Ultimate guide to unlocking Google Ads
Firstly what are google ads , Google is the biggest and most used search engine in the world, receiving more then 3.5 Billion search queries a month so that’s about 1.2 trillion searches a year
Google ads has been around since the year 2000 so the platform is almost two decades so it’s been around a lot longer than most Pay per Click Platforms , and the crazy thing is it continues to grow , here is a graph showing the growth.
- In 1999, it took Google one month to crawl and build an index of about 50 million pages.
In 2012, the same task was accomplished in less than one minute. 
- 16% to 20% of queries that get asked every day have never been asked before. 
- Every query has to travel on average 1,500 miles to a data centre and back to return the answer to the user. 
- A single Google query uses 1,000 computers in 0.2 seconds to retrieve an answer. 
Google search growth rate
After expanding significantly in the first decade of the 21st century, Google’s search volume growth rate started to decline in 2009 and 2010, and is currently estimated to be at around 10% per year.
In the start-up phase growth was phenomenal, with a 17,000% year to year increase in search volume between 1998 and 1999, 1000% between 1999 and 2000, and 200% between 2000 and 2001. Google search continued to grow at rates of between 40% to 60% between 2001 and 2009, when it started to slow down stabilizing at a 10% to 15% rate in recent years.
So why advertise on google? Is it really worth it?
- Google claims for every R15 rand an advertiser spends they get Rh120 in return
- Google Ads have a click-through rate of nearly 8 percent
- Display ads yield 180 million impressions each month.
- For users who are ready to buy, paid ads on Google get 65% of the clicks. 43% of customers buy something they’ve seen on a YouTube ad
So clearly google ads works and when done correctly you can run successful PPC campaign, so let’s dive in for a quick crash course in the google ad world
Google academy offers certifications in AdWords the topics that are covered:
Digital sales Certificate: Covers basic concepts in online advertising and sales skills. It assesses the effectiveness of sales representatives to sell Google digital solutions to businesses.
Google Ads Display Certification: Certification covers basic and intermediate concepts, including best practices for creating, managing and optimizing Display campaigns.
Google Ads Mobile: Covers basic and intermediate concepts, including the benefits of online advertising and Google Ads, and best practices for managing and optimizing Google Ads campaigns.
Google Ads Search: Google Ads Search Certification covers basic and intermediate concepts, including best practices for creating, managing, measuring, and optimizing search ad campaigns across the Search Network.
Google academy is a great way for one to learn everything they is about Google AdWords but of course practice makes perfect! Let’s get started!
Google Ads Terms to know
Your AdRank determines your ad placement. The higher the value, the better you’ll rank, the more eyes will fall on your ad, and the higher the probability that users will click your ad. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum bid multiplied by your Quality Score.
Google Ads is 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 options for bidding: 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 for one thousand ad impressions, that is 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.
And, yes, we’ll review bidding strategies below.
Before you begin a paid campaign on Google Ads, you’ll select between one of three campaign types: search, display, or video.
Search ads are text ads that are displayed among search results on a Google results page.
Display ads are typically image-based and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network.
Video ads are between six and 15 seconds and appear on YouTube.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Your CTR is the number of clicks you get on your ad as a proportion of the number of views your ad gets. A higher CTR indicates a quality ad that matches search intent and targets relevant keywords.
2. Conversion Rate (CVR)
CVR is a measure of form submissions as a proportion of total visits to your landing page. Simplistically speaking, a high CVR means that your landing page presents a seamless user experience that matches the promise of the ad.
3. Display Network
Google ads can be displayed on either search results pages or a web page within Google’s Display Network (GDN). GDN is a network of websites that allow space on their webpages for Google Ads — these ads can be text-based or image ads and are displayed alongside content relevant to your target keywords. The most popular Display Ad options are Google Shopping and app campaigns.
Ad Extensions allow you to supplement your ad with additional information at no additional cost. These extensions fall under one of five categories: Sitelink, Call, Location, Offer, or App; we’ll cover each of these ad extensions below.
When a Google user types a query into the search field, Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. Keywords are words or phrases that align with what a searcher wants and will satisfy their query. You select keywords based on which queries you want to display your ad alongside. For example, a searcher that types “how to clean gum off shoes” will see results for advertisers that targeted keywords like “gum on shoes” and “clean shoes.”
Negative Keywords are a list of keyword terms that you do not want to rank for. Google will pull you from the bid on these keywords. Typically, these are semi-related to your intended search terms but fall outside of the realm of what you offer or want to rank for.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a type of advertising where the advertiser pays per click on an ad. PPC is not specific to Google Ads, but it is the most common type of paid campaign. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of PPC before launching your first Google Ads campaign.
7. Quality Score (QS)
Your Quality Score measures the quality of your ad by your click-through rate (CTR), the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page, and your past performance on the SERP. QS is a determining factor in your AdRank.
How exactly does Google AdWords work?
AdRank and Quality Score
AdRank determines the placement of your ads, and Quality Score is one of the two factors (the other being bid amount) that determines your AdRank. Remember, your Quality Score is based on the quality and relevance of your ad, and Google measures that by how many people click on your ad when it’s displayed — i.e. your CTR. You CTR depends on the how well your ad matches searcher intent, which you can deduce from three areas:
- The relevance of your keywords
- If your ad copy and CTA deliver what the searcher expects based on their search
- The user experience of your landing page
Your QS is where you should focus most of your attention when you first set up your Google Ad campaign — even before you increase your bid amount. The higher your QS, the lower your acquisition costs will be and the better placement you’ll get.
