The Ultimate Guide To Dominating Google AdWordsBlog, 02/02/18
So, you’ve decided to take on paid advertising as a means of marketing your business. Unfortunately, paid advertising is not as simple as putting in money and seeing your sales skyrocket instantly.
Because putting all of your money into something that you don’t have a clue about is a surefire way to burn your budget quickly.
That’s why you hear horror stories about paid advertising all the time; it’s because businesses spend their money blindly without knowing what’s going on.
We’re going to help you avoid that (or fix that) in this blog post.
This is not a fluff guide either; we’ll tell you what Google AdWords is from A-Z as well as including actionable tips and techniques to guarantee that you have maximum ROI from your ad spend.
Before we start..
At the end of this post, we’re offering business owners like YOU a chance to add $100,000 in revenue to YOUR business in 90 days.
Well, you’ll have to stick around till the end of this step-by-step guide or scroll down to the bottom of this page and skip the post (but give it some love, yeah?)
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads is a form of online paid advertising. Customers pay Google to have their ads placed on top of Google’s result pages for relevant keywords.
Here’s an example:
I Googled the term, “create a website”.
Can you spot the difference between the Google ads and organic search results?
If you did, great!
Google Ads allow you to be on the top spots of a search term’s results page which is a huge advantage particularly in competitive industries.
Now, technologically-savvy people like you may be aware of the ads so you probably won’t click on them which makes you think, “I don’t believe ads are very effective”.
Well, you’d be surprised to know that the average ROI for an effective Google Ads campaign is 350% of the total ad spend.
That’s right. For every $1 that you spend on a good AdWords campaign will result in a return of $3.50.
Are you convinced now about the effectiveness of Google ads?
How does Google AdWords work?
The principle behind how AdWords work is very simple and can be broken down into 3 major components.
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Quality score
Keywords are the essence of paid search. What you do in every AdWords campaign is to insert a list of keywords related to your product or service that you’re trying to advertise.
For instance, let’s say that you are running a gym business in Sydney. You will most likely target these keywords:
best gym in sydney
gyms near me
sydney gyms with yoga
Now, one thing that you’ll notice is that the keywords are geographically-targeted. This is one of AdWords’ biggest advantages that we’ll cover later in this post.
Basically, if you run ad campaigns for these list keywords, your sponsored link will end up at the top of the results page.
This image will show you exactly what I mean.
I googled the phrase “best gym in sydney”
As you can see, the first 3 results of the homepage are all ads hence the exposure that Google offers is very, very powerful and you’d be unwise to not take advantage of it.
Clicking on these ads will lead visitors to the landing page of the website. Hence, it is important to make sure that your landing page is actually relevant to your ad copy.
For example, don’t advertise about your latest product discounts only to redirect people who click on the ads to your blog which makes absolutely no sense. We’ll cover this topic later on in the article.
Pay-per-click advertising means that you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad.
This means that even if your ads are shown to 100,000 people, it will cost you nothing if no one clicks on it.
This is a fair model for most businesses as if you would have to pay for each time someone sees your ad (also known as impressions), it would cost a lot for virtually no returns.
With that being said, some businesses do run campaigns where they pay for impressions. These type of campaigns are usually done to spread brand awareness rather than generating sales, revenue or leads which is what we will be focusing on today.
How does PPC work?
The PPC model runs like an auction bidding system. For each keyword, you will be competing with other websites based on a maximum cost-per-click (CPC).
CPC is the amount of money that you are willing to spend per click on your ads. Just like an auction, the person who is willing to spend the most on a click is the “winner” which in this case translates to being the first result in a search engine results page (SERPS).
Fortunately, you don’t have to guess in determining what the optimal CPC is for a keyword; Google does that for you at no cost.
Head over to Google’s Keyword Planner and click on “Get search volume and data trends”.
After that, enter your keyword (or list of keywords) and click on “Get search volume”.
You can fiddle around with the targeting options but we’ll cover that in detail later.
Then, you will come across a page that details your suggested CPC and average monthly searches.
