Brands require some kind of investment to achieve their goal. With almost all the brands around the world going digital today and in order to capture their online market, they need to invest at least a part of their resources in digital growth.
With an increasing percentage of the consumers opting to shop online, internet advertising is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Google Ads was launched in October 2000, just two years after Google.com. The advertising platform came on the scene as Google AdWords, but after some re branding in 2018, it was renamed Google Ads.
It’s one of the most impressive success stories in tech history, and largely responsible for Google’s (now Alphabet’s) $600 billion-plus valuation. Google Ads has been this successful thanks in large part to the fact that it’s one of the most cost-effective advertising methods for companies of all sizes. Everyone from small mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 100 companies use the same platform.
Google Ads is a tool through which brands can gain better traffic through clicks. As Google Ads campaign requires financial backing, it may seem like a risky endeavor. But brands must realize that effective use of Google Ads campaign can definitely help generate traffic and become a profit earning revenue for them.
With a host of advantages for web owners and brands, Google Ads campaign is one of the major source of advertisement and revenue source for Google. Offering PPC advertising that includes programs with local, national and international distribution, it allows brands to target audiences in a comprehensive and strategic manner. In short, Google Ads offers assured return to web owners who want to improve the traffic to their website in a comprehensive manner.
Understanding Google Ads
People go to Google to look for something specific. That means they have intent. They’re actively looking for something to buy and are literally telling you what they want by typing out words around your products and services.
Google loves big brands in its organic search rankings. So unless you’re a big brand, it’s going to be tough to outrank Papa John’s or Domino’s in the rankings — no matter how much better your pizza is.
Instead of waiting around, building up an arsenal of content and links over the course of a few months, smaller players in the industry can duke it out to the top of a SERP, and all it takes is… a few minutes (as opposed to months or years with SEO).
Google Ads also gives you a little extra bonus, too. It can help you reveal the ‘money making’ keywords in your industry. So just by spending a few bucks, you will discover which keywords convert the best so you can take them back to your content and SEO strategy.
A well planned, tightly controlled and highly targeted Google Ads campaign can help generate website traffic and leads for your business – and is a great place to start whilst you await for other longer term strategies – such as content marketing, SEO, social and digital PR – to pay off. This is especially true if your website is a new domain and you are still building up enough authority in order to rank well for your target keywords. Popular perception may be that you need a large budget in order to succeed with Ads, but that is not necessarily the case. For B2B marketers in particular, a click which may cost only a few rupees could turn into a lead that is worth thousands to your company.
That’s why Google Ads is so powerful and profitable. There’s no better form of search marketing out there.
Google Ads is a marketplace where companies pay to have their website ranked at the top of a search results page, based on keywords. It’s based on a bidding system, where you as the advertiser selects a maximum bid amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. The higher your bid, the better your placement. You have three bidding options: CPC, CPM, or CPE.
- CPC, or cost-per-click, is the amount you pay for each click on your ad.
- CPM, or cost per mille, is the amount you pay when your ad is shown to a thousand people.
- CPE, or cost per engagement, is the amount you pay when someone takes a predetermined action with your ad.
Google Ads: Search Vs Display Networks
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned vet, determining whether to use search advertising or display advertising for your marketing campaign is hard. Using the incorrect channel can doubtless ruin the utmost success of your whole campaign.
Broadly, there are 2 types of advertising: branding and direct response. The confusion encompassing search and display advertising (branding) stems from an absence of understanding regarding these 2 very differing kinds of advertising.
When you consider Google Ads, you most likely think about the ads that show up on google.com when you search in Google. Those ads are on the Search Network. The Search Network offers advertisers the chance to show ads at the precise time when prospects are checking out their products or services.
You can think about the Search Network just like the old yellow pages. Prospects would “search” the yellow pages when they were near to make a purchase and businesses would conspicuously advertise their products and services. Now, most prospects use Google to search and the Search Network is that the new yellow pages.
When a prospect is searching Google for a product or service, then there’s a right away want. As an example, if somebody searches for a “digital marketing agency in Chandigarh” it’s obvious that this person is seeking to hire a digital marketing agency in Chandigarh. Why else would anyone search that phrase in Google?
With that in mind, your ad copy for the Search Network ought to exactly match the keyword searched in order that you’re presenting the best choice. If the keyword searched was “career coach in Chandigarh,” then the ad ought to mention that you are a career coach in Chandigarh and encourage the prospect to contact you.
