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Search Ads Guide for Google Ads

Google Search Ads gives us a great marketing opportunity. With proper settings and optimizations you may have well enough results. Let’s check how to create effective search ads.

What is Search Ads?

Search ads, briefly, are ads on Google search results. Google brings search results and ranks them with its advanced algorithm. They are called organic results because they are free and you cannot pay for these results. If the algorithm verifies that your site is useful for users, your site would be ranked higher. It is not easy and may even take years (By the way, all of these works are called SEO).

There is another way of appearing on search results, which is called Search Engine Ads (SEA) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The system is easy to understand. For instance, if you want to be ranked when searching for “tennis racket”, you should be bidding for the keyword “tennis racket”. When the user searches “tennis racket”, your ad will appear and this is free until the user clicks your ad. You are paying only for the clicks. If users do no click your ads, you will pay null.

Moreover, search engine ads bring traffic to your site, and with proper targeting and settings, you can get high-quality traffic. Only if your landing pages (the pages of your website that are used for ads) are interesting and conversion-friendly (motivates users effectively to buy product/service or calling your business).

Advantages of Search Ads

  • You do not have to deal with banner-blindness. Search ads are text-based (except shopping ads) and do not look like advertisements such that banners or pop-ups. They have clear text-based ad notice.
  • With good optimization, you are interacting with the user only when they are searching for a certain product or service.
  • When people have an urgent need, they make broad searches. For instance, when they need a plumber they are searching for plumbers. On the contrary, when people need a last-minute gift, they are searching for the nearest flower stores (Next section is highly related to this part).

Is Your Business Suitable For Search Ads?

For most businesses, the answer is “yes”.

Some industries are prohibited from using search advertising (these rules changes by country, you should search and ask a professional). Also, you should check the Google Ads policy.

How Search Ads Price Are Being Calculated?

Your ads’ quality: If your ads provide good user experience (if user interests your ads and landing pages), it reduces your costs.

Competition in the industry: If the industry you are in is highly competitive, bidding will also be relatively competitive.

How to Create Effective Search Ads?

This can be reviewed in two parts:

Technically: It is sound if your ad copy includes your keywords (which you used in the ad group). Also, your ad copy should be relevant to your landing page.

Marketing:

Appealing: Your ad copy should attract the user and grab the attention.

Your Advantages: Why should someone choose to buy your product or service instead of so many alternatives? Express your advantages.

Short, Effective Sentences: If your sentences are too long, the user may not read them. Building short and understandable sentences is an important point in terms of reading the content and attracting attention.

Build Trust: Why should someone trust your product or service? If your brand well-known, use your brand. Or if you got any prizes, mention it, only if it is related and attention-grabbing for the ad copy.

Seasonality: Seasonal discounts, promotions or customization would be agreeable.

Test it: Test when some time passed and you got some clicks. Compare your ad copies, or if you are using dynamic search ads check combinations asking what is the most interesting combination, and thinking why.

Responsive Search Ads

Dynamic search ads make ad copy tests easier. The system requests multiple descriptions and titles from us and creates various combinations (ad texts) with them. With machine learning technology, it can detect the most successful combinations and show them more often.

It is a decent and creative feature. Just be careful with all combinations. Your ad copy should stay meaningful for every single combination.

Re-marketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

If you know re-marketing for image (banner) ads / GDN, you show ads for previous visitors.

Herein, it has the same logic. You can change your bidding for previous visitors.

Here are some ideas for using re-marketing list for search ads;

  • You may consider increasing your bids for previous visitors (whom they visited your website, basket page, and not completed their purchases).
  • You may consider more broad keywords for showing your ads to the previous visitors again. For example, you could use exact match keywords for being sure to get relevant quality traffic. Then, you may create another campaign that appears to only your visitors.

Notes:

  1. While you are creating the RLSA campaign, it would not compete with the former campaign. For instance, if you have campaign A and you are creating a copy of it, targeting your re-marketing lists may lead them to compete. Hence, you should add negatively your re-marketing list of your first campaign.
  2. If you are creating an RLSA campaign for increasing your campaign visibility to your existing users for more conversion, you may consider automated bidding options. Automated bidding adjusts your budget for potential visitors. On the other hand, you will have full control of RLSA campaigns. Plus, you can change the budget/bids separately.

Branding or Competitor Search Ads

You may consider bidding for your own brand or competitor’s keyword. There are different advantages and disadvantages to them. They are highly subjective for every brand and industry.

Branding Search Ads

Advantages

  • It makes the difficulty to other brands bidding for your brand (makes it expensive and your ad will be highly likely to rank them better).
  • You may promote your campaign by using discounts in your branding ads to attract your visitors.

Disadvantages

  • If someone knows your brand, he/she can reach your site via organic results. In the present case, it can be a good idea to transfer this camping budget to some other campaigns.
    Note: Check your brand searches, if your competitor bids for your brand keyword, you may need to create a branding campaign.

