Running a Google Ads campaign is a great way to make short term revenue for your business. Those seeking to benefit from this powerful advertising tool need to mind the pitfalls and make the right decisions in three key areas: bid management, ad quality and outsourcing.
Key Area #1: “Do Your Own Bid Management”
Google Ads is a web interface similar to a stock market trading platform. Businesses use it to place bids on certain keywords and phrases (eg: “bicycles for sale” or “family law”). Usually the business with the highest bid gets the top advertising spot for that keyword or phrase. Businesses advertising on the platform use it for free and pay a market price only when a user somewhere clicks on an ad. Marketers and small business owners who are managing their own ad campaigns can choose to manually bid on key words and phrases, set conditions based on geographic and demographic factors and strategic purposes. Businesses who use manual bidding strategies tend to be the most successful advertisers on Google Ads because they can better judge whether the ad clicks they are getting are quality leads for their business.
The alternative is to use Google’s “artificial intelligence” by allowing the platform to guess what sort of business lead you are looking for, then raise or lower your bids for certain keywords based on assumptions made by an algorithm. This option saves businesses hours per week – but often comes at a high cost. Current artificial intelligence technology tends to miss important details that humans can easily detect. This means that Google might optimize your ad campaign so that it gets lots and lots of clicks – without giving much thought to whether these clicks are from people you actually want to do business with. In the end, putting your ad campaigns on auto pilot is a lot like going to a casino and letting the dealer play for you. The house will win every time – and you will end up being the one coming up short.
Key Area #2: Mind Your Ad Quality Score
Google uses other factors besides how much you bid to determine whether your ad shows are not. For example, there is a factor called an “Ad Relevancy Score” that looks at whether terms a user speaks or types into their phone matches the words in your ad, and whether the copy in your ad match the words on the landing page that people go to after they click. Other factors include the “bounce rate” or percentage of people who visit your landing page and leave right away due to disinterest. Google also takes into account how many people “convert” on your landing page by filling out a lead form or making a call to your sales team. The higher ad quality you have, the less you have to pay for a specific ad to show to specific people as specific times.
Letting Google automate your ad account is like letting dealers play your hand in a casino. The house will win every time – and you will end up being the one coming up short.
You can generally increase you ad quality by manually making tweaks to your campaign’s ads, segmenting your campaign into ad groups that match the way specific demographics interact with your ads or making your landing page easier to navigate. This may seem daunting at first, but a well managed ad campaign yields better results in the long term making these efforts worth it.
You absolutely need to build a landing page for each of your ad campaigns. It is much more effective than having users click through to your website.
Key #3: Outsource to the Right Type of Agency
With all of the work that goes into managing a well-run Google Ads campaign, many businesses prefer to outsource the task to a digital marketing agency that specializes in search engine marketing. If this is the route you choose to take for your business, then there are three important areas for you to vet to make sure you found the right agency.
First of all, you should make sure the agency is a Google Marketing Partner. Agencies that specifically specialize in Google Ads have spent the time and effort to make sure they have a depth chart of experts trained to deliver value in the Google paid and organic search platforms like Google Ads, Google Analytics Google Search Console and YouTube.
Secondly, ask the agency to use your business’ own Google accounts. Also ask them to use your business’ credit card so that Google charges you directly. This is very important. Some agencies hide your budget behind a curtain, claiming that you are spending, say, $15,000 a month on search and display ads. Yet because they are using their own Google account and their own credit card to run the ads, you will have no idea whether your business is actually getting $15,000 worth of clicks every month. Reputable agencies are transparent and will allow you to see your account statistics, ad strategies and know the exact amount of clicks and interactions your ads are getting
Transparency is key: Don’t accept agencies’ claims that you have spent a certain amount per month on Google Ads. Agencies need to put your card down for Google Ads to charge it directly.
Finally, make sure your agency is building a landing page for your campaign. With a few exceptions, the most successful internet ad campaigns send users to a landing page that matches the look, feel and messaging of the campaign. If your agency is just sending prospective leads to your home page or contact page then they probably aren’t doing the best they can make sure your campaign is successful.
Parker Lake maximizes revenue streams for the companies in the portfolio of Calipso Business Development. He likes coffee, yerba mate and salt water and loves his family. Reach out to him directly: bit.ly/Calipso-bizdev – or stay tuned for future updates on how he and the Calipso team grow money on trees for their clients.