The advertising industry, much like the tech industry is moving incredibly fast. Or is at least trying to move just as fast. Today we have smart doorbells and tomorrow we might have AI that can predict if your child will actually eat that apple you put in their lunchbox.
Answer: They probably won’t.
In 2019 and beyond one has to wonder how advertisers and marketers will stay competitive in a rapidly changing space. Every day new companies and competitors are emerging and customers attention spans are dwindling. Customers want the best of the best and rightly so. They have endless options available to them so as advertisers and marketers we have to be smart and diligent when it comes to advertising that new lunchbox AI, especially online.
This is where Google Ads, the artist formerly known as AdWords comes in.
Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google — they really dug deep for that new name huh?
The GoogleAds platform allows advertisers to market their business through banner ads, text ads, product listings, video ads, responsive ads (via Google’s display network) to promote website traffic, clicks or downloads of your service offering.
I See Text Ads All The Time, Can I Click on Them?
Text ads are arguably the most popular or well-known of the Google Ads world. Text ads are displayed prominently at the top of search engine results through what Google calls their Search Network. Companies usually pay top dollar to ensure their product listing, company information, and otherwise notable information is on that prime piece of real estate at the top of a search result ready for you to click on it.
Google Ads operate on a system of “pay-per-click” or PPC. That means each time you click on a text ad, banner ad or any other type of Google Ad, the advertised company is paying for it. Companies bid within the Google Ads platform for keywords they want to rank for.
Keywords? Wait, whaaaat does that mean?
A keyword can be words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the search terms people are searching for on Google. Google offers Keyword Planner, a tool to help with keyword research and selecting the right terms for your company’s product offerings.
If you own a sneaker cleaning business you would ideally want your ads to show up when people search for “sneaker cleaning”. So you should bid for that keyword and probably also bid on “sneaker cleaning near me”. In doing so, you aim to rank higher on search results than competitors for those same keywords.
Each time someone clicks on the text ad you created you would be charged for that click, this is known as a “cost-per-click” or CPC. When you’re creating your ad Google will show you the average CPC for that given keyword. The more companies interested in those keywords, usually the higher cost-per-click. This is a real life example of supply and demand.
In the sneaker example, you’d be charged $1.36 per click on your text ad for “sneaker cleaning near me” — that’s basically a fast food burger + tax for a click to your website.
So next time your boss asks you to find the company a new HR system and you start googling “human resource platform” and click on one of the first results, that said business is literally paying for your click, every time.
As a marketer, I tend to not click on those text ads as a favor to these companies. Call it the marketer code if you will. There’s also the competitor code, where you do click on text ads for your company’s competitors. That’s another blog post in itself.
And for some companies, it really can cost them a hefty penny depending on the keyword they are trying to rank for.
The higher you bid per click, the more likely your ad will appear before the competitor’s ad. So if the average cost per click for a specific keyword is $2.50 and you feel really ambitious and bid $5.50, you can rest assured your ad will appear above the visiting team’s.
From within the Google Ads platform, you can also set a monthly budget for your ads so you can make sure you don’t overspend. You can also set up a cost-per-action for your ads as well.
Because hey, those clicks can add up quick!
Banner Ads Are Everywhere I Go Online, Why?
Yep, they are. They have turned some websites into Times Square.
A lot of websites are part of Google’s Display Network, where businesses place display ads on a large network of sites across the world wide web. It works similarly to text ads where you bid for the keywords you want and then upload the banner artwork (or a slew of images for responsive ads) to their platform. Like text ads, Google will estimate the cost-per-click (CPC) for that keyword and from there you can choose the cost-per-click (CPC) you want to pay and wait for Google to approve your ads (no bad words, or use of copyrighted material that isn’t yours mmkay?)
From there, your ads can appear nearly anywhere, from the ads within Gmail, YouTube, a random website and more. You can fine tune this on some level and ask that your ads don’t show on certain websites that aren’t on brand with your company. That means your preschool display ad won’t appear on Super Intense Metalcore Music of America’s website (I made this name up).
But other than that, display banner possibilities are potentially endless.
How Far Will Your Ad Travel?
That’s up to you! In addition to the keyword and CPC. You can also decide on the reach of your ad. If your business is strictly in Atlanta, Georgia then you definitely don’t want the ad appearing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Because those Tulsa clicks will cost you and do nothing for your business — unless you plan to eventually expand to Tulsa, then have at!
What About Those Video Ads You Mentioned?
Video ads are typically 6 or 15-second videos that show right before or during YouTube content. You know those videos that cut into your how-to video on how to properly cut a mango or the ones you cannot skip before you play that new Cardi B video.
But wait! There’s more to do with Google Ads.
