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How To Advertise on Google: Google Adwords Campaign Creation Guide

Advertising on Google

Adwords is just like any other form of marketing: know your product, understand your customer and craft a lucrative offer

Google Adwords checklist categories: keyword research, ad creative, landing pages, AdWords setup and optimization

Start small, iterate and expand.

How did you feel when you drove a car for the first time? The feeling is probably hard to describe with one single word, but it must have been a strange mix of excitement, fear and hopefulness. You were given an awesome tool, that could get you from point A to point B but before you could reach the destination you had to experience some fear, frustration and unexpected detours.  

Well, running your first Google advertising campaign is no different.

The stakes are high, the return is not guaranteed and the amount of effort put into learning is incomparable to anything you’ve ever done before. Google Adwords is a unique platform, that requires a specific set of skills. It is like a whole new language that you have to learn in order to communicate with your customers.

So what is Google Adwords? It is a marketing system that allows you to advertise in the search. The thing with Google Ads is that they can make or break a business. Successful campaigns can bring millions of dollars to their creators, while mismanaged ads can become an endless black hole that swallows your scarce financial resources. While Google Adwords services are performance-based, which means Google advertising costs are determined by the actual clicks, the time resources spent on creating and optimizing the ads can easily go over limits

Google Adwords is an extensive platform with hundreds of features. Some people say that great Adwords campaigns are like art, that can’t be replicated, but all great artists started from copying others.

So all you need to do is ask the right questions, walk through the process a couple of times, read through some Google Adwords Help materials and then create your own unique piece of money-making art.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself to create your own Google Adwords strategy template:

Question 1. What do your customers search for?

There are different ways customers find products, including referrals, email marketing, outdoor advertising and social media. Search is only one of the myriad of options.

So if you want to run a Google Adwords campaign, first you need to understand where your customers hang out and what problems they need to get solved. Google is becoming the ultimate place for people to find answers, but depending on your country and specifics of your product, there may be other powerful advertising tools you can use. Here is how you can verify the fact that people are actually using Google to search for your product:

  • Register or sign in to Google Adwords company account and get access to Google Keyword Planner tool. The Google Keyword tool shows how many people are looking for your product. One thing to remember is that people rarely search for products, rather they ask broad questions that your product might be an answer to. So you need to know search volumes for both product queries and problem-related queries.

    If there is a large search volume for both, Google might indeed be the right platform to advertise on. If there are no search volumes – look for other ways to advertise your business. Google will also show you information such as other relevant keywords, how competitive keywords are and how much it will cost to bet on those keywords.

  • Check that Advanced Options are set and choose the country you’re targeting. Set the language and a date range – you want to get yearly stats so 12 months is a good date range.
  • Now create a list of phrases or words that customers might type into a search bar when they look for your product. You will have to guess at this stage, but the guess is easy to make if you know your target audience. You just need to put yourself in customer shoes and try to come up with a list.
  • Type in all the phrases into Your Product or Service bar. And hit Get Ideas.

The Keyword Tool will return a list of keywords, all related to your initial phrases list, including keywords search volumes, competition and Approximate Cost per Click. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an active campaign in Google Adwords, you won’t be able to see the exact search volumes.

Keyword Planner will only show a range of search volumes, but you can download suggestions in csv format and check search volumes in Keywords Everywhere.

Once you download the file you can start analyzing it. There are three questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Is there enough search volume? If there is no search volume, then there is no point in advertising in Google. Zero or low search volumes mean that no one is searching for a product. Sometimes low search volumes mean that people use different search phrases from the ones you came up with. Think about other keywords people might use and try again.
  2. Are there any buyers for the product? Not only search volumes indicate what people search for, but also reveal the reason why people search for your product. People ask Google questions for all the different reasons: sometimes they want advice, sometimes they are looking for information and sometimes they want to buy a product. Your goal is to weed out any keywords that don’t have a purchase intent.

    If the person is simply looking for information there is a low chance your ad will convert.

  3. Do I have enough budget to advertise on chosen keywords? This question requires more than a simple “yes or no” answer. Let’s see how you can calculate your Adwords budget.

Question 2.  Can I afford to advertise on Google?

Now that you have your list of keywords, it is time to sort it and choose the ones you will be betting on. But before you do, you need to understand whether you can ensure profitability. You don’t want to bet on the keyword and then find out that you the keyword was too expensive to bet on in the first place.