The goal of direct response ads is action, or response. Therefore, the key metric to measure is conversions (after prospects click on the ad).
Now let’s switch gears and think about somebody surfing around on-line and reading a commentary about career coaching.
This person is clearly interested in learning more about career coaching, however it’s not 100% clear if she needs or desires a career coach. There’s no indication of a right away want like there’s within the Search Network.
See the difference? In this case, to be effective, your Display Network ads may need to make the case for why a coach is the best option to ace the job search.
With a branding ad campaign, the goal is exposure of your brand. You would like the most eyeballs on your ads as possible. In other words, the goal of the ad is solely to drive additional awareness of the brand. That’s why the key metric measured in display advertising is ad impressions, or how many times the ad was displayed on a web page.
Google Ads needs a significant and ongoing investment, and each impression or click is paid for. It’s excellent for extremely targeted, measurable and speedy results that lend well to lead and sales generation. It’s generally not a cheap tool for brand awareness. This can be compounded by the very fact that brand awareness is tough to measure on the Google Ads platform.
When coming up with your campaign, keep the platform’s strengths and weaknesses in mind, and save brand awareness for your alternative marketing efforts.
What is a profitable Ad Campaign?
Before we get into the main points on the way to implement and manage the performance of your campaigns, let’s filter out what we mean by profitable Ads campaigns.
A profitable Ads campaign is the one that generates a positive return on Investment (ROI).
The return on Investment (ROI) is typically calculated as:
ROI = (Revenue – cost of products sold) / cost of products sold.
In this case the cost of products sold should include Ads costs (i.e. ad spend and management fees).
For example, let’s say you have a product that costs ₹50 to produce, and sells for ₹100. You run a Campaign and sell ten product per month.
Your total sales are ₹1000, your Ads costs are ₹250 (Ad spent and management fees).
Your ROI is (₹1000-(₹500+₹250)) / (₹500+₹250) = 33%.
In this case you’re creating profit from Ads.
The point I’m trying to make here is that once calculating the profitableness of an Ads campaign, you ought to not only consider the Advertising and management fees but also other costs.
Likewise, you ought to also include in your calculations indirect advantages gained from running a Google campaign like sales or leads generated attributable to the exposure you have got with Ads.
Consider as an example, your total on-line sales were ₹250 however thanks to the indirect advantages offered by Google Ads, the company generated an additional ₹200 in sales. This should also be included in your calculations so as to arrive at an accurate figure.
Don’t overlook this step because if you don’t have a legitimate way to calculate actuality return from the investment made on Ads, it’ll be difficult to make a decision if this a profitable channel for your business.
Creating a Profitable Google Ads Campaign
OK, with the introduction out of the way, let’s dive into the process of creating a profitable Google Ads campaign from scratch.
Creating a new Google Ads campaign is a thrilling endeavor — a mix of the excitement of building something new, the anxiety of its outcome, a fear of failure, and a hope for success. You really want to be sure everything is right before clicking the “Enable” button on a new campaign.
If you’re just starting your journey, then fear may be dominating your thoughts, so in this article my goal is to put you at ease. The steps I’m about to go through will ensure you’re depositing more money into your own bank account, rather than just funding Google’s empire.
In order to create and run a successful Google Ads campaign you need to make sure that the ads you’ve created are being displayed to the right people, and that you’re not paying too much for keywords that won’t offer you beneficial returns.
One of the most important things I learned on my journey is that every successful advertiser sets up and manages Ads campaigns with a checklist. Think of it like using a recipe to bake a cake. You’ll need a list of the key ingredients and a step-by-step process for how you’ll carefully mix those ingredients to create a delicious cake.
Skipping a step or trying to combine a number of them together, can prove to have disastrous consequences. The same is true for a Google Ads campaign and it is important to follow the entire process without missing any of them. Here are some things that brand managers must keep in mind while creating a good, profitable and strategic Google Ads campaign.
- Research and Understand Your Target Audience
Before investing a single rupee into an Ad campaign, it’s important to invest the time and resources to fully understand your audience.Having a well-defined target audience is critical to your success. Knowing who will buy your product or service is a key part of creating a business that thrives. Targeting a specific audience does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target audiences allows you to focus your marketing moolah and brand message on a specific audience that is more likely to buy from you than other audiences.This is a far cheaper, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.