You will come across several columns here:
- Avg. monthly searches: How many people are searching for your keyword in a month
- Competition: Number of advertisers that are bidding on this keyword; higher competition = more people bidding on the keyword
- Suggested bid: The amount to bid per click if you want to be in the top spots for the keyword. Do note, however, that this is an estimate and the final figure will vary from time to time.
Do not be fooled by the competition and suggested bid column. A common mistake that people assume when they see high competition and high suggested bids is that it is too competitive and a massive waste of money.
Let’s set the record straight.
Do you really think that advertisers are foolish enough to spend tons of money in a very competitive keyword?
The answer is no.
Just like trading, a keyword that is high in competition and value is also a very profitable keyword.
Likewise, if a keyword has low competition and low suggested bids, it does not mean that you’ve encountered a golden opportunity.
What is the point of spending on keywords that are not competitive if they cannot generate sales or leads for you?
Like we’ve mentioned earlier, having the highest bid for a keyword will increase your chances of being on the top spot on the SERPs.
Now, why did we say chance instead of a guarantee that you will be number 1 in the rankings?
The section below will tell you why.
Google does not look at CPC as the only factor to rank your ads.
These are some of the many factors that Google considers when ranking your ads:
1) Click-through rate
2) Landing page relevancy and copy
3) Relevance of your ad text
Now, before we explain what affects your quality score, we need to cover some basics first.
How to find out your ads’ quality score?
On your Campaigns page, click on Keywords. Then, click on Columns -> Modify columns.
Then, scroll down and click on the Attributes column. Follow that up by clicking on the arrow next to the Qual. score column.
Now, you’ll be able to see your quality score in your ad reports.
How is quality score counted?
Quality score is rated on a scale of 1 to 10. The higher your rating, the better your ads’ quality score is and the higher the chances of your ad being the first result in SERPs.
How is quality score determined?
As we’ve mentioned above, quality score is based on click-through rates (CTR), ad relevancy, landing page relevancy and other factors which will be covered some other time.
Click-through rates (CTR)
Click-through rates is the number of clicks on your ad divided by the total number of impressions (ad views).
If your ad is shown to 100 people and 10 of them clicks on it, your click-through rate is 10%.
A higher click-through rate will definitely improve your ad’s quality score.
Higher CTR’s means that your ad is actually relevant and attractive enough to your target audience. Logically, Google is going to rank an ad that is popular much higher compared to an ad that brings in very few clicks.
Later in this post, we will show you how you can increase your click-through rates easily.
Landing page copy and ad text relevancy
Back in the early days of Google ads, advertisers were notorious for misleading visitors to landing pages that are not even related to the ad copy.
For instance, company A set up a campaign targeting keywords in the t-shirt industry. However, their business revolves solely around sunglasses – no t-shirt’s at all!
Google came up with the quality score metric to weed out advertisers who purposely mislead visitors to irrelevant landing pages.
Today, Google’s algorithms are smart enough to determine if the landing page is relevant to the ad copy which prevents cases like these from happening.
Just as you’ve expected, landing pages that are relevant are going to have higher quality scores as compared to landing pages that don’t really match the initial ad copy.
For example, I searched for “buy new laptop”.
The top results are exclusively made up of sites that are offering new laptops for sale.
Hence, there are no “secret” ways to game the algorithm; give people what they want and Google will reward you for that.
Is Google AdWords effective for my business?
Yes. Google AdWords is effective for all kinds of businesses.
One thing that business owners ask all the time is this:
“Will AdWords work for my business?”
Of course, it works!
Businesses all over the world are generating more than 350% ROI on their AdWords campaigns.
So, why can’t you?
Now, before you go all out on spending your money, you should understand what Google ads is for.
Google ads is all about search intent and giving people what they want.
What do you mean by search intent?
Basically, your ads are presented to people who are searching for what they want. Google = search engine.
No brainer, right?
Unfortunately, this is where most businesses fail in their paid advertising campaigns.
Google is not for brand awareness; that’s Facebook (which we will cover next week).
When someone searches for your keyword, give them what they want!
Let’s have an example for the keyword, “best website hosting”.