The cost of a keyword is a relative term, that differs for each business. To see if you can actually afford to bet on your keywords calculate Max CPC – maximum cost-per-click. Here is the formula to use to calculate Max CPC:

Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)

As you can see, you need to know three metrics before you can calculate  Max CPC. And these are profit per customer, profit margin and conversion rate. If you don’t know these metrics, you can make an educated guess and make sure to track those metrics from now on.

Calculate your Max CPC and compare it to estimated keyword CPC from the keyword list. If keyword CPC falls into the range of Max CPC it means that you can possibly advertise profitably on this particular keyword.

If your Max CPC is too low and doesn’t allow you to advertise on the keywords you want, you need to first increase your Max CPC, by either increasing profit per customer or conversion rate.

Question 3. Can I spy on my competitors?

Yes, you can! Chances are your competitors already figured out profitable keyword groupings and you can definitely use that knowledge to your advantage. Once you get rid of keywords you can’t afford, it is time to finalize your keyword list by using competitors data. Competitors who have been running campaigns long enough know what keywords work in their market.

The tool you can use to reveal Google Adwords competition data is called KeywordSpy. Set up your account and copy your competitor’s domain into a search bar. Alternatively, if you don’t know who your competitors are you can type in keywords and then copy and paste suggested competitor domains.

  • In the PPC tab, you will see all the keywords your competitor is targeting and the date they started advertising on them. When competitors bet on specific keywords for a long period of time, it means that the keywords are working and generating conversions.
  • Download the list and compare it against your own list. You can add keywords you find relevant and remove some, that competitors stopped betting on (if advertiser stops targeting certain keywords, most probably the keywords aren’t working).
  • Look through Ads tab, that shows the ads your competitor is running. The dates will tell you if the ad has been successful or failed. You can also learn which ad copy works best, what offer generates more conversions and how to differentiate yourself from competitors.

Question 4. What’s the secret to most effective ad campaigns?

You have to place your ad in front of the people who search for your product, but there are other determining factors that affect people’s purchasing decisions. What problem does the product solve? Does it solve the problem effectively? How is it better than anything else that’s already out there? Why should I buy your product versus buying a different product or not buying at all? These questions can be easily answered with USP.

USP is a unique selling proposition, that describes who you are, what you do, why you are important and how you are different from competitors. There are many reasons why you need USP for your business:

First of all, USP is your position in the market. USP attracts the right customers, meaning people who need the product and are able to pay the price your establish.

Secondly, USP communicates your value clearly and in a language that is easily understandable to your target audience. So USP helps you generate more sales because your customers will quickly realize all the benefits they can get from your product.

Lastly, USP is part of your brand positioning. Not only it explains the benefits, but also establishes deep emotional connection with your audience. With USP you’re able to take a certain space in customer’s hearts and minds, which in turn gives you the right to establish profitable pricing policy and fend off competitors.

So how do you create a USP? Creating a USP is easier than it sounds. Think about what your business represents and what unique benefits it brings to your customers. Focus on a story that you’re bringing into the world through your product or service. If there is no story, create one. Talk to your current customers and understand the motives behind buying your product.

Research your competitors and see if there is a niche you can occupy by twisting some product features or telling a different story. Follow your target audience on social media and forums and see what problems they want to solve and how they talk about these problems.

USP is a unique combination of competitor intelligence and market knowledge. For instance, AirBnb’s USP is something along these lines: AirBnb offers the chance to stay in some aspirational, unique homes around the world. This USP changed several times and is still changing. But AirBnb never advertises the quality of homes or the features of the app. It focuses solely on solving specific problems for their customers.

Question 5. How do I craft the offer?

Having a USP makes it incredibly easy to craft your offer. But it is not enough. Here are 4 other ingredients needed to create an offer people would buy into:

1. Provide value

This is s basic science, but so many people get it wrong. Your offer must be valuable. In other words, have a product that brings real benefits to your customers and charge the price that you think it is worth. Don’t try to sell something easily available for a ridiculously high price. However, do remember that branding and a story can turn silly things into objects of obsession.

2. Make them trust you

When your price is extremely low, it might be taken by others as a sign that the product is of low quality. If you have a special offer running, you need to make people believe that this offer is not anyhow connected with quality issues or other negative circumstances. Instead, you should give customers a believable reason such as clearance or season sale.

3. Take care of them

People respond well to companies that take care of customers’ interests. And one of the major interests is to get a profitable deal without being a target of a scam. Everyone is afraid of scams and in general, it is hard to trust someone you don’t know whether online or in the real world. So you need to offer some sort of a guarantee to reduce the risk. Money back guarantee is a perfect way to deliver great customer service and create more trust.