- Create a plan with goals and milestones
Planning is important when running PPC Campaigns. Before creating your campaigns, you should create a plan with specific goals and milestones. Your initial plan should include things like:
- The ideal number of conversions per month
- The ideal cost per conversion
- The ideal cost per click
- Max budget to use per day
- Total monthly budget
- The type of campaigns to setup first and the tests to perform
- Ideas of what campaigns/ads/bidding strategies should be tested throughout the lifetime of a campaign.
You can create your set up in an excel spreadsheet and then use the same spreadsheet to observe the performance of the campaigns on a monthly basis.
- Setup your account
Before you can do anything, you’ll need to visit the Google Ads website and sign up for an account.
- Choose a Campaign Type.
You can start with the “Search Network only” option, and change this as you learn and grow.You’ll need to give your campaign a name in order to track your results. It’s a good idea to start out with a naming system that you’ll keep using so you don’t get confused somewhere down the road.
- Structure your account correctly
The way you structure your Google Ads account allows you to control how you want your ads to be triggered and when and where you want them to appear. Not having a well-structured account is like making an attempt to drive an automobile that’s not properly designed – accidents are guaranteed to happen. It is vital to structure your account in a manner that’s simple to manage. If you have a couple of campaigns then that’s not an issue but as you expand your reach and create more campaigns, the account needs to have a proper structure.Best practices for account structure include:
- Create country specific campaigns – If you are running campaigns in more than one countries, it is recommended to have one campaign per country. This way you may be able to set separate budgets and have greater control on targeting.
- Create campaigns matching your site structure / products – This is basic but important. Your account structure ought to ‘replicate’ the structure of your website as much as possible.
- Separate Campaigns for Display / Search / Remarketing – Each campaign should have a unique goal and it’s recommended to use different campaigns for search traffic, display or display remarketing.
- Create Themed Ad Groups The keywords in an ad group, ads and landing pages must be very specific and have the same theme. To be more precise:
- Keywords in an ad group should have a close relationship. Don’t mix irrelevant keywords in the same ad group. For example, if you’re promoting engagement rings, don’t have “solitaire engagement rings” and “round cut engagement rings” in the same ad group. These ought to be placed in their own ad groups.
- Each ad group should include at least 3 ads. This is officially recommended by Google and is a must-follow guideline.
- ALL the keywords in the ad group should be included in at least one of the ads (in either headline 1 or headline 2)
If you’ve got keywords that don’t belong to the ad group ads, you should consider removing those keywords and creating a new ad group.
Themed ad groups increase relevance, ad rank and lower costs.
- Add Your Keywords
The success of your ad campaign largely depends on your keywords — the search terms or phrases a user enters into Google’s search box when they are conducting a search. You’ll be competing against many other companies for the same audience when bidding on keywords for which you want your ad to show up.Take a while to think about the keywords that may reach people who are ready to purchase. For instance, instead of using “luxury shoes” in your ad, you can use keywords such as “red leather heels. “Maybe you’ll miss out on people who are looking for shoes of all types, but you’ll snag those who have a particular shoe in mind. They’ll be more likely to make a purchase if your ad ends on a landing page with red leather heels, and that will more than pay for their click.
You can also use negative keywords and save loads of cash on your clicks. Negative keywords tell Google Ads what you don’t want your ad to show up for. In other words, you can use keywords such as “red leather heels not stilettos”.
Review the search terms report on a weekly basis and add any irrelevant keywords as negatives using the modified broad match type. This is a more efficient than adding all combos as phrase or exact match.Hint: to create it easier to manage your negatives, use negative keyword lists that may be shared between campaigns.
- Competitor Intelligence
Leverage your competitors intelligence who have already tested and optimized their campaigns.KeywordSpy and SpyFu are unbelievably helpful tools that allow you to track your competitors’ historical ad data. You can take at a look at keyword phrases your competitors are using and the way they’re performing. You can additionally scrutinize your competitors’ ad copy to ascertain what forms of ads resonate along with your target market, and figure out how to differentiate your company within the marketplace.
It is good to start with modified broad match keywords. When using modified broad match, you will end up with a big list of ‘search terms’ that have actually triggered one of your ads to be shown or clicked.
Run your campaigns to gather enough data and then duplicate them (pausing the original ones) and change your keyword types based on these rules:
- Search terms that triggered your ads to show – add them as “phrase match keywords”
- Search terms that generated conversions – add them as [exact match keywords]
A common mistake is to use the same keyword in different match types, without doing some checks to ensure that the one does not override the other. A typical example is when you use both exact match and modified broad match types in the same ad group.