I’m going to bet that the top 3 results generate tons of traffic and clicks on their links.
Because they give users what they want.
Let’s look at an example of an ineffective ad. I searched for the term “how to buy a second hand car”.
The top 2 ads are going to have terrible click-through rates and quality scores.
They are only at the top because no one else is bidding for this particular keyword.
This is a perfect example of what we’ve mentioned earlier in making sure that bidding in less competitive keywords may not be the best choice as well as why your landing page and ad copy matters.
The keyword “how to buy a second hand car” means that the searcher is still in the early stages of the buying process. He or she is trying to get more information on how to buy a proper secondhand car rather than buy one outright.
So, it doesn’t make sense for advertisers to promote their products to audiences who are not even in the final stages of the buying process yet; this ad is just a huge waste of money and resources.
What makes an effective ad?
- Advertise a service or product that people are searching for online. One of the biggest mistakes that people do on AdWords is by advertising products or services that their target market is unaware of.Remember Google ads are for supplying demand rather than creating demand. If you have a brand new product that is unique to your target market, SEO and Facebook ads are going to be better in terms of ROI.
We’ll teach you how to do keyword research later.
- Laser-target your audience. One thing that sets profitable ads from other ads is that they target users in their niche who are in the final stages of the buying process.For instance, targeting the keyword “best marketing agency in sydney” is a wise choice as this means that visitors are more likely to take action. In this case, people who search for this term are probably looking for marketing agencies to hire.
The more accurate and narrow your targeting is, the better your ROI as proven by businesses who have done well in AdWords campaigns.
- Your CPC is less than 10% of your product or service margins. If you are spending more than $10 per click on your ads, you have to make sure that what you’re selling is a high ticket offer.If you spend $10 per click to sell a $20 product, that is going to bring you losses rather than profits.
As a rule of thumb, never spend more than 10% of your margins on CPCs. You also have to keep in mind that a click does not guarantee a purchase which is why you have to keep your CPC’s as low as possible.
- Your website and landing page is great. Now, the real task in making sure your ads work great is by having a responsive, functional, and high-converting website.If your website is terrible, even the best of ads won’t save you.
Like we’ve mentioned earlier, a click does not guarantee you a purchase. Read up more on writing great copy and UI/UX optimisation tips to have a higher chance of converting visitors who click your ads into actual paying customers.
How to get over 350% ROI on Google ads
Now that we’ve got the basics of Google ads done, let’s move on to the great part;
Generating sales, revenue and leads through great ads.
In this section, we’ll cover 5 key ingredients in crafting a profitable ad.
- Keyword research
- Setting up ad campaigns and ad groups
- Writing great ad copies
- Measuring key metrics
Keyword research – How to find and dominate profitable keywords
In this section, we’re going to reveal the secrets to finding profitable keywords that will grow your business easily.
Let’s get on with it.
Start off by writing down keywords that are relevant to your niche.
We’ll use a sample niche for this post; let’s imagine that we are running a business coaching agency in Sydney.
Think of a few keywords off the top of your head, for example;
business coaching agency
business consultant in sydney
best business coaches in sydney
business coach for small business
It doesn’t have to be complete, just think of 3-4 keywords off the top of your head to get things rolling.
Head over to Google’s Keyword Planner.
Login to your account and go to Tools -> Keyword Planner
Click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”
Then, you will come across this section.
Your product or service: Enter your list of keywords here. You can separate them by using commas or by hitting enter to make a line break.
Your landing page: The page that you want your target audience to go to. Google will generate a list of keyword ideas for you based on the landing page.
Your product category: You will have a list of categories to choose from which fits your product or services. Google will collect keyword ideas from this category.
You do not have to be super accurate here, just make sure that the general category of your ad is exact.
Targeting: Choose the location that you’re targeting, we’re using Australia as an example.
Then, click on Get Ideas (we’ll cover the advanced targeting options in a while)
This section should appear on your screen. The top part of the section are keywords that were entered by us.
Below that section are keywords that have been generated by Google based on our niche.
Now, how do you choose the best keywords to target?
