How To Create a Google Ads Strategy That Gets You Results

The biggest challenge that most businesses face when trying to implement a Google Ads strategy that produces results. This blog offers a guide that will help you creating a winning strategy.

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How To Create a Google Ads Strategy That Gets You Results

If you're a business that is looking for immediate sales or leads straight away, Google Ads is a digital marketing channel that you use because of its high potential for a positive ROI.
It allows you to target ads to a specific audience who are in the conversion stage of the sales funnel i.e., they are ready to open their wallets and buy.
But it's not enough to simply launch an ad campaign. All effective campaigns have a strategy behind them, and Google Ads - also known as pay-per-click advertising (PPC) or search engine marketing (SEM) - is no different.
That's why we have created this guide to walk you through how to create a Google Ads strategy that will bring you the results you want for your business.
By understanding the various elements, you can create ads that are relevant to your target audience and effective in acquiring website traffic.

Do Google Ads work?

There's no doubt that paid advertising on Google can be a powerful tool for reaching your target market. But do they work?

Of course, they do. However, they don't work when there's no strategy in place or there's a knowledge gap with how the platform works. 

As an experienced Google Ads agency, we have seen our fair share of campaigns that haven't been set up properly or account structures that just don't make sense. 

This results in ad campaigns that produce little-to-no results and essentially chew up the ad budget very quickly. 

Additionally, when campaigns are launched it's not as simple as launching them on the 1st of the month and not looking at them until the last day of the month. Testing and tweaking your ads until you achieve the desired results is important. 

In fact, optimising is where most of the work is done with any Google Ads campaign to ensure it produces the desired result. 

Google Ad Terms to Know 

Before we get started, we think it's important to go through all the various terms related to the platform to ensure you know exactly what's what. 

1. Keywords 

These are what you will be using in your campaign to ensure your potential customers can find you on Google via paid ads.

As per any effective Google Ads strategy, you'll need to conduct keyword research to ensure you are targeting search queries that are relevant to your business, have good monthly search volume, and are competitive. 

There are a number of tools you can use to conduct your keyword research including SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Moz, and more. 

Once you have your keyword list, there are three types of keywords you can choose from:

  • Broad match - allows your ad to match the widest range of possible keyword searches that are somewhat related to your keyword.
  • Phrase match - Google matches your ad only against keywords that prospects are using that include a phrase you designate. We'd recommend using these types of keywords as often as possible.
  • Exact match - allows your ad to be shown to those users who have typed in your keyword in the exact order that you have stipulated i.e., Sydney digital marketing agency

2. AdRank 

Understanding AdRank is essential if you want your ad to perform and drive your desired result. Essentially,

AdRank is the value that determines your ad position on Google amongst other ads that are competing for the same position and keyword.

There are several factors that go into calculating this including:

  • Auction-time ad quality
  • Bid amount
  • Competitive nature of the auction
  • Context of user search
  • Impact of ad extensions and other ad formats 

3. Bidding 

When you create and launch an ad campaign with the various keywords that you are targeting, your ad enters into an auction where you're essentially bidding on these keywords and phrases so your ad can be shown to your target audience. 

You can bid on your keywords in two ways:

  • Manual - you set the bid amount for your ad group and keywords which gives you the best chance to reduce spending on low or non-performing ads
  • Automated - you hand the reins to Google and allow them to adjust your bid based on your competitors. You'll still be able to set a maximum budget and the platform will work within that range and give your campaign the best chance at winning the bid within that budget 

Going a little deeper into bidding strategies, you can also structure your campaign to bid in the following ways:

  • Bidding on branded search terms - bidding on your business name; particularly if your business name is unique
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA) - set the price that you're willing to pay for a sale or a lead and only pay when the customer converts 

4. Campaign Type 

There are a variety of campaign types available for you to choose from when launching your campaigns and this will obviously depend on what business you run and your end goal. 

  • Search ads
  • Display ads
  • Video campaigns
  • Google Shopping campaigns
  • App
  • Smart campaigns
  • Performance Max 

5. Click-Through Rate 

CTR is an important metric to track and measure your campaign's performance. It tells you how well your ads are reaching the people who matter - your target audience. 

