Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, has been around for many years. In 2020, sponsored ads accounted for 80% of Google’s revenue – $147 billion. When used effectively it can produce real results for your small business the question is:
Will you get the results you want from Google Ads?
Here are 6 things to consider if you want to make sure your Google Ads campaigns are working.
When did you last look at your campaigns?
Too many small businesses set up Google Ads campaigns, turn them on but then rarely review them. They review things in the early days but then other priorities get in the way and they get out of the habit of checking their campaigns. If you’re not reviewing really regularly, there’s a real chance that you will be wasting money.
We recommend you review at least once a month. This gives you the opportunity to:
- Add more keywords
- Remove keywords that aren’t working
- Add negative keywords that are generating unwanted traffic
- Review budgets, up and down, as you see the results they are delivering.
Depending on the size, and complexity, of your Google Ads campaigns, this could be as little as an hour a month.
Are your budgets right?
Google Ads allow you to set daily budgets for each campaign, so you can control your spend and not blow your marketing budget. Some of your campaigns will not use the daily set budget, but some may be limited by budget. If this is the case, you are losing traffic because the ads aren’t showing for part of the day.
If your budgets are limited, you can move spend from those that aren’t using what they have been set. Simply turn some campaigns down and others up.
Don’t simply accept Google’s recommendations on daily budgets. Remember, there job is to generate more revenue for Google. We have never seen Google recommend you reduce a daily budget.
Are you sending people to the right landing pages?
When people click on a Google Ad, they expect to find information that is about the thing they are searching for. They shouldn’t have to search your website – and they probably won’t. If they don’t land in the right place, they will leave and you have wasted the cost of that click. You may want to have a look at this article to see just how high the cost of clicks can get.
We see lots of Google Ads that direct people to home pages. Unless the searcher has typed your company name into the search bar, there is no reason to send people to your home page! Google Analytics will show you just how much traffic is going to your home page from Google Ads and which campaigns/Ads are sending people there. You can then review those Ads and send people to a more relevant page.
To see how well the landing page is performing, check these three key stats in Google Analytics:
- Bounce rate – are people leaving directly after landing on the page?
- Time on site – how long are they spending after landing on that page?
- No. of pages visited – are they moving through the site?
Are you using the right keywords?
Choosing the right keywords is not always easy. Many of them will be, but as you look to generate more traffic and more leads, you need to be careful to ensure that you use the right language and terminology.
An easy way to do this is simply search the phrase, using incognito mode, to see what comes up. Ignore the paid ads and see if the results currently appearing are what you expect. Is any of your content appearing already and are the other results coming from alternative solutions (they may or may not be competitors)? We have just cut a client’s monthly spend by £850 by removing just 9 keywords.
For your negative keywords, consider what people could add, when searching, to your keywords to negate the search for you. Words like free or cheap are likely to be amongst your negative keywords, but what else.
Again, be careful of simply clicking to take the advice from Google. Broad match (see Google’s explanation here) is rarely a good idea as the search results will use the words in your keyphrases in any combination and any order. They are designed to reduce the need for a very long list of keywords, but can also bring in a lot of unwanted traffic.
Where do you want to be seen?
Depending on what you sell, you are likely to want to limit where, geographically, your ads are shown. This may be on a national level. It may even be at a postcode level. Remember also to determine whether you wish this to be impacted by the search phrase. What we mean by this is that if someone, for example, searched “small business marketing support in London” but from Edinburgh, would we want to appear?
Are you getting a good ROI from Google Ads?
Most of the time it is difficult to attribute leads to the traffic source. There are ways, such as dedicated landing pages for your Google Ads, but this can complicate things. We definitely recommend asking your prospects too. What you do need to check is that you are getting a good return on investment from your Google Ads spend.
- How much are you spending?
- How many leads do you get?
- What percentage of those convert to a sale?
- What is the value of sales from Google Ads?
- Divide answer 4 by answer 1 to calculate your ROI
Is it worth it?
Google Ads, when properly targeted, can be highly effective at driving leads for your business, but the time has to be invested in making sure it is right, and managed. If you don’t invest the time, your ROI will not be anywhere near it could be.
If you want to ensure your Google Ads campaigns are working, give us a call (020 8634 5911) and let us take a look. Alternatively, you can book a meeting directly by clicking here. The initial review is completely free of charge and we will provide a series of recommendations to improve your ROI.