You will notice that the keywords that we’ve initially entered have zero stats. This simply means that Google does not have enough data to collect meaningful stats about our keywords.
However, do not think that no stats = no searches. Long-tail keywords (we’ll cover this in our upcoming blog posts) are usually not recorded by Google so don’t be so conclusive in deciding whether a keyword is worth it or not.
With that being said, the section below is where you’ll find the best keywords. Scroll down the keywords page and you will see (usually 700) other keywords that are related to your niche.
What people usually do is to sort by avg. searches per month, but if you want to gather profitable keywords, sorting by suggested bid is the way to go.
As we’ve mentioned above, higher suggested bids means that advertisers are willing to compete and spend money because the keyword is profitable!
Look at the first result. There are only at best 100 searches per month for that keyword but advertisers are bidding as high as $87 for it.
Do you think advertisers would throw their money at keywords that are not profitable?
However, you have to keep in mind about the keyword relevancy that we’ve talked about earlier. The other keywords are great, but as small business coaches, we are not offering loans or funds to small businesses.
So, these keywords are profitable but they are not related to our niche. Let’s scroll down further.
Now we’re starting to have some profitable keywords that are related to our niche.
These keywords have good competition and high CPC’s which means that these keywords are very likely to be profitable.
You may have noticed that Google are giving you estimates of the average search traffic rather than an exact number.
Let me tell you a trick to obtain accurate values of your estimated search traffic.
First of all, click on the arrows next to the keywords that you want.
Then, you will see this section on your right. What you need to do is to set your bid range to the maximum value.
By doing this, you’ve already gotten a more accurate number of how many clicks to expect per day for your target keywords.
Now, click on Review Plan.
You’ve got a more accurate estimate now which also includes the estimated number of clicks per day, cost per day, CTR and your average CPC.
One thing many people don’t check is the Ad group ideas tab.
This tab will include groups of keywords that make it easier for you to choose your target keywords.
However, some of the groups don’t make much sense so it’s best to review it manually before you add it to your keywords list.
Great! You’ve got your keywords sorted out. Let’s move on to the next step.
Keyword match types
You can set the restrictiveness of your keywords in AdWords. Depending on your goals, you can choose between 4 match types.
How to change keyword match type
Go to Campaign -> Keywords
Then, select the keywords that you want to adjust and click on Edit -> Change match types
You will see 3 options: broad match, exact match and phrase match.
Broad match: This match type gives allows to get the most clicks out of all the match types since you are exposed to the widest audience.
In broad match, ads will be shown to people who search for any of your words in your keyword.
For instance, if you have the keyword “business coach”, your ads will appear when people search for “business tips”, “marketing coach”, business consulting”, basically anything that contains the words in your keyword.
Broad match keywords will also factor in synonyms; that means your ads will also show in searches such as “marketing consultant” or “marketing help”.
However, since your reach is so wide, you may also have situations where your ads are shown to people who are not within your target audience.
As you might have guessed, clicks on your ads from people who you are not targeting is a waste of money and will deplete your ad spend budget quickly.
Exact match: Exact match is the total opposite of broad match. Your ads will only show a person searches for the exact keyword that you are targeting.
So, our ads will only show when some searches for “business coach”. The great thing about this is that your ads will be laser-targeted to individuals who are more likely to convert on your products or services.
However, you will be getting way less traffic to your website compared to broad match keywords. Once again, it is a matter of what your goals are in deciding which match type to choose.
Phrase match: Phrase match offers more flexibility than exact match keywords as well as being more restrictive in comparison to broad match keywords.
For the keyword “business coach”, our ads will appear when someone searches for phrases like “business coach in sydney”, “best business coach”, or “hire a business coach”.
That means that your ads will show when a search that contains your keyword in the same order is done. It doesn’t matter if there are words in front or behind of your keyword; as long as it is in order, your ads will slow.
Setting up ad campaigns and ad groups – How to save money and get more clicks
We’ll start off with a basic campaign to get you accustomed to the targeting options for your ads.
First off, go to Campaigns then click on the red +Campaigns button. Then, select Search Network with Display Select.
Next, type in your campaign name and I suggest choosing the all features option.
