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How to Use Google Ads: What to Consider When Considering Digital Advertising

Wait, what is Google Ads? Is it different from AdWords?

Google Ads is the new branding and organizational scheme which brings together all of Google parent company Alphabet Inc.’s most popular and effective advertising tools under a single platform.  Google AdWords already arguably offered the largest and most effective digital advertising network in the world, and this restructure was designed to make it easier than ever for someone to run a high-quality digital advertising campaign.

Oh, and with Google’s new responsive ad builder, you don’t even need to know anything about ad design to create impactful digital ads.

At least, in theory…

Why is Google Ads still so confusing?

Theory, as it turns out, isn’t always reality.  Sure, Google Ads makes it easier to get the ball rolling on a digital ad campaign.  But figuring out how to set goals effectively, identify appropriate target markets, and design a campaign that really works, is a lot harder.

Once you get a basic campaign set up, you’ll need to drill down through the myriad of Google’s ad networks, types, extensions.  You’ll need to make sure keywords and ads are optimized to improve Quality Score and Ad Rank.  Trust us, the rabbit hole is long, and winding.  So hopefully you’ve packed some carrots to munch on at your desk.

Getting started with Google Ads’  many options

Don’t like carrots?  Red Sage’s Google Ads Certified specialists can navigate all those strategies and the myriad of execution-related options on your behalf.  But if you’re eager to dive in on your own, it’s critical to put in some quality planning time before building out a campaign.  Every single campaign is going to be different, and recognizing which Google tools are most appropriate for your distinct situation is critical for success.

Case studies for Google Ads campaigns

Start with WHO.

Think about WHO you are and WHO you are targeting, because it has a direct correlation to HOW you should set up a Google Ads campaign.  Here are just a couple of examples that illustrate the point.

Example #1:

Let’s say you are a local marketing company.  Your target audience is primarily going to be other small to medium-sized businesses which have a need to market themselves.  You provide a number of specialized services that people might be searching for online, and your target audience is within a specific geographic area.  In this example, Google’s Search Network with Display Select give you a way to target people who are searching for specific keywords in your area, people who fall into your target age and demographic range, exhibit certain interests or behaviors online, and/or have visited or taken certain actions on your website in the past.

Using these networks, you could reach your exact target audience without wasting money on people who have no need for your services.  We’d call that a win!

Example #2:

Maybe you are a tourism company.  You want to promote some of the fun and unique events, activities, or attractions in your area.  That’s a lot to convey in a single display ad, and people searching Google to plan trips may not be using keywords relevant to the area you are wanting to promote.  In this case, video ads on Google’s Display Network may just be the ticket!  Video ads allow you to tell your story in a much more impactful way, than through traditional image or text-based ad.

Slow to board the video marketing train?  (You can read up on the now major role video is playing in marketing, in Sarah’s blog post from last month.)

Example #3:

Let’s say you own a local plumbing company.  While many of your regular customers will call to schedule services, you really want to catch potential new customers who need emergency plumbing help.  The first thing people are going to do when they have a leaking pipe or broken water heater is pull out their phone and do a quick Google search for “emergency plumbing services” or something similar.  With that in mind, the Search Network is the perfect place for you to spend your advertising dollars.  Google’s search platform lets you target searches for certain keywords or key phrases in your service area, without wasting money on expensive display ads shown to people who have no immediate need for your emergency services.

In addition to targeting specific searches, you can specify which devices you want to target.  In today’s era of smartphone domination, most people won’t bother heading to a desktop to search for help when the kitchen floods.  They’ll just whip out a phone.  Google Ads allows you to target ads directly to mobile users, thus avoiding delivering impressions to someone outside of the target audience.  Oh, and you can even add a call extension; so all a panicked homeowner has to do is “click to call” the extension and they’ll be immediately connected with your company.  Just make sure you have someone available to answer the phone!

Can someone just manage my Google Ads for me?

Of course, these are just a few quick case studies.  There are literally hundreds of variables, options, and conditions to consider when using Google Ads.  Others to think about include: What type of keyword targeting should you use?  Should you utilize an automated or manual bid strategy?  How often should you optimize your campaign?  How long should your campaign run?  Oh, and don’t forget a quality landing page!  

If all of this feels a little overwhelming, well, that’s understandable.  Despite Google publishing a ton of resources to help Ads users become proficient, mastering the material takes time.  If you don’t really have the resources or confidence to think through all the scenarios when getting started, or to regularly monitor and optimize your campaign, consider getting outside help.

Better to let an experienced Ads manager ensure things are done right the first time, leading to a quality return on investment, than to muddle through, wasting time and money that can’t be recovered.

Ready for a free consultation?  Give Red Sage call to learn more about how our Google Certified team members can help you craft a successful digital ad campaign while providing comprehensive results reporting.

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