I frequently hear this from my students and clients. I also used to feel this way.
When I was first starting out in digital marketing I had just moved from South Africa to Spain. I had sold my brick and mortar business in South Africa and as soon as I landed in Spain I was looking for a job.
I landed a great assistant marketing job in a busy little marketing agency. The thought of working on other businesses marketing was exciting for me!
I felt I was in the right place at the right time…the world of digital marketing was exploding and I was at the front lines. So I took this as my chance and dedicated myself to learning absolutely everything there was about this industry, reading and taking online courses after work in my own time. It was in this marketing agency that I discovered online advertising and the thrill of it.
I initially started using Facebook Ads to promote client businesses, it was relatively simple and in a very short amount of time I got great results.
Now, Google Ads on the other hand, was a different kettle of fish. I was intimidated by the technicality of it…all this data!Would I be able to interpret it? Understand it? If I didn’t I could end up costing our clients a LOT of money!
Discovering Google Ads
It could have been because of my age (I think I was 28 at the time), my nature or another non-visible driving force that encouraged me to see Google Ads as a challenge I wanted to overcome and master.
When I initially opened a Google Ads account, it seemed easy enough…Google Ads walked me through the setup step by step. But when I reached the dashboard, it was a maze. At that time, Google Ads was Google Adwords and their interface was so 1990 looking!
Not user-friendly AT ALL!
They have improved hugely based on user feedback and the fact they want it to seem so easy but there is still plenty of room for improvement.
So…the next step was to set up a campaign, do the keyword research, write the ads and get it live. The steps are similar to running ads on Facebook. Setup the Campaign, Audience and Ads and voilá…However, I must admit it is much more complicated…especially when you are just starting out.
That is why I have made it my business to simplify Google Ads for clients, Facebook Advertisers who want to add Google Ads to their arsenal of advertising platforms and fellow freelancers who are just starting out.
If you want to see if Google Ads is something you want to pursue…or if you have your own business and want to hire someone to run the Google Ads for you, I have created a FREE 7 day Google Ads mini-courseto give you a taste.
I encourage you to give it a go and would love your feedback and answer any questions you may have.
2018 was a massive year for PPC Advertising (Pay Per Click) Google AdWords rebranded into Google Ads, the worldwide roll out of the new Google Ads interface and the launch of loads of new campaign types, extensions, ad types, targeting and tools.
If you are in the PPC game what trends should you watch out for in 2019 and what should you be focusing on to stay ahead of the competition?
What message you are showing to the users is one of the most important elements of your Google Ads campaign.
With the introduction of extended ads, you now have 3 possible title fields and 2 longer description fields. Should you use all of the fields? Should you use RSAs (Responsive Search Ads) so your ad adapts to each size screen?
At the end of the day focus on the message and the cohesion of your ad. Think about offering the solution to the searcher’s problem as clearly as possible. If using all the fields to make it obvious to the user that your company will help them, then absolutely use the space you are given! It does not cost anything extra.
But make sure that the actual message makes sense! So many times, I have seen ads that just have words squashed together in order to fit as many keywords in as possible.
And don’t forget to use ad extensions…they increase the visibility of your ads over your competition’s and gives the user more information to convince them that your company can help them resulting in higher quality traffic to your landing page.
The nature of remarketing – showing relevant ads to users that already have had contact with your brand results in much higher click through rates and conversion rates.
The fact that they already know your company, has already broken the ice and they will feel more inclined to go back to you as opposed to a competitor.
Don’t forget though, that for this to work you need to show them the right message that is relevant to them at their stage of the buying funnel.
When it comes to strategizing your digital marketing for 2019 it is imperative you incorporate video.
Videos are social and social is gaining its place in the search engine result pages (SERPs). It has emerged as the number one type of mobile content which explains the latest Google Ads update of video vertical ads.
Be it you create short videos, or you use YouTube as your targeting, showing up on video is amazing for building your brand and getting your message across.
PPC has a reputation of focusing purely on ROI (Return On Investment) however, building your brand will play a massive role in 2019.
At the end of the day, marketing is not just about ROI but also about building brand loyalty and awareness. Using YouTube, Display Ads, as well as keeping lower performing generic keywords running will shift your focus of making every click profitable to looking at the longer term strategy of brand affinity and loyalty.
We do not live in a world where a user will just search on their desktop computer, see an ad and make a purchase. It very rarely is that simple. Nowadays, users search on their mobile, their tablet, desktop computer, watch a video on YouTube etc…as advertisers we need to show up on their journey, engage with them at the different touch points to gently nudge them down the funnel and produce a conversion.
The reporting and measurement of the cross device advertising strategies and to which platform the conversion is attributed/credited is not straightforward.
