Introduction To Google PPC
Google PPC With so many different options for marketing and advertising, why advertise on Google? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard of Google a time or two. The tech giant owns over 90% of the search engine market share. Google has largely become a monopoly on the world stage, arguably the most knowledgeable and influential company in the history of mankind. By running a Google PPC (pay-per-click) campaign, you get to wield some of that knowledge to try to grow your business.
It is estimated that about 5.6 billion searches are done on Google every day! That is nearly the entire world population daily. People go to Google for all kinds of information. From tutorials on fixing a mechanical problem with your car to finding the nearest dentist, and even learning about running a Google PPC campaign. Needless to say, this makes Google an extremely attractive platform for advertisers, who want to get some of this traffic onto their site. You can be sure of one thing: your customers are actively using Google.
Should You Advertise On Google?
Google PPC Any kind of advertising, including Google Ads, is a double-edged sword. You can either oversee a highly profitable campaign that will result in you scaling your business to the next level, or you can spend a lot of money with little-to-no success. It all depends on having a solid strategy, execution, and optimization process.
Because of the sheer size and scope of Google, you can hit all types of business goals utilizing their ads platform. There are many different ad campaign types offered by Google, including Search Campaigns, Display Campaigns, Shopping Campaigns, Video Campaigns, Local Campaigns, and App Campaigns.
In this article, we will focus on the Search Campaign (Google PPC) which works great for the campaign objectives of sales, leads, and website traffic.
Google PPC Pros & Cons
- You can target just about any type of person.
- You can target people very specifically based on the keywords typed into the Google search engine. Keywords are great at gauging someone’s intention.
- You can target people with the highest purchasing intent.
- You can achieve success quickly with Google Ads.
- PPC (pay per click) means you don’t pay a penny until someone clicks.
- Google integrates well with pretty much any big CRM’s or softwares you may be using.
- Google offers some of the most top quality tools and data.
- You have many customization options to appeal to your target audience
- Google Ads has so many features and customizations that you should have time and expertise to dive into it (not to discourage you from going for it, anyone can become a pro with some effort!).
- There is a lot of competition from other advertisers.
- Consumers tend to trust organic search results more so than advertisements.
- Google Ads can be expensive. Depending on your industry, clicks can cost 50 cents or 400 dollars!
- There’s never any guarantee of results or ROI
- Not quite as scalable as other (social media) advertising platforms.
12 Keys Of Successful Google PPC Campaign
1. Make Sure Your Performance Tracking Is Configured Right
This is something that applies to all marketing campaigns, not just Google PPC. Let’s be honest – you will never have a campaign that’s performing at its top potential right from the get-go. You will have to optimize different aspects of any and all campaigns. To be able to optimize, you should clearly define your KPI’s (key performance indicators) and then configure tracking. The same concept applies If you want to advertise on Google:
Set Up Conversion Tracking
This is especially important to set up if the goal of your campaign is a specific action taken on your website (form submission, phone call, purchase, etc). This is the part where you tell Google exactly what action constitutes a conversion and set up tracking so that Google can detect and attribute conversions to the right ads.
- Go to “Tools & Settings” on the top right hand side, and under measurements, click on “conversions.”
- Click on the blue “+” sign and select the type of conversion you’ll be tracking
- We won’t go over how to set up Google PPC conversion tracking in this article, but here’s a great video that will take you through it step-by-step.
Link Google Ads To Google Analytics
Yes, you will be able to see your campaign’s performance on the Google Ads platform But I would still recommend linking your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics. This way, if you track all your marketing campaigns in Google Analytics, you will be able to see your Google PPC performance in context with your marketing as a whole.
To link your accounts:
- Inside Google ads click on “Tools & Settings” on the top right hand side.
- Under “Setup” click on “Linked accounts.”
- Find Google Analytics (or any other integration you want to configure and click on details
- Here you will be able to look at which accounts are linked and link new accounts.
If you have successfully done these two steps above, you should be able to track conversions in your Google Ads account and see your Google PPC performance inside of Google Analytics.