There are a few things you can do to make sure that CTR increases:

  • use relevant keywords
  • create well-written & engaging headlines that entice the audience to click
  • use ad extensions
  • add negative keywords - keywords that you don't want your ads showing up for
  • Increase your bid

The click-through rate is something that can only be optimised on the campaign side. If it drops unexpectedly, you need to review all aspects of your ads. 

6. Conversion Rate 

The higher the conversion rate, the better your ad campaign is doing. It's that simple. 

In comparison to the click-through rate, the conversion rate is a combination of both ad performance and landing page quality. You need to look at both sides of the coin! 

If your ads have a good volume of clicks & impressions, and a high CTR, then your landing page is the issue. 

If your landing page is driving a good volume of leads through other channels such as Facebook Ads and SEO, but your Google campaign isn't, then you need to review your ads. 

7. Display Network 

As we mentioned previously, one type of Google Ad campaign you can launch is a Display campaign. 

Found on the Google Display Network, your Google Display Ads can be found on over 200 million sites, apps, and videos. 

It works like this:

  • Your website has a Google remarketing tag implemented
  • A visitor comes to your website and has a look around
  • They visit other websites that are listed on the Google Display Network
  • Your Google Ad shows up as a banner image because they have visited your website 

Essentially, it's a great way to retarget your existing web audiences and drive them back to your website if they haven't converted. 

8. Site Extensions 

In short, Google Ad extensions extend your search campaigns and claim more real estate on search engine results pages which, in theory, should help searchers make decisions about clicking on your ad or not. 

They allow you to provide more information about your business or offer and create more visibility to ensure your search campaign can perform at its best. 

Furthermore, they improve lead quality, result in better ad ranking, and make better use of your ad budget. 

Google Ads Best Practices

Now that you understand some of the important Google Ad terms, and before we get stuck into strategy, we thought it would be useful to share some campaign best practices that we would highly recommend that you follow to ensure success. 

1. Avoid Broad Match Keywords 

We've already looked at the types of keyword terms you can choose when launching your Google search campaigns, and one of those types is broad match keywords. 

We'd recommend avoiding these types of keywords as they will drive low-quality traffic to your website and therefore waste your ad budget. 

As the name suggests, it will target a broad audience of people who are searching on Google and using any word that you include in your broad match keyword.

2. Monitor & Improve Your Quality Score 

Google Ad Quality Score has been around since 2005 and is the rating that the platform applies to your campaign based on keyword relevance, keywords, ad quality, and landing page quality & experience. 

The score is measured using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being poor and 10 being best. 

If you find that your campaign is below 5, then we'd recommend taking a deep dive and optimising it to improve your score. 

3. Optimize Your Ad Landing Page 

As we mentioned before, if you're getting a high click-through rate, but very few conversions then there's every chance that there's something wrong with your landing page.

Whether it be yourself, or your development team, you'll need to analyse its structure and optimise it. The good news is that one small change may be all that is necessary to improve performance. 

Tools such as Hotjar can be used to analyse your landing page and see where the hurdles are preventing people from converting. Once you have this information, you can make the necessary changes. 

You can also use tools such as Google Analytics to determine where the issues lie and what other landing pages might be more effective for your ad campaign. 

4. Avoid Smart Campaigns 

There are three reasons why you shouldn't use Google Smart Campaigns:

  • You have no control over where your ads will be displayed
  • No control = limited click-through-rate capability
  • You can't include exclusion lists to weed out unqualified leads 

If you're new to Google Ads, we recommend resisting the urge to launch a Smart Campaign. It might seem like the easy way to go but trust us when we say that it will produce little-to-no results and waste your ad budget. 


Creating a Google Ads Strategy 

Creating a Google Ads strategy is essential for any business looking to drive traffic and conversion in a short amount of time. 

The psychology around Google Ads is very much geared towards those who are in the market to buy your product or service right now. 

But, as mentioned, launching campaigns without a proper strategy is a recipe for a disaster. So, let's discuss the various elements of a successful Google Ads strategy. 

1. Define Your Goals and Audience 

First things first, without a clear objective and target audience in mind, you're wasting your time with Google Ads and any other digital channel for that matter. 

Do you want more lead generation opportunities? More sales? Perhaps more phone calls? 

Is your target audience mostly female or male? Perhaps a mix of both? Are they based locally or country-wide? What's the age demographic of your audience? 

