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A Technical Guide to Google Search Ad Campaign

by | SEO

Dec 4, 2021

Struggling to set up a Google search engine ad campaign (SEA), target new audiences, and use the bidding strategy to maximize conversions with your Google ads? Looking for a step-by-step process for your ad strategy that will help you increase the conversion rate to more than the average?

In this article, you’ll learn how to reach more people with your Google ads and maximize your conversions and at the same time pay as little as possible for your clicks.

The idea is to target multiple keywords, and after you get enough data and know which keywords and ads generate more, you can optimize the campaign. 

I’ll discuss the campaign setup, target audience, bidding tactics, ad extensions, and my reasons behind the strategy. I’ll also provide a few tips on how you can make the landing page you’d send the Google campaign’s traffic to SEO relevant.

Google Search Ad Campaign – Campaign Setup

First, you need to create a Gmail account to set up a campaign if you don’t have one. After setting up an account, you’ll quickly find four different advertising goals, which include:

  • Get more calls
  • Get more website sales and signups
  • Get more visits to your physical Location
  • Get more brand awareness with video views

I recommend using the expert mode feature at the bottom in Google Adwords and creating the campaign without a goal’s guidance or Google recommendations, as you can see on the screenshots below. This will enable you to get complete control over the campaign instead of using Google preset functions.

Advertising goal in Google search campaign

Once you’ve selected a goal, choose the campaign type you want to run from the list in the boxes. Since it is a search ad campaign, select the first option, which is search ad. Next, tick the website visit option under the Select the results section.

choose the search campaign type you want to run

Then write or paste the URL of the landing page where you want to send the Google campaign’s traffic. The landing page could be any of the following:

  • Click-Through Landing Page: this is the webpage you convince your visitors about your offer.
  • Product Details Page: a web page that provides information or showcases your product(s)
  • Video Landing Page: you show your customer visuals in the form of video.
  • Lead capture page: designed to obtain personal data from your visitors

Depending on the products or services you want to advertise, design a great landing page that compels visitors to take action. For example, if my goal is to capture information about my leads, I’d send visitors to a lead capture page.

Next, give your campaign a descriptive name. Call the campaign Google SEA Campaign or any unique name of your choice.  On the next step, you’ll see an already preselected setting.

Untick and skip the Google search partner network option when starting because you’d be running the campaign on the Google search network only. 

Depending on how the campaign is going, and you’re looking to expand the reach of your campaign, or for website remarketing purposes, you may later include Google search partners.

I’d also recommend you to untick the Google display network option, except you want to reach people with targeted Display ads while browsing their favorite websites. It is not a Search Intent Traffic, unlike search ads.

Next is the Start and End date. You’ll find this option under the Show more setting area. Click on the Show more settings and choose a start date for the campaign’s duration with no end date since you’ll be coming back to check how well the ad is running, the conversion rates, and optimize it accordingly.

Google search network and display network visuals

Skip through the Campaign URL options and Dynamic Search Ads setting and move to the Ad schedule option. The Campaign URL options let you put further information in the site URL to know where an individual ad click comes from.

The Dynamic Search Ads setting lets Google ads find individual pages, create ads automatically, and match users’ searches with the ads based on your website’s content.  

In the ad schedule option, run the ads all day with no end since you will be coming back to check how your ads convert regularly. After identifying the times of day when users are most likely to take action on the site, you can then structure your Google ads strategy around these hours.

Google ads schedule and location settings

Later on, after two or three weeks of running your ads, you’ll easily see the times of day that coverts best in the Google Ads hour of day report, and then, you can adjust the times accordingly.

Google Seach Ad Campaign – Targeting and audience segments

Now, select your audience. Under the Targeting and audience segments, select the Location (s) you’d like to target. For example:

  • If your customers live in Germany, choose Germany as the target country.
  • If you’re targeting all German language speakers, you may want to select Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Belgium, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein since many people speak German in these countries.

However, if you wish to target all English-speaking countries or a particular country, you may select the country(s). On the right, you can also target two languages in the chosen country(s). Google will not show your ads to people not in your selected countries.

Next, click Presence under the Location to target setting in the Location options because it’s best to target people living in these countries and not show your ads to people interested in them. And under exclude settings, tick on Presence also.

In the Language setting, select the countries’ languages under Select the languages your customers speak because it’s the languages your customers understand.

