Walkthrough – Setting up Google Ads
In the world of digital and search marketing, making sure that you have well written, fully optimised and relevant content is a must. This all plays a key role in the search engine optimisation (SEO) side of your strategy
You will no doubt have heard of this referred to as ‘organic search’; this process can be lengthy and requires constant attention, so it is no surprise that businesses are looking at paid search (PPC) to run alongside.
In order to run a PPC campaign and online advertising as a method of reaching a new audience, you will need to set up a Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) account. There are other avenues for PPC such as Bing Ads and social media advertising (like Facebook Ads), but for the sake of this post we’ll focus on Google Ads – the market leaders.
In order to create a Google Ads account, you’ll need an email address and website for your business. For those businesses or individuals who already use a product from the Google suite of tools such a Gmail then you can just use your Gmail address to populate this. Those businesses that are yet to set up or push live their website can still advertise on Google, using AdWords Express.
Once you have set up your account it is handy to get to grips with some of the basics. The below terms should act as a handy PPC glossary for you to ensure you know where you are looking and what for. The most common terms are:
These are the words or phrases that user type into Google, which trigger an ad to appear. When setting up an ad campaign, you should pick a list of keywords that you think people might search for when they want what you have to offer. This will be based on your wider keyword strategy and don’t forget to look at competitors for inspiration.
An ad campaign on Google AdWords is made up of your ad groups. It’s generally what you first set-up when you advertise, and it helps you organise your different paid advertising efforts. You can run multiple campaigns at any time from your Google account.
Your campaign type is where you want your ads to be seen. Google has:
“Search Network only” (which means Google search only)
“Display Network only” (which means your ad shows up in Google’s Display network of websites, videos, YouTube, Blogger and more. This is also known as AdSense)
“Search Network with Display Select” (which is a combo of search and display)
An ad group is your set of keywords, budgets and targeting methods for a particular objective, within the same campaign. For example, if you are running an ad campaign for a shoe sale, you could set up ad groups to target for online sales, women’s shoes and men’s shoes. You can have multiple ads in each ad group.
This is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad to visit your site or call you.
This metric tells you how relevant your keywords are to your ad — and to your landing page. A good Quality Score can lower your bid costs and improve your ad rank in the search results.
This metric helps determine where your ad will show up, relative to other ads, when it’s triggered to appear on Google. Your rank is determined using your bid, your Quality Score, and other factors.
The actual amount you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Something to note here is that you don’t necessarily pay your entire bid price for every click — it just sets up a range of possible costs-per-click you might pay.
A conversion takes place when someone who has clicked your ad goes on to take another action you’ve designated as important — like making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or calling you.
Your daily budget is what you’re willing to spend per day per ad. Your daily cost is based on a daily average per month, so don’t be alarmed if your spend varies from day to day.
In order to best prepare your account you should look at breaking down all of the products you with to advertise or sell down into separate categories. This could be (and probably should be) done to match the navigation of your site. Look at any dropdown menus you have or subpages as a starting point.
There are two levels of organization within a Google Ads account: campaigns (the higher level) and ad groups (the lower level ), it is worth nothing that in this second area you can have multiple ad groups in each campaign).
Campaigns represent larger categories in your business, and ad groups as represent smaller, more specific sets of products or services. A good example of this is as follows:
Campaign 1: Painting
- Ad Group 1: Paint
- Ad Group 2: Paintbrushes
- Ad Group 3: Easels
Campaign 2: Snooker
- Ad Group 1: Cues
- Ad Group 2: Chalk
- Ad Group 3: Snooker Balls
Set a budget
With Google Ads, you control how much you spend using two different settings: your daily budget and your bids.
Your budget is the amount you want to spend on each campaign per day. Your bid is the amount you’re willing to spend on a keyword if someone searches for that term and then clicks your ad.
Pick your keywords
The goal when picking keywords is to choose terms that you think people will search for when they’re looking online for what you offer. In addition, you want your keywords to be as relevant as possible to the ad they trigger and to the landing page people will arrive at if they click that ad.
Set your keyword match types
“Keyword match type” is a setting in Google Ads that lets you further refine when your ad will show up on Google. The following is how Google lists the five options:
The “broad match” setting shows your ad for searches that contain your keywords in any order, and for related terms. This option shows your ad in the broadest variety of searches, and is the default setting for all campaigns.
Broad Match Modifier:
This setting allows you to specify that certain words in your broad-match keyword must show up in a user’s search to trigger your ad. So, if your keyword is “high fiber wool yarn” and you wanted to make sure “wool” and “yarn” were always present in a search, you could ensure that by adding a plus sign (+) before those words. So, your broad match modifier keyword would be: high fiber +wool +yarn.
This option shows your ad for searches that contain your exact keyword, or for searches that contain your exact keyword plus words before or after it. (Ie if your keyword is “wool yarn” you might also show up for “fine wool yarn” or “wool yarn for sale near me.”) To choose this option, you should add quotation marks around any keywords, ie “wool yarn”.
When you choose exact match, your ad will only show if someone searches for the exact word or phrase you choose. For this option, put brackets around your keyword, eg: [wool yarn].
This match option allows you to exclude undesirable words or phrases from triggering your ad, weeding out irrelevant traffic. For instance, if you only sell high-end yarn, you might want to exclude words like “bargain” or “cheap.” You can do so by putting a minus sign in front of the words you don’t want to show up for, eg: -cheap, -bargain.
Set your destination
Your landing page is where potential customers arrive after clicking on your ad. Choose wisely the pages you want to send your traffic and make sure that it is relevant to the ad and that it will show up in the search based on the keywords contained on the page.
Connect your account to Google Analytics. This is a great way to get even more insights into how people interact with your ads and website. It can also highlight any problems, if people arrive at your site but then immediately click away for example, your ad might not be reaching the right people or you might be taking them to wrong area of your site.
Test, test and test again
Remember to check back in frequently to keep an eye on which ads and keywords are bringing you the most clicks and conversions. Over time, you should start to see which strategies are helping you meet your goals. Testing is key and is a good way to build your future strategy.