Google Ads is a marketplace where companies pay to have their website ranked at the top of a search results page, based on keywords.
Before we begin, you should commit to 3 things:
- Don’t spend a lot of money. Set a fixed budget. It can be as little as $50, or even $25. That’s enough to get started.
2. Don’t over-complicate things. The Google Ads interface is complex, It’s easy to get lost in it and start creating dozens of variations of ads. Don’t. Keep it simple. Do as little as the platform allows to begin.
3. Be patient. This is by far the most important. 99% of the people who lose money on Ads simply quit too early (or spent too much, too fast). Have patience. It takes time.
How Does Google Ads Work?
Each keyword in your account will get its own Quality Score. So even two keywords within the same Ad Group can have different Quality Scores.
So that’s the first factor they’re looking for: relevancy.
For example, let’s say someone searches for “van rentals.” Which key-phrase do you think will have a higher ‘relevance’ score?
- “Van rentals”
- “Truck rentals”
Should be simple, right? Even though they’re related, one is obviously a much better fit. This same thing happens, though, in a campaign when you’re using key-phrases like:
- “Van rentals”
- “Van rentals pricing”
- “Van rentals in Lake Ontario”
This time, they’re all pretty relevant. But depending on the popularity of each, you ideally want to be as specific as possible. (For example, that might mean creating individual ads or even new campaigns for each of those specific keywords.)
Because the second factor taken into account is the click-through rate (both expected and historical).
Your ads will get ‘impressions’ (views) and actual clicks. Your click-through rate (CTR) is the calculation of clicks from views. A higher CTR generally means that your ad and keyword relevancy is better than others with a lower CTR (assuming the copy is good, obviously).
So Google will look at your older CTR and also forecast future ones in order to determine how well your ad matches somebody’s search.
Next, your account history is considered. It’s a fairly minor piece of the pie (compared to the previous two metrics) but it still plays a role in helping Google determine if you’re a legitimate, credible brand with good products and services.
All of these factors so far deal with your actual Ads account. But the other side of the coin is your landing page — or the place people will go once they click on your ad.
It needs to be relevant to what someone just searched. So a “van rentals” search should bring up “van rental” ads that bring you to a page which talks about “van rentals.”
The landing page itself also needs to be user friendly. For example, if it’s tough to navigate or seems sketchy in anyway, people will bounce (or leave your site immediately).
That’s a negative sign to Google. It means your page, for whatever reason, sucks. And therefore, your ‘score’ will take a hit and you’ll either drop below those who have better landing pages (or you gotta pay more to make up ground).
Because that’s the one thing that’s funny about Ads…
It’s an auction, true. But sometimes, if you do it right, you can actually rank at the top while also paying the least (out of the other advertisers).
It often comes back to your Quality Score and your Ad Rank.
Ad Rank is your Quality Score times the maximum bid you’ve selected. Simple math, really. And that (in theory) is what dictates which position you’re going to appear. (In reality, it’s not always that simple, because Ads is such a massive landscape.)
Then, the effective Cost Per Click you’re going to pay is often determined by these scores vs. your competitors.
So Google Ads will assess your max bid + Quality Scores + ad rank and compare those against your competitors — all in fractions of a second — in order to determine what you’re going to pay.
Here’s a brilliant visual from WordStream that illustrates how this works:
The cost per clicks in your own industry might vary wildly based on the (1) demand of people searching and (2) how much the competition is spending.
For example, the automotive industry might only set you back a few bucks per click. But in competitive industries like insurance and law, I’ve personally seen cost per clicks that range from $50-100 a piece!
You might be asking yourself: How in the world can you afford to pay $50 bucks a click?
That seems so expensive!
But guess what, with Ads, it’s actually pretty cheap. If you know what you’re doing, you can still make back 10x on your money.