Target audience in Google adwords

Now is the Audience settings. If there are people with a specific interest, intent, and demographics you’d like to target with your Google ads, this is where you put them. Select audience segments by typing a specific interest on the search box. For example:

  • Education
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Sport
  • Fashion

As soon as you start typing, more detailed options will automatically emerge for you to choose from. But for now, I’d recommend we skip this part first until you get an audience. You can always come back later and make adjustments. Now, let’s move on to the next step.

Google Search Ad Campaign – Budget and bidding

The next step is to set a Budget and bidding. This section allows you to specify how much you want to spend on your ads or clicks and determine how to spend it. It is a very important part of setting up your Google SEA campaign.

On the Budget option, set the currency you’d like to pay Google with, and next, define how much you want to spend daily. I’d recommend you place your budget between 10 to 50 USD per day at the beginning of the campaign and run it for a few days until you get enough data to optimize.

You need to know which audience, ads, or keywords converts best by first getting some data from traffic and clicks before increasing the budget, and you’ll later optimize based on the data you receive.

Some days you might spend less, and on others, you might pay more than your daily budget. Don’t worry; you won’t spend above what you budgeted daily times the average number of days in a month.

Conversion tracking shows you the sales generated by your AdWords campaign after a customer interacts with your ads. For example:

  • Made a purchase 
  • Subscribed to your newsletter
  • Downloaded your app
  • Called your business
  • Downloaded your app

You may also want to know which keywords and ads are generating leads or sales. The tool is absolutely free.

The following section is Bidding. I recommend you set it to Clicks at the initial stage and set it to Conversion later on. To set your bidding to the Conversion, you need first to set up conversion tracking. But in the beginning, you’ll only be allowed to choose Clicks.

Come back later after your ads have started running and you’ve set up conversion tracking to change your bidding settings to Conversion in order to see more data for your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.

Next, click the box beside the Set a maximum cost per click (CPC) bid limit and set the Maximum CPC bid limit to one USD at the start of the campaign so Google can optimize your clicks based on your conversions. If a keyword is not profitable, lower your bid or pause it and raise bids for profitable keywords.

A Technical Guide To Google’s SEA Campaign

Now, let me briefly show you how to calculate your average CPCAd rank, and Actual CPC so you know how much you’re spending on your ads.

Average CPC

To calculate your Avg. CPC, you will divide how much your clicks cost in total by the total number of clicks you get on the ad, while your average CPC is the actual amount Google charge for a click on your ad.

Avg. CPC = Total cost of clicks / total number of clicks

Avg. Clicks = Actual cost of a click on your ad

Max. CPC = Highest amount you’re willing to pay for a click

Ad Rank

Ad ranks determine which position your ad shows up on the search engine page. To calculate your Ad rank, you will multiply your maximum bid times the quality score

Ad rank = Max. Bid x Quality score

Quality score is determined based on the expected click-through rate (CTR)ad relevance, and your landing page experience. 

Google will compare your quality score with other advertisers whose ads showed for the same keyword as yours over the last three months. The advertiser with the best quality score and bid will have a higher advantage.

Note that the Quality Score column won’t show if there isn’t enough search volume for your chosen keywords.

Actual CPC

Actual CPC is the final price you’ll be charged for a click. To calculate your Actual CPC, you will divide the advertiser’s ad rank under you on the Google search engine page by your quality score plus 0.01 cent.

Actual CPC = Advertiser Ad Rank Under You / Your Quality Score + 0.01

The following settings are the Conversions and Ad rotations. You can find that under the Show more settings tab directly under the Bidding Location. Like as I have mentioned before, conversion settings will only work after we have set it up.

Ad rotation setting is necessary if you want to show customers only ads that are likely to get more clicks or conversions. I’d recommend you leave it for now, and you can always return to make adjustments.

Google Search Ad Campaign – Ad extensions

The next item on the Google Adword settings we are going to talk about is the ad extensions. It helps you get up to a 15% higher click-through rate on your ads because you can show additional information on your product or services. 

Google Ads Campaign - Ad extensions

Ad extensions make your ad bigger on the search engine page, and you can include a lot of valuable information like selecting and creating campaign-level extensions.