That is why 2019 will see a focus investment in reporting, attribution and higher pressure on marketers to connect the dots across the channels and devices as it relates to results.
Each business is different and choosing which attribution model to use to measure the cross platform campaigns is reliant on monitoring and adjusting to find the model that fits that particular business.
According to Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software:
“As the worlds of search, social and ecommerce blend together, marketers will need a complete view of the entire customer journey, so they have a more accurate understanding of campaign performance and attribution and can allocate PPC budget accordingly.”
There is no doubt in my mind that 2019 that we will experience many unknowns. We know that there will be updates in ad types, reporting, tools etc… but we just don’t know what they will be exactly.
We need to be able to stay up to date and adapt but always look at how the update can be used to enhance the user’s experience to ultimately connect with your brand and convert.
You have probably heard by now that Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is one of the biggest Pay Per Click networks available. It is used by the really big companies that have thousands if not millions of budget but also many local small businesses use it effectively as well.
If you are just starting out or thinking about using Google Ads for your business, you are probably asking yourself “is Google Ads worth it?”.
The answer: It depends but, in most cases, YES!
Let’s explore what makes Google Ads so powerful and how you can benefit from having it as part of your advertising strategy and in which case it would not be worth it.
1. Google Ads Gives You Quick Results
When you use Google Ads, the results are pretty much instant. Once you have spent the time setting up the campaign, it is approved, and you go live you can start receiving traffic within minutes.
Because you are showing your ad to searchers who then click on the ad and visit your site, you reach users you might not have reached in the past. These could potentially contact you (a lead) or buy something on your site.
If you compare it to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) it can take months to really start seeing results. So, whilst you are working on your SEO tasks such as content creation via blogs, videos etc… you can start showing your ads to your potential clients and get results quicker.
2. Google Ads Has Nearly Infinite Potential
You can start off small with both the number of keywords you are bidding on, audiences as well as budget.
There are millions of keywords available to bid on and every day there are new ones. Once you go live with a campaign with a set list of keywords, you can keep adding new ones to increase your traffic.
Then, once you have a profitable Google Ads campaign, you can increase your maximum daily limit to increase the number of clicks and traffic.
3. Google Ads Has Amazing Analytics Data
Google gives you so much data, you can use this information to see how your campaigns are performing and if Google Ads recommends you make any changes. You can see information about the average cost per click, advert position, conversion rate and quality score and so much more.
With this data and analytics readily available, you can then make informed decisions as to where is the best place to spend your money and if it is worth it for your business. For example, if you have a very high converting keyword, then it would be advisable to increase your spend for that particular keyword.
4. Stop Running Your Google Ads Campaigns At Any Time
The great thing about Google Ads, is that if you find your campaign is not giving you the results you want, you can stop it at any time. You are not locked in for months, forced to carry on with your campaigns. There are no contracts or fixed terms.
If you sign up for an SEO 6 month contract and don’t see results after 3 months, you will still need to keep paying until your contract is up. This can be a big waste of money.
Google Ads gives you the flexibility and ability to control your finances.
5. Beat Your Competition With Google Ads
We don’t operate in a bubble. There are always competitors no matter what industry you are in and they are constantly trying to steal your traffic.
Google Ads gives you a not so secret weapon to give you an advantage. If your competition is focusing heavily on SEO to get to position 1 on Google, then you can easily jump in front of them using Google Ads.
If your competitors are already using Google Ads you can out bid them with a bigger budget, more persuasive ads or better campaign in general. By outbidding your competitors, you can essentially steal their traffic and direct them to your website.
Is Google Ads Worth The Money?
The benefits all sound great but at the end of the day, it depends on two factors.
Firstly, there is what you pay for having the ad on Google. It is pretty simple…you pay per click – this means you pay ONLY when people click on your ads. You are constantly bidding against other advertisers in the Google auction.
Secondly, it depends on what happens after the user clicks on the ad. When they land on your website and they then convert (turn into a lead or a sale) and if that conversion is worth more at the end of the process (including all costs) then absolutely, advertising on Google is worth it.
If it costs you more than you are making, then it is simply not worth the money.
But how do you know if you haven’t tried it before?
Take the risk and try it…because if you don’t you could be missing out on sales, leads and hindering the growth and success of your business.
Using The Power Of Google Ads To Sell Out A Yoga Retreat Within 1 Month
LuxurYoga runs all-inclusive Mediterranean yoga retreats in an exclusive villa in Alicante, Spain. As well as many outdoor and indoor yoga spaces, their exclusive villa has a spa, gym, swimming pool and tennis court, as well as many other amenities.
There is no other business like them in Spain. Their aim is to be inclusive so their guests can spend more time relaxing and less time worrying.
LuxurYoga provides all equipment on site, from yoga mats and water bottles to towels. They also include two organic, vegan based meals and snacks throughout the day, as well as water, juices and teas.
