Category Archives: PPC

Tutorial: How to create Google Ads

Following on from our previous posts on Google search advertising and keyword research tips, we’ll now apply some of what we’ve learnt and focus on how to create Google Ads.

How to create Google Ads Step #1: Create your Adwords Campaign

The first step is to set up a Google Adwords account and to create a new “campaign” – which you can think of as a sort of container that holds the adverts, and such information as how much you are prepared to spend to display these adverts each day and whom exactly you wish to target with them (Adwords, n.d.a).

Once logged into Adwords you will be taken directly to the Campaigns menu, from where you click on the red + Campaigns button (Learning Note: first-time users will instead click Create your first campaign) and because we have previously learnt about the adverts that appear in the Google search results, we will continue on this theme and select the Search Network only option from the pop-up menu.

You will now be on the Select campaign settings screen where you can give your campaign a descriptive name – we’ll use “Painting & Decorating Campaign” to use the example from our keywords post.

How to create Google Ads - Search network only screen

You will now be on the Select campaign settings screen where you can give your campaign a descriptive name – we’ll use “Painting & Decorating Campaign” to use the example from our keyword research tips post.

This rest of this screen might look daunting, but all most people need to consider is whether you want your ads to appear anywhere other than Google-owned websites (Networks), which Google searchers (based on their geographic location) you want to see your ads (Location), and the maximum amount how you are willing to spend daily for displaying the ads in this campaign (Budget).

To recap, below we specify our campaign name and choose to only advertise on Google sites…

How to create Google Ads - Campaign settings screen 1

…we select our Locations – we only want to advertise to Google users located in Dublin city…

How to create Google ads - Campaign settings screen 2…and we make sure that running our ads will never cost us more than €50.00 per day.

How to create Google Ads - Campaign settings screen 3

After pressing Save and Continue you will be taken to the AdGroups screen.

How to create Google Ads Step #2: Create your AdGroups

AdGroups are important because they are containers for one or more adverts, and the keywords that will trigger these adverts to appear when people search for these terms (Adwords, n.d.b; Wordstream, n.d.a). You should be careful to only use keywords that are highly relevant to the products/services your ads are promoting, as this increases the chance of higher click-through rates, and over time, higher Quality Scores (Baldassarre, 2013; Rogers, n.d.; Wordstream, n.d.a; Wordstream, n.d.b). As a guideline, it has been suggested that one “keep the maximum number of keywords per ad group to somewhere around 5” (Wolfgang Digital, 2013); if in doubt, keep the keyword list short (Ball, n.d.).

How to create Google Ads - AdGroups

Learning Note: enclose your keywords in square brackets to only trigger your ads when someone enters the keyword into Google exactly as defined – known as the Exact Match “match type” (AdWords, n.d.c) – which eliminates the possibility of your ads being triggered by non-relevant searches.

Next, click on the Continue to ads button and it’s time to build your ads.

How to create Google Ads Step #3: Create your Ads

In the screenshot below we can build our ad using a maximum of 25 characters in the Headline field (blue text), and 35 characters each for the Display URL (green text) and the two Description fields (black text). Also note how you get a preview of what your ad will look like.

How to create Google Ads - Create an ad

As shown above, when you complete each field you will notice Adwords giving you tips on how to make your ads most appealing to searchers. For example, it’s a great idea to include your keywords (in our case, “painting and decorating Dublin”) in the fields, because these words will stand out in bold on the search results screen (Adwords, n.d.c; Rogers, n.d.). You can see this in action below on rival decorators’ adverts.

How to create Google Ads - Google search ads for painters and decorators

Also, you should try to include a clear “call to action” that tells people exactly what to do next (e.g. “visit our website today” or “call today”), and what they will get in return (Wordstream, n.d.c) – which in our example is 30% off for bookings made this week.

The final step after saving your advert is to specify your Default bid – which is essentially the Max CPC we mentioned in our Google search advertising post and tells Google the maximum amount you are willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad.

How to create Google Ads - Default bid

And that’s it – your Google Ads are ready to go!

Hopefully you’ve found this tutorial helpful, and to review what we’ve learnt, check out these helpful Adwords videos that cover how to set up a campaign and how to write successful ad copy.

