Ok, so you're ready to grow your business using Google Ads, you've set up your ad groups, done a bit of research on what your customers will search and know who you want to target, now what? Why aren't your ads converting?
Unfortunately, identifying your keywords is only half of the job, you might attract a good amount of searches, but if your ads aren't up to scratch, those audiences will count for nothing.
In this article, we're looking at the 'second step' to Google Ads (the new name for Google AdWords); structuring your ad copy and setting up extensions. You've lead the horse to the water, now let's make it drink.
What are the different Ad types?
Google Text Ads
The most common of all Google PPC ads is the 'straight forward' text ad.
Using headlines and descriptions, you can show your customers a brief listing of your business and services related to their search.
Responsive Search Ads
The new kid on the block, Google's responsive search ads give you the opportunity to include multiple messages and let Google determine which ad combo (headlines and ad copy) will work best.
Although Google Responsive Ads can save busy businesses a little time; effectively letting Google do the work for you, you should always keep an eye on your campaigns! As Google state; 'Make sure to regularly monitor the performance and status of your ads.'
Another thing to keep in mind, make sure each line of your responsive ad works on its own and in series, otherwise, you could end up with nonsensical ad copy.
Call Only Ads
Using call only ads is an ideal solution if you want to generate business through phone calls, without sending traffic to your site.
In search results, Google will display your telephone number, with no URL, so users only have the option to call; you can even monitor these calls, to determine how well your call only ads are performing.
Call Only Ads are a little misleading however, as you do still need a URL to get the campaign live! Don't have a website? No problem, Google My Business offers a free (albeit incredibly basic) 'website' which can be used as the holding URL to get your ads live.
How to write Google Ads that get clicks
Stay on topic
Ideally, each ad you write should be targeted to a specific search term (a highly targeted keyword and ad group structure will help with this), don't be tempted to shoehorn every service or product you have into each ad. For instance, if someone searches 'X' show them 'X', they aren't interested in Y & Z too.
A good rule of thumb with headlines is to stick with one of the following;
- Search Term & Location
- Search Term & Business Name
- Search Term, Business Name & Location
Keep things concise
On PPC ads, headlines are limited to 30 characters, with descriptions limited to 90; so there's no room for War & Peace. To keep your ad copy concise, write a list of the key selling points of your business or service and rank them in order; thinking about which would make your customer buy or use them the most, this will be the basis of your ad copy.
As well as this, think about what makes you stand out from competitors, do you offer a free audit? Are you the biggest or the most trusted on TripAdvisor? These are all key elements to include in your ad copy too.
- Headline two can be used for a call to action or business tagline
- Make sure each line of ad copy makes sense on its own, not all lines are displayed 100% of the time!
- Add key selling points and differentiation aspects where possible
What are Google Ad Extensions?
Ad extensions are a series of extras that you can include on your Google Ads, which offer more information such as contact details, website pages, offers and prices to enhance your listings and customer experience. If you're not using extensions at the moment, you're seriously missing out!
Ultimately, the decision of which ad extensions are shown is left up to Google, you can't really decide for yourself. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, Google uses its own algorithm to determine the best extensions to show, for which user and when; ideal really.
As a rule of thumb, you should use as many extensions as possible; giving your ads the best chance to generate clicks, if nothing else, using ad extensions will make your ads more visible!
What are the different types of Ad Extensions?
Call extensions let you add a telephone number to your Google Ads, giving users an opportunity to call your business straight from the search results page. This can help increase your conversions, particularly if customers know exactly what they're looking for; a user searching 'emergency plumber in Sheffield' for example will more than likely just want to call and get someone out straight away.
One thing to remember; unless you're willing to answer your phone 24/7, you may want to consider scheduling your call extension to only run during your business hours.
Call extensions can have their own goal conversion tracking, so you can even monitor when customers make a call to your business, directly from the call extension.
If you're ads just need that extra little push to get people clicking, the Callout Extension is for you. Adding extra bits of information such as 'Free Shipping' (as Google suggests), 'Buy One Get One Free' or 'Free Quotes Available' can mean the difference between a customer clicking your ad and someone else's.
You can even use the Callout Extension to increase your CTA (Call To Action), by including directives such as 'Book A Valuation Now', gently nudging your impressions into conversions. (Note: Avoid 'click now', it's frowned upon by Google).
Using Google My Business (which is used for registering your business location with Google), you can add your location to ads; perfect if people are searching for businesses in a specific area.
These days, an increasing number of Google searches are SiL (Service in Location), such as 'Taxis in Leeds' or 'Where to buy flooring in Doncaster', this makes the location extension all the more important; showing your potential customers that you're close by and ready to help.
Using the Price Extension is a great way to give potential customers your pricing, straight from your ad. There are multiple options, including 'services', 'brands', 'events' and 'product categories' so there will more than likely be a choice that works for your business.
There are a few key benefits to the price extension; firstly, if you're using a price leading marketing campaign, a price extension can help highlight how much better value you are over your competitors.
Secondly, you can effectively reduce wasted clicks; customers will know in advance if they are willing to pay your prices, without clicking your ad! If they're not, you've just saved yourself a few pence (or pounds in some cases).
Be warned though, don't be tempted to put false, eye catching low prices. Although this may seem like a sure fire way to generate some traffic, it won't result in extra sales (customers hate nothing more than being told one price, then being charged another) but it will result in ramping up your advertising spend.
If you're considering a full eCommerce campaign, consider using Google Shopping instead as an alternative advertising stream.
A Few Things to Consider
Do we have all the answers? Does anyone? No. Everything you've just read is down to years of testing and refining. Keep a close eye on your ad campaigns and always monitor the performance of your keywords and ad groups. People searching a particular keyword that's not lead to any sales? Ditch it! Got an ad group that brings in more revenue? Increase its budget!
Using marginal gains (make small changes at a time, you'll see your ad campaigns generating some major leads and revenue; every 1% increase in impressions, clicks and conversions is money in your pocket.
It Takes Time
There isn't a single ad campaign that's made money overnight. For all the planning and perfecting you put into your campaign set up, the chances are it won't have 100% impression share, with 100% click through rate and 100% conversion rate (if it does, come and work for us!). Be patient, have faith and keep on top of your spend to make sure you're working on a positive return.
Perfect Your Landing Page
There's no point maximising your click through rate, only to send your traffic to a poor quality landing page. A bad on-site experience will never make you money. The next installment in our Google Ads Guides is all about the perfect landing page experience. Keep your eyes peeled.
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