Online advertising is crucial to every business and it’s a great way to show your ads to those people that are likely to be in your target market, and thus potentially be interested in your product or service. It’s also a great way to achieve the basic goal of just increasing your brand awareness. Online advertising doesn’t just have to be done through a computer or laptop, it can work across all platforms that run the internet, including smartphones and tablets. Using Google AdWords can be a useful tool that can help you with all of your online advertising.
The benefits of AdWords include…
- Target Your Ads: you want to show your ads to the specific people that will actually care about your product or service, not just the general population. Ways to do this targeting include using the correct keywords, having the right location for your ads, having the right demographics of your target market, showing your ads at the right time of day or day of the week, and showing your ads on the correct devices.
- Control Your Costs: Google offers you the flexibility of deciding how much you’d like to spend each month, each day, or for each ad. Theres no minimum, and you can have total control. The only time you pay is when someone actually clicks on your advertisement.
- Measure Your Success: Not only can you just see when someone clicks on your ad, you can also track those who make the desired conversion on your landing page. By identifying which ads get lots of clicks and which ones don’t, you can focus on the successful ads and use this to increase your return on investment. You can also use Google Analytics as well to track how long a customer is on your site before they actually make the conversion.
- Manage Your Campaign: AdWords offers you the convenience of being able to manage multiple accounts if you have them. This can help you save time by seeing all of your accounts in one place. Google also offers a downloadable application called AdWords Editor, and through that you can edit your accounts and campaigns offline.
Here’s a clip of what Google AdWords actually looks like!
Google offers 2 different networks for you to display your ad campaign on: the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. Different campaign types run on either one of these 2 networks. The Google Search Network consists of not just regular Google Search, but also Maps and Shopping and hundreds of other non-Google partner websites that will show an AdWords ad that matches search results. The Search Network is primarily used to help advertisers show their text ads in a Google search results page, and quickly reach their customers that are searching for their specific product or service. The Display Network consists of several Google Sites (Gmail, Blogger, Youtube…) as well as partner sites, mobile sites, and apps that will show an AdWords ad that matches search results. The Display Network is primarily used to help advertisers use appealing ad display formats, build brand awareness and customer loyalty, increase engagement with customers, and specifically choose where ads show, as well as to who.
It’s also important to understand where Google AdWords will show your advertisements. On the Search Network, keywords play a big role in what search results pages your ad will show up on. These ads can be shown as just regular text ads, or as ads with extensions (visual enhancements to search ads). Display Network ads can be shown as text ads, image ads, rich media ads, and video ads. You can also use the Display Network to show your ads on mobile phones, and these can be either text, image, or video as well, just in a different format to accommodate the mobile device. The quality of your ads is also a determining factor in where your ads will appear on the Google search results page. Your quality score is a score based on how relevant your ads are to the keywords you have set up with them, and your ad rank is the actual ranked position of your advertisement. In my last blog post, Paid Search, I go through the process of how it’s determined what you pay, but in short… You can place a bid among other bidders stating how much you’re willing to pay per click. Google will use this, and your quality score to determine where exactly you’re going to be put on the results page. The actual amount you pay is dependent upon what the lowest bid was – you usually never pay your max amount unless you are the lowest bidder or have the lowest quality.
The main and most important reason to use Google AdWords is to manage and run your ad campaign. If I were to ever work in the field of search engine marketing, I’d use Google AdWords to help clients have the most successful campaigns that they possibly could given the resources there are to work with. Clients can choose to either have a Search Network only campaign, Display Network only campaign, or a Search Network with Display Select campaign. Search Network only campaigns have your ads appear throughout the sites that are on the Google Search Network. The clients I’d suggest this method for are the advertisers that want to be able to connect with customers right when they’re searching for their products or services. Display Network only campaigns have your ads appear throughout the Google Display Network. This campaign strategy matches your ads (text, image, video, etc) to websites (like YouTube) and mobile apps that are relevantly related to your content. The clients I’d suggest this campaign method to would be ones that want to increase their brand awareness, especially if they want an image or video accompanying their advertisement. A Search Network with Display Select is probably the best option though, in my opinion. It gives you the best of both campaign options, making sure you hit every mark and increase your chances of being seen by your target audience not only on the Google search results page, but on other relevant websites that are partnered with Google. Managing accounts and different client campaigns is made simple through using My Client Center. This is the place where you can easily keep all of your linked clients campaigns, track performance, manage budgets, and many other activities.
It’s essential to always measure your results for each ad campaign that is run. Understanding the metrics surrounding each campaign will help you decide which ones to continue, which ones to tweak/make better, and which ones to drop entirely. Google Analytics is a great resource to help track how long customers spend on your page before they make a conversion (or if they even do!) By understanding which campaigns of yours have the best and highest conversion rates, you’re able to focus in on those ones while you work to better your other campaigns that might be slacking (use A/B testing!) Always make sure you concentrate on the metrics that are most relevant to your goals whether that be a purchase, a download, donation, etc.
Here’s a great infographic about some cool Google AdWords statistics – showing just how powerful it is for your ad campaigns!