Google Ads can help you advance your business goals by bringing the highest quality, highest intent eyeballs (otherwise called website visits) to your product or service.
Here’s a list of things Google Ads can help you with:
- Increase brand awareness
- Protect your brand searches from competitors
- Increase targeted website visits
- Find people who are in-market to buy what you offer
- FInd people who are likely to be in market in the next few months
- Drive enquiries, phone calls, or in-store visits
- Promote downloads to your app
- Promote products in your ecommerce store via Shopping Ads
Understanding how Google Ads helps you advance your business goals is so important, it’s not a surprise this exact question is included in the Google Ad Specialist Certification Exam.
Why should you run Google Ads
Google Ads should be part of your marketing strategy if you’re looking for a reliable, high-intent source of traffic to your website.
If your business has at least £600 to spend in ads every single month; an already successful product or service; a bespoke landing page with contact information; an understanding of the customer they’re looking for; and a tight sales process, Google Ads are (most likely) a good choice. You can find a comprehensive list of things you need in place in our freebie, “15 Signs You’re Not Ready To Run Ads (Yet!)”.
The exceptions are businesses or new products for which there is no existing search volume – meaning they’re brand new and no one knows them, which in turn means no one will search for them either.
In that case, the goal either becomes to run Google Ads to build awareness, or to opt for Paid Social instead.
The cons of running Google Ads
It’s largely true that on average, Google Ads are more expensive than Facebook Ads – this seems to be a question every business looking into paid advertising asks at the beginning of their journey.
If managed correctly, Google Ads are amazing at reaching the highest quality audience, but the question is, can you afford that?
Again, if you’re not happy to consistently spend (and maybe lose) £600 per month, you’d be better looking somewhere else.
You also have to be aware that Google Ads are not a short term, immediate solution. Sure, sometimes you can be lucky and set up a campaign that works brilliantly from day one, but those are a rarity, not the norm, even for people who do this as a full time job.
Lastly, competition can be quite aggressive, especially if you’re a small business and they’ve got deep pockets, so if you’re not prepared to invest time in optimising your ads, tracking your website properly, running a/b tests and monitoring your search terms to exclude irrelevant ones, you’re not going to see the return you’re perhaps hoping for.
Google Ads Formats To Choose From
To reach your business goals, Google gives you different types of ads to choose from, depending on the campaign you’re running.
These used to be, until a while ago, the text only ads that appear when you perform a relevant search on Google.
This is not true nowadays: firstly, because Google introduced an image extension, which allows you to upload images to existing ads. Secondly, because expanded text ads are due to be discontinued on Jun 30, 2022 in favour of AI-driven responsive search ads.
This is Google’s version of Social advertising. It’s a combination of text and visuals (either images or videos) that appear in front of people in the so-called Google Display Network, a collection of all the websites that allow Google to show advertising in exchange for a monetary return.
For example, if you’re a gamer and you’re desperately trying to get hold of a PS5 by looking everywhere for a deal, chances are you’ll start to see a display ad from Sony following you around. That’s exactly how display ads work.
Shopping Ads can help you promote your products to the right audience through Google. Bear in mind that to run Shopping Ads you need to set up a Merchant Centre, where you upload a series of details about your products so that Google can pull and display the right information when people search for products similar to the ones you sell. FYI – Merchant Center is free to set up!
The most common way video ads are shown is via a YouTube campaign, where video ads show either before or during videos, or on the right hand side column as discovery ads. Another way to use video ads is to upload video as creative in a Display campaign, as we’ve already seen.
Less frequent, but certainly not less valuable, these ads, you guessed it, promote app downloads across the entire Google Network. As opposed to search ads or display ads, app ads don’t require much design work; Google will use the text you provide and combine it in a variety of ads across several formats and networks. You just have to give an indication of what your budget is and how much would you like to bid for each app engagement or download.
There is almost nothing that Google Ads can’t do to help you advance your business goals. They have developed a bespoke solution for each goal, they have the biggest set of data out of all advertising platforms and it’s undeniable it gives them an advantage when it comes to predict how users are going behave and what their intent is.
If you have the right tools, or you’re supported by the right people, Google Ads will become a powerful growth tool; whatever growth means to your business.