- Basic Math
Once you’ve narrowed down the keyword phrases that interest you, it is time to perform some basic math. Calculate your maximum cost per click (Max CPC) in line with the following formula:Max CPC = (average profit per customer) x (1 – advertising profit margin) x (conversion rate).
For example, your average profit per customer might be ₹200. Perhaps one in a hundred prospects turns into a sale, and your target profit margin on advertising is 20%. Then the formula would look like this:
Max CPC = (₹200) x (1 – .20) x (.01) = ₹1.60
*Note that if you are just starting out, you will need to estimate these numbers. Later, you’ll use historical data to calculate your real numbers.
*Compare your max CPC to the estimated CPC within the Keyword Planner tool. If your max CPC is higher than the estimated CPC, you’re in good condition. If it is significantly lower, then you’ll want to put off using that particular keyword phrase because it will likely be unprofitable.
- Set your ad budget
This is a pretty important step. You want to incorporate enough cash to form a distinction, however you actually don’t want to break the bank. Don’t allocate the max of your daily budget from day one. Start with a low budget and gradually increase it depending on how your campaigns perform.There are a number of advantages of following this approach:
- First, you get a chance to enrich your negative keyword list and avoid spending money on irrelevant clicks.
- Second, you give enough time to Google Ads machine learning system to ‘understand’ the objectives of your campaigns and make better ‘recommendations’ and decisions.
- Third, you will be able to make informed decisions as to where you should allocate your budget. Some campaigns will perform better than others and your daily budget should be allocated accordingly.
- Find Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP, or unique selling proposition, is what differentiates your business from your competitors and gives your prospects a compelling reason to choose you. In other words, your USP answers the question “Why should I, your prospect, choose to do business with you”?There are 3 important reasons to create a powerful USP:
- A strong USP will generate more traffic from qualified prospects (encourage clicks on your ads) and repel unwanted leads (prevent clicks on your ads).
- A strong USP will skyrocket your sales conversion rates. So, not only will you generate more traffic as a result of more clicks on your ads, you’ll also convert more of your traffic into paying customers.
- And, a strong USP can eliminate price comparison shopping. This can be a game changer for your business because you’re no longer seen as a commodity. If you give your prospects a compelling reason to do business with you versus your competition, then price becomes a secondary issue, and you’ll be able to demand higher prices than your competition without hurting your sales.
In order to create a really strong USP
- Focus on your core strengths. What are you better at than your competitors?
- Talk to your customers, and more importantly, listen to them. A great USP is built on customer insight, so ask your customers why they do business with you. Also, raise queries to verify what your customers dislike about your business and what they want you to offer in addition to your core product or services.
- Study your competitors’ ads, websites, and marketing materials, and find your opportunity to stand out. Use a spreadsheet to arrange all of your competitors’ ads and websites, so you can more easily find the commonalities. As you’re doing this, search for a gap to mention something distinctive and superior.
- Create an Irresistible Offer
What are you able to provide in your Google Ads campaign that’s so compelling your prospect would be a fool to not take action? And how are you able to stand out from all ;the other ads your prospect is going to see in the search results? The answer is your irresistible offer and consists of the following 4 components:
- Valuable Your product or service must be more valuable than the price. This doesn’t mean your offer has got to be low-cost. You just need to clearly define all of the value your product or service provides to your customer and make sure it outweighs your price tag.
- Believable When you make an offer that appears to be too good to be true, then your prospect may be a little skeptical. So you need to give a credible reason for your offer. For example, if you’re running a special sale, then you need to give a reason why you’re offering such a steep discount. The reason can be anything: clearing out inventory, end-of-the-year sale, celebrating an anniversary, opening a new store, your birthday, and so on.
- Reduce or Reverse Risk Everyone is scared of getting ripped off online. One of the most effective
techniques to reduce the risk to your client is with a reimbursement guarantee.A reimbursement guarantee puts all the risk on your business to deliver glorious service, or else you’ll have to give all the money back to the customer?
Whenever possible, include some kind of guarantee in your offer. It will improve your response rates and it’s another great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Call to Action Use the KISS method… Keep it simple, stupid. If you wish your prospect to pick up the phone and call you, then make it crystal clear and simple to call you. Don’t expect your prospect to connect the dots or search around your website to figure out successive step. Use a powerful call to action and keep it easy./li>
- Create Magnetic Ads
With Google Ads Search Advertising, you pay only if people click on your ads. Therefore, your ads have two very important jobs:
- Attract qualified prospects so that they click on your ad rather than competitors’ ads.
