How to Use Google AdWords?
Looking for a powerful way to reach new customers online and grow your business?
Let’s start with the basics. The most important prerequisite to drive traffic online is to share high-quality content, which is coherent, free of grammatical errors and 100% original, on your website (or blog). Indeed, useful content that is presented in a search engine friendly manner is a powerful way to grow your traffic over the long-term. But what if you want to drive qualified leads to your website right now?
Try Google AdWords, I say!
Running an online business is no easy task, especially when you have to compete with giants that have deep marketing pockets to fuel their marketing efforts to reach the first page of Google search results. In the face of such stiff competition, despite using the best SEO practices, it could take months to make it to the top and gain some visibility for your business.
So, what should you do?
Turn to paid ads, yes! More specifically, Google AdWords – an online platform owned and operated by Google.
In case you aren’t aware, AdWords is the world’s most widely used online advertising network that hundreds of businesses are using globally. The service allows businesses to display their ads on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) to reach their targeted market faster.
Here’s a screenshot for the paid ads that appeared when I searched for flats in a particular project on Google. Do you notice how the ads are prominently placed at the top of the page?
Google AdWords is an effective tool for advertising your business online. But what makes it so great? Let’s see:
Google AdWords Features
1. Audience Targeting
Google AdWords provides several targeting options to business owners to ensure their ad is only displayed to potential customers. This means that you can filter your audience according to parameters such as location, age, gender, parental status, keywords, etc. for a targeted campaign. Besides, you can also choose the time of day when your ads will be displayed to your targeted audience to maximize your ad spend.
Another excellent feature on the platform enables you to choose the kind of devices on which you want your ads to be displayed. Of course, it helps if you have an Analytics account to gain insights into consumer behavior on your website so that you can create targeted ad campaigns.
2. Cost-Effective Marketing
Using PPC to market your business online is quite cost-effective as you only pay for the clicks on your ads, instead of impressions. Thus, businesses save money by only paying when a user clicks on an ad placement.
AdWords give you full control when it comes to your marketing strategy – from customizing every aspect of your campaign to tracking your spending down to every penny – the intuitive platform gives you tools to manage everything so that every single buck is appropriately allocated. Of course, you can also let Google handle your campaign if you choose not to do so manually.
3. Performance Tracking
You cannot run a successful ad campaign without tracking the results. Indeed, if you can’t measure the results, you have no way of figuring out what’s working and what’s not, making it impossible to improve your ongoing campaign.
Google understands this and allows you to track several aspects of your ad campaign. These include the number of users that view and click your ad, how long they stayed on your landing page, etc. With this information, you can analyze the efficacy of your marketing strategy and better optimize your ads for increased ROI.
Remarketing allows you to connect with people who have previously visited your website or mobile app. Google AdWords helps strategically place your ads in front of an audience to influence their purchase decisions as well as increase your brand’s visibility.
With Google AdWords, you can customize your remarketing ads according to the users’ website usage. For example, if a user visits an e-commerce site and checks out a pair of shoes but leaves the website without adding it to the cart, the remarketing ad for that visitor will show the same pair of shoes, with an added discount or cashback offer. You can also choose dynamic remarketing ads on AdWords to automatically update the offers according to the page visited by users.
Getting Started with Google AdWords
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, if used correctly, campaigns on Google AdWords can generate positive results in less than one day. Depending upon your marketing budget, you can target multiple keywords to gain visibility and start appearing on the top of search engine results instantly.
According to a report, “businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Besides, businesses overall receive an average of 5 clicks on their search results for every 1 click on their ads.” Therefore, using Google AdWords as part of your online marketing strategy can be a profitable proposition.
Are you wondering how to set up your AdWords account? Let me help you:
1. Set up a landing page
Before you even set up your AdWords account, create a well-designed landing page with a targeted objective to convert your visitors effectively. Remember, you must design an individual landing page for individual offers and ensure that each of your landing pages is mobile-friendly.
Ideally, your Google AdWords landing page must contain:
- An engaging headline that matches your ad’s headline
- A visual that is contextual or appealing
- A relevant tagline
- List of benefits and features
- Customer badges or testimonials
- A clear call-to-action
- A lead capture form
Here’s an example I love:
I searched for the keyword – “Flats in Indraprastha Yojna” (A popular housing project in India) – and was provided with the following results:
I clicked on the Makaan.com link and landed on the following page:
Why do I recommend this type of PPC landing page? Because it has:
- Relevant and clear headline
- Clear CTA buttons
- Seller badges and testimonials (further below on the page) for social proof
2. Set up your Google Adwords account
To get started, visit the Google AdWords website. Here, you must sign in with your Google account before setting up your account further.
