Everyone Googles! This makes Google an essential platform to have a strong presence, particularly for businesses that rely on people finding them via a search of products, services, or names, or via clicks on visual ads.
Online advertising is, by nature, and ongoing process where ads can be tweaked to be more effective as things change (see How Online Advertising Works). We at Harris Web Works (formerly Medium Well) have years of experience running ad campaigns through Google Ads, and can help your business develop and implement a program built around sharing your business’s key messages with well-defined target audiences. Our services include identifying which network to focus on, the types of ads to use, and developing the content. We can also help you find the most important insights and takeaways from your advertising data, to continually evolve in a way that’s most prudent for your business.
Google has two primary ways of getting ads to viewers – the Search Network and the Display Network. It’s important to remember that Google advertising is most effective when target audiences are clearly defined and specified in the ad set up.
“Search Network” Ads
While most companies will appear at or near the top of the search results when a user googles the company name, it’s more challenging to appear at the top of the list based on more generic searches (i.e., jewelry stores, accountants, etc.). This is where Google search network advertising can yield great results, as this may be how new customers first learn of your business.
Perhaps you’ve seen small or local companies (maybe your competitors!) appear at the top of search results or in the right-hand column, and want your company to get such good visibility. In many cases, it’s due to ads. This type of advertising involves setting up “adwords” with relevant keywords for your business so people who search using those terms will see your business listed as an option. The advertiser is charged a small fee each time a user clicks on the link associated with the ad (pay-per-click). No charge for the awareness built by the many people who happen to see it but don’t click on the link (yet!). These types of ads also appear via search results on Google partners such as AOL and Ask.com.
“Display Network” Ads
Display ads are those ads you’ve seen on websites, and quite possibly they were for things of interest to you (targeting algorithms enable this). Good ones have eye-catching images and words, and may appear as a banner ad across the top of the page, a square or rectangle along the side of the page, or interspersed with the content. They appear to viewers on all devices – computer and mobile.
The mechanism for this that people set up ads in the Google Display Network and those ads appear on websites that have Google Adsense turned on. Yes, businesses placing ads in the display network can choose which websites the ads will appear on, ranging from news sites, online stores, or almost anything else. These ads may be costlier per click than the search network option, but if you know what websites, audiences, and topics to focus on, it’s an extremely effective, proactive approach. This is because instead of waiting for users to search certain terms, the ads automatically appear on sites where users who may be interested visit.
Types of Ads
Once you identify which ad network to invest in, the next step is choosing what types of ads to display; the following options can apply to both networks unless otherwise noted.
- Text ads – These are basic text with information such as your business name, site URL, a quick description, and anything else important.
- Image ads and video ads – Image ads are static or animated graphics to give a more visual impression of what you do; video ads can be standalone video files or streaming video and are great for giving a more detailed, engaging experience (for Display Network only).
- Mobile ads – Mobile ads use text or images, and are made specifically for ads on tablets and phones. They take the user’s location into account (when possible) for more efficient targeting.
- App promotion ads – If you have an app promoting your business in some way, these ads will have links to either the app store or directly to your app (only appear on devices that are compatible with the app itself).
- Product listing ads – These are most useful for ecommerce businesses, as they list your products with name, description, and price. It’s great to quickly get a user’s attention by showing what you have to offer right away.
- Call-only ads – These focus more on showing your business’s phone number in addition to a site URL and a description.
Making use of Adwords PPC
Adwords Pay Per Click (or PPC for short) is incredibly helpful tool for improving your Google Ads strategy. It provides data on what keywords and phrases people are searching for in your industry, and which ones get the most clicks and conversions. This helps ensure you are using the most effective keywords in your ads, as well as your website’s content. Information you’ll glean will include the total number of clicks and conversions.
How Websites Get Good Search Results
Glossary of online marketing and website development terms