An Overview of Google Search Ads

Although Google search ads are a paid advertising medium they are actually a product of organic search. While SEO produced articles and pages appear on  the results pages in relation to the query made through Googles search engine, the paid ads also appear on the organic results page. The big advantage with search ads is that they appear at the top of the results before any organic results.

Compared to social media ads, these search ads are far more intent focused, in that they appear in search results relative to their targeted content. When Google serves a results page, they appear at the very top of relevant organic search results when a query triggers a keyword that is associated with the ad. 

Not only is this the prime viewing position on the page, but the if the ad campaign is correctly set up, the ads are relevant to the intent and location of the person performing the search.

Search ads are text based and depend on the written headline and ad copy to attract attention of the viewer and generate clicks through to the required landing page or website. 

The ads themselves are only part of the system. While it is possible to redirect clicks from the ads to a business website, it is not the best practice. Most websites are not conversion optimised and will vastly reduce the number of leads generated when compared to a professionally designed landing page that targets the service displayed in the ad.

How Google Search Ads work

Google ads work on a bid basis with a CPC or Cost per Click pricing. When setting up an ad campaign it is necessary to enter a bid amount on the keyword or phrase you wish to target, such as 'emergency plumber' or 'solicitor'. This amount is the highest price you are willing to pay for the ad to be displayed and this is per view, not per campaign. You will however, only pay if your ad is actually clicked and you may not be charged the maximum bid cost if the display threshold is lower.

The number of ads your total ad budget will provide depends on the bid cost that is charged.

This process means that when a position to display an ad is available the person willing to pay the most will initially get the space. There is a caveat to this rule though. When it comes to serving ads, Google has its own logic. If someone is willing to pay more for an ad but the ad does not convert any viewers then Google will place a higher converting ad in its place even if the bid price is lower.

This is because Google only makes money on user interaction with an ad. If an ad is not clicked then Google earns nothing. It also falls in line with Googles policy of serving the most relevant results to its users. 

An issue of the bidding model is that for very competitive markets such as insurance and finance, the cost of placing ads is high and continues to increase. Even with the higher costs, these business sectors can reap good rewards from the use of optimised campaigns due to the targeted nature of the ad and the the high intent of the interacting person.

Google Ads Risks

Paid advertisments can provide excellent lead generation opportunities but take knowledge and experience to be fully utilised.

With the online marketing space facing ever increasing costs, it is important to be sure that your budget is not wasted through badly constructed or poorly written ads.

An understanding of the Google ads platform along with sufficient copywriting skills, ad design and experience of optimising targeting options are required to ensure good returns on your ad spend.

Failure to understand how to construct ads and optimise the audience targeting within the platform along with constructing conversion optimised landing pages or assets can make or break an ad campaign.

It is not uncommon to see companies attempt to run their own campaigns only to find that their budget disappears without any results. A lack of experience and knowledge does not allow them to troubleshoot failing campaigns where several factors can majorly impact the results seen.

While the added costs of using a managed service may not seem appealing, in most cases it is still a more cost effective option than losing a whole budget through running a campaign with no knowledge or experience.

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About the Author

Founder and owner of Leads For Services.