Google Ads are like planting seeds in a garden. Plants need water man. I learned a long time ago, having been given cacti over the years, at McCann, that I’m not really good at keeping plants. This is of course different from planting plants in a garden, but yeah I’m not really good with that either. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this? If you’ve read my previous article on building Digital Real Estate then this is a natural extension of that idea. Once you’ve built the building, you need to attract the people and grow.
Garden analogy aside, what are Google Ads? Basically they appear on the top of your search list when you do a search in Google. How do you know its an ad? It says so on the top. There are many different types of Google Ads but they all essentially do the same thing. They appear when you do a search. This is triggered by the keywords people use to find things. The right keywords at the right time shows the ad at the top, which in turn initiates a click from the user. This is what we pay Google a few cents a click to do for us – Put you at the top.
Then there are Display ads. These ads appear on websites that have signed up with Google to show them. The process is the same. The content on the website determines the appearance of the ads. I go into more detail below about “flowering” display ads and how they can attract new and returning business to your site. Suffice to say there are two distinct types of Google ads but they all come from the same seed: Keywords.
In the Garden of the Google Ads
Gardens grow from seeds. The seed are the keywords. What are people searching? You bid for the keywords and depending on what you want to achieve you spend when someone either sees the ad (an impression) or clicks from the ad (a click). Without going into all the nitty gritty details of auctions, impressions and click through rates, the basic idea is the more you research the right kind of search using the right kind of keywords you can manage your spend by not wasting money on terms that don’t provide results.
Weeding out keywords involves creating a negative keyword list. So let’s use our garden analogy in a real world application: You’re looking for “Weed killer.” Go do a search. Create a new tab, right now (I’ll wait) and just put that search into Google. You may (depending on your location) have discovered many things on that first page. In the case of weed killer, there are a lot of videos on killing weeds “safely” and “naturally” and then “All-Natural Homemade Weed Killers.” So from the beginning you already have a range of keywords related to that one search term.
As a marketer you need to be a little more specific. You may not be selling “Homemade” so you would add that as a negative keyword. This weeds out those searches that don’t pertain to your offering online. There is a lot more that goes into keyword research and most of it really starts with your product.
If Keywords are your seeds. A well written ad are the roots
So you’ve done your Google Ad keyword research. You have a list of at least 5-10 keywords that would trigger your ads in a search or appear on a page. Now it’s time to landscape. In a way the message you use is important the ad that appears for the searcher must pertain to the search terms used. In the example above the user searched “Ultra effective weed killer radioactive.” (Because dammit those weeds are laughing at the homemade stuff!) Your company sells strong proven weed killer, but if you don’t say that in the ad, they will ignore it.
As you can see from above you’re crafting an ad that flows alongside the keywords searched. It may appear on the top of the search but if it’s not clicked then you need to change your creative. What also needs to follow along the path is the landing page that appears after the user clicks. This is called a funnel. If anywhere along the funnel a searcher for a solution doesn’t get the solution, then they click away. There is nothing about “brand retention” or “brand recognition” If you’re looking for “Radioactive weed killer” and your landing page has “Best homemade weed killer that nukes them dead” then the searcher will probably close the window. Be extremely focussed on what you are selling from offering to sale. Google factors all of these things in the quality score of your ad. The higher the quality, the cheaper the ad cost.
Reaping the field of the Google Ads Garden
Showing a “pretty” ad isn’t the only reason for running Google ads. I’ve commented before that when people say “Google ads don’t work for me” I watch them askew, it’s like saying you don’t like gardens! Google Ads are only as good as your goals. If you have a business that doesn’t sell product, but a service, the Google Ad garden will look differently from someone selling groceries. One size doesn’t fit all in this case. Your funnel will be designed differently, but all have the same idea. The Google ads run best on conversions: how many times someone took an action on your website.
Let’s use another example. We’re in the business of landscaping gardens. We want people to book us to maintain their actual real estate. You have a search and display campaign running but its not “converting” people are clicking away from your site. Possible cause: No one wants to fill out a form to engage your services, they prefer to call or Whatsapp. So fix the landing page. Engage the potential customer how they prefer to be engaged. Possibly you may need a more “return call” approach. Maybe you need to do some remarketing. Which leads me to my next point.
Remarketing is the Bees Knees
Your business may not be suffering from “lack of new business” it may need relooking at existing business. You may have had thousands of clicks from the Google Ad but no conversions. What you may have to do is engage a “remarketing campaign.” The simplest way to do this is to capture emails and create an email list and using mailchimp automatically email people already interested in your product to remind them that they saw your service/product and they should return, maybe with a small incentive. This has worked for my client Intimate Affairs quite successfully, once we set up a remarketing list, we saw a double in purchases and return users over the four weeks we started running the campaign.
The same thing applies to Google Remarketing Ads. These are a special type of ad that appears after a user has visited your website. You know, those ads that you claim are “following you”? I’ll let you in on a secret: The “Cookie approval” notice you don’t read on websites? Those allow Google to show you ads of products you’ve already searched. Also, everything electronic you use: your Android phone or Alexa, voice or not, your searches are used for marketers to remarket to you. As a user you’re probably creeped out by now, as a marketer you’re salivating.
The more successful remarketing ads are the ones we run in the Display format. These show the products. As I stated before this is like the flower attracting the bee to return again and again.
Display ads are the flowers that attract bees. Bees make the money honey.
Display ads are the flowers that attract the bees, but like a well crafted text ad, you have to design a well crafted display ad. This is where a “fiverr artist” doesn’t help. You can build a simple ad in the Google Ads itself, but you should really let a professional Graphic Designer design web banners for you. Animated, well formatted, on target ads and creative ads as well as being able to work the same way in multiple sizes. For large agencies, like McCann clients send their press ads to be resized into Google Ads. Don’t do that. That has its place. What Google Display ads need is a message that attracts a webuser with engaging content in the moment. See two ads samples below that I did for clients. One is from scratch and the other from a press ad.
Check out these three examples of some extremely creative display banners. Please note that some of these are from way back since 2012! So I hope this inspires you to engage a designer to give you something on target and creative. A creative idea is better than a “gimmick”. Doing a well designed and creative display ad will bring new and returning business to your website.
The Google Ads Trees they be learning
Google Ads are very different from other ad platforms. The one thing that really sets it apart is the strength of the Google platform. The thousands of Google engineers who work behind the scenes to build a platform that actually learns over time.
The secret to a great Google Ads campaign is consistency and longentivity! The longer you run ads, the faster the system learns. Yes, there is a certain amount of machine learning happening when you run a Google Ad. It learns over time how you should pay, position and execute a campaign. But sadly that won’t happen off the bat. Just like the garden, it needs to grow first before it can truly propagate. The main takeaway here is: The more you spend up front, the cheaper your ads will be and the higher the ROI in the future!
Just how does your garden grow?
If Google Ads are a garden then you need to learn to weed, hoe, and take care of it daily. All of this requires research, planning and experience. You certainly could do it yourself, but just like me not being able to plant my own garden, you should happily hand that responsibility over to someone who knows how to do it and do it effectively.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and have a better understanding of what Google Ads can do for you. Using my expertise and years of experience I can help you build your online business. You can contact me here or find me on Facebook.