HOW TO GET STARTED WITH GOOGLE ADS
Google Search Ads can be an effective way to generate targeted traffic to your website and increase leads and sales.
You can also use other campaign types like Display, YouTube and Remarketing to increase brand awareness, bring past visitors back to your website and further build your sales funnel.
But if you haven’t run Google Ads before, what’s the best way to get started?
Well, you have two options. You can take a DIY approach, or you can work with an agency.
If you start with DIY, you can either set up a Google AdWords Express campaign, or a full Google Ads campaign. So, let’s start with the difference between the two types of accounts.
For both AdWords Express and Google Ads your ad can appear on the Google, Google Maps and Display Networks. You set the daily advertising budget that you’re comfortable spending, along with the geographic target area where you would like your ads to appear.
Google AdWords Express
Google AdWords Express makes it easy to get a campaign up and running. To quote the AdWords Express set up page you can “Tell us about your business, write an ad, and we’ll do the rest.”
The key advantage of AdWords Express is that it’s an easy, low cost way to get started with Google Ads. It’s a good option if you want to run DIY ads, but not spend time learning about the features and how to optimise your campaign.
However, the down side is that you don’t have control over the keywords that trigger your ad to show, or many options for making updates to improve your Return On Investment (ROI). It’s also important to know that your text ad can also appear on the Display Network, where you’ll get less expensive clicks, but they are likely to be less targeted than those from the Search Network. Plus, you’ll often find that your brand keywords are included in the mix and therefore you are getting clicks from people who already know about your business, rather than new people in your target audience.
Unlike AdWords Express, a Google Ads Search campaign gives you complete control over every aspect of the campaign including:
- Campaign structure
- The keywords and keyword match types that trigger your ad to show
- Negative keywords, which stop your ads showing for the wrong search terms
- The Ad Copy that is shown to promote your product or service
- Ad Extensions which appear underneath your ad to make it bigger and more prominent
- Conversion Tracking that can be used to analyse your ROI
Within your Google Ads account, you can also add other campaign types like Display, YouTube, Shopping and Remarketing (you can read more about the different types of Google Ad campaigns here).
To set up and manage effective Google Ads campaigns that help build your business you need knowledge and experience. Google offers free resources for learning about Google Ads including:
- Academy for Ads
- The Google Ads YouTube Channel
- Google Ads Support who can provide specific help with setting up and updating your campaigns.
I also recommend Google Digital Garage for anyone who wants to learn about Digital Marketing
Having reviewed many campaigns that business owners set up themselves and ran for a few months before contacting me, I can say that if you’re not prepared to spend time learning about Google Ads I think taking a DIY approach is a false economy.
While you avoid paying an agency a set-up fee and management retainer, you also risk paying for inappropriate clicks and not getting a good return for your ad spend.
Think about the analogy of working with an Accountant. Sure, you can do your accounting yourself, but if it’s not your area of expertise you’ll end up spending a lot of time on it. Time that you could spend running your business instead of doing something that you probably don’t enjoy. And when there are areas you aren’t sure about a few mistakes can prove to be costly. Similarly, with Google Ads, working with an agency to set up and manage your ads, or to get training to speed up your learning, will pay off in terms of the return for your business.
Once you’ve decided to outsource your Google Ads management, how do you find the right agency?
Like every new product or service that you need, start by asking your network for recommendations. You can also Google Search, check your LinkedIn contacts and social media.
Once you have a short list, here are some questions to ask the prospective agencies:
1. Are you a Google Partner?
This means that the agency has met Google’s Partner criteria including passing exams. They have also shown that they are committed to getting results for clients and following best practices.
2. Will you have full Admin access to login to your Google Ads account?
You need this level of access so that if you stop working with the agency, you’ll still have access to your campaigns and the account history. This is really important. I’ve dealt with way too many businesses who weren’t happy with the service or communications from their agency, and then were left with nothing when they decided to stop working with that agency.
3. What is included in the monthly management fee?
When new campaigns are needed, or new features implemented, will there be an extra fee?
4. Will you deal with the same contact person who understands your account?
5. What reports on campaign performance will be provided, and how frequently?
The agency should also do a briefing with you to:
- Ensure they understand your business and your objectives
- Make sure the Ad campaign is aligned to your goals
- Decide what conversions should be tracked.
The monthly Google Ads management fee for working with an Australian based agency generally starts from a few hundred dollars per month and there might also be a one off set up fee. Generally the agency will invoice you for their fee and then advertising spend is paid directly to Google. Or they may have a different arrangement where the full ad spend and fee is invoiced to you each month.
Read more here: Hire Ad Words Manager
Whether you DIY or work with an agency, here are some key things to consider before you run a campaign
- Having a high quality, effective website.
– Professional design
– Well written copy that makes it clear what you do, where you do and the benefits of your product or service
– Clear call-to-call
– Easy to navigate
– Fast to load
– Mobile responsive
– Easy to find contact details.
- Understanding what you would like to achieve ie leads, sales, sign ups.
- Being clear about how you will track what is achieved – an agency will help you with this. If you’re running Google Ads, having Google Analytics set up is recommended. It provides insights into how visitors behave once they arrive on your website and can track if they take key actions.
- What is the value of a conversion to your business?
With your new insights into Google Ads you will be able to effectively generate targeted traffic to your website and increase leads and sales.
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About Melinda Samson
Melinda Samson is the founder and co-owner of Click-Winning Content, a Google Premier Google Partner agency. She is a Google Ads & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer.
Melinda provides results-driven services to Australian businesses and is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first.