- Repel unqualified prospects so that they don’t click and waste your ad budget.
That means a lot of traffic, more sales, and less wasted money on unqualified traffic, which all leads to higher profits for you. Compelling ads with a high click-through rate (CTR) will boost your Quality Score, which in turn will lower the cost per click of your keywords. So your ads will directly affect how much you pay per click for each of your keywords. Great ads will lower your costs whereas lousy ads will raise your costs.
There are 3 key components to your ads:
- Headline The headline is that the most vital element because it’s the first thing your prospect will read.Try to include your keyword in the headline of your ads because Google will bold the text, which makes it stand out from other ads.This also is the easiest way to ensure your ad is 100% relevant for the prospect searching. Another nice strategy is to ask a question in the headline.As all great salespeople know, just one yes is sometimes all it takes to start a chain reaction leading to the sale. Google allows 90 characters for your headline so make each letter count and use abbreviations whenever possible.
- Description Use the description to reiterate the benefits of your service, state your USP, provide social proof, and/or describe your offer. And, of course, include your call to action.You only have 90 characters for each description line so again use abbreviations to fit more of your message.
- Display URL The display URL is an easily overlooked area of your ads. With a few exceptions, it’s not a good idea to have an ad that leads straight to your home page.You need a landing page that directly address the query the user entered into Google and focuses on the products featured in the ad. Landing pages should always be single-purpose. There should be one conversion goal and a clear path to that goal for the user to follow.If you send people straight to the home page, they’ll have to do another search for the products they want, and they’re not likely to stick around for that.
- Establish Landing Pages That Convert
Every ad that you launch through Google acts as a traffic channel. It’s important to decide where you want to send users once they actually click on your ad.While the importance of creating magnetic ads that encourage prospects to take action cannot be understated, your landing pages are where the magic happens. It’s important to send users to the most relevant page given your ad’s content. After all, your goal is to maximize user retention in addition to getting valuable clicks.
- Start Tracking Conversions
Collecting data on the revenue you’re generating and the cost of your ad campaigns is an essential element of measuring and optimizing the return on investment for your ad campaigns.For example, you may find that ad A has a conversion rate of 2 percent while ad B is not showing any results at all. With this data, you could turn off ad B and reallocate your budget to the ad that’s converting, which eliminates wasted clicks and puts more money toward the ad that is generating leads and sales.
The Google Ads conversion tracking code can be found in your Google Ads account under “Tools and Analysis > Conversions.” To create a new conversion, simply click on the [+ Conversion] button and follow the steps to define your conversion. Then add the small snippet of code to your order form thank you page or receipt page.
This code is similar to Google Analytics code if you have that installed on your website, but it should be on only the final page after a customer completes her order.Then, when a customer lands on your receipt page or thank you page, Google will track the conversions in your Ads account automatically. That’s really all there is to it, and there’s no reason not to install this before you turn on your ads.
As soon as you enable your campaign and Google approves your ads, you can take a nice deep breath. Congratulations, your ads are live! Unfortunately, you can’t relax yet. Most campaigns are not profitable from the start and they always require continual optimization to stay profitable.There are 3 main areas to improve your Google Ads campaign performance:
- Your keyword bids. Once you start to generate clicks and sales, then you need to adjust your bids accordingly. If your keywords are generating sales profitably and you’re not ranked #1, then continue to raise your bids. If your keywords are not generating sales profitably, then obviously, you’ll need to lower your bids or pause the keyword entirely.
- Your ad click-through rate (CTR). As I mentioned earlier, your ad CTR directly affects your quality score, which in turn determines how much you pay per click. To optimize your CTR, test different ads to see which version gets the most clicks.
- Your landing page conversion rate. The final area to optimize is your landing page.There are many tools to help you test different landing page versions, but if you’re just starting out, I recommend you use Google Analytics Experiments (formerly known as Google’s Website Optimizer). It’s easy and free to get started. Go to https://analytics.google.com to set up your free account. Then create an experiment to test two different versions of your landing page and measure to see which one generates the most conversions.
That’s it. Your AdWords campaign should be set up so you’re focused on optimizing keyword bids, click-through rates, and landing page conversion rates. If you follow all these steps in your campaign, then you will be well on your way to a profitable Google Ads campaign. Good luck!