The aim is to provide you with the opportunity to deepen your yoga practice while relaxing in a hassle-free, beautiful environment.
What LuxurYoga Retreats needed
Trinidad from LuxurYoga came to me needing urgent help. She needed to fill up her luxury yoga retreats in July, August and September. So far, she had been going at it alone. She was a solo entrepreneur in need of a dedicated digital marketer and “partner in crime”.
I myself, being a fellow yogi and digital marketer couldn’t wait to help her fill her retreats with bookings.
Unfortunately, she had been working together with another “agency” for a month and had received no bookings whatsoever. As it was already the end of June, urgency was an understatement.
On my initial discovery call with Trinidad, I had to investigate further to discover where exactly things were going wrong. Upon a quick look into how her campaigns were performing I was saddened, shocked and a little mad to see such a poorly constructed account.
I was no longer surprised that there had been no bookings for her luxury yoga retreats – the picture was becoming clearer, as was the cause of Trinidad’s unsuccessful marketing efforts.
Trinidad was wasting her money on keywords that were not targeting the right market – her ideal market. It was a big call to make, but I advised her right then and there to stop running all the campaigns. Although it was so close to her yoga retreats, this was the only way I could see to minimise the waste in expenditure.
We had an instant connection. We were both looking forward to working together to fill her luxury, all-inclusive yoga retreats with bookings. I genuinely felt I could help her but we needed to move fast so we could get the bookings in for the summer season.
What did LuxurYoga Retreats sign up for?
I became LuxurYoga’s digital marketing consultant and manager.
I took on the responsibility for the implementation of the agreed digital marketing strategy which included the following:
Social Media Marketing
And much more.
Aside from the digital marketing deliverables, I was able to help Trinidad with:
Peace of mind that she did not need to navigate the ever-changing environment of online marketing with new algorithms, interfaces and trends.
Less stress as she felt confident that I was part of her team with her business’ best intentions at heart.
Being her advocate by recommending and implementing the best strategies that brought in the results needed.
Confidence that she could focus her attention on running her business.
Being a colleague to discuss and bounce ideas off. Trinidad no longer had to work in isolation. This helped her become clearer about her vision, direction for her business and reignited the fire within you once again to drive her business to success!
Sometimes the abstract and intangible benefits you get from working with someone are the biggest benefits.
The first step with any successful marketing campaign is good, solid research.
I researched Trinidad’s target market as well as her competitors to see what they were doing and how we needed to compete. I also researched relevant keywords for Trinidad’s industry and market for the Google Ads campaign.
The next step was to set up the Google Search campaign including the ad copy. We had a goal in mind so we set this up in Google Analytics and were also able to track conversions this time!
Once the ads were live, I continually split test the ads so we were able to fine tune them for the best conversions. We also optimized her website for increased conversions.
Trinidad now has a fully optimised campaign that was targeting the right market.
Here is the Google Analytics data showing the traffic, clicks and conversions of the Google Search Campaign for the month of July 2018:
This resulted in sold out the 2 yoga retreats in August, just one month after the campaign went live.
“I have had a positive experience working with Tiffany. I have received many enquiries and bookings for our Luxury Yoga Retreats as well as a huge improvement in the overall look and functionality of our social media and website. It’s been a huge change and relief!
Knowing that I have another woman with a similar attitude and work ethic as me and someone who understands my business and my feedback is invaluable. Because of Tiffany’s in dein-depthrstanding of my needs and business as well as her vast knowledge, she can translate my ideas into reality. She comes up with great suggestions and with her magic touch, we now look more polished and professional online.
If you are managing your own AdWords account or a client’s account, you want to make sure you are getting the absolute best results you possibly can.
AdWords isn’t free and if you are not routinely fine-tuning and optimising your account, then money is probably going down the drain.
Google makes it seem like AdWords is easy to set up and manage however it is a science and art with lots of moving parts to work on.
So you are probably wondering if your account is performing at its optimum level.
Focusing on Google’s data to show them how their account is doing is a huge mistake. Google “hides” data from your default dashboard. It is easy to think your account is doing well if you are just looking at the basic information.
You need to roll up your sleeves and do the dirty work to evaluate how well you are actually managing your AdWords account. For this, you are going to do a very simple Google AdWords account audit.
Quick & Easy Google AdWords Account Audit
Here is a super quick and easy to follow Google AdWords account audit checklist. It will help you see where you are succeeding and what needs some work.
As you probably have heard or know, you need to continually work on your AdWords campaigns, monitoring, adjusting and fine-tuning…if you are meticulous in doing so, you will succeed.
You don’t need to be an expert to win…you just need to make regular and frequent improvements to achieve profitable results.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with our audit and see where we can improve our account management.
