Google Ads is today one of the most interesting advertising platforms for professionals and companies serious about intercepting their next customer on the net.
Still, the complexity of the platform can be intimidating: which campaign should you create when starting out? And what are the most important campaign options to remember? Which KPIs to keep an eye on and how to enhance the yield of the architecture through remarketing dynamics ?
In this article, I’ll tell you how to take your first real step with this interesting and powerful marketing tool. The platform is complex and layered: I will show you where necessary further information published in the past always on these pages.
The Topic Of This Post
- 1 How Google Ads works
- 2 The architecture of the countryside
- 3 The characteristics of a Google Ads campaign
- 4 Campaign Goals
- 5 Campaign Types
- 6 How a search campaign works
- 7 How a display campaign works
- 8 The numbers that matter
- 9 Analytics in Google Ads
- 10 Remarketing in Google Ads
- 11 Plotting a conversion
- 12 Get Google Ads Certified
- 13 In conclusion
How Google Ads works
Launched in October 2000 – yes, not a typo twenty Two years ago – Google Ads is perhaps the most popular of all Google services. Until July 2018 called Google AdWords, it recently underwent a decisive restyle that changed the interface, while keeping the underlying mechanics unchanged.
In Google Ads, an advertiser can independently cre ate an advertising campaign, configuring its objectives in detail and always maintaining full control of the positioning of the ad (for the moment, we could say the context in which the advertisement is delivered) and of the cost. sustained.
The mechanics at the base of the platform are that of the auction. Some campaigns, such as “search” campaigns (which show results above or below Google’s organic results ), allow advertisers to pay per CPC, or Cost-Per-Click . Each click on the ad will therefore “consume” a portion of the designated daily budget .
Other campaigns, such as those of the “display” type, instead allow you to pay per CPM, or Cost-per-Thousand (impressions). In this second case, the ad is delivered on third-party sites and, regardless of how much it is clicked or not, the budget will be eroded every thousand impressions.
In Google Ads the advertiser can choose the maximum threshold that he is willing to support to get clicks or impressions, entering into competition (in fact, “in auction”) against all the other advertisers in Google Ads.
Through automatic bidding strategies it is also possible to let the campaign choose how much to offer to “enter the auction” and in what context, aiming to maximize the volume of conversions or turnover.
To decide which adverts are deemed worthy of delivery and in which order, the platform takes into consideration several factors: the economic offer , the budget available for the campaign, the quality of the ads and the landing page , the context of the search or user display.
In short (fortunately) a piggy bank full of money is not enough to be successful in Google Ads. To get good results, working on the quality and relevance of your ads is vital.
By doing this, everyone wins: advertisers get good exposure at affordable costs and users have valuable experiences when they search.
The architecture of the countryside
Before proceeding further, it is worth highlighting an important aspect: campaign architecture plays a fundamental role in Google Ads. With the term architecture we simply refer to the organization of:
- ad groups
A Google Ads account can in fact contain one or more campaigns. A campaign can contain one or more ad groups. An ad group separates and contains one or more ads.
The organization of an advertising strategy in different campaigns and related ad groups within them is the key to obtaining the precision necessary to work on the platform through a progressive optimization of the results obtained.
No, as you can imagine, building a single campaign valid for all products, for our entire target , throughout the territory, is not exactly the best way to follow in Google Ads.
Campaigns, ad groups and ads allow you to manage different and specific configuration options at different levels:
- at the campaign level, we first of all manage the type of campaign (for example the “search” type, the “display” type or the “video” type) together with important options on the target location of the ads, the daily budget or the maximum offer that we are willing to support;
- at the ad group level we manage the targeting options necessary to show the ads of that specific group to our audience;
- at the single ad level, we focus on what the user actually sees of our entire strategy. We therefore work with creativity and copy to compose the most effective ad for the context in which it will be delivered.
We will see in detail, in a moment, the main differences for the targeting options of search and display campaigns. As you can imagine, even the best strategy fails if the right ad is delivered to the audience… wrong!
The characteristics of a Google Ads campaign
The fact that different aspects of Google Ads take shape at different levels in the campaign architecture can be scary. How can you remember where that important option is?
Fortunately, there are some options common to all campaigns that are configured at the highest level, that of the campaign.
Whatever the type of campaign created, these options are always available and allow us to direct our marketing action in detail. This also means that these configurations will apply to all ad groups within a campaign.
First, the location . Each campaign allows you to manage a set of locations in inclusion (i.e. delivering ads only on those locations) or in exclusion (i.e. avoiding users in those areas from receiving them).
Although it may seem like a good idea, creating a single campaign for the whole Italian territory is not so effective, because it binds us to offer the same ads for a user from Turin and one from Rome, Naples and Parma.
Since location options are only available at the campaign level (and not at the ad group level), creating different campaigns for specific locations will allow us to make our ads efficient and contextual.
Even the language options are present only at this level and ask us to reflect, whatever the campaign we have chosen to create, on which language our potential customer should speak. After all, if our ads are in Italian, reaching a French-speaking audience could create some perplexity for those who receive it. And most likely make the quality of the campaign so low as to severely constrain its delivery.
