How does Google Ads work?

January 13, 2020 in Advertising Knowledge



How does Google Ads work?

Everything you need to know to make your Google Ads strategy work

Google Ads is an online advertising service to get advertising spaces on Google Search network. But how does exactly Google Ads platform work?

For each page of the search network, called SERP, we will see 8 ads, four on the upper part and four on the bottom of the page; these ads are “selected” by Google algorithm, considering a big variety of variables, including the keywords searched by the users.

Which are the strengths of Google Ads System?

1 – First the possibility to choose where to place our
ads and to whom show them

2 – Continuous control of expenditure

3 – The possibility to constantly monitor data

4 – The possibility to modify in real time, with direct changes

The first point on our list, i.e. the possibility to choose where to place our ads and to who show them is the main characteristic of this system and more in general of online advertising. In this way we are sure to completely optimize our advertising budget. And do not throw our money.

Which is the right budget to make your Google ads campaign work?

If you are working for a big company then, you might start your advertising strategy with a bigger budget at early stages.

On the other hand, if you are a small company that jus starts to advertise on Google, we recommend to start with a 20/10 $ minimum budget. Google ads need to run a bit before to give you enough data to allow you to optimize your ads. The most important thing is to be patient and don’t rush.

How should I start my first Google Ads campaign?

The first important thing you need to do is to create a campaign and then, secondly the ad sets; every ad set should be about only one topic or (location or keyword), with some variable and synonyms of that term.

Is really important to not mix keywords or locations as the message we are sending should be related to that term. This is called S.K.A.G. strategy and we talked about it in this article about Google Ads keywords, check it out.

It is really easy to throw money on budget if you don’t really know what
are you doing; there is not a general rule, unfortunately.

The only rule that works for most the advertising platform is trial and
error. A/B testing is the most powerful tool you have while advertising.

For each element of the ad you should run an A/B test; does your
audience prefer a shorter or longer copy? Better an infographic or picture? Is
my product more suitable for women from 25 to 35 years old or better try with a
slightly older audience?

You will get the right answers only from testing; every products, services
or markets are different worlds so no generalizations please!

We can select the placement and the audience for our ads, thanks to some Google Ads features:

● Using the right keyword

◦ Choosing the right website for advertising

● Selecting the right device

○ Setting days, hours and frequency of advertising

● Through some information like age, geolocation or language

The strategic planning of Google Ads allows us, thanks to the big amount of information that Google platform gives us, to segment our work in three phases:

1 – Create campaign prospects

2 – Optimize campaigns

3 – Write reports on past campaigns

Different type of Google Ads campaigns

Google Ads offers to its advertisers different types of ads campaigns, each of them with a different application:

◦ Search Network

● Display Network

○ Search and Display network

● Shopping Network

○ Video campaigns

● Universal App campaigns

Search Network

Really the most common and used Google Ads campaign. It bases its power on text advertising, usually placed on the first Google search results and as well as on external websites that use this popular search engine, called Search Partners.

We use this type of campaign when there is a clear search intent, in
line with the keywords that customers type on Google search and the ones we
choose for our advertising.

Basically, when a Google user knows what is he looking for, in other words when the user has a clear research intent and the product is easily describable with words.

It might also be used locally or on a bigger scale.

how google ads work - Bigbom -

As we can see from this Google search box, for the keyword “dentist” the ads are highlighted from some additional information respect to the organic results; there are 8 slots reserved to advertising on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

Display network

This network is different from the previous for the placement and the
format of the ads used. It is basically the group of banners that we see when
surfing on a website and not on a result page of Google.

From 2016 Google launched responsive ads, that eventually end up to be a reference ads’ type for display network.

Responsive ads are composed of a graphic image and some text, that is
going to adapt to the space that they will have available.

This kind of campaign is more suitable for brand awareness’ phases and when we have to promote some product that is difficult to describe with words.

The main targeting criteria for the display network are:

Search Network campaigns with Display Expansion

This campaign combines some aspects of the previous two campaigns we analyzed. We will have our ads published both on websites, on Google SERP and as well on search network’s partners websites.

The platform will prefer to
publish the ads on the search network but with an appropriate daily budget we
will have our ads published even on the display network.

So, what the strength of this kind of campaign?

Basically, we are able to expand our potential catchment area, matching two different networks. Plus, the configuration of this kind of campaign is easier than the single Display Network and even with a little knowledge of the system, we are able to have our ads published in both networks.

Google Shopping Campaigns

This kind of campaigns are characterized by specific autogenerated ads, which confronts different products; simply put, Shopping is a simple product comparator.

The ads are generated from a feed of products, with a standard format that has to be kept up-to-date as much as possible via the merchant Center.

Once we create these ads, Google decide to show them or not to a user, researching on Google for that product, name, description and EAN code as well. In addition, will be considered auction’s results and the winning bid. To create a Shopping campaign is not difficult, but require good strategic skill level and a good organization of the campaigns because we are not allowed to modify the CPC of single products and we have to work grouping brans or kinds of products.

How google ads work - Bigbom -

Resuming, we are going to use this kind of
campaign if

1 – We are retailers and our
catalog is wide (more than 50 products)

2 – We are selling easy to
find products

3 – We are selling products
with a similar price to our competition

The strength of this kind of campaign are:

◦ Increment of direct traffic, with a good shopping intent to our e-commerce

● Good values of CTR thanks to the combination of images and visible price

◦ Easy to manage campaigns

Which strategy is the best? Research or display network?

There is not an absolute answer to this
question.

The guideline we suggest to follow is to understand if there is a clear research intent of a product or service and then the possibility to catch this intent with a Search network campaign; on the other hand, if we want to enhance our brand awareness and consequently our product demand we should use Display network.

Anyway, there is another instrument that we might suggest to use, and it is perhaps more effective than Display ads.

A tool that works really good combined to Google Ads, is Facebook Ads and it might become, in some cases, even more efficient that the former. There are many studies that demonstrate how alma big percentage of internet users suffers of banner blindness; in 2017, also, Tim Cook (CEO Apple) announced that the ne version of Safari will include a native ADBlocker.

AdBlock usage

This 2016 PageFair report shows us that the Display Network, and its banners, might be not so efficient as in the past, for many different user’s reasons; advertisers should consider Facebook advertising as a great alternative to the Display network.

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