Once you have entered the details, you will land on the following page to create your first campaign. Now choose your goal and campaign type before setting your budget, target audience, bids, and ad copy.
Once you have chosen the goal, the next step is to choose between Google’s Search Network and Display Network. The former puts your ads on the Google SERPs while the latter will display your ad on any website that shows advertisements. For freshers, I recommend the Search Network as it only shows your ads to users that are searching for keywords relevant to your business.
3. Set a budget
As you can see, the first step in setting up your AdWords account is deciding on a budget. But how do you do that? As a starter, I recommend that you work out the average conversion rate in your industry to figure out your CPA (cost per acquisition) or the amount you are willing to spend for each customer. Once you reach a figure, choose your currency and budget, click on save, and move to the next step.
4. Select an audience
In this step, specify the location of your target audience as well as the keywords with which you’d like users to find you. This means your ad will be shown only to users that search using the keywords you’re bidding for and are present in the geographical location specified by you.
Choosing your keywords
Keywords refer to search terms or phrases a user enters into the search box while conducting an online search. Google lets you choose 15-20 keywords that can trigger your ad to appear in the search results.
I suggest that you start with 3 to 4 keywords that are sure to bring in results. For example, if you have a furniture store – a good keyword might be ‘Buy Furniture Online’. But that’s not all – when you choose a keyword, you must also check its search volume. Why? AdWords works on a bidding system. Therefore, bidding on a keyword with a high search volume could be quite expensive.
Therefore, if you have a limited budget, go for a few relevant keywords with moderate search volumes as opposed to 20 keywords with high search volumes.
You can learn more about keyword research in this insightful article by Neil Patel.
5. Set your bid
Bid refers to the amount of money you are ready to pay for every person who clicks on your ad. Therefore, if you are prepared to pay more per click than your competitor for a keyword, your ad will show higher than their ad in SERPs.
On AdWords, you can either allow Google to automatically set your bid amount or choose to do it manually, which can be a cost-effective option for starters.
6. Write your ad copy
Yes, you have reached the final and most important part of the process. It is time to write a clear and compelling copy to convince users to click on your ad and visit your website.
How do you do that?
Follow the rule of 3 – An attractive headline; a concise but relevant copy; and a clear call to action.
*Remember, an ad consists of two parts – a headline (30 characters) and description (80 characters). Maximize this space by using at least one keyword in the headline and avoid any typos or grammatical errors.
Once you have finished writing your ad, click on the “save” button, followed by the “Save and Continue” button at the end of the page. In this section, you will be asked about your business and payment information. Your account will be charged on the completion of 30 days or once you have exhausted your budget.
7. Set up conversion tracking
You might agree on how useless it is to run an ad campaign when you cannot measure its success. Therefore, it is imperative to set up conversion tracking to measure your ROI and improve your campaign along the way.
Set up your Google Analytics account and follow these instructions to set up Google AdWords conversion tracking.
8. Google’s quality score
That was easy, wasn’t it? Here’s the last part about Google’s quality score and you are ready to run your own AdWords account.
So what’s a quality score?
In addition to your bid amount, Google evaluates the performance of your ads to determine their position on the search page. Google uses several factors to assign a quality score to each of your keywords. These include the relevance of your landing page, advertisement in relation to the keyword, expected click-through ratio, etc. Next, Google multiplies your bid amount with your quality score to determine the position of your ad on the search page.
“A good quality score is entirely dependent on the industry and keyword you are targeting. By default, Google’s benchmark quality score is 5. This helps as a guideline when trying to work out if your score is good or not. The quality score ranges from a low of 1 to a max of 10.”
You can view your quality score by adding the ‘quality score’ column under the keywords tab on your AdWords account.
That was simple, wasn’t it?
Congrats! You are all set to run your first ad campaign with Google AdWords! Remember, Google AdWords is a proven tool to generate qualified leads and grow your business online. However, if not used properly, it can also eat a lot of your time and money without showing any real returns. To maximize your ROI, follow this step-by-step guide and visit the additional resources mentioned in the article to start using Google AdWords confidently.