2. Define Your CTA
Your call-to-action is an extremely important factor in the success of your campaign. It is the action that is valuable to your business because it leads to a sale. Some examples of an action item could be filling out a contact form, calling a number, booking a call, or making a purchase directly on your website. It is generally recommended to only have 1 action item so as to not confuse your audience. However, there are many successful campaigns that utilize 2 different CTA’s and give the consumer more options (for example form submission and phone call). Everything on your landing page should be designed to lead users to your CTA.
3. Do Keyword Research
Although there are many amazing keyword research tools out there with great insights, for a Google PPC campaign I would always recommend sticking with Google’s free Keyword Planner tool. You can access it directly in the Google Ads platform by clicking on “Tools & settings” on the top menu bar. Then, click on “Keyword Planner” under “Planning.”
By using Google’s tool, you will be able to get all the numbers directly from the source. Furthermore, you will be able to add keywords directly to your campaigns and ad groups from the keyword planner tool, since it is already on the Google Ads interface.
Moreover, use this tool by coming up with keywords you would like to rank for and entering those into the search bar. Google will then come up with pages of suggestions of related keywords that people are searching for. There will also be information about each keyword such as expected (range) cost per click, monthly search volume, and how competitive the keyword is. Select all relevant keywords that you would like to rank for, and then you can move on to the next step which entails putting the keywords into categories.
4. Create A Strategic Campaign Structure
Being organized with your Google PPC campaign is paramount. On the ad group level, you will want to categorize your campaign & keywords- with each ad group targeting a different category. You can approach this categorization by first coming up with all viable keywords that you want to rank for. Then, determine what the best and most logical way would be for you to put all those eligible keywords into different categories.
For example, if you are selling life insurance, you might decide to categorize based on life insurance type (term life, whole life, senior life, etc). If you are leasing office space, you might want to organize based on important elements that people may be including in their Google searches (e.g., large office for lease, small office, cheap office, downtown office, etc).
If you have keywords left over that don’t really fit into any category, but there isn’t enough search volume around them to create a separate category, you could bunch them together into a general category. For example, if you are running a dental PPC campaign, your categories could be: dental implants, dental cleaning, emergency dental, and other general dentistry keywords.
5. Customize All Content To The Ad Group Level
Everything in the ad group level should revolve around the chosen category. For example, if you are running a dental Google PPC campaign and one of your categories is “dental implants,” then all of your targeted keywords, ad copy, and even landing page should revolve around that. What you don’t want to happen is to have someone search for “dental implants near me” and click on a dental implants ad, only to find themselves on a general dentistry landing page. They will be much more likely to actually pick up the phone and book an appointment if they land on a great dental implant landing page.
6. Don’t Rely On Broad Keyword Match Types
When selecting your keywords on Google PPC, there are several different match types you can use. Match types determine what variations of your selected keyword will still trigger your ad to show up. Think about it, if you are selling dog food, and so you choose to rank for the keyword “dog food near me,” you might still want your ad to show up if someone types in “healthy dog food near me.” As you can imagine, it’s hard to predict everything someone could type into Google exactly, so match types are almost like a shortcut.
There used to be 4 different match types on Google PPC, but as of February 2021, Google got rid of the broad match modifier match type.
Here are the three available match types:
- Exact Match: Although the exact match type is not pure, it is close to pure. If you select to use an exact match for a keyword, your ad still might show up for searches of very close variations. In general, the meaning has to be the same or very similar for your ad to still show up. The examples that Google provides on its website are that if your exact match keyword is “shoes for men” your ad could still rank if someone searches “shoes men,” “men shoes,” “men shoe,” or “shoes for a man.” In order to use an exact match keyword, put your keyword in [brackets].
- Phrase Match: While phrase match allows for more variations than exact match, it is still more targeted than broad match. Phrase match will allow for your ad to show for searches that contain your keyword or the meaning of your keyword. For phrase match, the meaning could be implied. In our experience, phrase match still delivers searches that are pretty similar to your keyword or even contain portions of your keyword. In order to use a phrase match keyword, put your keyword in “quotation marks”.
- Broad Match: Broad match modifier is the broadest match type available. I advise you to stay away from this unless you really know what you’re doing. But if you do elect to use broad match, you may want to use negative keywords. Using broad match still produces solid search terms generally, but it also means that your ad will be shown to searches that don’t contain your keyword. Broad match focuses more on similar meanings rather than similar keywords. In order to use a broad match keyword, put your keyword in plain text.