Next up, you will come across the Locations tab.
In this tab, you have the choice of choosing target region; everything is pretty self-explanatory.
You just have to identify your target audience’s location. In our case, we want to target Sydney residents for our ads.
You can expand the location options to make adjustments to your targeting.
The default settings for this is the first option which targets people who are in your location or people who have searched for keywords in your target location.
In our case, if we chose the default option our ads would be shown to Sydney residents as well as people outside of Sydney who search for our keywords, e.g “business coach in sydney”.
There is no right or wrong choice for this; it all depends on what your niche and goal is.
In our case, we only want to target business owners who are in Sydney so we’ll go with the 2nd option.
You will then reach the bid tab.
Here, you can decide to choose your bid strategy.
If you are a first time user, we strongly recommend choosing Manual CPC as you will have the most control over your budget – especially if you don’t have too much to spend on paid advertising.
The default bid is the maximum CPC for your ads. So, in our case we don’t want to spend than $10 per click.
Budget is the total amount of money that you are willing to spend a day. So, if one click costs $10 and we have a budget of $100, after 10 clicks the ads will stop showing on Google until the next day.
Next, you will come across ad extensions.
Basically, you can extend your ads with phone numbers, reviews, and other extra info.
We recommend you adding extensions to your ads as they have been proven to increase click-through rates and quality scores.
You can read more about them by clicking on the “?” button next to each extension.
You can also schedule how long your ads last as well as the times that they are shown to your target audience.
End date is simply the date that your ad campaign stops while the ad scheduling section allows you to set when your ad shows.
If you have data about your audience, you can tweak it here for the best results but in our case we’ll just leave it as it is.
Now that you’ve got the structure of your ads set up, it’s now time to craft the copy.
Setting up your ads on AdWords
Ad group name: We suggest writing down a name so that you won’t get confused about your ads group.
Final URL: This is the URL that you’ll be redirecting your visitors too. It is best to use a landing page that is relevant to the ad copy as your final URL.
Headline 1 and 2: Each headline has a limit of 30 characters and is separated by a dash as seen in the image above. Make good use of the limits; don’t include unnecessary words.
Path: An option that is neglected and often misunderstood by advertisers. The path is the green URL below your headline. The green URL is for display only, your visitors will not be directed to the green URL.
Include keywords in your path for help people understand the purpose of your ad. In our case, we used the words “free calls” to convey that we are offering free consultations calls to business owners.
Description: The description or body of the ad. You only have 130 characters so use it wisely.
Writing great ad copies – How to write ad copies that sell
Unlike typical copies, you only have 60 characters (including spaces, hyphens, periods etc.) for your headline and 80 characters for your description.
So, you only have 140 characters to sell your product; exactly the same character limit that Twitter has.
Here are some tips on how to write a great ad copy:
1) Use a headline with an attractive call-to-action
In the ads above, both of them have clear call to actions.
The first ad goes the no-nonsense route; there are literally waiting for you to take action by selling your car on their website.
The second ad tries to attract clicks by using the word “free” which is powerful when used properly.
When in doubt, ALWAYS include call to actions in your headline. Not only will you increase CTR’s, you are also more likely to attract visitors who are in the final stages of the sales funnel.
2) Include numbers in your headlines if possible
Studies have shown time and time again that including numbers in your ads will increase conversions and traffic.
By using numbers, you are able to drill home the advantages of your business.
Include phrases such as “Over 239,000 sales” or “Get 30% off” in your headlines; it makes a world of difference.
3) Make your target audience the hero.
What’s great about this WooCommerce ad?
They use the word “yours” in their ads.
The sweetest word to a person is his or her name; however, since we are not at the stage of having names in ads yet, so “you” is the next best word to include.
Make your target audience feel great! Make them feel that your ad is one of the best things to have ever happened in their lives.
4) Include irresistible offers in your ads.
Shopify’s ad has everything a great ad needs;
A headline with a call to action, numbers, and more importantly an irresistible offer.
Who would turn down a 14-day free trial to one of the world’s biggest e-commerce websites?
