Updated: Oct 22, 2021
To any new business owner, or anyone wanting to jump into Google Ads, it can seem a bit daunting. You may have many questions popping up in that head of yours like “Where do I begin? Is Google Ads worth it? Will Google just take all my money?”
From taking a Google Ads course with the CXL Institute, I’m going to share with you some takeaways that can make taking that first step a little easier. It’s all about knowing the right strategies before getting sucked into Google Ads because yes, Google does want all your money. But if you create a strong foundation and know some industry know hows on setting up campaigns, you can run successful, properly targeted campaigns without spending all of your doe. And for the record, this is not a listicle that is claiming “if you do these things, you will make all the money and run the best campaigns ever.” These are only some tips to get you started off right!
Before we jump on in, I would like to let everyone in on a not so secret secret. Maybe you know, maybe you have no idea but there is a place online where you can learn from the top 1% in the digital marketing industry. The CXL Institute finds “the absolute best practitioners in the world, and get them to teach their craft.” No, this is not a sponsored post and I am not a famous influencer, I simply like to learn from the best to become a top performer. I am merely a continuous student who loves to learn and grow and I am thoroughly impressed by what the CXL Institute has to offer.
It offers a vast array of “digital marketing courses on all things conversion optimization, digital analytics and digital marketing. All in a single subscription.” Courses can range from 40 minutes to 8 hours depending on what you select. Whether you own a company and need to up-skill a team, or if you are an individual (like myself) and want to up-skill yourself in any area you can think of from Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Conversion Rate Optimization, How to Build a Marketing Agency, Content Marketing, Customer Acquisition, Digital Psychology, Email Marketing, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, SEO, User Research, Product Marketing...the list goes on and on! I could also continue to just go on and on but I think you get the point. I cannot say enough amazing things. Go check them out and dive into any course that sparks joy for you. I’m confident what you will get out of it will help build your business, or as an employee, you will gain valuable skill sets to help a company reach its goals. Go on and explore!
Ok Back to Google Ads…Budget for #GOALS:
First things first - come up with your budget. If you take the Google Ads course, you will receive a Paid Advertising ROI Calculator created by Matt Meiresonne. This calculator has multiple tabs tailored to what kind of business you run (for example Lead Gen, or e-commerce..etc). It takes into account everything from your monthly ad budget, your average costs per click, your average order value, your lifetime customer value, ROI per sale, per customer, and beyond. It gears you up to know how much you can spend, and what your target goal is. It also helps you understand all calculations that are part of creating profitable campaigns.
Within Google Ads, there’s some great native research tools like the keyword planner. Your keywords are the essence to whether your ad is seen or not, and whether you make or lose money. We all know this because we have used Google before, and have typed in the search bar keywords, and we all have seen different ads that populate. The keyword planner is pretty awesome because you can pull keywords from competitors URL, from any URL where maybe your people hang like Pinterest for example, and you can note down what keywords you could then incorporate to your ad.
There are also some external Research Tools such as SpyFu, and WhatRunsWhere. These tools are unfortunately not free, but these provide you with untapped opportunity that Google keyword planner can’t give you. The data sometimes isn’t relevant, or fully accurate, but SpyFu will provide you with net new keywords to expand your keyword footprint. You will be able to target more than what Google tells you alone, which will in turn give you more impressions, more clicks, more leads, and more sales!
WhatRunsWhere will show you what type of ads, creative, and placement of any company you look up. You can see the network and what landing page that ad drove to. It’s a great place for inspiration, for looking at what ads your competitors are running, where they are running it, where the traffic is being sent to. Just keep in mind, what works for them, might not work for you. Take it as inspiration and always keep in mind your remarketing audience, and what factors into your company's success, may not be a factor for them.
Keep It Simple:
With each campaign, you can specify what keywords will trigger the ad, where that ad is placed and what your target demographic is - from interests, to age, to geographical location, to even excluding geographical locations and keywords. Make sure each ad is specific and tailor each ad to a couple keywords. You do not want to layer on an ad as many keywords as possible, to as many people as possible because this does not gear you up for success and will lead to THE ICEBERG EFFECT.
Jonathan Dane, Co-Founder of KlientBoost and an expert in PPC and social performance, explains that the Iceberg Effect is “where you basically layered too many targeting options within your ad group or your ad set, and therefore are unable to see the individual performance of how those layers perform.” It’s important to be able to see the individual breakdown of what performs so you know what works and what specifically doesn’t work. When you keep each campaign targeting simple and with minimal layers, your insights and data will grow and you will thus be able to perform more successful campaigns in the long run and scale.
The options to target a search campaign vs. shopping campaigns vs. display ads and YouTube targeting definitely vary. I definitely suggest diving into this and learning about the different temperaments based on different PPC. It’s important to note when setting up campaigns that what Google recommends tends to have the broadest reach, and also has you spend the most money as opposed to specific targeting, and narrowing your reach to the right people, at the right time. The thing to keep in mind is making sure you have the combination of the call to action with the intent of the actual visitors.
To Wrap It Up
To learn the in depth details, I highly suggest taking a Google Ads course. The tool itself is not challenging to grasp and you’ll be running ads in no time with the proper training from the best to be the best *cough cough CXL*. By knowing how to set things up correctly, it will have the most impact on the performance of the campaign, and for your business. From there you’ll be able to optimize, scale up, and hit your goals!
Need help with Digital Marketing? Here at McMillan & Phillips we have a team of experts to make all your brand growth a reality. Reach out todayand let’s start optimizing your website and ultimately, your brand!