What Are Google Ads?
Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, is the ad network that shows ads in dedicated ad space across the Google Search Results Pages (SERPS) for Google Search and Shopping ads, as well as the Google Display Network for Display and Video Advertising—which has a reach of over 2 million websites (YouTube, Gmail, and many more) and 90% of internet users. Google Ads allow marketers to target potential customers as they research or show interest in topics related to your business. For marketers, Google Ads was the first glimpse into highly-targeted digital marketing, and can be extremely beneficial for small and large businesses alike for growing their customer base.
Are Google Ads Right for Me?
If you have a business, the answer is yes. No matter what products or services you offer, Google Ads can help you to reach the right people, at the right time, in the right place to drive revenue for your company. With the changes to Google Search Results Pages in recent years, the display location of organic listings has shifted. Most organic listings now show “below the fold,” which is marketing speak for “you have to scroll down to see it”. Google Ads are now prominently displayed above the fold and are one of the best ways to capture someone’s attention in the short time you have available.
I’m Still Unsure
You’re not alone. At first glance, Google Ads can look like a mountain that is impossible to climb. Also, because some marketers are unsure how it works, they can be nervous about spending their money blindly with Google. Let’s walk through some pros and cons about advertising through Google.
Pros for Google Ads
Traditional advertising can take a long time to provide enough data to accurately measure your results. Sometimes it is months before you can get solid metrics. With Google Ads, you can see your keyword and ad performance with near real-time accuracy. Because you have access to this data so quickly, you can monitor it for any inconsistencies so that you can make adjustments to your ad if something starts to go awry.
Although you can see results instantly, don’t be too quick to measure your overall campaign performance. The rule of thumb for Google Ads is to allow your ads to run for at least two weeks before making significant edits. And, if you have a low campaign budget ($500), you may want to wait longer than two weeks to fully measure your performance. Giving the ads enough time to reach their potential will help you be sure that the changes you make to the account are relevant and will produce positive results.
Targeting your campaigns based on keywords alone can result in too diverse of an audience, which means your ads could potentially reach uninterested searchers. You want to be sure that your ads are reaching only relevant individuals, and you can use Google’s Advanced Targeting to achieve this. The targeting options available in Google Ads are outstanding.
You can use it to reach potential customers based on:
- Who they are
- Where they are
- What they are searching (planning or shopping for)
- How they have interacted with your business in the past
Additionally, you can set your ads to appear only at certain times of the day or days of the week. For example:
You may want to ensure that you are only sending traffic to your ads when someone is available to answer the phone at your business. You can easily set your ad schedule to display only during your business hours.
Or, if you notice that people tend to visit your website on their lunch break, you can modify your bids to show more during the lunch rush. Whatever ad display timing is right for your business—Google can help you set it.
Cons for Google Ads
The Learning Curve
Because the Google Ads tool is so robust, you don’t want to dive in and use every tool available without knowing a bit about what you are doing. The advantage to using the Google Ads tools is that Google wants you to learn how to properly use their tools. They have a library of training called the Academy for Ads, and it is free for all users. Yes, free. When you complete two training courses, you earn a Google Ads certification. Studies show that businesses that employ at least one Google Certified individual see an average conversion rate increase of 30%.
There are currently six training opportunities for Google Ads:
- Digital Sales
- Google Ads Display
- Google Ads Mobile
- Google Ads Search
- Google Ads Video
- Shopping Ads
Some businesses may not have the time to dedicate to completing this type of training, and that is okay. Many agencies employ Google Certified Ads Experts who can help steer you down the right path for ad campaigns for your business. These experts know how to hit the ground running and make expert recommendations to ensure campaign growth. Spend money to make money.
Because Google Ads are called “pay-per-click” ads, it is critical that you apply a healthy budget to drive your ad performance. What you are willing to spend will define where your ad appears.
If you work in a highly competitive industry, you will see that you need to spend more money to ensure that your ads appear above the fold. According to research, the most expensive industry for Google Ads is currently in Business Services. The average cost-per-click for Business Services is $58.64 per click. While that cost may seem high, it is important to keep in mind that Business Services are usually high-cost and high-value, so the expensive clicks still have the potential for a high return on investment.
It’s also important to remember that once you find the sweet spot for your spend, you can set your budget targeting to reflect your desired cost per acquisition (CPA) or how much you are willing to spend for a conversion. This will allow you to set your ultimate spend goals, and then Google will automatically show your ads to fit within your coveted CPA.
Are Google Ads Worth It? Absolutely.
Google Ads is a valuable tool for any size business to utilize audience targeting to attract and drive leads to complete desired actions. While there is a sharp learning curve that requires time and dedication, you are not alone and can seek the help of Google Ads Experts. Additionally, the ad budget spend can seem daunting, but Google gives you the tools to set the right budgets for your desired results. No matter what your business goals are, Google Ads can help you achieve them.