Competitor Search Ads

Advantages:

  • It is obvious; when a user searches for your competitor brand, your ad will pop up. Perhaps, that user may change his/her thought and buy service/product from your brand.

Disadvantages:

  • It might be pricey (Naturally, your quality score might not as high as your competitor on their brand).
  • It might cause underperformance (depends on brands, industries). If your competitor has great brand recognition, most users would click the undo button to seek your competitor site.
  • Your competitor might notice and could bid your keywords, too.

Search Ads Extensions

You may enrich your ad copy with extensions, such as title and description. Here are some extension tips.

Check their levels: You could create different level (account/campaign/ad-group) ad extensions. For example, if you do not provide free shipping for all products, use the “free shipping” callout extension at the account level, or else it could be misleading. You can use the “free shipping” callout extension at the campaign level for which campaigns providing this option.

Make sure you are using all useful extensions and they are updated: Extensions are useful for making your ad copy more appealing. Moreover, sometimes new extension types announced, check them, and test them whether they are useful for you. Also, check the performance and content of your extensions on a regular base.

Do not use your most powerful/unique marketing message only in extension: Extensions may not appear on every search result. An example, free delivery is a significant service for users. If you do not mention it in your ad copy, and your extension not appeared, the user won’t know this advantage. Let them know.

Dynamic Search Ads

If you have a thousand products, it is very hard to create text ads for each one. With dynamic search ads, you will have the ability to create automated text ads with simple rules.

Note:
Your site structure should be well built for benefiting this ad type effectively. Also, check search terms carefully and add negative irrelevant terms. Additionally, if your ad copy template is created for promoting products, it should not be triggered by the “x contact address” search. Otherwise your title would be something like “Contact Prices, Promotions – X”.

Call Only Ads

If your business heavily depends on phone calls, you may create call only ads. In these ads, if the user clicks your ads their phone asks for them to call this number. If they click yes, they will directly call your business.

Audience Targeting With Search Ads

Like GDN, you may use audience targeting in search ads, as well. You might consider this for just checking the performance of your ads through different audiences. Also, you may adjust bids according to audiences. You should bear this option in mind to block irrelevant clicks, as well (your ad will be shown to your target audience only, you will have an extra barrier for targeting).

What is the Impression Share?

Impression share gives info about our visibility. If we have an unlimited budget, we could appear on every search that our keywords triggered, but it is quite an impossible case. Impression share tells us this ratio. For example, your ads showed on %60’s of searches and you can check why you have lost impression share via lost impression (rank) and/or impression lost (budget) metrics.

Also, you have to check these metrics:

Absolute top: Highest ranking possible. First result.
Top: Above the organic results.

It is great to bidding for the highest position but it could increase our CPC (cost per click), too. The highest-ranking is not equal to the highest conversion ratio. Hence, test your ads for different positions.

Besides, this rate might be very high for your branding campaigns. If not, your competitors are getting your visitors.

Keywords for Search Ads

Keywords may be the trickiest part of search ads. Actually, (if possible) we should create different content for keywords. Negative keywords play a significant role in this.

Take away tips for keywords:

Matching Types: Train well for their matching types as your matching types must fit your marketing strategies.

Amounts of Keywords: Do not use too many keywords in one group. Don’t forget that your ad-copy length has a limit. Hence, you cannot use all keywords in your ad groups. Likewise, it may reduce your keyword quality score.

Avoid Keyword Cannibalization: If the same search term triggers different keywords, it could lead to internal competition.

Search Ads Settings (Time, Device, Demography, etc.)

It is the obvious and non-technical part. Arrange the best settings for your industry.

Consider mobile devices: You may want to create different campaigns for mobile devices. For example you may use shorter sentences.

Consider scheduling: If you can’t answer calls 24/7, you can schedule a call extension. This way, your call extensions will not be visible outside of office hours. On the other hand, if you do not mind missed calls and say you prefer to return the missed calls at the first available opportunity, you do not need to schedule the calls.

Checking for Invalid Clicks

Your competitors or haters may click your ads intentionally. Google Ads algorithm is very effective for blocking those mostly. Also, if your industry is not highly competitive or your competitors are ethical, you have nothing to worry about as it would not come over your account.

Invalid click ratio is a good metric for spotting the invalid click problem situations. With the average ratio, an invalid click is normal. Some users really click your ads without intent.

You should contact to Google Ads rep when you suspect any invalid click problem.

Previewing Search Ads

The theory is not the same thing as reality. With the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool, which exists on your account panel, you can check your ads by previewing them!

Closing Remarks

As we mentioned before, search ads are great medium for getting quality traffic. As you can see, the only thing you need is some time for getting expertise on it (like anything).

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