An irresistible offer is an offer that would be almost criminal for your target audience to down because they are so good.
We have a blog post that covers the basics of irresistible offers, check it out over here.
What’s the biggest secret to writing great ads?
The biggest secret is to test it!
Testing is the most important thing to do in crafting a profitable ad.
We are giving you tips on how to increase your chances of success but at the end of the day, every ad campaign is unique.
The only way to find out if your ads work or not is by setting up 3-4 different ads and split testing them for several days – that’s the key to having a profitable ad campaign.
Adding the final touches to your ads
You will be prompted with a box to enter your list of keywords. You can insert your own or include suggested keywords on the right.
Finally, set your maximum CPC and save your ad group.
Congratulations! Your first ad campaign is up!
Tracking key metrics for your ads
The default AdWords’ stats are good but you’ll definitely need advanced analytics to really determine if an ad is profitable or not.
Remember when we talked about how getting a click does not guarantee a sale?
That is why we need to track the most important stat of them all; conversions.
Here’s how to do it.
Go to Tools -> Conversions and click on the red +Conversion button.
You’ll be presented with a host of options.
In our case, we’ll be clicking on Website as we’re going to track sales.
Next up, we need to have a name for the tracking code.
In this case, we are going to track sales so we’ll go with the name, “Sales”.
Then, we have to tell Google the value of our conversion (sales).
Let’s say that our product sells for $50; we’ll choose the currency and key in our value.
What if you are tracking signups which are and have no monetary value?
Set your currency to no currency and enter your value. Logically, 1 is the best value as only one person signs up each time.
This means that for each conversion on your landing page, Google will track that even if there is no monetary value attached to it.
The conversion count is a personal preference. In our case, we want to count the number of visitors who make a purchase as a conversion rather than counting the number of purchases per visitor.
You should also choose the category of your conversions. For us, it’s sales.
Attribution models are tricky to understand but you need to know about them.
Simply put, attribution models help you map out your target audience’s journey before making the conversion.
For example, a visitor may have gone through this search timeline before clicking on your ad and making a conversion:
“how to hire a business coach” -> “best business coach near me” -> “business coach sydney”
This is an example of a customer’s timeline before making a conversion.
There are 5 attribution models to help you understand your customer’s timeline.
This section is measured in terms of credit. Simply put, the more credit a keyword and its corresponding ad has, the more important and effective it is in getting conversions.
Last click: The keyword and corresponding ad that is displayed on the last click is given 100% of the credit. This means that “business coach sydney” gets 100% of the credit for the conversion.
First click: The first keyword and corresponding ad is given 100% of the credit. In this case, “how to hire a business coach” gets 100% of the credit.
Linear: The credit is distributed evenly among all the keywords. In this case, each keyword is credited 33.33% for the conversion.
Time decay: The keyword that is searched closest to the conversion gets the most credit. So, “business coach sydney” will receive the most credit while “how to hire a business coach” gets the least credit.
Position based: 40% of the credit is given to both the first and last keyword while the remaining 20% is distributed evenly among the keywords in between. In this case, “how to hire a business coach” and “business coach sydney” will each receive 40% credit while “best business coach near me” gets 20%.
Finally, when you are done with that, you will need to paste the code to your landing page.
If you have a “Thank You” page or something similar after a conversion, choose the first option and paste the code in your page’s <body></body> tag.
If you would like to track conversions on a button instead (such as a Buy Now button or a link to another page), choose the second option and follow Google’s guide.
Finally, you’ll have to track 2 more metrics to ensure that your ads are profitable.
Total number of conversions: The number of people who took action (sales, signups, etc.) on your landing page.
Cost per conversion (CPC): Not to be confused with cost per clicks, cost per conversion is the amount you spend to acquire a sale or signup. It is obtained by taking your total ad spend and dividing it by your total number of conversions.
Ideally, you would want a 10% conversion rate but anything above 5% is very good.
In a nutshell, Google AdWords is a great tool to market your business and generate good returns.
Just like every other promotional tool out there, the key to success is by testing everything and not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Just like we promised at the start, we’re offering business owners like you an amazing opportunity…
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