Advertising your website with Google Ads (known as AdWords) is one of the easiest ways of attracting attention to your business!
Starting an account is fairly easy. It takes a few minutes if you already have a Gmail account. If you own more websites or businesses, it is strongly recommended to have a separate account for each of these properties, for several reasons:
- Bonuses! Yay! New accounts are eligible for more bonuses from Google. A new company starting out will most likely get about 100-200 $ of bonuses within the first few weeks of their activity.
- Performance tracking. What you do in a campaign in your account affects all other campaigns in the account. A low performing campaign can lower the perceived quality and trust in your entire account.
- Keeping your billing and budgets separate. Also, you can only use one currency for the entire account.
After opening the account, you can start setting up your first campaign. This is the strategic part of your Google advertising efforts, and if you have not done this before, you could use a bit of guidance.
Set up your first Google Ads
Choosing this in the first step is always a bit tough. How much budget should I allocate for one day of advertising? How much should I spend? To what end? There is no simple answer to these questions. It depends on the industry you are in, on your competition, on your objectives etc.
Don’t sweat it too much though!
You can always change the daily budget as you are moving forward with your campaign. If you are a small business just starting out, you might want to test a bit, using smaller amounts during the first days. Start with 5-10$ / day and see how this will go. Remember that you are paying only when a user clicks your ad.
When your daily budget runs out, your campaign pauses until the start of the next day. If you notice your budget running out fast during the day, it means that there is some interest in your ads and that you might be losing customers later in the day. So, consider raising it to be competitive throughout the entire day.
Managing to spend a little less than your daily budget is usually a good sign.
If you have read our previous posts on SEO and Advertising, you know by now that you can choose between the Display Network Only (your text, image, rich media or video ads will be shown on other websites), the Search Network Only (your text ads will be shown in the Google search results pages, when users are looking for related keywords), the Search Network with Display Select (basically, it is a Search campaign + a Display campaign using the same set of keywords to distribute your ads in all relevant places), Shopping (a complex option for those who already use the Google Merchant Center to directly sell products from a catalogue), Video (which provides options for advertising on Youtube), Remarketing (a type of Display campaign, that will use a product list from a database you create and promote it to users who have previously visited your website, thus already manifesting an interest).
Google also offers to help you decide between these options, depending on your objectives. If you want to raise awareness, a Display campaign is better. If you want to increase sales, a Search campaign could be more suitable.
- Location – you can choose to be displayed in the searches (or for users) in certain geographical areas. Choose a country, a region/county, a city or town. You can also combine these options. Like advertising for Texas, San Diego and Mexico at the same time, if you believe your target is in these locations. You can also exclude some areas. For example, when I used to manage campaigns for a university, I would have data showing that my main target is in the North-Western counties of my country, but that there are some cities where I have strong competition. I would target the counties and exclude the big cities, leaving me with the rural target in those specific counties. I can also target not only for IPs in the selected location(s), but also for „people searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location”. Obviously, if I have a tourist campaign for Paris, I should not target people already there, but people from this category. For this, you need to find the Advanced settings for location.
- Languages – ads will be shown only to the users accessing Google in the languages selected
- Bid strategy – I prefer to manually set the level at which I plan to bid for a certain keyword, but there are also automated options that could optimise your costs per click. Like Enhanced CPC, that allows the system to adjust the bidding level, in connection to the estimated conversions you could get from that click. A conversion is a final result, like the sale of a product. Google will bid more money from your daily budget for the keywords that led to more conversions and less for the keywords that do not usually lead to conversions. But in order to do that, it needs to have enough data. This is why in the beginning, you will not be able to use it and you could go for manual bidding. You can also always change that, even for every different keyword. If your bid is too low, you might not get your ad to be shown enough, missing out on potential customers. If your bid is too high, you might be paying a little too much for the clicks you need.
There are also other interesting options you can use, but we will leave those for a future post. If you think managing such an account efficiently is too difficult, you may consider hiring an expert to do it for you.
Want to know more about improving your website content or traffic? Learn what is pay per click or display/unrequested advertising and go through our comparison on SEO vs. Pay per Click Search Network!