Google Ads Explained for Small Business Owners

Google Ads is the online platform marketers use to advertise their products, services or business to users searching for keywords.  The goals of marketers using Google Ads consists of driving new leads to a website, generating sales, help with SEO Google Page ranking, brand awareness and many other trackable metrics. Now how does Google Ads work?

What is Google Ads? 

Google Ads is the online platform marketers use to advertise their products, services or business to users searching for keywords.  The goals of marketers using Google Ads consists of driving new leads to a website, generating sales, help with SEO Google Page ranking, brand awareness and many other trackable metrics. 

How does Google Ads work?

A marketing professional for a business sets their budget, keywords, locations, goals, campaigns and preferences through the Google Ads platform. Once the marketer is finished setting up their Google Ads plan, they are eligible to take part in a Google Ads AuctionAn auction is initiated when someone searches using the Google search engine. Depending on your Ad Rank, Google will show your ad to the user or not. Of course, your Ad could be the very first link they see, the second, the third or not at all.   

Google only charges a business when a user clicks on an ad, thus bringing them to your website. The associated cost with each click will be referred to as cost-per-click (CPC).  Cost-per-click= The ad rank of the person below you divided by your own quality score plus one penny.  Just by looking at the equation, we know Google will lower your CPC when your quality score is high. 

A marketing professional for a business sets their budget, keywords, locations, goals, campaigns and preferences through the Google Ads platform.

How do you get a high Google quality score? 

Quality score is how relevant the user’s keyword search (or query) is to your Google Ad. The question then becomes how does Google determine relevance?  Google determines relevance as your Click-through-rate, users keyword compared to marketer’s keyword, landing page quality and relevance, and your Google Ads performance. 

Click-through-rate is calculated by impressions divided by clicks.  Impressions are anytime an ad is shown on the user\’s screen.  The user doesn’t have to click on the ad or even notice it for an impression.  Impression\’s cost nothing but doesn’t provide much value other than brand awareness.  Keeping a high CTR means your ad needs to stand out from the other links a user will be enticed to click on.  

Your Ads will stand out to users by ensuring your entire ad is relevant to the marketer\’s search words.  Don’t make your headline relevant to the targeted keyword, if the short description isn’t relevant or URL won\’t help the user.  Google values the users’ time just as much as the marketer’s money, so it’s essential to only target the right users with valuable information.  One way to provide valuable information to your users is to ensure a high-quality landing page. 

A landing page in Google Ads is whatever URL or web page is linked to your Ad. If you’re anything like me, if I click on a random ad or link looking for information and don’t find it within 15 seconds of landing on a website, I click back and move on to the next website. 

A good landing page will hook the user into the website by providing the information relevant to the ad that brought them there, visually appealing aesthetics and easy navigation through both the page and website.  A good landing page will improve the click-through-rate, which will improve the quality score, which will lower cost-per-click.   

What are the benefits of advertising on Google? 

According to this Hubspot blog, advertisers make $8 for every $1 that is spent.  This is assuming you have efficiently setup your Google Ads campaign and are keeping track of how you spend your money.  Another fun fact is from this 2013 WordStream article stating 1.5 million businesses used Google AdWords that generated $111 billion in revenue.   

While there are an increasing number of digital platforms to market your business on, Google still holds roughly 37% of digital advertising, showing the trust marketers still have in Google Ads capabilities.  Facebook and even Amazon have been closing the gap, but won’t be on Google’s level anytime soon, which is why it\’s better to learn about how to leverage Google Ads now and not later. 

How do you run a successful Google Ads Campaign?

Each Google Ads campaign is going to be different from one another depending on the goalad setup, budget, industry, and demographics, just to name a few.  Let\’s break down the factors to consider for campaigns so you have a better understanding of what it’ll take. 

Goal:  The goal of your campaign will shape everything in your campaign including your selected keywords, ad type selection, text in your ads, landing page and how you track your data.  Some businesses will want to strictly make sales for their business, while some will want to track phone calls of potential clients or some might just want to improve their SEO rank. 