Currently, it is not possible to choose to deliver a Google Ads campaign on only a specific device, such as desktop, mobile or tablet. However, each campaign presents, even at the campaign level, a cross-section of the performance for each device category.
Furthermore, although it may seem obvious, a Google Ads campaign may not be delivered every day, at all hours of the day. Therefore, thinking about the so -called scheduling of ads gives us the opportunity to restrict delivery to only a few days or hours, saving budget and concentrating what is available only where it is needed. While it is true that we can potentially reach and convince a user to contact us at any time, it is equally true that delivering a campaign for our hotel in Rimini on any Wednesday at 3:00 in the morning makes it a little less likely to get the result.
A clarification is a must: the planning of the campaign is not only a theme linked to the exclusion of days or times in which it is less likely to obtain the conversion , but above all an important point of reflection regarding what the day or time is. of the day in which the user starts his own path to conversion through the first of all the interactions he will have with the campaign. To understand: delivering a campaign on Mondays, when the hairdresser’s salon is closed, could still be useful if we discover that it is on Monday that people start thinking about their next cut.
Again, the budget and bidding strategy settings . All campaigns individually have a budget – which we can define and modify at any time – and advanced settings (called “bid strategies”) that control how this budget should be spent. Except in rare cases, campaigns in Google Ads can only have a daily budget.
Finally, it is always at the campaign level that the start and end date is managed . When the campaign is created, it is possible to indicate as a start date any future date, which will be editable only before it has passed. The end date can also be changed at any time, even when the campaign is over.
It is therefore important to reflect on all these options together to evaluate how many campaigns may be necessary to precisely control the strategy with respect to the audience we wish to intercept.
The choice of campaign objective is the first that is faced during its creation. The available options range from:
- website traffic
- consideration of the product and the brand
- brand awareness and coverage
- app promotion
Each goal basically tries to guide the user in choosing the best campaign. By choosing “sale” we will be asked to choose between different types of campaigns that can aim to achieve this result, such as search or shopping campaigns. By choosing “brand awareness” we will be prompted to choose the “display” or “video” type.
Of course, you can also choose to create a campaign without a goal, then selecting one from all the types of campaigns available on the platform.
If you’re just starting out, choosing a goal can help you streamline the next steps in setting up your campaign by focusing on what’s most important to your business right now.
Over time, the platform has increased and made campaign types more and more multifaceted. Let’s see an overview together.
First of all, the “research” campaigns . They are perhaps the ones that Google Ads is most often identified with. Through this type of campaign we can show a text ad above or below the organic results of Google when the user makes a precise search. That’s all, but it’s really a lot to think about.
A “display” type campaign , on the other hand, allows us to show an image ad (read: a banner ) on the GDN, or Google Display Network. GDN is a network of more than two million sites, portals, third-party blogs and Google services that adhere to the Google AdSense program . If a blogger decides to join Google AdSense to receive compensation every time one of his readers clicks a banner on his pages, on the other hand there is an advertiser in Google Ads who has prepared that same banner for the customer for whom works.
The “Shopping” campaign type allows an e-commerce to show dynamic product ads to users who search for them, in Google or within Google Shopping. This type of campaign depends in particular on technical aspects, first of all the correct implementation of a flow of products that can be recognized by Google Ads through another Google service, called Google Merchant Center, designed specifically for those who trade online. The final result for the user is very interesting: if you have a product and Google thinks that the search may be the right one, it will show it to the user. Not bad.
Have you ever been interrupted by an ad (video) by watching a video on YouTube? Probably yes. In this case, you have been reached by a “video” type campaign that allows you to intercept a potential customer when they are on YouTube, while they are watching a video or looking for interesting video content on the platform.
The “app” type campaigns allow you to promote your mobile application for Android and iOS. If you are looking to give exposure to the application you have developed, why not adopt a campaign whose goal is precisely to stimulate its installation and use?
In the types of campaigns we’ve alluded to up to this point, the helm is always in the hands of the advertiser. Advertiser who can concentrate on defining a digital marketing strategy down to the smallest detail. This, let us repeat, is a great advantage of the platform.
Google, however, has long been tickling the imagination of advertisers by offering slightly more “automatic” types of campaigns. This is the case with “smart” campaigns , which automatically generate text and image ads and show them where necessary in Google results, on the Google Display Network and Google Maps. In this case it is only necessary to provide some brief indications regarding objectives, business and budget and let the platform guide.
The latest in chronological order is the “discover” type of campaign , designed to generate awareness of a brand, by delivering ads on YouTube, Gmail and, of course, Discover.
At this point you may be wondering: Do I really need to create each type of campaign to promote my company in Google Ads?
Probably not. Probably at the beginning and over a fairly long period of time you could get satisfying results with a good mix of search and display campaigns. It is not the quantity of campaigns that makes the difference, but the goodness of reflection that lies behind the creation of a campaign Great Lakes Student Loans .