Ad Campaign Types: Search, Display, and Video
You can select from one of three campaign types on Google Ads: search, display, or video. Let’s cover the optimal uses for each and why you might choose one over the other.
Search ads are text ads that are displayed on Google results pages. As an example, a search for “pocket squares” returns sponsored results, or ads, like these:
The benefit of search ads is that you’re displaying your ad in the place where most searchers look for information first — on Google. And Google shows your ad in the same format as other results (except for denoting it as an “Ad”) so users are accustomed to seeing and clicking on results.
Responsive Search Ads
Responsive search ads allow you to enter multiple versions of headlines and ad copy (15 and four variations, respectively) for Google to select the best performers to display to users. With traditional ads, create one static version of your ad, using the same headline and description each time. Responsive ads allow for a dynamic ad that is auto-tested until you arrive at the version that is best suited for your target audience — for Google, that means until you get the most clicks.
Google has a network of websites in various industries and with an array of audiences that opt in to display Google Ads, known as the Google Display Network. The benefit to the website owner is that they’re paid per click or impression on the ads. The benefit to advertisers is that they can get their content in front of audiences that are aligned with their personas. These are typically image ads that draw users attention away from the content on the webpage.
Additional options for Display Ads include shopping campaigns and app campaigns, which are displayed on search engine results pages.
Video ads are displayed before or after (and sometimes in the middle of) YouTube videos. Remember, YouTube is a search engine, too. The right keywords will place you in front of a video, disrupting the user’s behaviour just enough to grab their attention.
When you first set up your Google Ad, you’ll select a geographical area where your ad will be shown. If you have a storefront, this should be in a reasonable radius around your physical location. If you have an ecommerce store and a physical product, your location should be set in the places where you ship. If you provide a service or product that is accessible worldwide, then the sky’s the limit.
Your location settings will play a role in placement. For instance, if you own a yoga studio in San Francisco, someone in New York that enters “yoga studio” will not see your result, no matter your AdRank. That’s because Google’s main objective is to display the most relevant results to searchers, even when you’re paying.
Keyword research is just as important for paid ads as it is for organic search. Your keywords need to match searcher intent as much as possible. That’s because Google matches your ad with search queries based on the keywords you selected. Each ad group that you create within your campaign will target a small set of keywords (one to five keywords is optimal) and Google will display your ad based on those selections.
Match Types give you a little wiggle room when it comes to your keyword selections — they tell Google whether you want to match a search query exactly or if your ad should be shown to anyone with a search query that’s semi-related. There are four match types to choose from:
Broad Match is the default setting that uses any word within your keyword phrase in any order. For example, “goat yoga in Oakland” will match “goat yoga” or “yoga Johannesburg.”
Modified Broad Match allows you to lock in certain words within a keyword phrase by denoting them with a “+” sign. Your matches will include that locked-in word at the very least. For example, “+goats yoga in Oakland” could yield “goats,” “goats like food,” or “goats and yoga.”
Phrase Match will match with queries that include your keyword phrase in the exact order but may include additional words before or after it. For example, “goat yoga” can yield “spotted goat yoga” or “goat yoga with puppies.”
Exact Match maintains your keyword phrase as it is written in the exact order. For example, “goat yoga” will not show up if someone types “goats yoga” or “goat yoga class.”
If you’re just starting out and don’t know exactly how your persona will be searching, move from a broad match to a more narrow approach so you can test which queries yield the best results. However, since your ad will be ranking for many queries (some unrelated) you should keep a close eye on your ads and modify them as you can gain new information.
Headline and Description
Your ad copy can be the difference between a click on your ad and a click on your competitor’s ad. It’s important that your ad copy matches the searcher’s intent, is aligned with your target keywords, and addresses the personas pain point with a clear solution.
To illustrate what we mean, let’s review an example.
A search for “baby swim lessons” yielded this result. The copy is concise and uses the limited space wisely to convey their message and connect with their target audience.
The Swim Revolution knew to put the keyword in their headline so we instantly know that this ad matches what we’re looking for. The description tells us why this is the best option for swim lessons because it addresses the concerns of their persona — a parent looking to enrol their baby in a swim class. They use words like “skills,” “fun,” “confidence,” and “comfort in the water” to ease our nerves about putting a baby in a pool and to prove to us that we will get what we want out of this class — an infant that can swim.
This kind of ad copy will get you clicks, but conversions will result from carrying this level of intention into your landing page copy.
If you’re running Google Ads, you should be using Ad Extensions for two reasons: they’re free, and they give users additional information and another reason to interact with your ad. These extensions fall within one of these five categories:
Sitelink Extensions extend your add — helping you stand out — and provide additional links to your site that offer users more enticing reasons to click.
Call Extensions allow you to incorporate your phone number in your ad so users have an additional (and instant) way to reach out to you. If you have a customer service team that is ready to engage and convert your audience, then include your phone number.
Location Extensions include your location and phone number within your ad so Google can offer searchers a map to easily find you. This option is great for businesses with a storefront and it works well for the search query “…near me.”
Offer Extensions work if you’re running a current promotion. It can entice users to click your ad over others if they see that your options are discounted compared to your competitors.
App Extensions provide a link to an app download for mobile users. This reduces the friction from having to perform a new search to find and download the app in an AppStore.
We leave you with 9 tips to stay ahead of the game and good luck!
1. Automate Your Bidding
2. Use Google Ads and Facebook to Drive Content Success
3. Put Your Message Match on Steroids
4. Upgrade Offers, not Buttons
5. Split testing — not AB testing
6. Device Targeting Can Make or Break Success in 2019
7. Stop Pushing Sales and Start Pushing Value
8. Test Different Bidding Models Like Affiliate Marketing