REFERENCES

Adwords (n.d.a) ‘Creating your ad campaign’. Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704395?hl=en&ref_topic=3121941 (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

Adwords (n.d.b) ‘How ad groups work’. Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375404?hl=en&ref_topic=3121942 (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

Adwords (n.d.c) ‘Tips for creating successful text ads. Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704392?ctx=tltp (Accessed: 30 March 2014).

Baldassarre, R. (2013) ‘Google Adwords: 10 Account Review Tips Revealed’. Available at: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-adwords-10-account-review-tips-revealed/66703/ (Accessed: 30 March 2014).

Ball (n.d.) ‘11 Tips for Google Adwords Success’. Available at: http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/sem_articles/google-adwords-tips.html (Accessed: 30 March 2014).

Rogers, C. (n.d.) ‘5 Tips For Success in Google AdWords’. Available at: http://www.chasenewmedia.com/articles/5-tips-google-adwords.html (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

Wolfgang Digital (2013) ‘PPC Marketing Infographic of the Week: How Does Google AdWords Work?’. Available at: http://www.wolfgangdigital.com/blog/digital-marketing/ppc-marketing-infographic-week-google-adwords-work/ (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

Wordstream (n.d.a) ‘Ad Groups: How to Create More Effective Ad Groups for PPC’. Available at: http://www.wordstream.com/ad-groups (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

Wordstream (n.d.b) ‘What Is PPC? Learn the Basics of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing’. Available at: http://www.wordstream.com/ppc (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

Wordstream (n.d.c) ‘Text Ads: How to Optimize Your Text Ads for PPC’. Available at: http://www.wordstream.com/text-ads (Accessed: 29 March 2014).

 

Two Keyword Research Tips for PPC Campaigns

In this post we’ll reveal two keyword research tips that will hopefully help drive higher click-through rates (CTRs) and actual sales of the products/services being advertised.

As highlighted in our previous post, keywords are absolutely critical for success in PPC marketing because, if nothing else, if no one ever searches for the keywords someone has chosen to “trigger” their ad, the advertiser is obviously not going to make very much money!  For PPC advertising campaigns the selected keywords should be frequently searched for by Google users and be highly relevant to the business and/or product being advertised (Petty, 2012).

As Rand Fishkin (n.d.) puts it: “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field.”

Keyword Research Tips Lesson #1: Know your Keyword Research Tools

No article about keyword research tips would be complete without some advice about the tools used to conduct this important analysis.

The web is full of free and paid-for keyword research tools such as SEMrush, Übersuggest, Keyword Eye, KeywordSpy, and Wordtracker (Raehsler, 2012; Dyer, 2014).  While each tool has unique features, they all do essentially the same thing and reveal information such as how many people have searched on a certain keyword in Google, and how much on average a marketer can expect to pay for a click on one of their ads.

For the purpose of this post we will take a closer look at Google’s own keyword research tool: Keyword Planner.  From the Google Adwords menu, a user selects Tools, then Keyword Planner, and on the following screen the Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups.  Here one can specify the keywords to be researched – as shown in the example below for someone that might be thinking about creating Google ads for their Dublin-based painting and decorating business.

Keyword Research Tips - Keyword Planner image

Once the keyword analysis has completed, clicking on the blue hyperlink under the Ad group (by relevance) column shows the results for each individual keyword.

Keyword Research Tips - Ad Group and Keyword Details images

The results of the above search shows that the search term “painting and decorating dublin” has the highest average monthly search volume, and that based on what advertisers have been bidding on this keyword, Google estimates that €1.65 would give a marketer a chance of ranking highly on the SERP (Adwords, n.d.).

Learning Note: Keyword Planner only provides search volumes for searches that have been entered into Google exactly as they were specified (Burr, 2013).  So, in the example above, searches for “painting and decorating Dublin city” would not be reflected in the Avg. monthly searches total of 110.  This illustrates that Keyword Planner results give marketers an incomplete picture of a keyword’s full “potential”.