This is the easiest factor to define for your campaign, but it’s the most essential as well.  Your goal should clearly outline why you’re spending your money, which will make it easier for you to determine your return on your investment.  Once you’ve set your goal, it’s important to monitor your progress towards it using Google’s tracking data.   

Ad Setup: The ad setup isn’t just selecting your Ad blurb or call to actions in the blurb; it’s considering the entire process the user journey throughout the Ad.  Once someone actually clicks on your ad, that click costs you money, so it’s important to take the user to a high quality landing page. 

If your ad takes your users to a confusing and cluttered page, they’re likely to leave without giving your website a chance to complete the goal of your ad.  Spend the time synchronizing your ad with your landing page or you’ll just be spending your money and wasting your clicks. 

Budget: Setting your budget is obviously important because these clicks aren’t free! Depending on your industry, your click can cost you anywhere from $.50 all the way up to $7, sometimes even more!  

Depending on the competition in your industry and area, it will determine the cost for each click.  Google asks for a monthly budget amount, so don’t plan on setting your campaign around a certain number of clicks.  Set your budget and then track your return based off your goal and metrics like click through rate, conversions, time on page,  etc. 

Industry: The industry of your business is important because it’ll determine your competition for the keywords, the style of your ads and so much more.  You don’t want to blend in with the rest of your competition, so the amount of your competition will determine how eye catching you’ll need to be with your ad. 

Another sneaky strategy is to target your competitors top performing keywords, thus luring them away from their website to yours.

There’s a number of ways to figure out your competitors keywords, but one of my favorites is using Semrush

Like I mentioned earlier, your industry will be a factor in how much each of your clicks will cost.  Industries like legal, finance and consumer services are more expensive, but that’s only because of how well Google Ads does in these industries.   

Other industries like travel, real estate or medical aren’t as expensive, but that just means there’s an opportunity for businesses in these industries.   

Demographics: It goes without saying, running a Google Ads campaign in Missoula, MT will be a lot different than one in Los Angeles, CA.  It will affect everything to do with your campaign, so be sure to define where you will be running this campaign, who will be seeing the ads, their buyer personas and anything else you can target with Google’s data. 

For those wondering, yes you can set your Google Ads to only run in certain locations.  If the data is available, your campaign can target people specifically on their age, gender, and income.  Those cookies that are tracking you won’t hurt you, but they will certainly help advertisers. 

Who can run my Google Ads Campaign? 

As a small business owner, you\’ve decided Google Ads is a worthy investment, but aren\’t sure who should manage it.  Your options are yourself, a designated employee, national marketing firm and local marketing firm.

Small Business Owner: Depending on your business, it might make sense for the owner to run the campaign themselves.  You know what keywords you want and it\’ll help keep your budget lower.  Don\’t forget time is money and setting up the campaign can take dozens of hours and then the needed constant attention every month.

Designated Employee: This one is similar to the business owner running the campaign, but the employee will need to be sure what they\’re doing.  One small budget setting mistake, could lead to hundreds of dollars being spent on clicks that aren\’t valuable.  Make sure they know what they\’re doing.

National Marketing Firm: There are many national marketing firms who will perform Google Ads management for you and there are probably even emails in your spam folder from them.  These firms are good at what they do, but often have higher prices and won\’t know your local market.

Local Marketing Firm: Depending on your company budget and needs, this is probably your best option.  Local marketing firms should know your local SEO, keywords, target audience, and general culture of your city.  The downside with local marketing firms is the better firms will only take on 1 or 2 businesses per industry, in order to avoid conflicts.

Here at First Call Web, we focus our Google Ads Management services on Montana and Micropolitan markets.  This way we deeply know our market we are providing our services for and won\’t waste our clients time.

We do only take a limited number of clients in each market and industry, but please click on the button below to see if we are a good fit for one another.