One of the most effective ways of reaching relevant users on the internet is through paid search advertising. Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a form of advertising on search engines, where you show an ad to a user when they search for a product or service that you offer. For example, imagine you are a roofing supplies store, serving the trade and DIY customers. When your customers search on Google for ‘roofing supplies,’ ‘roof tiles’ or ‘roofing sheets’ you can show an ad to them and take them to your website. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it before you can get to that stage. We’re going to take you through the key steps to consider when setting up your own Google Ads campaign.
The first step is to create your PPC account. This can be done on numerous paid search channels, but the main two are Google and Bing. Google makes up around 86% of searches online and Bing has roughly a 10% share. Therefore, Google will provide the most traffic, but it’s important to consider Bing too. Advertising on both channels will cover around 96% of all searches made on search engines.
Getting started on both channels is easy and the following links have helpful set up guides to get you started:
When setting up your account, you’ll be required to add your business information such as name and address. Now is also a good time to add your billing information. You’ll need to enter the card details of the account that Google will charge. PPC campaigns are charged when a user clicks on your ad and these clicks can vary in price. Google also add a 2% tax on any media spend, so be sure to factor this into your media budgets.
Now that your account is set up, the interesting bits begin.
On PPC campaigns, we can choose the keywords that we want to show an ad for. A keyword is a word or phrase that we have in our PPC campaigns. When a user searches for this keyword on the search engine, our ad can appear. The ability to choose our keywords gives us great control over what we want to pay for. For example, going back to the roofing supplies store, they can choose keywords relating to the products that they sell. They might choose to advertise ‘roof tiles,’ but not ‘ventilation’ – this is their choice.
One of the most important tasks when creating a PPC account is to do thorough keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding a portfolio of keywords that are relevant to the products or services that you want to advertise. In the example above, the roofing store want to advertise roof tiles. Rather than just advertising on that one keyword, it is important to research other keywords that can be added as different ways of searching for the same product. These can include materials such as ‘concrete roof tiles,’ brands such as ‘redland roof tiles’ or variants such as ‘black roof tiles.’
Keyword research can be done using Google’s Keyword Planner. It’s really important to filter out anything that is irrelevant so that we are not spending money on these keywords. They can even be added as negative keywords to prevent us from accidentally appearing on them. It’s also important to check the search volume associated with the keywords you have selected to ensure you have a good amount of search volume. It’s also worth identifying your budget to check that you won’t be spending all of your budget on keywords with really high search volume. It is ideal to have a blend of lower volume, more specific keywords and higher volume, broader keywords if your budget allows.
Once your keyword research has been done and you are happy with your list of keywords, keep them safe as we’ll need these throughout the campaign creation process.
A good campaign structure can lead to better performance of your campaigns. This is because budgets are assigned at a campaign level, therefore in order to manage these effectively we need to break our campaigns out into themes.
The themes of your campaigns should mirror the themes on the website. This makes it really consistent and ensures that we have different product ranges split out. Using the roofing supplier as our example again, a good structure would be to have a separate campaign for each of the following:
For a builder’s merchants, you might have a campaign for ‘Timber,’ another for ‘Cements’ and another for ‘Fixings.’ This should give you a better idea of how to split campaigns.
The next step is to split these further by sub-theme, or in PPC terms, ‘Ad Groups.’ Ad Groups hold themed keywords and then relevant ads to these themes. We’ll get on to the ads in a second, but let’s use the ‘Roof Tiles’ campaign for the roofing supplier as our example when creating ad groups. This step requires us to look at our list of keywords and group anything that falls within the Roof Tiles campaign. For instance, in our keyword research we may have identified lots of material-based keywords. It is advisable to split these into different ad groups, for instance:
Roof Tiles – Concrete
Roof Tiles – Plastic
Roof Tiles – Clay
Roof Tiles – Slate
Each of these ad groups will house the relevant material keywords. All concrete tiles keywords will be in the concrete ad group and so on. This allows us to make the ads specific to what the user is searching for.
We have our keywords set up nicely in a consistent, logical structure, with ad groups for each of the keyword themes. Now it’s time to create the ads. Ads are created within each of our ad groups, which is why it’s especially important to split campaigns and ad groups into themes. Using the structure, we have created above, we can now make ads relevant to each of the materials, which makes for a better user journey.
In the ‘Slate’ ad group, we have a list of slate related keywords. The ad can then be written with ‘slate tiles’ in mind, driving to a landing page that has all of the stale tiles on. This user journey will be seamless as the person viewing and clicking on our ad will be shown a relevant ad and be taken to a relevant landing page.
Imagine we had all tiles keywords in one ad group. A user searches for ‘slate tiles’ and they get shown a generic tiles ad with no mention of slate tiles. If they were to click, they would go to a generic tile landing page, and it would take them more time and more clicks to find exactly what they were looking for. Not only is this frustrating for the user, but it will also result in a lower quality score of our ads, which in turn will diminish campaign performance.
The most important thing when creating ads is that we make them specific to the ad group they are in. It is also important to test, test, test. Test using different ad formats. Test using different headlines – include the name of the product, include the brand name, include price points. Test different call to actions (CTAs). There is no right or wrong way to write adverts, just let the data do the talking.
But there are some rules and policies that we need to follow. Prohibited content, styling and capitalisation policies can all be found on Google Support. It’s worth familiarising yourself with these policies before writing your ads so that you don’t waste any time having to make amendments.
Once your ads have been created and you have changed some campaign settings (budgets, status, bidding, locations etc) it is time to go live. When the campaigns have been enabled, check back on your campaigns to see if they are generating impressions. It’s also a good idea to run some searches on Google to see if your ad appears (but don’t click on it!). If they are not showing and they are not generating impressions, check your keyword bid to make sure it is high enough to get exposure. These usually set to £0.01 as a default, so you’ll want to increase these to at least the first page bid estimate.
There are lots of other advanced features of Google Ads and many other elements to add to our campaigns including audiences and ad extensions, but this gives you an idea of how to set up a basic campaign.
If you have any questions or would like to know more then don’t hesitate to speak to a member of the Koozai team!
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