Google Ads can be a great source of revenue for your company as well as a better way to get your brand on top of the page. The downside of Google Ads is that if you do not approach it properly, you can end up investing more than you bring in. Just like anything you approach in the business world, the best approach is with a solid plan of attack.
After you get through the fun side of setting up your account and adding your billing information, the next thing Google asks you to do is to start creating ads. This is where you need to pause and make sure that you fully understand your approach. Starting a plan may seem like a lot, but just sit back, take a deep breath, and focus.
Steps to a Strong Google Ads Launch
First start off with a understanding of what you are trying to achieve with Google Ads. Do you want website traffic, brand recognition, leads, or sales. This is very important and not as obvious as some people would think. If you are running a vacation rental marketing department, you may think you want more traffic, because more traffic would mean more people would see your properties and thus want to book. This could be right, but is it the best approach? A better plan may be to focus on your specific properties and promote these with a “sale” goal instead of just “website traffic”. Or maybe it is during your down season and you want to increase your inventory of properties. Then your goal would be “leads” and the focus would be on your property management pages of your site. Get organized and understand your goal and focus. Write these down and associate these goals with actually pages you have on your site. It is best to start with pages that are already present then having to created pages to support a campaign.
Now that you have a more focused goal and plan, you can start diving into the meat of your campaigns. With each campaign you will now want to understand the organization of Ad Groups. This will allow you to focus your goals even more and with more purpose. For example, if your focus is that you want to promote your Oceanfront Properties, your Campaign would be “Oceanfront Properties” and your associated Ad Groups could be “Condos” and “Homes”. By dividing these two up you have more control of Ads, Keywords, Negative Keywords, and a better control on your budget.
Ad Groups allow you to have more control over how your budget is spent, as well as a better opportunity for a stronger Quality Score for each keyword and their ads. This will help with lowering your Cost Per Click and save you money in the bidding process.
Keywords & The Type of Matches to Use
Now it is time to tackle your keywords. It can be useful to stay away from “broad match” terms to help control your cost at first. Stay with “phrase match”, “exact match”, and “broad match with modifiers”. These three type of keyword matches will allow you to attract a more defined audience; as well as, allowing you to collect the necessary data to refine your keywords as your campaigns and ad groups start to work.
It is extremely important to add in Negative Keywords as well. I understand that most people are afraid to add in Negative Keywords in fear that it will limit their audience, but the last thing you want to do when trying to reach “beach rentals” is to get clicks from people looking for “beach chair rentals”. By adding in such Negative Keywords as “chair” you are making sure your ads show for the people that are looking for a place to stay on the beach, and not those that are looking for things to take with them onto the beach.
Writing a Strong Ad for Your Keywords
The final step is to write your ads. It is always best to start with a least two “Text Ads” and one “Responsive Text Ad”. This way you have a good selection for Google to choose from and it will also show you what headers and content are attracting the most attention and leading to conversions. I always add in one extra “Text Ad” as a test ad with something more aggressive in content to see how the audience responses to it.
When writing you ads just keep in mind that they need to include your Keywords in the Headers and they need to be eye-catching. Do some research and see what others are writing when you type in the keywords you are bidding on. It doesn’t hurt to learn from your competition when you are going to start bidding against them. Their ads are showing up for a reason so take advantage of that. Using such phrases as “Book Direct and Save” or “Save up to 25%” have always worked for me, but adjust these to make sure they represent what you are promoting, as well as your brand.
The last thing to look at with your ads are the landing pages. Make sure your ads are sending your visitors to a strong page that represents your keywords and your ads. The last thing you want to do is send your “Oceanfront” campaign visitors to a landing page that has nothing to do with any oceanfront rentals. Even if you are promoting condos, it is best to send them to a page that is strictly condos and not just your “all property results page”. Google looks at this when consideration your Quality Score.
With these steps you will be able to start your Google Ads campaigns off strong. As your ads gain attention and search results, you can then refine keywords, negative keywords, ad wording, and even create new campaigns for search terms that you see popping up more often. Just stay focused with a solid plan of attack and you will find that instead of just handing your money over to Google, you will be making money off of Google.