How do you set your account up for success from the beginning? Start by breaking down your services into categories, and basing your account structure on those. (One good option is to mirror the structure you already use on your website.)
There are two levels of organization within a Google Ads account: campaigns (the higher level) and ad groups (the lower level — you can have multiple ad groups in each campaign). Think about campaigns as representing larger categories in your business, and ad groups as representing smaller, more specific sets of services. For instance, if you manage a Personal Injury firm, you might create these campaigns and ad groups:
Campaign 1: Truck Injury Lawyers
- Ad Group 1: Semi-Truck Accident
- Ad Group 2: Big Rig Collision
- Ad Group 3: Truck Wreck
Campaign 2: Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
- Ad Group 1: Motorcycle wreck
- Ad Group 2: Bike Accident
- Ad Group 3: Motorcycle Collision
Creating separate campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keyword lists for your products helps keep your ads relevant, making sure that someone who’s looking for “rear ended on a motorcycle,” for example, doesn’t accidentally see your ad for “Semi Truck Collision Attorneys” and think you don’t take motorcycle accident cases. You can also include multiple Ad Groups into each campaign as would likely be the case in the example above.
The more focused and specific your ads are, the more people you can reach who are interested in exactly what you have to offer.
Setting a Budget
With Google Ads, you control how much you spend using two different settings: your daily budget and your bids.
Your budget is the amount you want to spend on each campaign per day. Your bid is the amount you’re willing to spend on a keyword if someone searches for that term and then clicks your ad.
Set different campaign budgets and bid amounts based on your business goals. For example, if you want to draw users to “rear end collision” since you expect an influx of those types of cases at a particular time period, you should consider setting a higher budget for that campaign during that time, and lowering the budget for another, less important one to compensate. You can always adjust your budget and bids if something isn’t working.
In terms of setting bids for your keywords, you should balance picking a bid that will help get your ad a desirable ranking, while still staying within your budget.
Choosing Relevant Keywords
To help you get started, Google Ads comes with a free tool called Google Keyword Planner, which can generate a sample list of keywords for your campaigns. The Keyword Planner can also help you estimate how much to bid on a particular keyword so your ad shows up in search results. In general, the more competitive a keyword is, the more it will cost to bid on.
When you’re first starting out, you may think you should avoid high-competition keywords, so you don’t spend your whole budget on just a few clicks. However, there is a balance to consider here as you are in a sense proving your “street cred” to Google so to speak. Google incentivizes investing in the platform in different ways. One of the ways they incentivize advertisers to act in good faith is by attributing what are referred to as “quality scores” to your keywords. These scores are based on a scale from 1-10 — with 10 being the best — which determines what position your Ad will be in SERPs, and how much you will pay for that particular auction.
Learn more about Google Ads Keyword Planner tool.
Keyword Match Types
“Keyword match type” is a setting in Google Ads that lets you further refine when your ad will show up on Google. There are five options:
The “broad match” setting shows your ad for searches that contain your keywords in any order, and for related terms. This option shows your ad in the broadest variety of searches, and is the default setting for all campaigns.
Broad Match Modifier (Being Discontinued):
This setting allows you to specify that certain words in your broad-match keyword must show up in a user’s search to trigger your ad. So, if your keyword is “rear ended on a motorcycle” and you wanted to make sure “rear” and “motorcycle” were always present in a search, you could ensure that by adding a plus sign (+) before those words. So, your broad match modifier keyword would be: high fiber +rear +motorcycle.
This option shows your ad for searches that contain your exact keyword, or for searches that contain your exact keyword plus words before or after it. (I.e. if your keyword is “motorcycle accident attorney” you might also show up for “motorcycle accident attorneys near me” or “motorcycle accident attorneys in Dallas”. To choose this option, you should add quotation marks around any keywords, i.e. “motorcycle accident attorney”.
When you choose exact match, your ad will only show if someone searches for the exact word or phrase you choose. For this option, put brackets around your keyword, i.e.: [accident attorneys near me].
This match option allows you to exclude undesirable words or phrases from triggering your ad, weeding out irrelevant traffic. For instance, if you don’t offer free consultations, you might want to exclude words like “free” or “cheap.” You can do so by putting a minus sign in front of the words you don’t want to show up for, i.e.: -cheap, -bargain etc.
You can explore more information about keyword match types here.
What Is a Landing Page?
Your landing page is where potential customers arrive after clicking on your ad. Choosing a page that’s relevant to your ad and keywords can help people find what they’re looking for more quickly: so, if your ad is promoting dog bite cases, choose a landing page where dog bite cases are prominently featured, instead of just sending people to your website’s home page. These landing pages have the biggest effect on your User Experience. And based on a recent study, the User Experience has more weight attributed to it in terms of your quality score grade than Ad Relevancy and Keyword Relevancy, respectively. Building the right Landing Page for your Ads will have a bigger impact on where you position and what you pay more than anything else you can control in the account.
Which Devices Should You Advertise On?
Do your ideal customers search on a desktop, mobile device, or both? Are you more interested in reaching PNC’s when they’re out and about, or people who want to make an immediate purchasing decision? As you set up your Google Ads account, consider which types of customers you want to connect with (and more importantly, the types of devices those customers use), so you can reach them.
Learn more about Google Ads mobile ads here.
Your ad is the first impression many people will have of your business, so make sure it communicates that you have what they need. This is easiest when the ad actually contains the keywords people search for — which you can accomplish by breaking your campaign out into clear ad groups, and writing unique ads for each (a motorcycle accident-promoting ad for your motorcycle accident related keywords, and a truck accident-promoting ad for your truck accident related keywords, for example). This will make your ads more relevant to potential customers, and also possibly increase your Quality Score.
It’s also a good idea to include a “call to action” in your ad: a clear, concise message that tells the reader what you’d like them to do after seeing your ad. Phrases like “call now” or “free consultation” can entice people to click on your ad, for example.
Finally, before you post your ad, look over it one last time to check for spelling or grammar errors.
Google Analytics gives you even more insights into how people interact with your ads and website. You don’t have to use Analytics to use Google Ads, though I would recommend against skipping this.
While Google Ads can tell you how many people click on your ads, integrating Google Ads and Analytics lets you keep an eye on what those people do once they reach your website. For example, if people arrive at your site but then immediately click away, your ad might not be reaching the right people after all — or you might be taking them to to wrong area of your site. These insights can help you better organize your ads, and possibly get more out of your marketing budget.
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