Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has been around for over 20 years now and Google Ads (formerly AdWords) recently celebrated its 20th birthday.
There are now over 4 million businesses advertising in Google Ads and that number continues to rise daily. The Covid pandemic has been a major driver, with many businesses now going online and looking for effective ways to advertise their businesses on the internet.
Google Ads is by far the leading PPC platform with over 92% share of the market. It has many advertising options for a wide range of businesses including Search, Display, Video, App and more.
Smart campaigns are the default for advertisers new to Google Ads. This is a powerful but basic campaign type and allows advertisers to bring their products or services online in minutes.
Here are a few points to consider if you’re looking to advertise online through a pay per click advertising platform like Google Ads.
Are you a startup?
A wide range of businesses set up and run Google Ads campaigns. And lately with the Covid pandemic there has been a growth in business startups in many sectors and so there has been a greater demand for PPC experts to setup campaigns.
As a startup, a PPC campaign will help you to test and validate your concept. So, you can run a test campaign for a week or so and drive traffic from people that are searching for your type of products or services. The traffic you get from this will help you assess if this channel is right for you or whether you should look elsewhere.
For example, if you get about 500 clicks to your website from the campaign and that leads to 25 enquiries, then that tells you your conversion rate is 5%. It may not be possible to know what the industry average is, however a 5% conversion rate would be a good start. That is true for many industries. And then as time goes by you can work on that rate and improve it to get closer to 10% and so on.
As a startup you may also elect to work with a Google Ads specialist. Google Ads is the leading platform by a wide margin with 92% of traffic volumes, and it’s where you should be.
A specialist will help you to setup a good campaign and help you manage it too. Of course you should do your due diligence and check out their expertise and see what certifications they have and experience they hold in your industry.
And find out what they charge or better yet, request a proposal which should include details of their services, costs, processes etc.
What budget do you have?
Budget setting is one of the main challenges businesses that are new to Google Ads have. Should it be a low or high budget and how do you define low or high? How much are competitors spending and do I need to match that? What results will I get from my budget? Will I need to increase my budget and if so when?
All these are valid questions and it’s important to think this through. You can work with a PPC specialist to help you set a budget, based on their extensive experience in your industry.
One way to find out what competitors are spending is to use a platform like SE Ranking. This tool scans your competitors’ ads for the past 12 months and gives you a rough monthly estimate on how much they are spending.
You also get to see the ads and keywords that they have in their campaigns and this can be very insightful. This also helps with keyword research and helps you identify keywords you may not have thought of.
You can start with a small budget and then increase it as you get more traffic and optimise it to improve performance. You can increase your budget at any time though or you can increase it monthly by a certain percentage. Whatever works for your business and is affordable is what you should go with.
What are you selling?
The type of products or services you sell will determine the type of campaign you set up and the amount you will spend. If you are a local service business, your budget will likely be smaller than for a national or global campaign. You are also able to set up and run campaign types that are not suitable or available for a national campaign.
For example, a local business can run the new local campaign type that has been introduced in Google Ads. This is a basic campaign for lower budget advertisers targeting local customers that can visit the local store or shop. This is also suitable for businesses with many locations and the ads will appear in Search and Maps and all across the Google Network.
If you are an e-commerce business targeting a national or multi-national audience, then a shopping campaign is a good option. Even local businesses that sell from their shops can run local shopping inventory ads to drive visitors in-store to purchase.
So whatever type of business you are and whatever your goals, you’re sure to find the right campaign type for you in Google Ads. The easiest way to find the right campaign type is to use the campaign setup process in your account.
You start by setting the goal type for your business and the options include sales, leads, website traffic and so on
Do you have the right skills?
To run successful PPC campaigns in Google Ads you’ll need to master a few skills. First you’ll need a basic understanding of how the platform works, including how you drive visitors and customers to your website.
It won’t be necessary to learn all the controls and features, only the relevant ones to your needs. And, as a new advertiser you can use the automated campaign types like smart campaigns to start advertising. With this you can leverage the power of machine learning and allow the Google Ads system to do the heavy lifting.
A smart campaign will make bidding and search query targeting decisions based on the performance of your ads.
However, if you decide you want to have more control over your campaigns and decide which bid strategy to use, search terms to target, ad text to highlight and so on, then you can use the professional features. To do that you will need to change your account to Expert Mode. You can do that in the Tools section in the top right corner of your account.
And, you could hire a Google Ads specialist to help manage your campaigns. A specialist will help you with keyword research and selection, ad copywriting, bid strategy selection and all aspects of your Google Ads campaign. You can find one by doing a search online and check out the various options there including freelancers and agencies.
Following these tips will help you assess whether PPC advertising is right for your business. The best way to do that is by setting up an account and running a test campaign which will quickly help you see what returns you are likely to get. Doing research is not enough. You need to test the waters and you may find as many businesses have realised, PPC is a viable digital channel.