4. Ask them to do something

Whatever it is you sell, it never hurts to ask people to buy. Action driving offers always perform better than general offers. Think about what you want customers to do when they see your ad.

If you want them to click on the ad and purchase right away, ask them to do so. If you want them to call you, leave a number and clearly state that you will be expecting a call. Once the customers understand the benefits of the product and make the decision to act, you need to let them know what the next step is.

These 4 ingredients are absolutely vital to creating compelling offers. But what about real ads? How does Google Adwords work when it comes to creating the actual ad? Well, here is the next step – how to create compelling ads.

Question 6. How do I use Google Adwords to create ads?

Adwords is a performance based advertising platform. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. So your ads need to attract the attention of the right people in the sea of competitor ads. You don’t want ads to be too broad and attract clicks from unqualified prospects, and you also don’t want your ad to get lost among other ads.

If you’re able to strike the perfect balance and create a really effective ad, it will save you money in the long run. Ads with high click through rates are given more credit, so you can enjoy boosted AdWords Quality Score and lower cost per click. Meanwhile, terrible ads with low click through rates will make your campaign extremely expensive.

Here is our Google Adwords tutorial on creating a winning ad:

1. Headline

Adwords allows only 25 characters for the headline, but trust us, it is more than enough to creat a great ad. Headlines are the first thing people see in the ad, so they have to catch attention and raise interest. Google will bold the text of the headline, so it is the most eye catching part of the text ad.

Try to include a keyword in the headline or ask a question. Make it salesy. Make people want to read the ad from start to finish. If you have a sales team, ask them what tricks they use on cold calls or cold emails. Look through your website copy and see which content drives more sales. But most importantly, understand who your customers are, what their pains are and how they behave online.

2. Descriptions

There are two description lines in the ad. This is where you need to state all the benefits of your product and how it makes the life of a customer easier, better and less stressful. The description lines allow for 35 characters max.

3. Display URL

Display URLs are just as important part of the ad as a headline and descriptions. People do read URLs. So don’t just paste your domain name. Instead, create a URL that corresponds to your offer. For example for gym membership the URL might be:

www.domain.com/gym/membership

To wrap it up, here are the examples of good and bad ads:

Good Ad

Free Pizza In NYC – in East Village

Get Your Delicious New York Style Pizza Now. Fast & Free Delivery!

Not only this is a highly targeted local ad, but they also have their USP on point (who doesn’t like New York pizza?). They also use the word Now that compels people to action, Additionally, the ad lists the main benefits, which are “fast and free delivery”.

Bad Ad

Name of a Company

Pizza in New York

Operating since 1939

The headline is not conducive to understanding what makes this offer better than others. The only benefit that is listed is the year of foundation, which is arguably the thing people take into account when looking for pizza. For some businesses, years of operation are part of their branding but remember that the prospect has probably never seen your website or visited the store, so he won’t be able to connect the dots between the quality and longevity. Finally, in such a competitive market as New York pizza deliveries, “pizza in New York” is too broad and doesn’t convey any value.

Question 7. How do I create a landing page?

Let’s say you created a perfect ad and people started clicking on it. What’s next? Before you run your ads, you need to lay down a step by step customer journey that takes a person from Point A (knowing nothing about your product) to Point B (buying a product). This journey should be as smooth and short as possible. More often than not, people assume that redirecting people to a home page is all it takes to make a conversion. However, the goal of your website is to convey information about your business and your brand. Your website creates a powerful story that forms an emotional connection and keeps loyal customers attached to the brand. This is not the goal you’re pursuing with Adwords campaign. In fact, you are trying to generate leads and sell.

Create a dedicated landing page that would become a logical step for customers to land on after they click on your ad. The landing page should match the keyword and the ad. It should become a sign for prospects that they are going down the right path.

The landing page itself is a customer journey. It starts from the first screen and a headline, where you reiterate your offer. It then goes on to explaining the benefits and terms. Finally, it must list the pricing, testimonials and final call to action to push the customer closer to a purchase.

Question 8. How do I know if my ad is working?

Conversion tracking will keep you informed on what ads are performing well and which ones you need to get rid of. Conversion tracking involves two components: keywords and ads. Keywords with high search volume can generate lots of clicks, while targeted ads can attract hot leads.

To set up Conversion Tracking go to your Google Adwords account. Under Tools >> Conversions, click “+ Conversion” and follow the steps defined by Google. Then add a snippet of code to an order form and you are all set. Each time a customer lands on your order page, Google will register a conversion.

