Lately we have experienced a major increase in our utilization of Google Ads. You know the ones, the highlighted ads above the search results when Googling something. We have been doing a lot more with Google Ads – not necessarily by choice, but for necessity of our clients. I’d love to offer organic search results in Google for every company we work for. However, the truth is that some industries are extremely difficult to rank in the short run. They can be a little easier in the long run, as long as you’re willing to put in the painstakingly hard work of creating consistent content, optimizing pages and attracting links. For some companies, Google Ads is a better option. Because you can measure the quality of traffic to your website, Google Ads is just another tool in your lead generation tool belt!
People are looking for what you are selling
Google has the data on what people have searched for and you can access it
Unless you’re selling snake oil or locomotive steam engine repair, you have people searching on Google for what your company does (mind you, if you owned a locomotive steam engine and it goes down, you probably have to Google it because you don’t have a local option to just go door knocking on!). Google Keyword Planner Tool will tell you what people are searching for. Not only that, but you can go back in time to see the search volume for specific keyword searches all the way back to 2015.
Don’t think people are searching for what you sell!? Think again! Two years ago, 15% of all searches were new to Google, meaning every day, 15% of all searches literally had never been typed or spoken to Google search. That percentage has most likely increased with the prevalence of voice search gaining in popularity.
Skip The Dishes Search Volume since 2015
“Uber Regina” Search Volume 2015-2019
Notice the sharp increase in search in May 2019 – weird!
“Taxi Regina” Search Volume 2015-2019
The increase of “Uber Regina” can be linked to the decrease in “Taxi Regina” as a search, having the worst volume since June 2016.
“Toronto Raptors” Search Volume 2015-2019
No surprise here at all! Close to 12 million desktop searches alone in the month of June 2019.
When the Riders have a good season, you can literally see it in the search volume for their name.
“What is Brexit?” Search Volume 2015-2019
When news goes worldwide, we turn to search to educate ourselves.
“Fidget Spinner” Search Volume 2015-2019
You can also see fads come and go using Google Keyword tool.
“Milky Way” Search Volume 2015-2019
Even for local companies, you can see in what month people begin searching for your product. Milky Way, a Regina staple, gets a lot of search starting in the month of March. That has held true for the past three years. If I was a gambler, I’d know what month I’d be betting on next year!
It’s the most efficient way to advertise
A measurable advertising campaign (no that’s not an oxymoron…..anymore!)
We tell clients that, if they have any extra ad budget, put it into Google Ads. Why? Because you can measure it very easily. With Google Ads, you pay per click and you can set a maximum amount you’re willing to spend per click. Only have a $100 budget? That’s cool, set your limit to $100 and that’s all you’ll spend.
Every click is kept track of. Every visitor to your site is recorded (if you’re using Google Analytics, Lord knows you’re using Google Analytics!). You can find out what page(s) your audience navigates to most, what page visitors go to the least, and everything in between. You can measure the quality of traffic based on Time on Site, and Pages Per Visit.
Below is the all pages traffic report in Google Analytics
Below is the age report from Google Ads
An ad campaign that optimizes itself
You can optimize your campaign weekly, daily or not at all
Once people start clicking your ads, you can see how efficiently your campaign is running. Google gives each of your ads a Quality Score that tells you how relevant your ad is. Each week you can update your ads and the keywords phrases you’re targeting. Each ad and keyword will show you how many impressions it received and how many people clicked when they saw the ad. The ratio of clicks/impressions is represented by the Click Thru Rate (CTR). When we first ran Google Ads, anything over 0.40% we considered great! Anything below, not so much. Every account is different and every industry has averages. As long as you’re continuously improving your CTR, you’re optimizing your account like you should be.
Easier said than done. Many companies will tell you they have an algorithm that optimizes for clicks, though Google has it’s own optimization strategy (Google has a HUGE vested interest in making your ad campaign a success. Successful ad campaigns in Google Ads means more budget allocated to Google Ads in the future!)
We use a simple optimization methodology based on the average CTR of your account. We pause all ads and keywords that fall below that threshold (our average). We take your best ads and recreate them testing different phasing and words used. Also, look at your best performing keywords and ask yourself if there are any variations of phrases you’re missing.
Find out how many people are searching for your competitors in Google
Find out how many people are searching for your competitors
This was a side benefit I never thought would be a possible. We had a client ask about competitors and buying up their name in Google Ads. Generally we don’t like this, it seems sleazy, it’s a slap in the face to your competition and to me it’s just not good business practice.
But I gave in and said I’d try it. Low and behold something occurred to me. Once you select your area (Regina plus 30km radius) and your competitors brand names, you can now tell how many people are searching for them! Even though your ad may not always show up, Google tracks each search impression, so you can actually measure how well your competition is at getting people to search for them! Or, to me that’s offline advertising and customer service effectiveness.
Not only can you see how many searches your competition is getting, you can also look into “Auction Insights” in your Adwords campaign to see who else you’re competing with. It’ll give you a market share percentage, which is very helpful if you’re trying to beat out competitors for that coveted first spot in Google Ads.
You can determine who is interested in what you’re selling, from location, age, sex, household income, and the device they used when clicking your ad
The information Google gives you from an Ads campaign can be valuable, and also very interesting. They will give you information down to the postal code of where someone clicked your ad. It’ll give approximate metrics on age, household income and sex of your visitor. It also gives you the information on what device was used. You’d be surprised as to how many mobile clicks your campaign receives.
This data alone won’t help anyone, but combine it with your target audience, your ideal customer and past customer profiles. You can get a better idea of who and when people are clicking your ads, over time making you much more efficient using Google Ads.