Shopping Ads Exist Too
Shopping ads are sometimes the forgotten Google Ad. Probably because they live in a different dimension called the Google Merchant Center.
Shopping ads let you sell products to the shoppers who are searching for your items. Weirdly, these ads aren’t available in your normal Google Ad platform. So head over in the Google Merchant Center to set these up. If eCommerce goods are your game then definitely use these as another means to grow your business.
You Built The App, Now Promote It
The most recent addition to the Google Ad space is Universal App campaigns. Within in it, you can promote your iOS or Android app on Google Search, YouTube, Google Play, and more. Using their platform you can optimize your App ads to reach the audience most interested in apps like yours.
Whoa! Far out.
But Allyssa, How Do I Know If The Ads Worked?
Besides letting you create and promote your ads, Google Ads gives you the reporting tools and metrics to see if your ads are working and actually converting. You should be using these to make sure your ads are performing well and your money is being spent effectively.
Don’t worry that doesn’t mean you have to be a marketing guru to understand it all. Google breaks it down in understandable terms and gives you suggestions on how to improve your ads based on the results.
In the Google Ads dashboard, you can see the number of clicks your ads are getting per day or month. Google provides reports, insights, and ongoing tips free of charge so you can make sure your ads are optimized and trending toward success — how nice of them!
Every time your ad appears on Google or the Google Network, it’s counted as one impression. There are more rules and specifics around impressions worth mentioning but I’ll let Google do the explaining.
As mentioned earlier, each time someone clicks your ad Google Ads counts that as a click.
Disclaimer: Google counts clicks even if the person doesn’t actually reach your website. Even if the website is not loading or if it is temporarily unavailable. So make sure your website is working at all times!
Remarketing with Google Ads
Have you ever looked at a website or product only to find a banner ad from them on a website a couple hours later or the next day?
That’s called remarketing.
Every time you visit a website you are cookied by that company’s website or app.
Website cookies are teeny files that are stored on your computer each time you visit a website. As of 2018, you may have started to see “opt-in” notices on websites confirming that you are a-okay with website cookies.
Once you are cookied, Google will start “remarketing” to you so you see ads from that website and their products.
From a company standpoint, this can be set up in Google Ads as well. Remarketing is a way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app.
Remarketing is a really great way to grow your business. It can drive sales activity, increase registrations, or promote awareness of your brand.
Remarketing only works if you actually have web traffic coming through otherwise there is no one to cookie :(
The Future of Advertising with Google Ads
As of last month, Google introduced pay-per-conversion for your display ads so you only have to pay when someone converts on your website or app versus a click. This is a better way to manage conversions and save you some money on meaningless clicks.
This is a game changer and will likely see more companies flock to Google Ads that didn’t previously.
Google is constantly adding new features and ways to help you advertise your business. They also offer a plethora of training docs and videos to help you get the best out of your Google Ads experience. Not to mention they offer a Google Ads point of contact free of charge to help you set up your account or answer any questions out of the gate.
The Google Ads point of contact won’t help you optimize your ad campaigns or advise you on what to bid for a keyword. Instead, they’ll explain the difference between different types of campaigns available — display vs. text. Max CPC vs Enhanced CPC and so forth. This is a great asset to take advantage of so I highly recommend doing so.
Before you make your ads you need those ads to link to an effective landing page (with a form or call-to-action)—and no this does not mean link it to your home page. Landing pages can make or break your ad campaign efforts. If you do get someone to click on your ad, you want them to convert on your landing page and not bounce like a ball on the blacktop — not to be confused with that one NBA game...
And don’t forget to clone that landing page and SEO the heck out of it to make sure Google crawls it. Consider this double dipping but without the risk of germs and weird looks from your friends.
Wait, clone it?
Make a duplicate of that landing page with a different meta description and different page title. Then SEO that page by following my handy-dandy SEO checklist and submit it to Google Search Console to be crawled so it appears in search results. Huzzah!
Think of it as the Google Ads doing the first part of the heavy lifting followed by the magic of SEO doing the second part.
Final Tips Before You Go Check Your Instagram Notifications
- Use Google Ads wisely
- Do your keyword research first before you do create any ads
- Test which ad types work best for your brand — text vs display vs video
- Optimize and constantly update your ads so you can stay ahead of the curve
- Keep an eye on your cost-per-click and see what you can improve on
- Use both Google Ads and SEO for better conversion
- Stay up-to-date on the latest Google Ads features and how they can help your brand succeed
- Never stop learning. Keep reading my blog on ways to bolster your business and for the sweet gifs and memes of course (there will always be a Parks & Rec gif)
Alright, friend. I think you just might be ready to do your thing.
So henceforth with your bad self and start bringing in website traffic that converts because your ads are just that amazing that people can’t say no to your brand or products.
As always, I believe in you.