The world of digital marketing and online advertising can be confusing and it’s always changing, so unless you’re constantly updating your skills, it’s easy to get left behind. Google Ads are a popular way for business owners to drive traffic to their website, but it can be tricky to know how to measure your ad spending budget and work out if it’s successful. So how do you go about getting started with Google Ads?

Here are some basics of setting up your first Google Ads campaign as well as some advice on how to review your spending and measure if you’re getting a good return on your investment…

Basic Google Ads Terminology for Beginners

There’s a bit of jargon you should probably get familiar with before stepping in to the Google Ads platform. Here are a few:

  • Keywords: These are the search phrases that users are typing in to Google that you’re hoping to pop up in front of. For local businesses, a good place to start is the product or service you offer and the geographical location you are targeting (eg “Emergency Plumber Figtree”).
    When you set up an ad campaign, you will choose a list of keywords that you think people might type in to the search engine when they are seeking what you have to offer.
  • Bid: This refers to the maximum amount you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad.
  • Quality Score: Your ad campaign will be given a Quality Score by Google and this can have an impact on how far your dollars get you with this type of marketing.  A good Quality Score can reduce your bid cost and improve your ad ranking in the search results page.
  • Ad Rank: The Quality Score then influences your Ad Rank (the position of your ad on the page of search engine results). It’s not just the highest bid that gets the top ad position – Ad Rank is a combination of Quality Score and bidding as well as a few other factors.
  • CPC (cost-per-click): This is the amount you pay when somebody clicks on your ad. It falls in to a range rather than an exact amount.
  • Conversion: A conversion is when somebody who clicked on your ad then takes another action that you’ve intended for them to do. This could be making a phone call, filling in a form or buying a product.

Starting a Google Ads campaign

Google is an excellent tool for local businesses to get their website in front of their target customers. The super smart algorithms that Google work with mean you can actually get a really effective result without spending a ton of money, when you set your campaign up correctly from the beginning. The basic steps to getting started with a Google Ads campaign are:

Choosing your campaign parameters

In order to maximise the return on your ad campaign, you need to take some time to nut this stuff out. Parameters include:

  • Breaking down your products or services into categories and sub-categories. Google Ads accounts can be organised in to Campaigns and Ad Groups. You can have several ad groups within each campaign. By organising your keywords into ad groups and ad campaigns, you can customise your ads and target specific customers much more effectively.
  • Identifying your target customer. (Try to come up with more than one type of consumer for different ad groups).
    The more specific and focused your ads are, the more relevant your ads will be to the people you are hoping to connect with!
  • Choosing a campaign style. (This could mean text ads, videos or banner ads)
  • Keywords. So, so, so important. If you haven’t identified the keywords your website should be targeting before now, please check out my other articles on SEO or book in for a free website analysis and I’ll talk you through it!
  • Messaging style. Once you have your keywords sorted, it’s just a matter of how to use them in your messaging.
  • The geographic area you want to focus on.
  • A “call-to action”. Basically telling the customer what to do next, such as call you, fill in a form, visit a website etc.
  • Setting your budget. Google Ads pricing can be a little confusing at first, but it’s actually been designed to help you get the most juice from every squeeze in your marketing campaign. You can control your spending via two different settings;
    – Your daily budget
    – Your bids
    Your daily budget is the maximum amount you are willing to spend on each ad campaign per day. Bids are the amount you’re willing to allocate to a specific keyword if someone searches for that term and then clicks your ad when it appears. Your budget and bids can be adjusted at any time so it’s easy to see what’s working and change things up as necessary.

If you’re scratching your head and thinking this is all waaay too much information, bear with me. Grab a drink, settle yourself in and read on…

getting started with google ads

Google prides itself on relevance. As a search engine, it wants to deliver the most relevant answers to people’s queries. That’s why (as complex as some of this might seem initially), it’s worth taking the time to narrow your target location down, carefully plan your ad campaign message and make sure your website is up to scratch. This means that you will be rewarded by Google with more bang for your buck if you follow their guidelines when it comes to planning your ad campaign.

Tips for creating a successful Google Ads campaign

1. Ditch the lingo. Keywords are King!

You might’ve noticed I mentioned keywords earlier?

Keywords are how Google can tell what your website (or ad) is all about. It can be tempting to use creative wording and eye-catching statements in your ad message, but if you aren’t including the target keywords, Google simply won’t see the relevance. Save the cleverly worded suggestive headings for print media or a billboard. When you’re working with online visibility, keywords are key!

If you don’t know where to start, Google Ads provide a free tool called the Keyword Planner, which can help you come up with a list of keywords for your product or service.

2. Use the tools you have available.

Google provide a helpful PPC (pay per click) planning template to help you stick to their recommendations. You can also use their free Keyword Planner Tool (link above) once you’ve set up your Google Ads account.

3. Ensure the quality of your landing page.

Your landing page (the page of your website that you’re sending people to if they click on your ad) must be relevant. Make sure you include keywords in headings and subheadings as well as checking that your content is original and free from spelling or grammatical errors.

You also need to make sure that there’s a clear call to action when people find themselves on that landing page. If your website is confusing to a visitor or hard to navigate, they will simply click off and try the next search result. You will still pay Google for the click on your ad, but have lost the lead due to a poorly designed landing page.

Determining a Google Ads budget

Every business or marketing team has a different budget to work with, but there are some strategies you can use to make your dollars go as far as possible. Factors to consider when planning your ad spend include:

1. Bid Strategy

This topic probably requires it’s own article, but for now I will just suggest either manual bidding or selecting relevant, but well priced keywords instead of opting for automated bidding.

2. CPA

Choosing cost per acquisition (CPA) for your Google Ads campaign means you only pay when your lead converts to an actual sale or paying customer. It costs more from the outset, but it means the cost is taken from the profit you just made by gaining a new customer.

3. Type of campaign

Depending on your product or service, you might find text ads are going to be less influencial than display ads. The different types of ads have different costs associated with them, but one might be more effective for your individual business.

google ads roi
creating a successful google ads campaign

Reviewing the Success of your Google Ads campaign

As with everything new, it’s all about trying, testing, reviewing and tweaking! You can monitor the progress of your Google Ads campaign by connecting your website to Google Analytics. I highly recommend connecting your website to Google Analytics even if you aren’t running Google Ads as the data it provides is so incredibly valuable. You can see who is visiting your website, how they are finding it, what they are looking at and how engaged they are.

The Support Centre online at Google Ads has loads of helpful content to assist you when setting up a Google Ads campaign for your business. If it’s all too much right now and you’re busy enough just running the day to day activities of your business, consider enlisting a digital marketing consultant to help you out.