If your sales are generated offline, there are 3 simple ways to track conversions:

  1. Create an additional step in your sales journey, that corresponds to making a sale. For example, send customers to a page where they can enter their contact information for a callback or download a lead magnet.
  2. Offer an Adwords only code to your customers. If you have a special offer that is triggered by the code, use the code as a conversion metric.
  3. Use a special Adwords only phone number. Reserve a phone number for customer calls prompted by your ad. Even though you will have to manually register conversions, it is better than not tracking at all.

Now that you have conversion tracking set, you’re finally ready to launch your campaign. Before you hit launch though, let’s review some of the default Google settings. Knowing how to tweak your settings will ensure maximum campaign profitability.

Question 9. How do I adjust Adwords settings?

There are 4 default settings you need to be careful with when setting up your Adwords marketing campaign and these are:

  • Search vs Display

Google Adwords is split into two campaign types: Search network and Display network. Choose search network option if you want to place ads in the search engine results. Choose display option if you want to place ads on a network of sites across the internet. Since in this article we are covering only the basics of search ads, you should pick search network over display network. For display network ads there is a whole set of different rules that are a topic for another article.

  • Device Bids

There are three types of devices you can target: Computers, that include desktop or laptop devices with screens larger than 7” in diagonal; Mobile, which covers all handheld devices including mobile phones; and Tablet – mobile devices that don’t necessarily include a phone.

Go to Settings, then Devices and choose either All Available Devices or select Let Me Choose to target specific devices and operating systems.

  • Keyword Match Types

This option helps control who the ad is being shown to. For example, you can choose Broad if you want the ad to be shown to a wide audience, or Exact if you want the ad to be shown to a specific group of customers.

Broad match type shows your ad to customers who typed in any search phrase that Google thinks is relevant to your ad. In general, broad match type shows the ad to a larger audience, but there is no guarantee that Google won’t match your add to some irrelevant search terms. And this mismatch might turn out to be too expensive.

Phrase match type shows your ad to customers who typed in the exact phrase into the search bar as part of the search query. For example, if customers type in “flower shop near me” and your add targets “flower” keyword, the ad will be shown to those customers.

Exact match type shows your ad to anyone who typed in the exact keyword. The exact match type restricts your ad visibility but might bring you hot leads, who are ready for a purchase.

It is hard to recommend the best match type, as it depends on the ad itself and on your product, but as a newbie try phrase match type and reiterate from there.

Another match type is negative keywords. In a nutshell, you can block certain keywords from triggering your campaign. For example, if you are in the flower business, you can block people searching for FlowerBook App from seeing your ad.

Question 10. How can I improve my campaign?

Congratulations! You have now launched your first Google Adwords campaign. If you think you’re done, think again. Because even the best and thought through campaigns require optimization. Your campaign might be bringing in money already, but who would mind making it even more profitable? The general rule of thumb is to start small, from one or two ads with different versions, and then add more ads and optimize from there.

Here is how you can improve your campaign performance:

  1. Your set of keywords. There will be some keywords that are performing well and keywords that don’t bring any sales. Get rid of the latter and continue bidding on the former.
  2. CTRs – you want your Google ad to generate clicks. If you see that ads don’t generate enough clicks you need to adjust your ad either by altering the text or changing your offer. Since CTRs affect how much you pay per ad, you want to create ads that generate as many clicks as possible.
  3. Conversion rates. Just like ads, landing pages can be optimized. Set up different versions of your landing page and use Google Content Experiments to see which version performs best. You can also use Behavior Flow Report to discover how engaging your landing page content is. You will see how long people hover over certain parts of the website and whether there are triggers that disrupt user experience.

Voila! Now you know how to advertise in Google Adwords and you can finally start making money. You can create your first Google Adwords campaign and ensure it’s attracting hot leads like a magnet. You can sit back and enjoy the flow of customers and quick sales. And if you manage to keep track of your campaign and optimize it continuously, this sudden influx of leads will become larger, steadier and even more profitable as days go by.

If you have actually spent the time to read this entire article, props to you! However you may be wondering if here at Klicker we actually know what we are talking about. Let us brag a little bit.

First off check out our past work. You can find many case studies with the proof in the pudding. Aside from that know that we have successfully run ad campaigns profitably across a huge variance of different vertices. Some of the most notable verticles we have had massive success in are:

Startup Marketing Firm
Dental Marketing Agency
Saas Marketing Firm
Plastic Surgery Marketing
Law Firm Marketing Agency

We’ve also expanded to multiple locations:

Digital marketing San Diego
Digital Marketing San Fransisco
Digital Marketing Utah
Digital Marketing Denver
Digital Marketing Irvine CA

Written by on September 7, 2016