Google Ads – Frequently Asked Questions
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Google Ads are simple enough when you know how, but to the uninitiated, it can be like moving through a minefield.
Google campaigns are easy to create, but there are a ton of features that make them very powerful, and often these are missed. Try Google Ads without knowing all the tricks and treasures and you are likely to make a mistake that could leave you feeling like Google Ads don’t work.
Google is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers. They enable you to be found at the precise time that your customers are looking for your products and services.
When you get your google ads campaigns right, you have a measurable resource that you can use to scale your business. You can grow your customer base, increase sales and grow your profits.
Google ads are an excellent way to build brand awareness and for searchers to see you as a company that has some stature. The natural thought is that if you are on the first page of Google, you must be good.
The Google Ads system works. They work for millions of businesses. You just need to know how or pay someone who does.
In this article, we’ll answer some common questions about Google Ads. Hopefully, you’ll then have some confidence to get started. Check out our starter campaigns which give you a low-cost safe way to start competing for the top of the page.
What are Google Ads?
Google AdWords is a highly targeted form of advertising and it’s available to anyone with the budget to spend. The smallest business can compete with large nationals for space on the front page of Google.
Google Ads or Paid Search Campaigns are advertisements you can buy to drive traffic to your website. They are different from organic search results in that they are paid for. Organic search results are not directly paid for.
What type of Google Ads are available to small businesses?
There are three basic types of Google Ads and all are available for small and large businesses.
For businesses that supply products and services for the home, it’s best to get started with Search Network Campaigns.
These are the three main categories of ads.
- Search Network campaigns – text form ads that show on Google Search results pages when someone searches for a product or service that’s similar to yours using a keyword that you are targetting.
- Display Network campaigns – usually image form, these ads appear on websites or apps that your customers visit.
- Video campaigns – usually 6 or 15-second videos, these ads show right before or during YouTube content.
In addition to this, there are also app campaigns and shopping campaigns but these are rarely relevant in local retail or service businesses.
What is the minimum amount to start a Google Ads campaign?
There is no minimum spend on Google Adwords, you can start with £1 a day if you want and build the budget up over time. The amount you spend can limit how often you appear and where your ad appears on the page.
You must spend enough to get the campaign moving and generate data to learn from.
Although you can have a successful campaign without appearing at the top, the trick is to respond to the data so that you find the balance bewtwwen budget and clicks or conversions that works for you.
Should businesses go over their budget if they can afford it?
It is good practice to work out your budget and let it run for a while so that you can gather the data to see what works. You can create a formula that works for scaling your business based on return on investment (ROI). However, you must be careful not to be reactive to short-term data which may not show the true picture.
There is a danger with Google Ads. It’s a bit like gambling. You can generate a lot of business but make sure you can handle the additional workload associated with more business.
If I pay more, will my ad show up first on the results page?
Yes, it can do. The Google ads system is an auction. When a visitor types a keyword the automatic bidding starts. If your bid is the highest, you will probably appear first. That doesn’t mean you should always try to be first. It’s a balance between cost per click, daily budget and impression share.
How much should I spend on Google ads per month?
This is going to depend on several factors. You can start with this question – how much can you afford to gamble and not be afraid to lose? I’m not saying you will lose money but the first month should be an experiment and being prepared to sacrifice may save, or make you money in the following months.
The most important factor is to have a specific goal in mind. For example, if you are just starting out and have no current customers, try setting your per month budget at £200 so that you can test the waters. If you don’t have £200 to test Google Ads, your business may have more problems than lack of marketing.
When we work with clients, we start by working out how much website traffic they need to reach a target turnover figure. The average cost per click or conversion x the amount will determine the budget.
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What’s The Difference Between Google Ads and Search Engine Optimisation?
The simplest difference between Google Ads and SEO is that ads are paid for and SEO is, on the surface, free.
SEO largely depends on relevant content on the page and how trustworthy your site is. This can happen almost accidentally if there is a lot of content on your website and the site has been active for a long time. If you’ve never actively worked on your website with SEO in mind and you get clicks from search engines, you can say that organic SEO is free.
If you actively work on your site to build content, links and authority, it is likely costing you time and or money.
The other difference is in control over when your website appears in search. Once your website is set, it’s up to Google whether it shows your site in the results for the searched terms and which page is shown. With Google Ads, if you are willing to bid the right amount, you determine which keywords you show up for and which page is shown.
Youtube are a great example of when to use ads. They will always show up at the top of Google but at the moment they are promoting their premium service so want to direct visitors to their sales page first. This is a great example of Paid search complementing Organic search.
The combination of paid and organic marketing campaigns can be powerful. Read more about Search Engine Marketing.
How do you make sure your ads don’t show up for the wrong keywords in Google Ads?
This is one of the easiest things to get wrong in Google Ads when you are starting but taking the time to learn about where you want to meet your customer in their buying journey and search intent will help you build advertising foundations for success.
Advertisers can control where their ads show up for a specific keyword by using the keyword match system to attract keywords and the negative keyword system to repel searches that are not of interest.
Keyword Match Types.
There are three match types:
- Exact Match.
- Phrase Match.
- Broad Match.
This is not as logical as it may at first seem so don’t rush off thinking that you now know it all.
While you could be forgiven for thinking that ‘exact match’ will only show results for exactly the keyword you specify, you would be wrong and it could cost you a lot of money. Exact match is more like ‘anything that sounds like the keyword’ match. To quote Google – ‘Ads may show on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as the keyword’. They don’t always get this right so test with a low budget and weed out search terms that don’t fit your target.
In the meantime, avoid single words that give no indication of the searchers intent.
For instance, you may want to attract searches for ‘kitchen’ but the single word ‘kitchen’ could be dangerous for an advertiser who thinks that a campaign could be set up for that keyword.
Searches for ‘kitchen’ could bring up results for soup kitchen, restaurants, recipes, cookery books, cabinets, islands, kitchen accessories, colour+kitchen, brand+kitchen, how to paint a kitchen, ideas for small kitchen and thousands of others that have no relevance to what you sell.
You could waste your budget in a very short time with nothing to show for it. If you pay for nothing else, pay for someone to conduct the keyword planning for you if you don’t have the time or know-how to do it yourself.
Companies like Wren for kitchens, Safestyle for windows, or Sharps for bedrooms have the budget to bid on those generic keywords for brand awareness. A small business must use its budget to target customers at the point where they are ready to purchase. Read more about Search Intent.