Keyword Research Tips Lesson #2: Use Long-Tail Keywords in your Ads

In Lesson #1 we learnt that the keyword “painting and decorating Dublin” is on average searched for 110 times in any given month.  Such a string of one or more (in this case, four) words is known as a “long-tail” keyword and is unsurprisingly searched for less frequently than more general, shorter keyword phrases such as “painting” – a keyword that has an average monthly search volume of about 135,000.

If that’s the case, would a craftsman adverting their painting and decorating services not be better off using much shorter keywords like “painter” or “decorator” to trigger their ads?

No.

The fact is that a person typing “painter” into Google is just as likely to be doing research on the finest Renaissance artists for a college project as they are to be looking for someone to paint their kitchen.

Long-tail keywords are almost always better because while the search volume might be lower, the person searching using long-tail keywords is more likely to be looking for exactly what is being advertised – making them more likely to click on the ad and hopefully also purchase the product (Bell, 2013).  Furthermore, Larry Kim (n.d.) notes that “long-tail keywords can offer incredible ROI because they’re less competitive to rank for organically and less expensive to bid on for PPC.”

And to expand on what we touched on in our last post, long-tail keywords are likely to boost a marketer’s Quality Score over time because their ads’ CTRs are likely to be higher and their landing page “bounce” rates are likely to be lower, meaning that the marketer’s required Max Bid should reduce over time.

All in all, long-tail keywords can help preserve advertising budgets and increase profits at the same time!

Join us next time when we will cover how to create Google ads, but in the meantime you might consider watching this helpful video which recaps on some of what we have learnt about keywords.

REFERENCES:

Adwords (n.d.) ‘Understanding your Keyword Planner statistics and traffic estimates’. Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3022575 (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

Bell, E. (2013) ‘PPC Keyword Research Guide: How to Find the Words for Your Paid Search Campaigns’. Available at: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/11/21/ppc-keyword-research-guide# (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

Burr, R. (2013) ‘Using Google Keyword Planner (and Other Tools Instead) for Keyword Volume’. Available at: http://moz.com/blog/keyword-volume-tools (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

Dyer, P. (2014) ‘10 Great Alternatives to the Google Keyword Research Tool’. Available at: http://socialmediatoday.com/pamdyer/2039406/10-great-alternatives-google-keyword-research-tool (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

Fishkin, R. (n.d.) ‘Chapter 5: Keyword Research’. Available at: http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

Petty, T. (2012) ‘Why Is Keyword Research So Important for SEO and your Business?. Available at: http://blog.searchengineacademy.com/blog/seo/why-is-keyword-research-so-important-for-seo-and-your-business/ (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

Raehsler, L. (2012) ‘Paid & Subscription-Based Keyword Research Tools’. Available at: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2183899/Paid-Subscription-Based-Keyword-Research-Tools (Accessed: 17 March 2014).

An Introduction to Google Search Advertising

When people talk about Google search advertising they are referring to perhaps one of the most recognisable forms of advertising on the internet: the adverts appearing above and to the right of a Google search engine results page (SERP).

Google search advertising is often called “pay-per-click” (PPC) or “cost-per-click” (CPC) and while many people avoid clicking on these ads in preference for the “organic” results achieved through search engine optimisation (SEO), for an online marketer Google search advertising often has the advantage of being simpler, faster and cheaper to implement than SEO, being measurable, and being highly targeted compared to traditional advertising such as on TV or billboards (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2012).

Google Search Advertising - SEO versus Paid Search on Google SERP
Google search advertising is created using Google’s Adwords platform, and as well as the marketer determining the content (i.e., words) that make up the advert, they are also able to select exactly which keywords entered into a Google search cause their advert to appear.  For example, a person entering the words “restaurants in Dublin” into Google should not see adverts relating to dentists’ practices in Dublin because the keywords assigned to the two types of adverts should be entirely different.

Keyword research and the creation of Google Ads is the subject of other posts, so for now we will focus on familiarising ourselves with some basic terminology

Google Search Advertising Terminology

Pay-per click and Cost-per-click (PPC and CPC): As the names suggest, a marketer is only charged money when someone actually clicks on their ad.  Clearly, this type of advertising can be far cheaper than traditional advertising which has to be paid for up front.

Maximum CPC: Advertisers are able to specify the absolute maximum amount they are willing to pay each time someone clicks on their advert (Adwords, 2007).