For example:

  • Sitelink extensions: add between 2 to 4 unique sitelink extensions. Each of them with a sitelink text, two descriptions, and a landing page URL
  • Callout extensions: add between 2 to 4 callout extensions—type in your callout texts.
  • Call extensions: add call extensions—key in your phone number.
  • Extension scheduling: Schedule start and end dates for time-sensitive Sitelinks
  • Structured snippet
  • App extension
  • Lead form extension
  • Promotion extensions
  • Price extensions
  • Location extensions

Take advantage of any of these extensions to maximize your click-through rate and conversions. It helps you get your customers to take action on your ads, so optimizing the ad extensions based on user intent would be best.

If your sitelinks extensions are not relevant, it will lead to a bad customer experience. For example, If a user searches for “Jeans” and clicks on your sitelink displaying “Men Jeans,” The page opens, and he/she finds a product page showing “T-shirts” instead, he will be upset or worried.

If such a thing happens, most customers will quickly close the page and look for a different advertiser. That’s why it is imperative to make your landing page relevant to what you put on the sitelinks.

As you can see from this sitelink, they include sitelinks texts, descriptions, and callouts, such as a guarantee of paying 20% less after registration.

Google Ads Campaign - Ad Groups

Google will not show everything you put on your sitelinks and may decide to feature some. Also, note that if your ad rank is poor, your sitelinks may not show up.

Advertisers do not have any impact on which particular ones Google displays. Google shows some selected options based on users’ intent and needs and also depending on the context.

Google Ads Campaign – Ad Groups

Now, we are going to set up ad groups. For each ad group, you should target one main keyword. If you’re going to target five main keywords, then you should create five ad groups. Each of your ad groups should contain a similar keyword list focusing on a product you’d like to send customers to. Let’s say you have an eCommerce shop, and you sell clothes. An example you could use is a Long Sleeve Shirt.

Ensure that the ads you’re going to create under a specific ad group are relevant to the ad group’s keyword. With the ad group, you can also set a CPC bid or price for Google to use when an ad group’s keywords trigger an ad to appear.

There are different match types for keywords in Google, and they help you control which searches trigger your ad. That’s where the similar keyword list comes in.

Check out the screenshots below and see some examples:

Different match types for keywords

Look on the right side of the screen to check your daily estimate for the keyword. There, you’ll see estimated clicks per day, cost per day, and Avg. CPC. Those are not the exact figures of what you’ll get from the ads. Google automatically generated the estimates.

Next, create a new ad group, name your ad group after the keywords you’ll be using. Repeat this process until you have an ad group for each of your target keywords. 

A Google campaign can contain 20,000 ad groups

A Google campaign can contain 20,000 ad groups and 50 text ads per ad group. Feel free to create more ad groups that are relevant to the campaign.

Also, you can create more campaigns (max. 10,000) for a different kind of product or service under one Google account.

When you’re done, click save and continue to the next step.

Google Ads Campaign – Create Ads

Under the final URL section, put in your landing page URL, and on the Display path, enter a URL you want people to see. It doesn’t have to be the landing page URL. 

In the headline section, put in what you want people to see when searching for your keywords. Your headline is the most prominent part of your ad.

Make sure you take advantage of the headlines available to maximize your ad potential. Google allows up to 15 headlines, and the more you put, the chances a good number will appear.

Under the headlines, Google allows you to enter up to 30 characters for each headline and four descriptions for a single responsive search ad to promote your product or service.

Note that Google will not show all your headlines and descriptions, and they can be shown in any order irrespective of how you arrange them. Google rotates them and will show the one that performs best.

Google also offers you helpful suggestions to make your headline and descriptions more unique.

headline and descriptions more unique in Google search campaign

When you’re done, click save and continue to see a preview. The next step is your billing setting. After completing all the necessary steps, let the campaign run for a few days, and you’ll easily see which ad groups outperform the others. Optimize based on data collected.

3 Tips to making your landing page SEO relevant.

1. A/B test different landing page versions to see which version gets the most clicks (in other words, the most conversions) and then stick with the winning variant.

2. Audit the landing page you want to send the Google campaign’s traffic to and fix any SEO technical issues if you have any, check the link architecture, and ensure all relevant pages are easily accessible from other pages.

3. Use at least a relevant keyword on your landing page URL. It helps Google bots understand what the page is all about.

Final thoughts

Thanks for following along! I hope you find it to be a useful guide as you set up your Google Search Ad campaign. The above guide gives you everything you need to start setting up your Google search ads today. You’re even a step ahead because you can make your ads work with the above Google advertising guidelines. So, let your Google ads start running.

Images source: Google

 

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