Ads is Google’s top revenue source, accounting for billions of dollars in profits each year. Simplified, how it works is you create short ads comprised of 3 lines of copy/text plus an additional line at the bottom of the ad which displays the URL which that ad will send you to if clicked. You choose the relevant keywords which you want to “trigger” that ad or in other words make it appear when someone does a Google search for those keywords. When someone clicks on your ad you are charged based on the bid price of that keyword, so you’re only paying when someone clicks on your ad and subsequently visits your advertised web page which is nice. Let’s talk about how to use Google Ads effectively.
How to Use Google Ads Effectively
Ads can also be shown in the “content network” which means rather than showing in the SERPs, your ad can be displayed on web pages which are relevant to that keyword which themselves have Adwords enabled for their site. You can also use additional multimedia like image based ads in the content network.
In Adwords you bid on keywords so that you can decide how much or little you are willing to pay to have that ad displayed. Additionally, after you design your ad, Google gives it a quality score between 1 and 10. The higher your quality score, the less you’ll likely have to pay for clicks on that ad.
Keyword bid prices are based on the popularity of that keyword (more popular and searched for keywords cost more) and the quality score of your ad. Quality score is based on the click through rate of an ad, the relevance of the ad to the destination URL which you are sending the traffic to, the quality of the URL which you are sending the traffic to, etc. Google hates a lack of quality or a lack of content on your destination URL, so avoid squeeze pages and websites made up of very little content in general.
The bottom line is that with a higher quality score you not only enjoy lower cost per clicks but you get a higher ad position in the SERPs while still spending less, as well.
So basically Ads rewards you for quality whether it be in your ad copy itself, the keywords you choose, the web page you’re sending your traffic to; every aspect really. This is because, just like with their organic listings, Google wants its users to find the best web sites out there to match their searches. Still a bit confused? Let’s look at a 6 Google Adwords tips to improve Adwords quality score.
Note: These Google Ads tips are all taken from the PPC chapter of my “The Completele Online Marketing Bible: 2016 Edition“.
Improve Ads Quality Score
- Splitting your keywords into more targeted ad groups ensures that your keyword/ad combinations are as relevant as possible and ensures that you don’t mix certain keywords with non relevant ads as this adversely affects your score and can have you paying more than you should to get an ad shown. I often like to get as specific as possible and put no more than 1-2 keywords in each ad group. I end up with a lot of ad groups, almost the same amount as my keywords, but they’re all very targeted for their corresponding keywords.
- Make the destination URL page which you are sending the traffic to in your ad as relevant and optimized for your keyword as possible. This includes optimizing that page with On and Off Site SEO for that keyword.
- Use relevant ad copy within the ad itself which means using that keyword throughout the ad while keeping it attractive and logical to read.
- Split test your ads over and over AND OVER again. This means writing a few variations of an ad and running them all to see which gets the best click through rate. Then take the best performing ad and tweak its copy a few times to see which performs the best yet again, continually pitting the winner against new edits of itself. This should be an ongoing process and your click through and quality will continue to improve as you split test again and again.
- Work with exact and phrase match rather than broad match as this ensures that your ads won’t be triggered by irrelevant keywords or irrelevant combinations of keywords. I prefer exact match typically as it performs the best in Adwords and anything else I do.
- Be sure to include the usual Google fluff to your destination URL’s site as omitting this will lower your quality score.
Those tips will help you bring up your quality score and bring down how much you’re paying for targeted clicks. Now to finish out I’ll mention a few more Google Adwords tips which I always use:
- Attach specific motivational words like “buy” in front of many of your product related keywords so that rather than convincing people who are curious about what you are promoting, instead you’ll be targeting ready to purchase customers only. Conversely, place “free” in the negative word spot to weed out people who are set on not purchasing anything ahead of time.
- Most people will tell you this one, but turn off the content network setting, meaning your ads will ONLY show in the search engines. Ads appearing in the content network typically perform worse and can drive up costs for you.
- Use common sense when picking your keywords. Think of keywords which you would use to search if you were looking for information on that product.
- Take the value of the commission which you would make for generating a sale/completing the offer and divide it by 3. Use this as your daily budget for that campaign. So if you were selling an eBook with a payout of $30, set your daily budget for that campaign at $10 and run it for 3 days.
- Refer to this post on calculating the value of your new subscribers in terms of your mailing list for PPC to get an even more precise idea of how much you can spend on paid advertising and still turn a profit.
You should be getting the idea that Adwords is a meticulous process of optimizing your ads based on keywords, copy, and settings to get the most targeted traffic and spend the least amount of money. Also, to make good money in Adwords you’ve got to spend good money. Anyone who boasts of annual Adwords earnings of $200,000 for example typically had to spend $100,000 to earn it, so it’s always a matter of focusing on the return on your investment (ROI) above all else with paid advertising.
Assuming you’re starting with a very small advertising budget, be prepared to work your way up as paid advertising, if done correctly, is an endlessly scalable business model.