Google Ads 101

Google Ads 101

There’s a lot of chat about having a strong online presence and everyone says you need to use Google Ads, but what is a Google Ad and how do you get them? Read our introduction to Google Ads and see if they are right for you.

What is a Google Ad?
Google Ads are digital ads that appear when people search for a good or service on Google. But isn’t that what’s always happened when I search for stuff on the internet? Yes, but you can pay to ensure your website (or display ad) pops up at the top of the search results. Have you ever searched for something on Google and seen a carousel of images with ‘Ads’ beside them or a listing with a website and a short blurb also with the word AD preceding the URL? That’s a Google Ad.

Why are they so good?
The beauty of Google Ads is that they are a response to what someone is actually actively looking for. When someone has gone to the internet with the express purpose of searching for a specific good or service like ‘trailer for hire’ or ‘bike racks’ Google tries its best to present them with a list of websites that may match their search. If the companies offering those services and selling those products have Google Ads set up, their website listings will appear at the top of the page (with ‘Ad’ beside them) presenting these potential customers with exactly what they are looking for. What magic, an ad people actually want to see!

How are Google Ads different from other digital ads?
What makes Google Ads different from other digital ads is that one is ‘pushing’ an ad out to you hoping you want to see it and the other is responding to your ‘pull’ for information. An ad on social media like Facebook pops ads into your feed and tries to get your attention, hoping you’ll like what you see and take action (buy, sign up, click for more information), while an ad on Google only appears if you have typed in relevant search terms and want to see it.

What do Google Ads look like?
Google has two main types of ads – search ads, the ones that look just like a search engine result – that is the name of the website and a sentence or two about what you’ll find on the website and display ads – which are images or video of say a product you sell. These ones are mostly displayed on third party websites that are relevant to the product.

How do you set them up?
Google Ads, funnily enough, are set up on Google. You need an account and can follow the step-by-step instructions BUT, a little know-how can save you money an ensure you get great results. While Google Ads are a simple concept it takes experience to navigate the ins and outs of their set up to get the best return on your investment. We recommend getting help setting them up and monitored for the first few months, then if you have the capacity to run them yourself you can learn to monitor and tweak them going forward.

Are they expensive?
The beauty of Google Ads is you are only charged when someone sees your ad and clicks through to your website, in theory this means you only get charged when people are actually interested in what you are advertising and they hopefully become a customer. You set a maximum daily budget for each ad, which means you’ll never spend more than a specific amount for that ad per day, so you can keep to a budget. You can often start with as little as $5 per day, which is about $150 per month. If there is more interest, and you have the capacity to service the interest, you can spend more, knowing you are turning those enquires into customers. Conversely, if the ads work too well and you can’t keep up with enquiries, bookings, etc you can pause the ads or change them to focus on new products or services.

What else do I need to think about?
Google Ads seem almost too good to be true. And while they do work a treat, you do need to get your ducks in a row to make sure your customers don’t see your ad and are left high and dry when it comes to what happens next. The Google Ad will take your customers to a ‘landing page’ (one of your website pages) and ideally on this page you have exactly what the customer is looking for and easy steps to buy, sign up or get in contact for more information. If your website isn’t up too scratch that potential customer might go elsewhere.

In summary
Unlike other traditional forms of advertising that have a bit of a ‘cross your fingers and hope it works’ feel you are in full control with Google Ads. You can even change your ad and tweak the key words as you go to really refine your ad to get the right people at the right time to your website. And you control your spending every step of the way. What’s not to like?