Google Ads Manager is an unified ad exchange platform to control all the advertising your digital marketing in one place. So, why do many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) struggle with their Google Ads account (formerly Google AdWords)?
Starting basic Google ad campaigns is straightforward, but running a successful search marketing strategy is time-consuming. It’s also dense and daunting for inexperienced users. Beyond great ad copy and visuals, success takes continual tweaks, updates, and savvy budgeting.
Working with Google’s digital pay-per-click (PPC) ad platform can be frustrating and costly for business owners. But it can also be a highly profitable marketing medium when done right. This article looks at why so many digital ad campaigns fail and what you can do to make them succeed. First, let’s go over the positive aspects of a Google ads account for SMBs.
Reasons for SMBs to Consider a Google Ads Account
Digital ads offer SMBs a pay-per-click online search engine marketing strategy. As the name suggests, you only pay for ad clicks. It’s a different form of advertising than pay-per-view (PPV), where you pay for each digital impression rather than each click. Paying only when an audience interacts with your advertisement is one of the platform’s greatest advantages over other forms of advertising and why it has become so popular.
The other great thing about a successful Google ads campaign is that it takes precedence over organic Google search. Thus, your ads show above the fold, at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). They used to appear on the right side of the SERPs, but that no longer applies to desktop searchers as ads are streamlined to appear like organic search results.
The image below illustrates this using the search term, buy organic vegetables online:
The display ads above are not only eye-catching, but they are the first thing a web searcher sees on the page. However, you need a good ad copy that matches user search terms and is persuasive enough to get people clicking on your links. So, your ad must attract eyeballs to be click-worthy.
The metric behind ad clicks is the click-through rate, or CTR. You measure your CTR by how many clicks an ad gets divided by the number of impressions (views).
Why Use Your Google Ads Account for Search Ads?
Google’s text-only search ads are different from the more colorful image options, but which is best? The answer may surprise you. Image ads get more impressions (digital views), but text-only ads perform slightly better with CTR and conversion rates. That’s because they blend in with organic SERPs and look less ad-like.
Below is an example of a text-only search ad in the SERPs. The only difference between this and the organic search result is the tiny Ad tag above the title.
Your Google display or visual ads can also appear on third-party websites if you desire. However, this type of advertising has a lower CTR because they look like advertisements. People tend to trust ads on Google SERPs more than visual ads on websites and blogs. The exception is with established B2B blogs with ads that closely relate to the site’s trusted content.
Research suggests a good average CTR for search (text) ads is 1.91% and only 0.35% for display types . To be click-worthy, your ad copy must entice searchers. But all new search campaigns need experience, time, testing, and tweaking to succeed. The time required to create and manage effective ad strategies is what derails so many SMB campaigns.
Some proven ways to improve your click-through rates include:
- Conduct thorough industry-related keyword research
- Include and rotate at least three ads in your ad groups
- Review & refine parameters to target your audience closely
- Include effective calls-to-action (CTA) using decisive action verbs
- Test & track different ad versions to see what works
- Make your ads stand out using title case for descriptions
- Refine what search queries show your ads by using negative keywords
Google Ads Account and PPC Management
Too many companies lose money through ineffective PPC ad management. But for those who commit, a Google Ads account is a worthy investment. It’s faster at putting your offerings at the top of Google search than organic search SEO strategies, which can take between 4–12 months to show results. And even then, you must continually work at SEO to maintain your position in the SERPs .
Ads are also measurable and easily scalable. Plus, successful campaigns are cost-effective and drive more sales than other forms of advertising because they target active buyers. Moreover, these ads secure brand name searches and help bring brand awareness. And lastly, there’s a good chance your competitors are using Google PPC ads to appear on SERPs above your brand. Not using search advertising for your brand is like allowing the competition to hand out flyers at your front door.
Now let’s go over the common issues SMBs meet while running ad campaigns.
Most Common Mistakes Running Google Ads Campaigns
Failing to take the time to prepare and properly setup a campaign is the #1 most common mistake.
Running a successful ads campaign requires consideration and preparation. But many inexperienced marketers open a Google Ads account and jump straight in with little thought. This approach is costly and futile, and it’s easy to blame the platform. And those who fail to look before they leap set themselves up for disappointing results.
The other most common ads mistakes made by green marketers and SBOs are:
- Fail to define a campaign goal and analyze performance
- Always use Google’s default network options and recommendations
- Overlook the target audience and locations
- Pick the wrong campaign type
- Use the wrong keyword match types, i.e., broad match, phrase match, and exact match
- Don’t make use of valuable ad extensions
- Link ads to a poorly prepared target website or landing page
- Overlook exclusion targeting
- Omit the call to action (CTA)
There are other things to consider, but the ones above are the most common Google Ads campaign mistakes. And each of these areas needs careful consideration. So, there’s a lot to think about and much to learn, which puts many SMBs off.
Bold Entity is a certified online digital advertising agency with Google Ads Certification. Our full-service digital marketing provides a results-driven approach for SMBs with strategies that work. And our continual service monitors, reports, and optimizes ads to achieve CTRs that drive results. So let us take your digital ad campaigns to the next level and leave you to get on with running your business.
Why You Can’t Rely Solely on Organic Search Marketing
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to pay for ads. Instead, people would find your products or services in the organic SERPs for specific search terms. But the reality is that organic search engine optimization (SEO) takes time and offers few guarantees. It’s also an ongoing process, meaning you need to optimize your web pages continually.
And if you get onto page one, slot one for a search term, you may not hold that position for long. There are two reasons for this. First, a competitor may run a better SEO campaign than you. Second, hundreds of search engine algorithm updates each year change the SERPs.
|PPC Advertising Fact|
Did you know that the first three paid advertising spots at the top of the SERPs get 46% of the overall clicks?
When to Avoid a Google Ads Account
Google’s PPC advertising campaigns are not for everyone. The platform can be dense and unintuitive to use. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run PPC campaigns. It simply means you are often better off outsourcing your Google ads management to digital marketing experts. Ads experts who are familiar with the platform can help you reach your target audience through cost-effective campaigns that drive results.
Avoid self-managing your Google Ads account if you can’t commit to the following:
- Dedicate time each week to check, test, and tweak your campaign(s)
- Interpret key metrics using the Google Ads Reporting Tool
- Understand the following AdWords data:
- Ad Rank
- Impression share (IS)
- Interaction Rate
- Quality Score
- Have trouble interpreting essential account data to optimize your campaigns
If you lack the expertise but would like to learn, consider Google’s free online training platform, Skillshop. It offers e-learning courses for all Google products and is your best resource for Google Ad Manager training. However, it’s not a shortcut, so you still need to commit time to go through the course and apply all that you learn.
Targeted Ads on Social Media
The Google Network is vast, varied, and relevant for advertisers, but it’s not all there is. Other search engines and the major social media (SM) platforms offer their own PPC advertising. Facebook Ads, for example, provide a nuanced type of targeting with powerful tracking insights. But which is best? Well, that depends on whether your social media presence aligns with the products or services you offer and your target audience.
Bold Entity is an innovator in integrated B2B marketing. Our services provide digital marketing strategies for company growth and revenue strengthening. We take your social media efforts to the next level through effective ads campaigns, organic content, and social media monitoring.
Summing Up Google Ads Best Practices
PPC advertising isn’t a sprint and there’s no finish line. Take your time to learn how to exploit your Google Ads Account to the best effect. Prepare your ads campaign carefully using Google’s keyword planner. And whatever you do, never leave a new campaign running without checking in on it regularly. Alternatively, enlist the aid of digital marketing experts to manage your Google Ads campaigns.