We manage Google Ads PPC accounts for a number of different businesses in Swansea, South Wales & the UK. Natural SEO rankings is always the first priority when building a website, but for some companies who have a lot of competitors, it’s worth spending money on advertising, if the campaign brings in new customers that is.
Many business owners will want to manage their own PPC campaigns, and Google offers an Express version of Google Ads, which provides a simple way to start advertising. You don’t need any real marketing experience to manage an Express account, Google will use the content of your website to create Ads which are relevant to your product or service.
But if you have a lot of competitors, all fighting for the top 3 position, you may need to switch to an Advanced Google Ads account. This allows you to really fine-tune your campaigns, adding negative keywords & ensuring you are only spending money on relevant clicks – filtering out any clicks that are not exactly relevant.
And it can take 2 or 3 months to fine-tune a campaign, as you build up a history of clicks, you can see exactly what people are searching for to find your advert, and continually improve your campaign.
We take a look at the different types of PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising campaigns, and which are the most cost effective. This is not necessarily a guide on how to set up a successful PPC campaign, rather just an overview of our experiences & what we have found to work well for different types of companies.
Text Ads / Search Network
Text Ads are by far the most popular kind of PPC advertising, and lots of companies use these adverts to elevate themselves to the top of Google for certain keywords & phrases.
They can be very effective – but this obviously depends upon your product or service, your targeted audience, your location and your competition. For example, if you were a small business competing with a national brand, you will need to continually improve your campaigns & be cleverer than your competitors.
And if you are providing a popular service, you are very likely to have lots of local competition. So improving your landing page & website will help to improve your rankings or ad position.
While text ads can be fairly effective – they can also be very costly if you don’t fine-tune your keywords & create negative keywords… which will help you to filter out the unnecessary clicks, saving you money.
For example… a good starting point for a list of negative keywords would be the word ‘free’ – as you will probably not want your advert to be shown if someone is searching for free stuff!
Responsive & Dynamic Text Ads
A fairly recent addition to text ads is the Responsive / Dynamic text advert. This allows you to add several phrases to a single advert, and Google will pick the most relevant phrase to show on the search results, depending on what the customer has typed into Google.
These adverts can be useful & good value for money, for occasions when a website contains information that Google deems as bad. For example, Google has banned many medical treatments or supplements that are not medically approved or proven, and you will not be able to create an advert containing these terms.
A Responsive / Dynamic advert will get around these issues, as Google will automatically generate the text within your advert, which is taken from the target website. So in theory, your adverts should never be disapproved, because Google is generating them.
Graphical Ads / Display Network
Display Network / graphical ads can be very effective and are fairly cheap (per click). You can set up a display campaign where only people who have visited your website will see the advert – which is very effective in re-endorsing your product or service, and also means that you are only paying for clicks from customers who have already displayed an interest in your product or service.
These graphical adverts will be seen on millions of popular websites, all handled by Google AdSense. Which is another topic entirely. But you can choose different types of websites where your advert will be shown, even restrict certain websites from using your advert if required.
Pictured above & below is the standard Google template for their Display ads. All you need to upload is an image of your product & a logo, Google will then display these images – along with your sales text – in many different sizes & layouts, to fit specific spaces on various websites.
Obviously you can get more creative with your adverts by creating HTML5 or image adverts, but it’s good to use the standard template as a back-up for instances where your design doesn’t fit the space provided.
Products / Shopping Ads
If you have an e-commerce website & sell products online… Shopping Ads can be extremely cost effective. You will probably find that, when searching for a specific product, Google will show the Shopping results at the very top of the page. So if you have online products, you can set up a Shopping campaign to ensure your products appear there.
We have found that these ads are pretty cheap (per click) and generate a lot of sales. Obviously this depends on the quality of your products, your competition & e-commerce set-up.
To create a Shopping campaign, all you need to do is create a spreadsheet of your products – including a description, price, URL etc. Then you need to upload this spreadsheet to Google Merchant Centre. If you then connect this with your Google Ads account and set a daily budget, your ads should then start appearing alongside the other products.
The success of these Shopping campaigns is also affected by the ranking of your website. If your e-commerce website is not very highly ranked by Google, your products may not appear in the first 4 products… but SEO is a whole different subject!
Also, when you first create a Shopping campaign there will be a ‘learning period’ of 2 or 3 weeks, where Google will assess your advert & landing page. During this time your Cost Per Click will slowly become cheaper, if your advert & landing page are created properly.
How do you know if an Advert is successful?
Very often we see companies running PPC campaigns, without setting up any goals – so they were basically clueless on whether an ad campaign was effective or not.
Also, it is occasionally a misconception that getting lots of traffic to your website is the only thing that matters. This is not true. Anybody can pump lots of money into a PPC campaign & get lots of visitors to your website – but the real target is to get the right kind of audience visiting your website.
By setting a Goal in Google Analytics, you can monitor the success of an advert over time, and adjust your ads accordingly. For example, you could set a Goal for when a customer visits a certain page on your website (perhaps the Checkout page) – or if they complete a contact form. Then you can safely say that an advert is doing it’s job if you are converting lots of goals directly from your campaigns.
After running an Ad campaign for perhaps 2 or 3 months, if you find that you are spending more cash than you are generating in sales or leads, then you may want to consider another form of advertising.
We manage a number of campaigns for companies that provide health & aesthetics products. When creating these campaigns, you need to be aware of the Google Ads policies, and the list of products & phrases which are not allowed.
Industries that provide Diet products for example, there are a number of phrases that Google does not like, or are viewed as potentially harmful. Google will not only scan the text within your advert, but also every single word or phrase on your website. So any prohibited product will need to be removed.