Click-through rate (CTR):  This is the percentage of people that click on an advert relative to the numbers of people that had it displayed to them (this is called an “impression”) on Google.  The CTR formula is:

CTR = Total Clicks / Total Impressions x 100

For example, if 1,000 people see an advert on the SERP but only 30 people click on it, the CTR is 3%.

Finally, while there is certainly no magic Google search advertising CTR, 1% is considered average (Google, n.d.a) and Wolfgang Digital (2013) suggest that adverts with less than a 1% CTR after 30 days should be stopped.

Learning Note: consider using Ad Extensions (see video below) to boost CTRs (Essex, 2013; West, 2013).

Keywords:  Keywords are fundamental to creating Google ads because they are the words an advertiser selects to “trigger” their advert to appear when someone performs a search.  Therefore, keywords should be highly relevant to both the advert itself and the linked website’s “landing page” that the searcher is taken to when clicking on the advert (Wordstream, n.d.a).  For example, if an advert for men’s suits is triggered by the keyword “clothes”, this would not be considered relevant enough to entice someone to click on the advert.

Quality Score: The Quality Score (QS) is awarded on a scale of 1 to 10 and is Google’s way of determining how “relevant” an advert’s text, its assigned keywords and an advert’s landing page is to a searcher’s query (Google, n.d.b).  It is critical to a successful Google Search advertising campaign because it determines how high up the SERP (see Ad Rank below) an advert appears and how much an advertiser pays for each click.

While the exact elements making up the QS algorithm are unknown, CTR is thought to be the highest-weighted factor (Wordstream, n.d.b), and QS can be summarised as follows:

Quality Score = (keyword’s click-through rate, ad text relevance, keyword relevance, landing page relevance and other methods of assessing relevance) (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2012, p.501).

The QS should be of great interest to marketers because it is calculated each time an ad is triggered to appear, meaning that an advert with a consistently-high CTR will over time reduce an advertiser’s CPC costs (Wordstream, n.d.b).

Ad Rank: An advert’s Ad Rank is the result on an online “auction” within Google Adwords that determines where on the SERP the advert appears.  Up until recently the basic formula was Ad Rank = Max CPC x Quality Score, although a recent change to the algorithm now means that the ad extensions linked to an ad are also a factor (Albright, 2013).

Join us next time when we will focus on winning keyword research tips.

REFERENCES:

Adwords (2007) ‘Min CPC, Max CPC and Avg CPC clarified’. Available at: http://adwords.blogspot.ie/2007/11/min-cpc-max-cpc-and-avg-cpc-clarified.html (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012) Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. 5th ed. Italy: Pearson Education Limited.

Essex, M. (2013) ‘14 PPC Professionals Discuss Their Number One Tactics’. Available at: http://www.koozai.com/blog/pay-per-click-ppc/14-ppc-professionals-discuss-their-number-one-tip/ (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Google (n.d.a) ‘Measuring traffic to your website’. Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722035 (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Google (n.d.b) ‘Check and understand Quality Score’. Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2454010 (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

West, T. (2013) ‘AdWords Tactics for Local Businesses #brightonseo’. Available at: http://www.koozai.com/blog/pay-per-click-ppc/brightonseo-adwords-tactics-for-local-businesses-by-tara-west/ (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Wolfgang Digital (2013) ‘PPC Marketing Infographic of the Week: How Does Google AdWords Work?’. Available at: http://www.wolfgangdigital.com/blog/digital-marketing/ppc-marketing-infographic-week-google-adwords-work/ (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Wordstream (n.d.a) ‘Keywords: What Are Keywords & Why Do They Matter for PPC?’. Available at: http://www.wordstream.com/keyword (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Wordstream (n.d.b) ‘Quality Score: What Is Quality Score & How Does it Affect PPC?’. Available at: http://www.wordstream.com/quality-score (Accessed: 16 March 2014).

Albright, C. (2013) ‘One More Moving Part To Ad Rank – Don’t Get Left Behind!’. Available at: http://www.ppchero.com/1-more-moving-part-to-ad-rank-dont-get-left-behind/ (Accessed: 16 March 2014).