Define these first before you hit publish on your ad campaign. 

2. Choose The Right Keywords For Your Ads 

As mentioned before, if you are running search ad campaigns, you will need to select keywords that are relevant to your business and audience. 

Keep in mind search volume, competition, and cost per click when choosing your keywords because if you aim for hyper-competitive keywords, your ads will never be displayed. Especially if you're working with a small budget. 

Conversely, if you choose keywords that have low search volume, you may not get clicks to your website.

Of the three types of keyword match types to choose from - broad, phrase, and exact - our recommendation would be to choose a mix of phrase & exact match. 

This is because they will both bring you quality traffic; converting this traffic will then depend on your ad structure and the quality of your landing page. 

3. Select The Type of Campaign That Suits Better Your Goals 

There are several campaign types to choose from and this, once again, will depend on the type of business you run. 

Regardless of your business, we would always recommend running search ads to leverage intent, but if you own a clothing eCommerce business, then we'd also recommend launching Google Shopping Ads.

Google Display ads are particularly effective, and we view them as a supporting campaign rather than a key driver of results. 

4. Create Ads That Spark Interest 

When your ad is displayed on the search engine results page, you want them to spark interest immediately. Remember, users who are viewing these ads have surpassed the Awareness & Consideration phase of the sales funnel. 

They're well and truly into "buy now" mode! 

Given that your competitors are almost certainly bidding on the same keywords, you need to position your ads in a way that will draw your prospects into clicking on your ad instead. 

Things to consider here are:

  • Catchy headlines
  • Site link extensions
  • Clearly state your value proposition in the ad copy
  • Enticing specials & offers 

The goal here is to stand out amongst the noise and entice them to click on your ad rather than your competitors. 

5. Link Google Search Console with Google Ads 

This is where you can really level up the performance of your Google Ads. 

Google Search Console is an absolute gold mine for search data and will help you gain an understanding between organic searches and your Google Ads, and how you are reaching users who search online. 

There's also every chance you will uncover keywords that aren't part of your campaign and thus allowing you to add them in and take advantage of this data for the benefit of your campaign. 

6. Analyze and Optimize Your Google Ad Campaigns

Google Ads, much like Facebook Ads, is a beast that needs constant attention and nurturing. As mentioned before, you can't launch an ad on the first of the month, not look at it until the end of the month, and expect to achieve your desired result. 

You need to keep an eye on performance daily and be willing to change lanes if something isn't working. Elements to monitor include but are not limited to:

  • Clicks
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Impression share
  • Conversions 

Keep in mind that if you do make a significant change to your ad campaign, you will need to wait a period of time before you can assess the impact of this change. Often it can take up to two weeks. 


Frequently Asked Questions 

How often should I review my ad campaign performance metrics?

We'd recommend looking at it every couple of days, if not daily. 

What are some common mistakes that business owners make when creating Google Ads campaigns?

Some common mistakes business owners make when creating Google Ads campaigns are not being clear on their goals, not targeting the right keywords, not creating relevant ads, and focusing on Smart Campaigns. 

Additionally, the depth of budget you have at your disposal can be an issue. If you've only got a couple of hundred dollars to spend, and you're bidding on high cost & high search volume keywords, then your budget will get chewed up very quickly. 

But, most of all, and the reason we have created this guide, is that not having a proper strategy in place is one of the biggest mistakes we have seen. 

Which keywords should I target with my ads? 

The types of keywords you should target are phrase match and exact match purely because they will drive the best quality traffic. 

Secondly, you will then need to determine if the keyword has enough relevance and monthly search volume to be effective in driving clicks with your target audience.

SEO is an important part of any online marketing strategy, and content is key.

Conclusion

Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that can help you reach your target audience in a cost-effective way. But it won't be as effective as it should be if you don't have a strategy in place.

Our goal for this blog guide is that you will be able to take it and apply some, if not all, of the recommendations we have included to assist you in creating a successful strategy that will go a long way to launching successful campaigns from day one.


Summing up...
1
Know your terms
This will put you in a good position to understand the channel
2
Avoid Broad Match keywords
Target quality keywords that produce quality traffic
3
Strategy is king & queen
Never underestimate what an effective Google Ads strategy can do for your business
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