1. Campaign budgets – are they accurate and realistic?
Look at the ad campaign status. Do any of them say they are limited by budget? Or are they not achieving the max budget spend?
If you see any of these problems, you need to have another think about how you are managing your budgets. It is important that you match how much you are willing to spend on your keywords with what the market is allowing. Oh, and make sure you are focusing the budget on achieving conversions and not clicks.
2. Campaign Settings – make sure you are not using Google’s default campaign settings.
Don’t follow these settings blindly…Google makes a ton of money and if you trust Google to do your work for you, then your campaigns will be severely under optimised and Google will be smiling.
3. Ad extensions – are you using them and are they receiving impressions?
Why wouldn’t you want to maximise your advertising real estate in the search results? Adding ad extensions won’t cost you any more per click than without them and they give your ad rank a boost! This is a successful strategy to show up higher in the search results and above your competitors.
4. Ads – are you testing 2 or more ads per ad group?
Testing is a fundamental part of succeeding at Google AdWords. Without testing different ads, you cannot improve your results. Also, make sure that Google is rotating your ads, otherwise it is likely Google will show your more expensive ad instead of the ad with the higher click through rate. Sneaky sneaky!
5. Quality score – are locating and improving low quality score keywords?
The lower your quality score on your keyword, the more you pay for a click and you also have the risk of the ad not even showing up when a potential client is searching for the exact term.
Look out for quality scores lower than 6 out of 10 – these are the ones that you need to prioritise and look at improving. If you want to improve your budget optimisation, then improve your quality scores.
If you do have low quality scores, check out the following:
Make sure your ad copy matches your keyword
Is your offer relevant to the keyword?
Does the copy on your landing page match your ad copy?
Refine these and raise your scores.
6. Bidding – are you using individual bids for keyword, not ad group default bids?
DON’T use the ad group default bids – instead, use the individual keyword bids which allow for more flexibility and better results…adjust your max CPCs for the keywords which in effect can lower your average CPC (cost per click)
7. Negative keywords – have you got negative keywords in your account?
It is important you include negative keywords in your ad groups. They can block your ad from showing for the wrong search terms which in turn can save you money. As soon as someone clicks on your ad, you pay…so make sure you are only showing up for the keywords that give you results.
8. Search terms report – are you checking this report frequently and adding/excluding keywords to your ad groups?
If you regularly check the search terms report, you can find some new and high performing keywords as well as new negative keywords you might want to add to your campaigns.
This process is essential to fine-tuning an AdWords campaign with the end goal of having your ad groups having a solid relationship with its keywords and ads.
9. Audiences – have you defined and targeted your audiences and exclusions?
Google knows so much about our behaviour…scary I know…but we should use it to our advantage! The audience options allow you to target customers based on their lifestyle, demographics and shopping behaviour.
You can also use the remarketing options to target people who have already paid your site a visit, or who have seen only certain pages such as check out cart.
You can even upload your email list into AdWords. With AdWords Customer Match you can use these customers in your ad campaigns by either targeting them or even excluding them.
10. Mobile bidding – are you using individual keyword bids for each type of device?
In a mobile first world, having the flexibility to bid for different devices is essential. Now more than ever, people are using their mobile devices for browsing, getting directions, buying online and so much more. Depending on your business and your audience’s activities, you might need to bid higher or lower if they are searching on a mobile device vs a desktop computer.
You can make your budget more effective by targeting the devices that are best suited to your ads.
11. Opportunities – are you frequently reviewing the AdWords Opportunities section?
Google AdWords gives you tips on how you can improve your account. The suggestions can relate to your account structure, keyword opportunities, ad extensions and more.
Be careful, not all suggestions are helpful, but they can give you recommended improvements that are easy to implement with just one click.
12. Conversions – are you tracking all possible conversions and have set them to linear attribution?
Make sure you are tracking your conversions as this will show you if your campaign is achieving the objectives or not. You can either track your conversions via the Google AdWords tracking code or Google Analytics.
If there is only one rule I would tell you to follow, it would be this…optimise for conversions, not clicks. You can follow all the above checklist items, but if you are optimising for clicks, then you can forget it.
Make sure you have customised your columns so that you can easily see your conversion and cost per conversion data.
13. Change history report – are you making at least 1 change in the last 14 days?
Don’t be one of the AdWords managers that sets up a campaign and then forgets about it. Results come from being active and consistent. Even if it’s just a few small adjustments.
Make it a daily/weekly ritual. When you sit down at your computer with your morning coffee, check your AdWords account and make 1 small change. This is how you win the AdWords game.
If you don’t have the time or the skills to do this, then pay someone who does…the money will be worth it. Just make sure they know what they are doing, and you will see great results.
I help and support women entrepreneurs grow their small businesses online and succeed.