Google search ads are dependable even when nothing else is. The economy throws a bag of mixed signals at us every day. Inflation, gas prices, the war in Ukraine, and a bearish market are giving whiplash to those who watch the economy.
Yet even in the face of economic headwinds, companies plan to spend big on advertising in the fourth quarter of 2022. The word “unprecedented” is even being used.
Google Search ads are nothing new. So why are they so popular right now?
Should you invest in search ads? Look at it this way. Google search ads show up in the 8.5 billion-plus searches that happen every day. Why shouldn’t people see your products and services instead of someone else’s?
If Google search ads aren’t part of your current digital marketing strategy, maybe they should be. Here’s why.
How Google Search Ads Work
Google search ads show up in search results. Everyone knows this. If you search for “waterproof rubber boots” you will get at least one ad for a business that sells them.
Perhaps you are searching because you realize that part of the nature trail you want to hike goes through a shallow stream. You don’t want to get your feet wet, so you’re probably ready to buy a pair if someone nearby is selling them.
Google search ads are almost like being near the nature trail and overhearing someone say, “I wish I had some waterproof rubber boots.” Then you can say, “I happen to sell them, just around the corner.”
In other words, these ads show up for people who are interested in them. Unlike mass media ads of the last century, Google search ads are delivered to people who are looking for a specific product.
This means you won’t pay for your ads to show up for uninterested parties. Your ads are targeted and effective.
Google Search Ads at the Top of the Funnel
What if your goal is to raise brand awareness? Google search ads work for that too.
Google did a study of people who weren’t interested in any particular product. They had people search on certain keywords and showed them either ordinary search results or search results with a test brand name at the top of the results.
Later, the study participants were asked to name the first brand that came to mind for the keywords. Those who saw the test brand name in the top ad position were 80% more likely to name the test brand than the people who only saw ordinary search results.
In other words, Google search ads reach people at the very top of the sales funnel. They associate a brand with keywords. What if that brand was yours?
Tips for Success
How can you get the most from your ads? Here are 5 tips.
1. Use narrow rather than broad keywords. Rather than “soda,” for example, you could use “small batch cherry soda.” You can use negative keywords too. For example, you could add “-cream” if you definitely don’t make cream soda.
2. Make ads relevant to search intent. This is especially true for “urgent” services like plumbers. “We fix burst pipes 24/7” looks like salvation for the person who discovers a flooded kitchen on a Sunday morning. It requires a bit of mind-reading, but if you know your audience, you can do it.
3. Optimize your landing page. This is the page people “land” on when they click your ad. Generally, they don’t need a history of your business. They just want to see the product and price, maybe your contact information, and make a call or purchase with as little friction as possible.
4. Ensure your ad headline and description contain your target keywords. Make sure the copy aligns with probable search intent and addresses a pain point with a solution. If your headline is “We fix burst pipes 24/7,” your ad content can include, “Call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX to make an appointment for burst pipe repair.”
5. Use the free ad extensions Google search ads allow. These let you flesh out your search ads with information that moves searchers closer to a purchase. The following types of ad extensions are available:
- Sitelink extensions – which provide additional helpful links to your site. For example, if you’re the seller of waterproof rubber boots, you could provide links to Women’s waterproof rubber boots, children’s waterproof rubber boots, etc.
- Call extensions – which incorporate your phone number into the ad.
- Location extensions – which include your location and are great for “near me” searches.
- Offer extensions – which you can use if you’re currently running a promotion.
- App extensions – which you can include if you want someone to download an app (like your store app).
Advantages of Google Search Ads
Google search ads may not be as fancy as other ad types, but when crafted and targeted well, they can really perform. The fact that they are a prime example of “intent” marketing and reach people who specifically want what you have is a huge advantage.
They’re also unobtrusive because they look almost exactly like regular search results. What’s more, they’re resistant to most ad blockers.
If your website is new or doesn’t get a lot of traffic, Google search ads can increase your site traffic quickly while your regular website content does the more measured work of SEO.
They’re terrific for “urgent” services like roadside services, plumbers, etc.
They work great on mobile, where most “near me” searches originate.
Types of Businesses They’re Best For
Google search ads work for all types of businesses. You have undoubtedly seen them for small local businesses as well as big national brands.
But they can be especially well-suited for local businesses. Did you know that nearly three-quarters of all searchers for local businesses visit a store within a five-mile radius of their location?
They’re good for niche businesses because they offer targeted, specific keywords — usually the same ones interested searchers use.
And they’re good for new businesses that haven’t had the time to get their websites to the top of search results through organic SEO.
Managing Google Ads Can Be Complicated
Getting your Google search ads up and running requires several steps:
- Set up your Google ad account
- Provide your business name and website
- Define your advertising goal. You can choose to get more YouTube views, more visits to your physical business location, more sign-ups or online sales, or more calls.
- Create your ad. Google offers tips, but most importantly you should remember your targeted keywords and your target audience’s search intent when writing it.
- Add keywords. Use the ones Google suggests if you’re not sure where to start.
- Choose the location(s) where you want your ads to appear, like the town where your business is located.
- Set your ad budget. Google will offer several options, or you can specify a dollar figure.
- Provide your billing information.
- Connect your Google Analytics account so you can monitor your ads’ performance.
These are just the “basics.” You can also do things like integrating your Google search ads with your CRM if you have one.
Managing Google Search Ads
To get the best results, you will need to monitor your analytics and use what you learn to fine-tune your search ads. This can prevent you from spending too much on ads that don’t perform.
Google search ads make sense for businesses big and small. But they require an investment of time as well as money to get the highest ROI.
If you’re not ready to take this on yourself, why not schedule a call with us? Our digital marketing experts know how to create and monitor Google search ads that get impressive results.
We build websites and perform digital marketing services for businesses just like yours every day. Let us help you get the exposure and customers that you deserve!