So you are ready to leap into the world of Google Ads? It can certainly be an exciting and yet overwhelming endeavor. For this Beginner’s Guide article, I have outlined some tips and tricks for creating and optimizing a Google Ad campaign.
Step One: Lay the Groundwork
Start with conversations. Talk to your partners and leadership team to get a clear understanding of what success looks like to them. It is hard to hit a goal when you do not know what the goal is.
- Looking for brand awareness? Then you need impressions.
- Want to up your website visits? It is clicks you are after.
- Are you purely trying to generate quality leads? Then you need to focus on lead generation.
Choose a goal. Selecting a goal for the ad campaign is the first question Google Ads will ask you upon starting a new campaign. Choosing just one goal can be difficult as a marketer, but deciding your priorities will help you determine what type of campaign to run. Pick the one that is your biggest priority, and let Google Ads help guide you. Not only will knowing your goal help you create your ads correctly, but it will allow you to report the analytics your leadership is looking for.
Make a plan. Other things to consider ahead of time:
- Demographics: who are you targeting?
- Keywords: this is crucial for a Google campaign. You only get a certain number of characters, so you want to make sure you are using words that represent your firm and your goals and will convert.
- Type of ad: Ad types include search, display, shopping, and video. Base this decision on your goals, and Google will help you choose what will work best.
- Website landing page: Where will your ad lead people? Consider creating a unique landing page on your firm’s website to help you track and optimize your ad’s performance.
- Helpful tip: Landing pages that have the same keywords as the ads that draw people there get the most conversion. So sprinkle those keywords everywhere you can, without sounding forced.
- Attractor/Download: Once your prospect gets to your landing page, what is in it for them? What is going to make someone want to engage with your firm and learn more about what you offer? This is where an attractor or a high-quality download comes into play. Make sure you are giving your prospects something of value that they cannot access elsewhere on your site.
- Lead nurturing strategy: Your prospect is interested…now what? Plan for this prior to launching your campaign. Use an e-mail program like HubSpot, Constant Contact, or MailChimp to create a drip campaign so that your prospects stay engaged. This is where it all pays off—do not let your prospects visit once and never hear from you again.
- Create multiple ads: Experts suggest creating an average of three ads per campaign that are all slightly different. This will give you the opportunity to A/B test and see what works.
- Budget: How much are you looking to spend overall? This may need to be adjusted once you determine performance, but get a ballpark for what your leadership team is comfortable with.
- Extensions: According to Google Ads, ads with extensions have a 15% higher click-through rate, so consider adding a call button, location information, links to other parts of your website, or additional text.
Step Two: Get Up and Running
Now that you have your goals in mind, you are ready to create your ad. Google Ads has made this process fairly simple to navigate by guiding you through the process.
Here are some things to remember:
- First you need to create a Google Ads account. If you already have a Gmail account associated with your firm and your Google Analytics, that is the account you want to use. If not, you can easily create one at Gmail.
- Once you are logged in to Google Ads, you will go through the process of entering your website and choosing ad type, budget, and audience. Always keep your goals in mind.
- Remember to test. Try several different strategies, see what works best, and then adjust accordingly.
- Creating the content for your ads is a vital step. Remember that Google has strict rules on how many characters you can use. Focus on three things: conveying your message, staying within the allotted characters, and including your keywords.
- Helpful tip: Write the copy for your ads in a separate document first, and highlight your keywords. This gives you room to play with words so you can get the character limits right. If you need approval, the document will make it easier for your leadership to understand why you chose certain phrases. It also lets them know not to make edits or remove the words that are vital to the campaign.
Step Three: Analyze Performance
It is important to give your campaign time to run. You will need a few weeks to really get good analytics that will help you identify trends.
When it is time to look at how your ads are doing, here are some things to consider:
- There are a number of ways you can measure your ad’s performance: number of leads, Google Ad analytics, and by looking at Google Analytics to track increased website traffic.
- You will want to look at:
- Impressions: the number of times your ad was shown
- Clicks: the number of times someone clicks on your ad
- Click-through-rate (CTR): the percentage of people who have seen your ad and clicked on it
Be realistic with your expectations. It is easiest to compare your numbers over time. As long as you are improving, you are headed in the right direction.
Step Four: Optimize Ads
Now that you have analytics, you can make adjustments to optimize your ads so they are performing at their very best. Google Ads will provide you with recommendations. Once you figure out what is performing well, consider making adjustments to:
- Ad copy: reflect high-performing keywords.
- Ad schedule: which days and what time of day are you having the most success? Google Ads provides a schedule optimization analytic so you can see this valuable information. Remember to give your campaign time to run before you begin to limit your schedule.
- Demographics and location
- Landing page and calls to action: if you are getting a lot of clicks but not a lot of qualified leads, make sure your landing page content is in line with your ad and that your call to action offers the prospect valuable content.
- Helpful tip: If people are coming to your page but not entering their information, use Google Analytics to determine how people are interacting with your website. How much time are they spending? How far are they getting? Are you taking them on a journey that leads them to information that will be helpful to them?
We hope these tips help get you started on your way to a successful digital ad campaign on Google. If you would like to dive deeper into Google Ads, or if you would like more Beginner’s Guides like this one on other platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook, let us know! Email me at [email protected].
About Emily Taibl
Emily manages Sweeney Conrad’s marketing department and is the lead on all brand strategy both internally and externally. She handles all marketing activities for the firm including planning, client outreach, content management, website, recruiting, and social media. Prior to Sweeney Conrad, Emily ran her own boutique PR/Marketing firm specializing in the restaurants and non-profits. She serves as the Chair of the Association of Accounting Marketing’s monthly newsletter, the AAM Minute, and is on the Marketing/Business Development Team for Allinial Global.