7. Use Ad Extensions
When you advertise on Google, you will have access to many tools and features. For example, Google provides the Ad Extension feature to enhance your ads and make them stand out from the crowd. This is a great tool that encourages the user to interact with your ad, whether that means selecting a page on your site they want to view, clicking to call, and even clicking to text.
Ad extensions are additions to your ad. Although we won’t be discussing ad extensions in detail in this guide, there are 8 main ones and they give you some great customization options. Some of the types of ad extensions are the sitelink, location, call, message, and callout extensions. Here’s our full guide on Google PPC ad extensions.
Check out the images below and see if you can see how ad extensions can enhance your ads.
Ad extensions is something you should definitely be using if you want to advertise on Google PPC.
8. Optimize Your Bid Strategy Type
Google makes many bid strategies available for you to use. For the best results, you should decide on your bid strategy based on what you consider to be a success. If you are aiming to get traffic onto your website, you should probably go for the CPC (Cost-per-click) bid strategy. If you want to maximize conversions on your site, you should try smart bidding. This lets Google’s extremely powerful algorithm decide on your bids based on the exact action you configured (conversion). Google will bid based on what it believes will make your campaign most successful.
9. Raise Your Quality Score
Google assigns a quality score to each ad (combined with landing page) on a scale of 1 to 10. The higher the score, the better your ad is compared to competing advertisers. This score is given based on how ”relevant and useful” your ad is to someone who sees your ad based on your keywords. It’s very important that you monitor your quality scores and try to increase them by creating better ads and landing pages that speak to your audience.
You can see your quality score by selecting keywords in the left panel, clicking on “columns” on the right side of the statistics table, and opening the section that says “Quality Score” under the “modify columns for keywords.”
According to Google, your quality score is calculated based on expected clickthrough rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience.
10. Use Negative Keywords
What are negative keywords and why are they important to use? Remember, when you advertise on Google, you will have access to billions of searches per day. It’s important that you use keywords and match types to get enough of the good keywords without targeting any of the bad ones. To help with this task, you should use negative keywords. You should use negative keywords, especially for phrase and broad match types. Because phrase and broad match allow for your ads to be shown for variations of your keyword, it’s possible that you’ll rank for searches you don’t want to rank for. Negative keywords tell Google which searches you do not want to rank for.
For example. If you are selling high-end bikes, and you use a phrase match keyword of “bike store near me,” you may want to add a negative keyword for “cheap bike store near me,” as you only sell high-end bikes. This will avoid people who are looking for cheap bikes to see your ads, lower your CTR, cost you money for clicks, and decrease your quality score.
It’s likely that in the beginning, you won’t be able to think of all appropriate negative keywords to include. That is why you need to be constantly looking for bad search queries that your ads ranked for and updating your negative keywords as part of the optimization process.
11. Run Google Remarketing
Google remarketing, also known as retargeting, allows you to create targeted ads and show them to people who’ve already visited your website. These ads can be displayed on searches or on different platforms that Google partners with. You should definitely run Google Remarketing when you advertise on Google. This will enhance your Google PPC campaign and improve performance. People who have been on your site are familiar with your brand and generally have more trust in your company. This means that they are more likely to make a purchase or whatever other action you want them to take.
12. Follow The Data
This step is true of all campaigns, not only of Google PPC. Let me go into exactly what metrics to look out for and optimize when you advertise on Google.
Different metrics will be more or less important depending on what your campaign goals are. If you are just spreading brand awareness and going for impressions (how many people see your ad), then you should pay close attention to the cost-per-impression metric. In such a campaign, the more impressions you can get for the least amount of money, the better.
If you are going for conversions on your site, then cost per conversion, conversion rate, and conv. value/cost are some of the most important metrics to be looking at. But you will also want to look at click-through-rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC).
Then, make adjustments based on what the data is telling you. If you have a low CTR, improve your ad and maybe add some extensions. If your cost-per-click is high you may want to adjust your bidding or target different keywords. Low conversion metrics mean you should either improve your landing page or improve your audience by bidding on more relevant keywords.
It is always smart to look through the search queries you are ranking for and make sure that they are relevant. Add negative keywords where necessary.
If you follow these 12 keys of a successful Google PPC campaign, you are bound to come up with a profitable, high-performing campaign.Good luck!