50 million a year. If your budget for the same category isn’t quite that high, you have to ask yourself if you’re even competing at all. They are after all, just one advertiser, and Google Ads only allow 4 to be present at the top of the rankings at the same time.
Of course, this doesn’t automatically guarantee a return on your advertising. If you haphazardly set up a campaign without targeting the right keywords or fail to implement proper tracking, then your results will likely be subpar.
Here’s what you can do to make your campaigns more effective:
- Learn the basics: Check out the Google Ads YouTube channel to familiarise yourself with the basics. There are also plenty of tutorials online that teach you everything from account structure to match types and bidding strategies.
- Keep things simple: It’s a common misconception that you need a large account with thousands of keywords to be successful. But as you’re still learning the basics, it’s a good idea to start small and progressively ramp up your efforts.
- Focus on relevance: Google Ads is all about relevance. Make everything as tightly focused as possible from the keywords you target to the ad copy and landing pages. Refining your targeting choices will enable you to get higher click through rates and better converting traffic.
Sell products online? Google Shopping Ads are product listings that appear across the top of the search results and are a great way to capture buyers early in the sales cycle. These product ads include the product image, title, price, and business name. Note that you’ll need a Google Merchant Center account to upload your product data feed and manage your campaigns.
It can be tempting to jump right in with the hope of immediately driving more sales. But it’s also incredibly easy to burn through a budget if you don’t know what you’re doing. Take the time to learn the basics of Google Ads and Shopping Campaigns before starting a campaign.
Myth: You Need a Large Budget
A common misconception about Google Ads is that it requires a large budget. Having more to spend certainly helps but the success of a campaign depends on multiple factors.
One of these factors is Quality Score — the metric Google uses to determine the quality and relevance of your campaigns. Google uses this score to calculate your cost per click (CPC) and ad rank. The more relevant and tightly focused your ads are, the less you pay.
Here’s what you can do to manage your spending:
- Set a daily budget: Determine what you’re realistically able to spend and set a daily budget. Bid on keywords manually to have more granular control over your account.
- Use restrictive match types: Setting your march type to broad means that your ads are served to a wider audience. It sounds good in theory but this means less relevance. Instead, change your match types to phrase and exact match to get more relevant clicks.
- Optimise Quality Scores: Quality Score has a major impact on your CPC. Group relevant keywords together and write compelling ad text to increase click-through rates.
Unlike traditional forms of advertising, you only pay for each click your ads get. That means each click comes from someone who has already expressed interest in what you have to offer.
Even with a limited budget, you can get an excellent return by structuring your campaigns properly and targeting the right keywords. Start small with a modest budget, optimise your campaigns, and gradually ramp up your efforts once you start seeing some sales come in.
Test. Learn. Keep testing. Keep learning.