Here is a very simple overview of the Google Ads Search system. This is literally just a simplification of a complex world. So let´s start at the very beginning…
With Google Search ads, we are bidding for keywords at a virtual real-time auction. The winners are displayed with their ad above the organic searches on www.google.com.
Their position in the auction is determined by relevance of the ad x cost per click bid on the keyword. So it´s not enough to just bid high, the relevance of the keyword to ad text and landing page play a significant role and is measured with the quality score. The higher your quality score, the lower the click price.
Clicks and Impressions
Only if the searcher clicks on the ad, we get charged for that click, impressions are free. The CTR (click through rate) gives us a good hint of how relevant our ad is to our audience by displaying the ratio of how often your ad was shown and out of those times how many percent clicked on it, we should aim at least to 5%.
The landing page is where the client ends up when clicking on the ad. They can be regular parts of your homepage or specifically created for the ads. It´s always good to give the consumer a choice, the landing page can be for example a product category overview.
The keywords can be added in different match types: broad match,
broad match modified, phrase match and exact match. This considers the fact that not everybody would type their inquiry in the same way and the match type determines how strict or exact the search term has to fit your keyword.
Keywords and search term are the same thing, the two names only consider the point of view we are taking: search term is what the person searching types in on google.com, keyword is what we are bidding on in the ads system.
When starting a new campaign or even account, keyword match types are usually chosen to be more open. Step by step the sorting out process consists of including the search terms that fit well to your business and excluding the ones that don´t. It´s important to add those as negative search terms, so next time they won´t fire and spend your budget.
You can start with more specific keywords in a big market where there are many searches, but for niches you would need too much time to collect enough data, which we need to do the real optimization over time.
We should always rotate at least 3 ads in an adgroup, which let´s us constantly test them. We have 3 titles, of which 2 are always visible. It´s clever to include the keywords, features, benefits and unique selling points in the title. Descriptions can be a combination of these too, with a call to action. What do you expect people to after clicking the ad? Shop online now, contact us now and so on.
Google ads are so efficient, because you can target your audience very specifically, you can set:
- where your ads should be displayed (Location targeting),
- you can different click prices for different keywords (max. CPC = cost per click)
- at what time (ad schedule)
- device (mobile, desktop or tablet)
- specific audiences with interests, affinities…and more!
Account -> Campaign -> Adgroups -> Ads
- So one account can have many different campaigns (level of targeting a location and the daily budget)
- in which you´d have different adgroups (level of targeting a landing page)
- that have a group of keywords (level to set a max. cpc bid)
- which trigger a specific group of ads. I would recommend 3-10 keywords per ad group, with more you can´t do justice to a good relevance.
To measure the success of your ads on your website, you have to determine what valuable action the client is supposed to perform on your website. For example filling out a lead form or making an order. This action, which we call a conversion, then is being tracked and the data imported into the Google Ads account. So the real optimization of an account is always based on conversions, they tell us which keyword, ad or even target group converts the best.
Pay per Click vs. Smart Bidding
You can also let the algorythm of Google do the optimization work, if you are tracking conversions and the number is significant (I wouldn´t recommend below 20 conversions per month), which we call smart bidding. You tell the system how much you want to spend daily or how much you are ready to pay for e.g. a lead and machine learning will idealy bring you the results. The daily spend can be higher, but Google will even it out by lowering the spend on the next days, so that the average spend will be what you set.