We share a lot on our blog about search engine optimization. SEO focuses on all the things you can do to maximize the chances that your web pages will come up high in search engine results organically when keywords relevant to your site appear in a search query. To approach internet marketing with a broader scope, paid search advertising is another item in the toolbox of what you can do to show up in search engines when it matters most. Here are some best practices for using Google Ads to reach people through paid search.
Find the right keywords.
Figuring out which keywords you want to use is the first step. What is your business or service about? Make a list of all the words and phrases that you believe are relevant. After you do some initial brainstorming, focus in on what someone searching for your website would be thinking. It’s not only about the terms you and your industry use to describe yourself and your work, but what words would the average person who is seeking you use? After you capture those ideas, use a tool like Keyword Difficulty in SEMRush to get more information. Focus on higher search volume keywords for your campaign.
Find the WRONG keywords.
With paid search advertising, it is not only important to determine when you want your ad to show up, but also when you don’t. This is why you’ll want to create a negative keywords list. Think about the things that someone may be looking for that could be akin to what you do, but not quite it. Would you rather not receive clicks from people looking for “free legal advice” if you are seeking paying clients or “home health care” if you operate a facility? List the terms that would cost you money without leading to successful connections and make sure that information is added during your Google Ads setup.
Know the specific goal of your ad.
What exactly do you want people to do based on your ad? Do you want a customer to come to a brick and mortar location and buy your product? Do you want to increase clients through phone calls? Do you want to lead customers to your website to complete a sale? Getting a clear idea of the goal of each ad will help guide how you write it and what you can do afterward to get even more for your effort.
Craft great ad copy.
Again, remember to put yourself in the mindset of your ideal customer. Google Ads recommends focusing on benefits to the user. Do you want to appeal to someone who wants to find an experienced orthodontist, a family law attorney, or a sports massage therapist? Don’t be coy about what you do; make sure it is front and center. Make sure your ad lets a person know what you can do for them. Be the one who can provide quick, concise, and accurate answers to what the searcher has in mind. Give special attention to your headline.
Use ad extensions.
Ad extensions are extras you can include that call more attention to your message than ad copy alone. These include things like call-to-action buttons, links to more details, location information, and more. Keeping your goal in mind, it is best to enable all the ad extensions that are relevant to your business. Four or more are recommended to help grab the extra attention you want.
The range of responses to small variations in ads can be fascinating. It may well be that a minor shift in wording or the use of a different image can make a big difference in response. Google Ads allows you to try various versions of similar ads. For example, do you want to advertise “sports apparel” or “active wear?” Track the performance of each version over a given period of time and continue on with the ones that work the best.
Make informed bids.
The price you will pay for your Google Ad is determined by factors including the relevancy and quality of the ad as determined by Google and the amount all users are willing to pay to be seen when a given keyword is used in a search. You can set a maximum bid for individual keywords, a daily maximum, as well as a maximum for your entire campaign.
As you proceed, keep track of the profit you make through Google Ads. Through informed experimentation, you can maximize those profits. Try a bid increase, for example, to see if it results in increased profits. Once you gain insight into the best approach for your campaign, utilize automatic bidding and let the silent auction work for you.
The Google Ads home page makes setting up an ad campaign easy. However, the real benefit will come from doing your homework beforehand so you know your market and your intention, and once your ads are set up, remaining flexible and able to adjust as you discover what makes them most successful. Use these Google Ads setup best practices, and you will be well on your way.
Gabbert, E. (December 8, 2017). “Keywords vs. Search Queries: What’s the Difference?” The WordStream Blog. Retrieved from https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2011/05/25/keywords-vs-search-queries
“Google Best Practices,” Google Ads Help. Retrieved from https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6154846?hl=en
“What is Google AdWords? How the Google Ads Auction Works,” WordStream.com. Retrieved from https://www.wordstream.com/articles/what-is-google-adwords